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Specialization and Trade: A Re-introduction to Economics
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Specialization and Trade: A Re-introduction to Economics

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Since the end of the second World War, economics professors and classroom textbooks have been telling us that the economy is one big machine that can be effectively regulated by economic experts and tuned by government agencies like the Federal Reserve Board. It turns out they were wrong. Their equations do not hold up. Their policies have not produced the promised results ...more
Kindle Edition, 95 pages
Published June 13th 2016 by Press
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Kling provides an easy to read book on the importance of specialization and trade, along with questioning the assumptions of Keynesian and Classical economics. Questioning economic theories is important in understanding more about how humans act to satisfy their desires. Don’t miss this book!
Eduardo Garcia-Gaspar
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Una introducción a la Economía como ella debe ser estudiada, no como lo es usualmente. Ese es el Ofrecer una introducción a la economía, como ella debiera ser estudiada, es el objetivo de A. Kling. «Exponer y tratar de corregir importantes malas interpretaciones acerca de la especialización y el comercio, que afectan a economistas líderes y a sus libros de texto», como lo expresa él mismo. Todo comienza con la especialización y su consecuencia, mayor riqueza, lo que lleva a comercio, urbanizació ...more
Jared Tobin
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I like Kling and probably agree with him on most things. The central thesis of this book is that macro is bunk, and that micro is not. No disagreement there. He elaborates on this over a mostly-enjoyable ten chapters, and the resulting text makes for a pleasant little read.

I didn't really get into the way that Kling approached this thesis though. He writes from a perspective that treats specialization and trade as largely extricable from the core phenomena of scarcity, preference, and comparativ
Devon Chodzin
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Kling and I do have something in common: we hate our field
Jon Gauthier
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amateur economists
Recommended to Jon by: EconTalk
Disclaimer: This review is from the perspective of a machine learning specialist with a basic undergraduate knowledge of economics.

My jargony and perhaps extreme take on the book's thesis: there is a dual problem to the common macroeconomic optimization problem. In this dual we (as an economy, a mass of particles in a "labor-space") continually rearrange ourselves into new patterns of specialization, attempting to maximize our own individual profits. We can view economic growth as a local search
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Economists (professionals and amateurs)
Shelves: economics
Specialization and Trade is the kind of economic text that the world needs more of. Kling is heterodox through and through, using whatever approach he sees as reasonable no matter how many traditions he breaks with. At the same time, he really knows how to make himself understood and his reasoning transparent. The result is a book that's both innovative and a didactic masterpiece. If I don't rate it higher, then that's mainly because Kling is all over the place, talking about various methodologi ...more
Allen Ng
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that I'll recommend to students of economics who have finished grad school and just joined public policy: "Read this book. It is short but contains many useful lessons that call for much unlearning and rethinking. You will understand the ideas in this books, but not their full importance now. You will learn to appreciate them with experience."

I've been reading Kling for close to a decade now. This book is a good synthesis of his ideas.
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A small but clear book on rethinking how we approach macroeconomics

A great reintroduction to macroeconomics thru a different lens than the classical macro training. Kling does a fine job appealing to armchair economists while still keeping a certain rigor to the material.
Jun 21, 2016 added it
Shelves: 2016
Clear writing from my favorite curmudgeon. Convinced me that a lot of the science underpinning current economic thinking is bunk.
Richard Fulmer
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As usual, Kling's prose is crystal clear, and his ideas are thoughtful and thought-provoking. In addition to providing an excellent case for a trade and specialization based economics, he delivers a good economics primer and a persuasive case against basing economics on mathematical models.
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American economist, scholar, and blogger. He is an Adjunct Scholar for the Cato Institute and a member of the Financial Markets Working Group at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He teaches statistics and economics at the Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, Maryland.
Kling received his Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980. He was an economist on t
“I think that both camps are guilty of underestimating the challenge of arriving at economic understanding. Those economists who claim the mantle of science are guilty of hubris. Noneconomists who think that their own intuition is superior to economic reasoning are dangerously misguided.” 0 likes
“What we should be comparing is not the existing market configuration with an ideal based on a simple model but the market process of error correction with the political process of error correction.” 0 likes
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