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Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  6,832 ratings  ·  845 reviews
Economics is broken. It has failed to predict, let alone prevent, financial crises that have shaken the foundations of our societies. Its outdated theories have permitted a world in which extreme poverty persists while the wealth of the super-rich grows year on year. And its blind spots have led to policies that are degrading the living world on a scale that threatens all ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 6th 2017 by Random House Business
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Laurens Van Mulligen Yes, there are certainly some points, which can be criticised. Although she explained the neoliberal theory of Milton Friedmann and its issues well, h…moreYes, there are certainly some points, which can be criticised. Although she explained the neoliberal theory of Milton Friedmann and its issues well, her solutions are nor elaborated neither always realistic, i.e. she wrote that global taxes should be introduced. (less)

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Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is something that you need to move up your list of books to read - and do so fairly urgently. I liked this book for so many reasons, but not least because she uses some of the same examples I've been using recently to explain ideas that have been troubling me for quite a while now.

One of the things that has obsessed me lately is the idea of the power of images and the odd fact that we don't really hear very much about this power in life more generally. You might think we would say to each
Riku Sayuj
Economics runs on images. The language of economics is built upon the iconic imagery of supply and demand curves, circular flow models, GDP growth curves and IS-LM models. Raworth seeks to change the language of economics. How? By changing the fundamental images that define economic models.

So what ails Modern Economics? Raworth is not exactly correct in saying that modern economics still runs on the rational-actor model and hence is limited by it. Not when we have Nobel laureates sitting pretty
Emil Gigov
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am not an economist but have been in business for 25 years and regularly enjoy reading business and economic texts. I started reading this book with interest, looking forward to discovering some new, thought provoking ideas. However, I found the book annoying and one sided in its analysis. The key tenet is that economic development has to be sustainable, a point that has been well rehearsed and widely accepted. The book starts by stating how important the visual representation of economic theo ...more
Jun 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Prerna by: Katia N
Economics today is very disappointing, at least the way it's taught in academic settings certainly is and this bothered Kate Raworth - so much that she walked away from it. Raworth thinks of economics as a way to manage our 'planetary household' and so she set out to reconstruct its language and reimagine its mechanics. This is one of the things she mentions early in the book: that economists have been very inspired by physicists and mathematicians for centuries now and in their pursuit to make ...more
Otto Lehto
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Doughnut Economics is a really cute title. It is unfortunately not the only cringeworthy aspect of this book. Kate Raworth's ambitious fairytale for adults encompasses Life, the Universe and Everything. It warns against ecological and economic overshoot but itself overshoots in its wide-eyed claims and heterodox heresies. As it happens, futurology is one tough doughnut to crack.

The book has a few central problems: 1) It attempts a synthesis that lacks solid foundations and relies on ephemeral, d
Albert Faber
Jan 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Raworth’s book has in recent months met either raving or scathing critiques. A *** review may thus be a little odd, but let me explain with reference to the broader discussions about the book.

Much of the critique revolves around the simplicity of her description of economic practices and theories. She traces the evolution of economic science to the neoclassical worldviews of Friedman and Samuelson and to the classical worldviews of Walras and Marshall. Curiously enough she stops just there, as i
Otis Chandler
May 14, 2018 marked it as to-read
One of the best TED talks from this year: ...more
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Strongly recommend for open-minded readers.

Conversely, if being told that, in order to make the world a better place and leave a healthy planet to our children and grandchildren requires that we stop being (disingenuously) intellectually lazy and cease our worship of the false gods of economic growth, you might want to skip it.

More broadly, this is one of the most thought-provoking books I've read in a long time, and one of the most powerful question your pre-existing assumption tools I've been
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2018
The dismal science has a propensity to be tedious and uninteresting to anyone outside its narrow sphere. But its influence is wide and pervasive, the neo-liberal agenda has given us a society where there is now a vast chasm between the super-rich elite and the poor underclass and where the single-minded pursuit of profit is degrading the world that we live in and are totally dependent on. This system that favours a small political and financial elite who make decisions based on a narrow range of ...more
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Yes. Finally. Everyone read this (and other books like it). (I have written two myself ;)) We need to rethink our economic systems. We cannot rely on GDP growth forever and at all costs. The costs are huge and irreparable. We don't have much left in the way of environmental buffers, we have way too much inequality, and for what? We have to understand that banks are not just neutral players in the system, but that they create money. That businesses have profit maximization as their model, which i ...more
Woman Reading
"In a period of great economic uncertainty," [Kenneth Rogoff] wrote in 2012, "it may seem inappropriate to question the growth imperative. But then again, perhaps a crisis is exactly the occasion to rethink the longer-term goals of global economic policy."

