John Quiggin

Zombie Economics

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In the graveyard of economic ideology, dead ideas still stalk the land.

The recent financial crisis laid bare many of the assumptions behind market liberalism — the theory that markets always know best, regardless of the problem. For decades, its advocates had dominated economics, helping to create an unthinking faith in markets, in which speculative investments were seen as fundamentally safe. The crisis seemed to kill off such ideas, but they still live on in the minds of many — members of the public, commentators, politicians, economists, and even those charged with cleaning up the mess. In Zombie Economics, John Quiggin explains how dead ideas still walk among us, in Australia and abroad — and why we must find a way to kill them once and for all if we are to avoid an even bigger crisis in the future.

And because these ideas will never die unless there is an alternative, Zombie Economics also looks ahead at what could replace market liberalism, arguing that a simple return to Keynesian economics and the politics of the welfare state will not be enough — either to kill dead ideas, or to prevent future crises.

This local edition includes a new chapter and preface on the Australian scene.

‘A writer of great verve who marshals some powerful evidence’—Financial Times

‘I recommend it highly’—Ross Gittins, Sydney Morning Herald

‘An elegant critical introduction and analysis of some of the key ideas of modern economic thought’—Satyajit Das 
‘Killing vampires and werewolves is easy enough. But how does one slay economic zombies — ideas that should have died long ago but still shamble forward? Armed with nothing but the truth, John Quiggin sets about dispatching these dead ideas once and for all in this engaging book’—Brad DeLong, University of California

‘As Quiggin explains with elegance, lucidity and deadpan humour, the undead ideas here are interconnected: killing one causes it to knock over another in a sort of zombie-dominoes effect’—Guardian

‘A terrific book … quite a page-turner’—Andrew Leigh MP, former professor of economics, Australian National University

John Quiggin is professor of economics at the University of Queensland, a former columnist for the Australian Financial Review and a well-known blogger on current affairs.
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366 printed pages
Original publication


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