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Roads to Wisdom, Conversations with Ten Nobel Laureates in Economics

Karen Ilse Horn, Humboldt-University Berlin and Erfurt University, Germany
Karen Horn’s remarkable interviews with ten Nobel Laureates explore the conditions required for scientific progress by navigating the ‘roads to wisdom’ in economic science.
Extent: 384 pp
Hardback Price: $184.00 Web: $165.60
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 978 1 84844 670 0
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $65.00 Web: $52.00
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 978 1 84844 694 6
Availability: In Stock

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  • Economics and Finance
  • History of Economic Thought
Karen Horn’s remarkable interviews with ten Nobel Laureates explore the conditions required for scientific progress by navigating the ‘roads to wisdom’ in economic science.

How does progress in economic theory come about? Where do path-breaking ideas come from? What is it that has enabled these outstanding scholars to make their substantial contributions? How deep are the footprints of a particular historical situation, how strong the political tide or the state-of-the-art in economics, and how influential is personal history on their individual roads to wisdom? Analytical answers to these fundamental questions are presented in this insightful collection of deep and highly inspiring conversations with Nobel Laureates Paul A. Samuelson, Kenneth J. Arrow, James M. Buchanan, Robert M. Solow, Gary S. Becker, Douglass C. North, Reinhard Selten, George A. Akerlof, Vernon L. Smith and Edmund S. Phelps.

Superbly supplemented with concise overviews of the Nobel Laureates’ lives and works, these fascinating discussions culminate with a comprehensive inquiry into progress in economic theory. As such, this eloquent and highly accessible book will prove to be a compelling read for scholars and students of the discipline, and all those with an interest in economics and the history of economic thought.
‘Horn presents extensive background material on the sample of laureates in economic methodology. The book contains chapters with elaborate discussions of purpose and theory, choices and methods as well as postscripts on findings and insights. . . The vocabulary of economics has been enriched by core thoughts of the ten contributors, which will provide practitioners of economics with challenging problems to be solved in the twenty-first century and beyond. This fine, absorbing and lucid book has the potential of serving as an inspiration to new generations of economics students.’
– Lall Ramratten and Michael Szenberg, EH.NET

‘This is a beautifully written and engaging book. At its heart is a series of structured interviews with ten Nobel Memorial Laureates in Economics that provide fascinating insights into the main influences on their career paths and pioneering work. Karen Horn is to be applauded, not just for her wide-ranging scholarship and thought-provoking analysis but also for producing a non-technical yet rigorous book which is eminently accessible to non-specialists. In short this an excellent volume which comes highly recommended.’
– Howard R. Vane, Liverpool John Moores University, UK

‘Karen Horn’s questions are insightful, her notes are accurate and informative, and her summing up of the central question of creativity that she poses in the book is cogent and to the point. All in all, this book is difficult to put down and I can’t imagine any reader who will not fail to learn a great deal about economics along the way.’
– The late Mark Blaug, formerly of the University of London and University of Buckingham, UK
Contents: Part I: All Those Roads to Wisdom: Questions 1. Purpose and Theory 2. Choices and Method Part II: The Interviews 3. Paul A. Samuelson 4. Kenneth J. Arrow 5. James M. Buchanan 6. Robert M. Solow 7. Gary S. Becker 8. Douglass C. North 9. Reinhard Selten 10. George A. Akerlof 11. Vernon L. Smith 12. Edmund S. Phelps 13. The Questionnaires Part III: All Those Roads to Wisdom: Answers 14. Findings and Insights 15. Conclusion Bibliography Index