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“Economics: The User’s Guide” by Ha-Joon Chang Essay (Book Review)

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Updated: Jan 26th, 2022

The book by Ha-Joon Chang is said to be a masterpiece of the kind in the economic education sphere. Via the twelve chapters of the book, Chang takes the audience into a wonderful garden where every tree is a thinker, and every branch is an economic thought.

The book’s chapters are carefully sequenced. The exposition gives evidences that conclusions on crucial real-life topics can be made from what is discussed and applied in alternative economic theories, such as class-based theories (“A Unifying Principle of Economics?” par. 5). Excellent narrative capacities are combined with attention to historical and political considerations, giving regard to ideas alike to Hayek’s (Vidler par. 2). Chang also do not use equations and figures, as it is put in Perlman’s studies (Mugge 12).

The book includes two parts including an epilogue. The first introduces participants and economic primary tools. Here the author makes stress on the importance of knowing the historical fundaments of economics, such as capitalism’s path (Merino 13). The second part views the tools in use for key issues’ analysis, ranging over the industrial roles, poverty and the present economic welfare (Pigou 60). The part views discussions of the relevance of the international economy, which are seen as social doctrine (Abela par. 2). The epilogue estimates the value of adopted methodology.

Chang’s “Economics: The User’s Guide” caught my attention with the absence of quantitative materials, that is replaced with pure reasoning. I also like the way Chang narrates through the material. For instance, Coggan in his “The Money Machine” clearly explains the financial systems of large entities but uses jargons and inappropriate language for his explanations. “The Undercover Economist” by Harford is also a significant source. Still, the book is being bound to one topic.

These are the reasons for my choice to stop on Chang’s “Economics: The User’s Guide”. I expect a lot of insights from this book and feel that it can tie me closer to the world of the economic market.

Works Cited

A Unifying Principle of Economics? 2013. Web.

Abela, Andrew, The State’s Role in the Economy. 2012. Web.

Merino, Noe. Capitalism. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven, 2010. Print.

Mugge, Daniel, Fickle Formulas.Towards a Political Economy of Macroeconomic Indicators. 2015. Web.

Pigou, A. C., and Nahid Aslanbeigui. The Economics of Welfare. Fourth ed. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Print.

Vidler, Naomi, F. A. Hayek: A Consideration of Austrian Economics in the Modern Political Environment. 2009. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "“Economics: The User’s Guide” by Ha-Joon Chang." January 26, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/economics-the-users-guide-by-ha-joon-chang/.

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