100 books like The Joyless Economy

By Tibor Scitovsky,

Here are 100 books that The Joyless Economy fans have personally recommended if you like The Joyless Economy. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach

Maurizio Pugno Author Of Well-being and Growth in Advanced Economies: The Need to Prioritise Human Development

From my list on human development in advanced economies.

Why am I passionate about this?

'Human development' indicates an advancement that I would like to find in any kind of progress. Different disciplines define 'human development' in different ways, but my research is to identify the common core in order to link both the individual- with the social dimension, and natural evolution with changes due to personal choices and policies. Through such research, I have been able to take a new perspective on my academic subjects: economic growth and happiness. My belief is that it is possible to make human development, economic growth, and happiness go together. But unfortunately, this is not what is occurring, and understanding why is key.

Maurizio's book list on human development in advanced economies

Maurizio Pugno Why did Maurizio love this book?

What is human development to have real economic and social progress?

Creating Capabilities written by the philosopher Martha Nussbaum is perhaps the book that best explains what human development is according to the Capability Approach, originally conceived by the Nobel Prize–winning economist Amartya Sen.

The explanation distinguishes between internal individual capabilities and environmental opportunities that give the freedom to exercise them. In this way, the author links the psychological aspect with the socio-economic aspect of capabilities.

The main purpose of the book is normative, that is, to recommend what government should do.

But it leaves open the question of why economic growth does not automatically lead to human development.

By Martha C Nussbaum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Creating Capabilities as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If a country's Gross Domestic Product increases each year, but so does the percentage of its people deprived of basic education, health care, and other opportunities, is that country really making progress? If we rely on conventional economic indicators, can we ever grasp how the world's billions of individuals are really managing? In this powerful critique, Martha Nussbaum argues that our dominant theories of development have given us policies that ignore our most basic human needs for dignity and self-respect. For the past twenty-five years, Nussbaum has been working on an alternate model to assess human development: the Capabilities Approach.…


Book cover of Giving Kids a Fair Chance

Maurizio Pugno Author Of Well-being and Growth in Advanced Economies: The Need to Prioritise Human Development

From my list on human development in advanced economies.

Why am I passionate about this?

'Human development' indicates an advancement that I would like to find in any kind of progress. Different disciplines define 'human development' in different ways, but my research is to identify the common core in order to link both the individual- with the social dimension, and natural evolution with changes due to personal choices and policies. Through such research, I have been able to take a new perspective on my academic subjects: economic growth and happiness. My belief is that it is possible to make human development, economic growth, and happiness go together. But unfortunately, this is not what is occurring, and understanding why is key.

Maurizio's book list on human development in advanced economies

Maurizio Pugno Why did Maurizio love this book?

I love this book because it summarizes in a few pages a lot of scientific work on a very slippery and thorny topic: early education.

It is not a self-help book; it does not provide detailed advice to parents. It rather demonstrates three principles that can inspire policy as well as educators’ actions.

First, people’s skills and personalities are not determined only by genes, but can be changed as the environment interacts with genes.

Second, inequality due to the birth lottery is not diminishing in the US, but is rather increasing.

Third, investing in adolescent education could enlarge inequality, whereas investing in the quality of early education improves both equity and efficiency, and is much rewarding.

Will policies be able to be so far-sighted and to intervene on parenting?

By James J. Heckman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Giving Kids a Fair Chance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A top economist weighs in on one of the most urgent questions of our times: What is the source of inequality and what is the remedy?

In Giving Kids a Fair Chance, Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman argues that the accident of birth is the greatest source of inequality in America today. Children born into disadvantage are, by the time they start kindergarten, already at risk of dropping out of school, teen pregnancy, crime, and a lifetime of low-wage work. This is bad for all those born into disadvantage and bad for American society.

Current social and education policies directed…


Book cover of What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

Maurizio Pugno Author Of Well-being and Growth in Advanced Economies: The Need to Prioritise Human Development

From my list on human development in advanced economies.

Why am I passionate about this?