Doughnut Economics is Raworth's critique of how the field of economics has fallen short in addressing the major issues of the 21st century. Published in 2017, her book points out that income inequality is extreme, billions live in
The book to me is like preaching to the converted, kicking an already open door, you know what I mean. Maybe that's why I did not really find many new stuff: circular economy, systems thinking, regenerative growth, sustainability, and so on, unfortunately since I work in an NGO I am already in the spaces where these stuff are already flying around.

I expected to have a more practical explanation on how to use the visual to the non-converted. While the book in the first chapter stressed the impor
Katia N
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is very ambitious, but with a very valid and honourable course. Through her own experience and interactions with the modern students, Kate Haworth realised the economic theory that is taught to the undergraduates is at least 50 years old, based on more or less single paradigm, too technical. Respectively, the policies based upon the theory could be outdated, and sometimes have got a wrong set of goals. Why it matters? For two main reasons: current students are future policy makers and ...more
Oleksandr Zholud
This is both a critique of how economics is taught today (according to the author) and how it should be taught (mainly to include questions like environmental damage or unpaid household work). I read is as a part of monthly reading for October 2020 at Non Fiction Book Club group.

As a critique of the current study of economics it is quite weak and I think unfair, mainly because the questions raised, like an assumption of rationality or problems of environmental externalities, are actually well-d

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist, by Kate Raworth, is a book examining classical economic thought and how it is changing in the 21st Century. Contrary to what this book may state, economics and economic thought is largely changing and moving away from classical and neo-liberal dominated theories. Economics is sometimes viewed by its advocates as a science with set laws. It has been historically compared to and designed around engineering. Flow charts, graphs
Paul  Perry
While I say that as well as fiction I read non-fiction, really I typically only read popular science, ancient history and some travel. One area that I never expected to be reading is the wannabe science of economics - but, as with politics, you might not take an interest in economics but it will take an interest in you.

There have been a slew of popular progressive economics books in recent years - from examinations of our broken system like John Lanchester’s Whoops!: Why Everyone Owes Everyone A
Jessica Christine
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book!
Loza Boza
Dec 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
The key concept is a doughnut to represent the economy. In very simple terms the doughnut has a hole in the middle which shows a shortfall in "social foundations" and the area outside of the doughnut shows our overshooting of the world's "ecological ceiling". Both these two core concepts are self-evident in today's economies. The author holds this doughnut up as a basis for re-structuring our approach to economics. That is as about as deep as the book's theory gets. The problems are vast the sol ...more
Dr. Tobias Christian Fischer
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben Thurley
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An accessible and insightful book that outlines a vision, and puts forward a few new tools for 21st Century economics on a hot, crowded and unequal planet.

Raworth's big idea is that the focus of economists and policy-makers on growth, as measured by GDP needs to be replaced with a better, truer, nobler goal – to meet the human rights of every person within the means of our life-giving planet.

The doughnut (or donut to American audiences) of the title refers to Raworth's catchy visual heuristic fo
Joachim Stoop
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

This book tackles the errors embedded in our economic system. It devours our obsession with eternal growth and the highest GDP. It challenges the reader to think beyond the status quo of our boundless neoliberalism and towards a greener planet.

But what makes it stand out between all the other climate change/economic rethinking literature is:
- She knows we can see today and tomorrow far sharper by first zooming in on yesterday. Thus, it contains a really interesting and refreshin
Adriaan Jansen
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
''We are the first generation to know that we're undermining the ability of the earth system to support human development. This is a profound new insight and it is potentially very very scary... It is also an enormous privilege because it means that we are the first generation to know that we now need to navigate a transformation to a globally sustainable future'' (pag 55).

