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The Economics of Abundance

Affluent Consumption and the Global Economy Brendan Sheehan, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Leeds Beckett University, UK
This book addresses the challenge posed by J.K. Galbraith over 50 years ago to make a constructive contribution to a different style of economic analysis – the economics of abundance. It identifies a system of abundance inhabited by the ‘people of plenty’ and illustrates that the driver of growth in this system is spending by affluent consumers. This timely book provides essential heterodox economic theory to explain this spending and explore its key drivers and constraints.
Extent: 224 pp
Hardback Price: $120.00 Web: $108.00
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 978 1 84376 670 4
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  • Business and Management
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Institutional Economics
This book addresses the challenge posed by J.K. Galbraith over 50 years ago to make a constructive contribution to a different style of economic analysis – the economics of abundance. It identifies a system of abundance inhabited by the ‘people of plenty’ and illustrates that the driver of growth in this system is spending by affluent consumers. This timely book provides essential heterodox economic theory to explain this spending and explore its key drivers and constraints.

The greatest threat to this system is under-consumption. Brendan Sheehan explains how the system spontaneously responds by creating the institution of marketing, which amplifies the drivers of spending and relaxes the constraints. However, all this has implications for the way in which markets work. He expertly builds on themes first identified by J.K. Galbraith to introduce a new conceptual framework – that of corporate-guided markets for branded products.

Written in a comprehensive style, this book will prove a valuable resource for academics in various fields, including: economic and social history, sustainability, sociology, social psychology, cognitive psychology, marketing and cultural studies.
Contents: Preface 1. Abundance, Scarcity and Sufficiency Appendix: Abundance in Historical Context 2. The Institution of Marketing 3. Socio-cultural Consumption 4. Subjective Consumption 5. Cognitive Consumption 6. The Role of Markets Appendix: Introducing the Simple Market Mechanism to Non-economists 7. Implications Bibliography Index