'Human development' indicates an advancement that I would like to find in any kind of progress. Different disciplines define 'human development' in different ways, but my research is to identify the common core in order to link both the individual- with the social dimension, and natural evolution with changes due to personal choices and policies. Through such research, I have been able to take a new perspective on my academic subjects: economic growth and happiness. My belief is that it is possible to make human development, economic growth, and happiness go together. But unfortunately, this is not what is occurring, and understanding why is key.

Maurizio's book list on human development in advanced economies

Maurizio Pugno Why did Maurizio love this book?

This book is one of the most effective attacks against the market tendency to commercialize any good, ending up corroding what is most intrinsically human in social relationships and in people's intimate lives.

The effectiveness of the book lies in the examples, ranging from the sale of kidneys to paying someone to be substituted in the queue.

The most important lesson of the book is that market-driven economic growth has not only transformed the environment to make our lives more comfortable, thus hitting the limit in environmental degradation, but it has also transformed ourselves, because it has made us more consumers and less human.

This silent transformation - the philosopher Sandel teaches us - must be limited.

By Michael J Sandel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Money Can't Buy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In What Money Can't Buy, renowned political philosopher Michael J. Sandel rethinks the role that markets and money should play in our society.

Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Should we put a price on human life to decide how much pollution to allow? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars, outsourcing inmates to for-profit prisons, auctioning admission to elite universities, or selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay?

In his New York Times bestseller What Money…


Book cover of Happiness for All? Unequal Hopes and Lives in Pursuit of the American Dream

Maurizio Pugno Author Of Well-being and Growth in Advanced Economies: The Need to Prioritise Human Development

From my list on human development in advanced economies.

Why am I passionate about this?

'Human development' indicates an advancement that I would like to find in any kind of progress. Different disciplines define 'human development' in different ways, but my research is to identify the common core in order to link both the individual- with the social dimension, and natural evolution with changes due to personal choices and policies. Through such research, I have been able to take a new perspective on my academic subjects: economic growth and happiness. My belief is that it is possible to make human development, economic growth, and happiness go together. But unfortunately, this is not what is occurring, and understanding why is key.

Maurizio's book list on human development in advanced economies

Maurizio Pugno Why did Maurizio love this book?

I like this book because it does not simply show how income inequality affects happiness inequality, thus suggesting that unhappiness is just a sign of material disadvantage.

The book also links income and happiness to hope, which is a feeling that motivates people to plan and invest for the future. 

To convince the sceptical reader about measuring hope and happiness, Carol Graham provides an abundance of empirical evidence.

But being an economist, in addition to telling emblematic stories, she reports evidence based on large samples and international data.

It is a challenging book, but rewarding, because it helps to understand both how the exhaustion of the American Dream will affect the future, and where to look for new hope.

By Carol Graham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Happiness for All? Unequal Hopes and Lives in Pursuit of the American Dream as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How the optimism gap between rich and poor is creating an increasingly divided society The Declaration of Independence states that all people are endowed with certain unalienable rights, and that among these is the pursuit of happiness. But is happiness available equally to everyone in America today? How about elsewhere in the world? Carol Graham draws on cutting-edge research linking income inequality with well-being to show how the widening prosperity gap has led to rising inequality in people's beliefs, hopes, and aspirations. For the United States and other developed countries, the high costs of being poor are most evident not…


Book cover of Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements

Jason Falls Author Of Winfluence: Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand

From my list on word of mouth marketing.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jason Falls is an award-winning marketing strategist, author of three books, and host of two marketing-related podcasts. He has been listed as one of the most influential voices in the world of social media and influencer marketing.

Jason's book list on word of mouth marketing

Jason Falls Why did Jason love this book?

I was so inspired by the “movement” approach Brains on Fire (the agency) presented in this eponymous title, I reached out to work with them. What resulted is an incredible amount of learning beyond the book and another amazing WOM case study for them (and for a non-profit I served). If I hadn’t seen the positive results of the advice doled out in this book myself, I would describe it as the manual on how to build cults … but the good kind.

