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Book reviews in the RWER Blog

Summary:
Two days ago in a comment, Yoshinori Shiozawa offered the following suggestion. I have proposed to create a forum in which heterodox economists can inform each other and discuss the future directions of heterodox economics. The simplest and easiest [way] to start is to organize a series of book reviews (or paper reviews if necessary) in this RWER Blog. If the editors of this blog offer a space (a post for reviewing a book or a paper) once a month, or each two months, for example, it will not be very difficult to realize this proposition. [emphasis added] I have checked if there are goods candidates for this attempt. Two books seem to be a good candidate for the discussion: (1) Foundations of Real-World Economics (2019; 2023) by John Komlos. (2) Economic theory for the real world (2024)

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Two days ago in a comment, Yoshinori Shiozawa offered the following suggestion.

I have proposed to create a forum in which heterodox economists can inform each other and discuss the future directions of heterodox economics.

The simplest and easiest [way] to start is to organize a series of book reviews (or paper reviews if necessary) in this RWER Blog. If the editors of this blog offer a space (a post for reviewing a book or a paper) once a month, or each two months, for example, it will not be very difficult to realize this proposition. [emphasis added]

I have checked if there are goods candidates for this attempt. Two books seem to be a good candidate for the discussion:

(1) Foundations of Real-World Economics (2019; 2023) by John Komlos.
(2) Economic theory for the real world (2024) by Victor Beker.

. . . .

The reasons to choose these two books for initiating a book review series are rather simple:

(1) Both books have phrase “real world” (economics) in its title.
(2) Both authors are contributors to RWER and RWER Blog.
(3) Both try to present a comprehensive economics in a positive form.
(4) Both are influenced by Real World Economics movement from 2000.

Criticizing mainstream economics is one thing. Obtaining a new alternative economics is another thing. We can easily agree that representative agent, rational expectations, strict logic, etc., are not the methods we should adopt. It is easy to say that we should adopt more realistic assumptions for our theory. Which ones to choose, or how to construct theories concretely, is no easy choice. It will be difficult to get a consensus but this is what we should do for the further development of heterodox economics. [emphasis added]

I agree with what Shiozawa wrote and appreciate and like his suggestion for this blog.  Until various heterodoxies develop a common, interlinking conceptual narrative, they will forever remain powerless islands of thought, rather than a movement that threatens economics increasingly deadly traditional narrative.  With this in mind, I think Shioawa’s proposal defines a potentially valuable community project.  Initially this blog will aim for one review with comments a month.  To get it started ASAP, I invite Shiozawa to review Komlos’s Foundations of Real-World Economics.

Meanwhile, suggestions of other books for someone to review are invited.  But please remember that the purpose of this forum is not to promote a particular heterodoxy, but rather to develop a conceptual framework that brings heterodoxies together to form a new economics that can – before it is too late –  rescue humanity from the old one.

Edward Fullbrook

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