Butterfly Economics: A New General Theory of Social and Economic Behavior

Front Cover
Basic Books, 2000 - Business & Economics - 217 pages
3 Reviews
In this cogently and elegantly argued analysis of why human beings persist in engaging in behavior that defies time-honored economic theory, Ormerod also explains why governments and industries throughout the world must completely reconfigure their traditional methods of economic forecasting if they are to succeed and prosper in an increasingly complicated global marketplace.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

if only ben bernanke had read this book.
for those that have read malcolm gladwell's "the tipping point", this book in a way covers the math behind the tipping point. alot of credit to the author
for laying out the basic ideas behind complicated maths such as non-linear signal processing and chaos theory.
one general theme throughout the book is that orthodox economic theory assumes that individuals do not influence each other - that preferences are independent and fixed. the book covers the situation when this assumption is lifted.
orthodox economic theories behind long term trends in growth (solow), market granularity, rapid short-term fluctuations in output and long-term cyclical structure (business cycle) are dissected and their flaws are elucidated convincingly. using variations on an "ants" model, ormerod develops alternatives models that capture salient features that orthodox economic theory is unable (or unwilling) to explain.
 

Review: Butterfly Economics A New General Theory Of Social And Economic Behavior

User Review  - Grim-Anal King - Goodreads

It seems I'm heading backwards through Ormerod's books so there was a little repetition for me but this proved another decent dismantling of some economic shibboleths, seemingly nudging the reader towards a more rational economic approach. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Living at the Edge of Chaos
2
Dedicated Followers of Fashion
12
To Catch a Thief
29
Family Values
48
Use the Maths Then Burn It
60
The Illusion of Control
76
A Quantitative Quagmire
92
Ups and Downs
104
To Have and Have Not
153
Great Oaks from Little Acorns
167
Less Can Be More
183
Appendix One
194
Appendix Two
199
Appendix Three
201
Bibliography
202
Index
206

Through a Glass Darkly
122
The Wealth of Nations
143

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2000)

Paul Ormerod has been head of the Economic Assessment Unit at The Economist and a visiting professor at the Universities of London and Manchester. He lives in London.

Bibliographic information