By Robbin Phillips, Greg Cordell, Geno Church , Spike Jones

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brains on Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Develop and harness a powerful, sustainable word-of-mouth movement How did the 360-year-old scissor company, Fiskars, double its profit in key markets just by realizing its customers had already formed a community of avid scrapbookers? How is Best Buy planning to dominate the musical instruments market? By understanding the Brains on Fire model of tapping movements and stepping away from the old-school marketing "campaign" mentality. Brains on Fire offers original, practical and actionable steps for creating a word-of-mouth movement for corporations, products, services, and organizations. It takes you step-by-step through the necessary actions needed to start your own authentic movement. *…


Book cover of I'll Be Back

Steven Van Belleghem Author Of A diamond in the rough: Over a 100 specific tips to build a strong customer culture

From my list on From Steven's list on acheiving an awesome customer experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

Raised in a Belgian retail store, exceptional customer service was a daily conversation topic with my parents. This upbringing made customer experience a natural part of who I am. Realizing the rarity of such service in the broader world, I delved into studying consumer behavior and how companies can respond effectively. Now, I'm deeply involved in the customer experience field, having authored six books and co-founded Nexxworks, an inspiration agency. I share all my insights freely on social channels, driven by a life goal to help everyone become more customer-centric starting tomorrow.

Steven's book list on From Steven's list on acheiving an awesome customer experience

Steven Van Belleghem Why did Steven love this book?

I am big fan of Shep Hyken and his work. Shep is an incredibly enthusiastic customer experience storyteller, possessing a knack for providing very practical advice to businesses. In this book, he zooms in on one of the most crucial aspects of customer relationships: loyalty.

I fully agree with Shep's viewpoint that many organizations overly concentrate on acquisition, overlooking the fact that cultivating loyal fans and even ambassadors is essential for long-term success.

By Shep Hyken,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked I'll Be Back as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How do you build a business that thrives during good times and bad? Is there a strategy that can set up  your company up for success, no matter what curveballs the world may throw your way? There is: Turn customers into repeat customers, and turn repeat customers into loyal customers.
 
Renowned customer service and experience expert Shep Hyken maintains that delivering an amazing customer service experience that keeps customers coming back for more is everyone’s job. Customer service is not a department. It’s not just for people on the front lines. It’s the responsibility of everyone in the organization, from…


Book cover of Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love

Gojko Adzic Author Of Impact Mapping: Making a Big Impact with Software Products and Projects

From my list on for new software product managers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a software developer turned independent software vendor, learning about product management as a way to launch more successful products. I’m a co-founder of MindMup, a popular collaboration tool used by millions of students and schoolchildren worldwide, and Narakeet, an innovative video maker for people who are not video professionals. The books from this list helped me create successful products that users love, and successfully compete with companies that have several orders of magnitude more staff and resources. 

Gojko's book list on for new software product managers

Gojko Adzic Why did Gojko love this book?

Cagan’s book is a deep dive into the principles of modern product management. It expands on the theoretical ideas that Patton introduces in User Story Mapping, and provides many additional tips for engaging customers, experimenting with product ideas, and tracking outcomes. In addition, it deals with the organizational side of product management, so it will be valuable to people working for larger companies that need to manage staff and set up company-wide processes.

Reading this book will help you expand your views of product management, and add lots of additional tools to your thinking process.

By Marty Cagan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inspired as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Learn to design, build, and scale products consumers can't get enough of

How do today's most successful tech companies Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla design, develop, and deploy the products that have earned the love of literally billions of people around the world? Perhaps surprisingly, they do it very differently than most tech companies. In INSPIRED, technology product management thought leader Marty Cagan provides readers with a master class in how to structure and staff a vibrant and successful product organization, and how to discover and deliver technology products that your customers will love and that will work for your…


Book cover of The Customer Leader

Steven Van Belleghem Author Of A diamond in the rough: Over a 100 specific tips to build a strong customer culture

From my list on From Steven's list on acheiving an awesome customer experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

Raised in a Belgian retail store, exceptional customer service was a daily conversation topic with my parents. This upbringing made customer experience a natural part of who I am. Realizing the rarity of such service in the broader world, I delved into studying consumer behavior and how companies can respond effectively. Now, I'm deeply involved in the customer experience field, having authored six books and co-founded Nexxworks, an inspiration agency. I share all my insights freely on social channels, driven by a life goal to help everyone become more customer-centric starting tomorrow.

Steven's book list on From Steven's list on acheiving an awesome customer experience

Steven Van Belleghem Why did Steven love this book?