Throughout her book Doughnut Economics, Kate Raworth invites us to ask important questions about the way economics has been
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As someone who has already finished an MSc. Econ degree, this book is very relatable. During my masters, I primarily learnt how to think. But the heavy theoretical bent of the course, as challenging as it may be in its own right, seemed a bit frustrating. Theory can drive progress and innovation only if it translates into some real world action, which I couldn't see at my department. Although I could've gone ahead with a PhD, I decided to take a step back and work because I wasn't convinced that ...more
Jun 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
"Today's economy is divisive and degenerative by default. Tomorrow's economy must be distributive and regenerative by design." Raworth calls herself a "renegade economist," but what you'll find here isn't economics, but rather marketese pronouncements on how "21st Century Economists" ought to think. Cast off old thinking! And embrace a more "holistic" point of view!

"It is clearly time for economists to leave behind the foolhardy search for economic laws of motion. Instead, step up to the design
Jun 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
This could be sold as a 1-page pamphlet with the torus ring, and you could infer the rest that is written in this book. If you haven't studied psychology or neuroscience to at least an A-grade or 1st year undergraduate level, or have not read much popular science books, then this might contain new information that interests you. For me, I was aware of the majority of studies mentioned, and I often found the information provided obvious or needlessly waffling. Rather than explain the point succin ...more
Nam Le
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To be honest, the ideas of this book, abolishing the neoliberal economic system and building the new regenerative economy which prevent the rapid deterioration of environment, was not so new as it has already mentioned in tons of books or documentation films. However, the unique feature of this book is the utilization of the diagrams and clear writing style to make every concepts and ideas very clear and easy to understand, even with the layreader who receive no formal training in economics like ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full of words that inspire action. I really took my time with this book because it became clear to me early on that it’s something to be studied, not just read and/or skimmed.
Not sure I agree with everything in it, but i think Kate Raworth’s optimism and accessible theories are just the ingredients we need today.
Please please read, even if (Especially if!) you didn’t like studying economics growing up.

Jonathan Glen
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kate Raworth manages to perfectly sum up many of the frustrations with modern economics. She designs a new and egalitarian framework, distributive, regenerative and ecological, and she does it all in an accessible yet commanding tone. Read this.
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economics, favorite-s
In 2017 I read "Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Shaped the Modern World "by Jane Gleeson-White, main topic of the book was based on Bobby Kennedy's impassioned speech at the University of Kansas, March 18, 1968 , three months before his assassination, which was more about the calculation of national income or what we call as GDP.

"...It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures ever
Joe Bambridge
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it
This is quite a good book judged in the context of its intended audience. Raworth has the skill of explaining concepts in a very intuitive way without shrinking away from complex topics. What I liked was the emphasis on the economy as something that is actively designed and can thus be designed differently, through alternative modes of provisioning and ownership. Raworth in this way contributes to the ‘ownership revolution’ or ‘institutional turn’ which now guides economic policy making on the l ...more
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Kate Raworth is a renegade economist focused on exploring the economic mindset needed to address the 21st century’s social and ecological challenges, and is the creator of the Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries.

Her internationally acclaimed idea of Doughnut Economics has been widely influential amongst sustainable development thinkers, progressive businesses and political activists, and s

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“Depicting rational economic man as an isolated individual – unaffected by the choices of others – proved highly convenient for modelling the economy, but it was long questioned even from within the discipline. At the end of the nineteenth century, the sociologist and economist Thorstein Veblen berated economic theory for depicting man as a ‘self-contained globule of desire’, while the French polymath Henri Poincaré pointed out that it overlooked ‘people’s tendency to act like sheep’.31 He was right: we are not so different from herds as we might like to imagine. We follow social norms, typically preferring to do what we expect others will do and, especially if filled with fear or doubt, we tend to go with the crowd. One” 5 likes
“For over 70 years economics has been fixated on GDP, or national output, as its primary measure of progress. That fixation has been used to justify extreme inequalities of income and wealth coupled with unprecedented destruction of the living world. For the twenty-first century a far bigger goal is needed: meeting the human rights of every person within the means of our life-giving planet.” 4 likes
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