Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations

Posted on August 23, 2006 by

0 often pairs a book with another it thinks readers might enjoy.  For The Wages of Wins, the pairing is often Dean Oliver’s Basketball on Paper.  Oliver’s book is quite good and well worth reading. 

This post, though, is not about Oliver’s book.  I recently read another book that has occasionally paired with The Wages of Wins.  David Warsh has penned a book entitled: Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations: A Story of Economic Discovery.  Our story connects sports to economics.  Oliver’s book is about sports, hence it makes sense to pair his work with our book.  Warsh’s book is not about sports, but about economics.  So if you are only interested in sports, maybe this is not a book for you.  I hope, though, that readers of this journal also enjoy economics.  And if you do, you will love this book.  Let me repeat that sentiment.  I think you will love this book.

Okay, what is the book about?  This is the story of a paper written by Paul Romer on economic growth. Now on the surface, that may seem uninteresting.  But Warsh tells the tale by taking the reader all the way back to the work of Adam Smith.  Gradually he moves forward in time, discussing along the way all the different ways economists have examined and explained economic growth.  Eventually he gets to the work of contemporary writers, with the main focus being on a single paper by Romer.

In reading this book you will better understand the very important topic of economic growth.  In addition, you will see how research is done in economics.  Warsh details the nature of academic meetings and how papers are eventually published in journals and accepted – or not – by the wider community of economists.

In sum, this is a great book.  And if you did buy both our book and the Warsh book together, and you want to read the best book first, start with Warsh.  Yes, it is that good.

— DJ

Posted in: Book Review