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The Economics Anti-Textbook: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Microeconomics

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  135 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Mainstream textbooks present economics as an objective science free from value judgements; that settles disputes relatively easily by testing hypotheses; that applies a settled body of principles; and contains policy prescriptions supported by a consensus of professional opinion. The Anti-Textbook argues that this is a myth - one which is not only dangerously misleading ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 11th 2010 by Zed Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Dec 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was a much better book than I could have hoped. Despite its title I was expecting it to be a bit like Filthy Lucre, that is, I was expecting it to have a title that sounded like it would say things that would make free markets sound less than the best of all possible worlds and then the content of the book would say that free markets really are as good as it gets.

Then I became worried that this might instead be a simple knee-jerk kind of drag them down and beat them up ‘capitalism is
Muhammad al-Khwarizmi
This is a pretty decent guide to how the sperglord vision of Homo economicus and other ridiculous assumptions fall down in many ways.

I found a few faults with it though ... some of them are quite significant:

* I believe that, especially as utility is opened up neuropsychologically, "positive economics" (as opposed to "normative economics") is entirely possible. If the right terms are operationalized such and such a way, the research can be totally objective, though I will admit that choices of
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is to undergrad econ what Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States is to U.S. History. It shares a more broad spectrum, arguing for what is not always a minority perspective rather what viewpoint is discarded by the corporations that write our textbooks. Having read Wendell Berry's Home Economics prior to this economic education, I now understand its neoclassical definition rather than Berry's linguistic one. I love economics and the art of its rhetoric.
I remember my
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: non-fiction
There's little need to add anything of my own to the review written here:

I recommend this to anyone looking for a clear-sighted introduction to economics.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone interested in economics. This is a pretty good starting point, and each chapter ends with a few references for more on the topic. The authors highlight not only and necessarily what they think is wrong with the economic theory as it is taught, but also highlight what introductory texts normally leave out. They spend a couple chapters debunking common neoliberal principles by comparing them to how economics actually operates in the real world. They also argue that the ...more
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economics, favorites
It's a book that has been written with true spirit of scientist. If you think that there is something wrong with "market fundamentalism" school or their presentation of economics gives you no clue of why economics is called "dismal science", DO NOT miss this book.
Oct 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

As an undergrad taking ECON 101, I suffered from the illusion that the textbook was correct, although, as an engineer, I hated that the basic models and assumptions were so obviously flawed. Although I didn't go into the field, I can imagine that after so many years of drinking the Koolaid of rational people, perfect knowledge and perfect competition, people start to believe this stuff, even though there is no empirical basis for it.

This "anti-textbook" serves to poke holes in the
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
"Consumer theory has the notion of ‘consumer sovereignty’ – that consumers ultimately rule the economy by deciding what to buy and what not to buy. This downplays the role of business in forming consumers’ preferences and in determining the products on offer to consumers. All buying decisions are portrayed as the free exercise of individual preferences formed by some unexamined process that apparently falls outside the realm of economics. Similarly, if corporations pollute the air and water when ...more
Robert C
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
A bit slow at points (but then, it is an economics text). He does do a pretty good job if presenting many of the inconsistencies that exist in the field of economics, as it is presented in beginner level text books. This text would not be suitable as a sole textbook; but it is good supplementary material.
Wendelle So
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great
A staggering eye-opener from two economics professors. Probably the most unique economics book I've ever read, and one I wish they paired up with regular textbooks, as assigned reading in introductory courses. The book deals with laying bare the assumptions inherent in the economic models we are taught over and over in lower-year econ, that don't really correspond with the situation in the real world and how economists model the real world. It is very important because most people's, and some ...more
Borislav Stefanov
Conceptually, I like this book a lot. I subscribe to the main ideas that real life economics are not at all like what you see in university textbooks, where nearly everything can be explained by the free market with its neat supply and demand curves, and where imperfect information, abuse of power and externalities either do not exist, or are treated to a quarter-page mention towards the end of the chapter. Personally, I believe that free markets like those from Adam Smith's and David Ricardo's ...more
Morgan Timme
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Clearly written and logical, this book does an excellent job explaining the foundational myths of neoliberal economics. It gives a concise summary of nearly all of my university education in economics, and systematically works through all of the issues with what economic theory presents as facts. Hill takes the glaring problems that nagged me in the back of my mind throughout college and beyond, and lays them out in a simple yet decisive way. For example, the equating of money with ...more
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
I read most of this during my Econ101 class, to get a better appreciation of economics outside of the neo-classical school that the lecturers taught. I felt like it gave me a more well-rounded view, but also helped to cement the concepts that appeared in my course. I like the tone and the pace of this book. I imagine for someone who isn't or hasn't taken an econ class, much of it wouldn't really be clear. It gives brief "textbook" versions of concepts, and it's not a bad introduction or summary, ...more
Lee Robinson
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent exploration both of the problems with the narrow range of analystical approaches that mainstream economics teaching currently offers and of broader, richer ways of thinking about economics. This book offers a readable way into the orthodox and heterodox.

The chapter on factors of production felt a little rushed and poorly explained in parts, so one star dropped, but otherwise the explanations are lucid.
Tom Emanuel
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
The world we live in is a frictionless wonderland of free and fair markets, where all exchange is voluntary, everybody earns their marginal product, rising tides lift all boats, externalities are rare-to-nonexistent, and the Invisible Hand benevolently coordinates the human family’s aggregate selfishness and hunger for scarce resources into the Best of All Possible Worlds.

Or not.

In The Economics Anti-Textbook: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Microeconomics, Rod Hill and Tony Myatt, professors of
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a really a good, thought provoking book. I suggest it be the next book you read after finishing your microeconomics class (or read it beforehand if you really want to annoy your professor, haha).

The format of the book is a bit unique. The sequence of chapters tends to follow that of a typical intro level economics textbook. Each chapter begins with a fairly brief explanation of a concept as taught in most classrooms (printed in a somewhat unusual font). The second part of each chapter
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-economics
One of the best books I've ever read, absolutely fantastic. Takes apart the textbook view of economics one piece at a time in a very easy to understand way. Brilliantly argued and I especially liked how every page or two had a question for your professor. Excellent book that I cannot recommend enough
Jul 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: money
A bit dry for my tastes. I liked economix much better in terms of being interesting. That being said, this book may have better information I was just couldn't find anything interesting the way the book was laid out (the section headings didn't interest me)
Dec 02, 2010 marked it as to-read
Shelves: economics
Ahmad Damasanto
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Ada wejangan menerima ide baru lebih mudah daripada melepas ide yang sudah kita pertahankan sejak lama
Daniel Sepulveda
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Xiaocong Long
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Will Klutch
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