The quality of customer experience significantly hinges on the leadership within an organization. Rudy and Henry do an excellent job, using compelling examples and anecdotes, to illustrate how C-level executives can adopt a more customer-centric approach in their leadership.

It's notable that few marketing or consumer experts hold C-level positions, with most executives coming from financial or technical backgrounds. In my view, this book is an invaluable resource for such professionals, aiding them in evolving into more effective leaders focused on customer needs.

By Rudy Moenaert, Henry Robben,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Customer Leader as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Punished By Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes

Joanna Faber and Julie King Author Of How to Talk When Kids Won't Listen: Whining, Fighting, Meltdowns, Defiance, and Other Challenges of Childhood

From my list on to create strong connections in their families.

Why are we passionate about this?

Joanna Faber is the daughter of Adele Faber, a pioneer of the internationally acclaimed best-selling How To Talk series that has helped millions of parents worldwide. Joanna joined forces with her childhood friend Julie King to provide support for parents and educators of the 21st century. Each draws on her own experiences – Joanna as a bilingual teacher in West Harlem, Julie as a specialist in helping parents of children on the autism spectrum – to lead workshops and speak to parent groups, teachers, doctors, and librarians worldwide, including online sessions to support parents during Covid lockdowns and afterwards. Together, Joanna and Julie have written two best-selling How To Talk books

Joanna and Julie's book list on to create strong connections in their families

Joanna Faber and Julie King Why did Joanna and Julie love this book?

Alfie Kohn offers an eye-opening perspective on the perils of punishment and rewards.

If you've ever questioned the wisdom of using gold star charts and m&m motivators for children, this groundbreaking book is for you. Here is the science behind why extrinsic rewards can extinguish intrinsic motivation, and what to do instead. I found it both an enlightening and entertaining read. It may profoundly change your approach to parenting.

By Alfie Kohn,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Punished By Rewards as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since its publication in 1993, this groundbreaking book has convinced countless parents, teachers, and managers that working with people is more successful than doing things to them. "Do rewards motivate people?" asks Kohn. "Yes. They motivate people to get rewards." Moreover, the use of rewards actually undermines the quality of people's work or learning - and causes them to lose interest in whatever they've been bribed to do. Seasoned with humour and familiar examples - and updated to include a wealth of recent research, Punished by Rewards presents an argument unsettling to hear but impossible to dismiss.


Book cover of Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes

Mona Brookes Author Of Drawing with Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too

From my list on on effective strategies with drawing and learning.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a lifelong artist and drawing enthusiast, I am passionate about the world of drawing and its potential to inspire creativity and self-expression. I never planned to be an art teacher. Surprisingly, a part-time job as a school bus driver led me to develop Monart®, which has become highly successful in schools around the world. My experience enabled me to present at state art educator conferences without having any formal training. I have had the privilege of inspiring and empowering students of all ages and backgrounds. At 85, nothing makes me happier than when a former student tells me their passion for drawing has led to a successful career.

Mona's book list on on effective strategies with drawing and learning

Mona Brookes Why did Mona love this book?

As a new art teacher, I started to doubt the usefulness of the endless praise given by other art teachers.

The repetitive use of "good job" lost its meaning and encouraged students to crave more praise. I believed that art had no right or wrong way of execution, and that even professional critics had varying opinions on what constituted good or bad art.

As a result, I avoided praising work based solely on my personal preferences.

Alfie Kohn's book on praise was a great relief for me as it solved my concerns about endless praise in the classroom. Now, I explain to students that advice does not require praise.

This approach fosters creativity and experimentation, without the unrealistic expectation of having students feel the need to like everything they draw.

By Alfie Kohn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Punished by Rewards as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The basic strategy we use for raising children, teaching students, and managing workers can be summarized in six words: Do this and you'll get that. We dangle goodies (from candy bars to sales commissions) in front of people in much the same way we train the family pet. Drawing on a wealth of psychological research, Alfie Kohn points the way to a more successful strategy based on working with people instead of doing things to them. "Do rewards motivate people?" asks Kohn. "Yes. They motivate people to get rewards." Seasoned with humor and familiar examples, Punished By Rewards presents an…


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