By Jean Tirole

economics for the common good cover
Editions:Hardcover: $ 29.95
ISBN: 9780691175164

From Nobel Prize–winning economist Jean Tirole, a bold new agenda for the role of economics in society

When Jean Tirole won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Economics, he suddenly found himself being stopped in the street by complete strangers and asked to comment on issues of the day, no matter how distant from his own areas of research. His transformation from academic economist to public intellectual prompted him to reflect further on the role economists and their discipline play in society. The result is Economics for the Common Good, a passionate manifesto for a world in which economics, far from being a "dismal science," is a positive force for the common good.

Economists are rewarded for writing technical papers in scholarly journals, not joining in public debates. But Tirole says we urgently need economists to engage with the many challenges facing society, helping to identify our key objectives and the tools needed to meet them.

To show how economics can help us realize the common good, Tirole shares his insights on a broad array of questions affecting our everyday lives and the future of our society, including global warming, unemployment, the post-2008 global financial order, the euro crisis, the digital revolution, innovation, and the proper balance between the free market and regulation.

Providing a rich account of how economics can benefit everyone, Economics for the Common Good sets a new agenda for the role of economics in society.

Reviews:Andrei Rogobete on Acton Institute wrote:

"Clarity of thought and breadth of knowledge shine throughout the book. If there is anything to critique, it may be that Tirole is too ambitious. One could say that he tries to cover too much ground at the expense of depth (although the book was never intended to cover its subjects exhaustively). It is above all an educational publication that seeks to re-affirm the role of economists in advancing the common good."

Philip Delves Boughton on The Wall Street Journal wrote:

"[...] an ambitious yet accessible summary of his ideas on the proper role of economists and the value of their ideas in informing government, business and social life. Mr. Tirole has studied a vast range of subjects, including industrial organization, regulation, finance, banking and psychology-based economics. He offers no cute, TED-talky efforts to over-simplify complex ideas. Nor is he some smash-mouth partisan, hell-bent on winning the fight for a particular school or party. He is committed, as he writes, to “reflecting scientifically” on the issues thrown up in economics. They range from the perils of economists becoming too politically engaged to the impending effect of technology on jobs and the moral quicksands of free markets. Few books, I would guess, have ever contained serious discussions of both the prudential regulation of financial markets and the morality of allowing “little people” to be catapulted across nightclubs as paid entertainment."

Lecture by the Author

About Jean Tirole

Jean TiroleJean Tirole (born 9 August 1953) is a French professor of economics. He focuses on industrial organization, game theory, banking and finance, and economics and psychology. In 2014 he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his analysis of market power and regulation. Bron: Wikipedia.

Table of Contents

Introduction - Whatever Happened to the Common Good?


  1. Do You Like Economics?
  2. The Moral Limits of the Market


  1. The Economist in Civil Society
  2. The Everyday Life of a Researcher
  3. Economics on the Move


  1. Toward a Modern State
  2. The Governance and Social Responsibility of Business


  1. The Climate Challenge
  2. Labour Market Challenges
  3. Europe at the Crossroads
  4. What Use Is Finance?
  5. The Financial Crisis of 2008


  1. Competition Policy and Industrial Policy
  2. How Digitization is Changing Everything
  3. Digital Economies: the Challenges for Society
  4. Innovation and Intellectual Property
  5. Sector Regulation