By Kate Raworth
"Economics is broken. It has failed to predict, let alone prevent, financial crises that have shaken the foundations of our societies. Its outdated theories have permitted a world in which extreme poverty persists while the wealth of the super-rich grows year on year. And its blind spots have led to policies that are degrading the living world on a scale that threatens all of our futures.
Can it be fixed? In Doughnut Economics, Oxford academic Kate Raworth identifies seven critical ways in which mainstream economics has led us astray [see table of contents], and sets out a roadmap for bringing humanity into a sweet spot that meets the needs of all within the means of the planet. En route, she deconstructs the character of ‘rational economic man’ and explains what really makes us tick. She reveals how an obsession with equilibrium has left economists helpless when facing the boom and bust of the real-world economy. She highlights the dangers of ignoring the role of energy and nature’s resources – and the far-reaching implications for economic growth when we take them into account. And in the process, she creates a new, cutting-edge economic model that is fit for the 21st century – one in which a doughnut-shaped compass points the way to human progress.
Ambitious, radical and rigorously argued, Doughnut Economics promises to reframe and redraw the future of economics for a new generation."
Richard Toye on The Guardian wrote:
"[...] Such proposals are familiar; but without a new framework of thought, piecemeal solutions are unlikely to succeed. By rethinking economics from first principles, Raworth allows us to integrate our specific propositions into a coherent programme, and then to measure the extent to which it is realised. I see her as the John Maynard Keynes of the 21st century: by reframing the economy, she allows us to change our view of who we are, where we stand, and what we want to be."
Duncan Green on Oxfam Blogs wrote:
"She is right that not everything can or should be left to the market, that the 'rational actor' model of economic conduct is problematic and that we cannot rely on the processes of growth to redress inequality and solve the problem of pollution. On the other hand, she seems overoptimistic about the possibility of changing the predominant neoliberal mindset, essentially through persuasion. [...]
If you are familiar with the ideas of Hyman Minsky, Daniel Kahneman, Joseph Stiglitz and Ha-Joon Chang, you will not be in for too many surprises, but if not, this book serves as a compact synthesis of modern heterodoxy. Raworth’s distinct contribution is in her emphasis on environmental themes."
Steven Horwitz on libertarian think thank FEE wrote:
"[...] in some ways Doughnut Economics is an example (albeit a particularly brilliant one) of what I call IIRTW (‘If I Ruled the World’) thinking. [...] What’s missing is a decent power analysis and discussion of how the ideas interact with politics (beyond broad social movement activism): not just the power of bad guys, but the workings of democracy. [...] But great ideas, and brilliant framing, still make change – and this book is a classic combination of both. If only 10% of the ideas get implemented, the world will be a much better place."
" The more fundamental problem with Raworth’s argument is that aggregate models such as her doughnut fail to account for the most fundamental question of political economy: how well do social, political, and economic institutions provide people with the knowledge and incentives they require to know when they have made mistakes and guide them about how to correct those mistakes? Her model is at such a high level of aggregation and abstraction that there is no room for asking how and why real flesh-and-blood people act and make choices."
Source: site of Kate Raworth
About Kate Raworth / Additional Resources
The website of the author has many additional resources on the topic of the book, such as animations and podcasts.
Kate Raworth is a renegade economist focused on exploring the economic mindset needed to address the 21st century’s social and ecological challenges. She is a senior visiting research associate and advisory board member at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute and teaches in its masters program for Environmental Change and Management. She is also senior associate of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and a member of the Club of Rome. Over the past 20 years Raworth has been a senior researcher at Oxfam, a co-author of UNDP’s annual Human Development Reports and a fellow of the Overseas Development Institute, working in the villages of Zanzibar. She is also on the advisory board of the Stockholm School of Economics’ Global Challenges Programme and Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Resource Observatory. Kate lives in Oxford, England.
Table of Contents
- Who Wants to Be an Economist?
- 1. Change the Goal; from GDP to the Doughnut
- 2. See the Big Picture; from Self-Contained Market to Embedded Economy
- 3. Nurture Human Nature; from Rational Economic Man to Social Adaptable Humans
- 4. Get Savy with Systems; from Mechanical Equilibrium to Dynamic Complexity
- 5. Design to Distribute; from 'Growth Will Even It Up Again' to Distributive by Design
- 6. Create to Regenerate; from 'Growth Will Clean It Up Again' to Regenerative by Design
- 7. Be Agnostic about Growth; from Growth Addicted to Growth Agnostic
- We Are All Economists Now