100 books like The Theory of Economic Development

By Joseph A. Schumpeter,

Here are 100 books that The Theory of Economic Development fans have personally recommended if you like The Theory of Economic Development. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Alex Marshall Author Of How Cities Work: Suburbs, Sprawl, and the Roads Not Taken

From my list on why cities and suburbs function the way they do.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been drawn to community, meaning how people get together, live, love, and support each other. That love drew me into caring about cities, in all their various forms, because cities are places for people to gather and build lives together. This can be in an Italian hilltown from the 1000 AD, a 15th-century neighborhood in Barcelona, an elegant street on the Upper East Side of New York City, or a subdivision near a highway interchange in Phoenix. Once I started caring about cities, I started asking why these places are the way they are, and this produced my book.

Alex's book list on why cities and suburbs function the way they do

Alex Marshall Why did Alex love this book?

Jane Jacob’s groundbreaking, disruptive classic is first on many people’s lists. A journalist without a college degree and no formal training in urban planning, she blew up the once-established view that old-fashioned streets and buildings were done for, and that towers in the park surrounded by highways and parking lots were the way to go. Her portrait of her neighborhood in the West Village is deeply moving, and she almost single-handedly brought back these types of places as ideals.

However, she missed a lot. She didn’t understand the importance of infrastructure. She barely mentions the subways. She described her beloved streets as if they grew there, which was not the case. Reading this classic with a critical eye is the best way to do it. Jane Jacobs has become Saint Jane to many, but it’s important to see what she missed and what she got right.

By Jane Jacobs,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Death and Life of Great American Cities as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this classic text, Jane Jacobs set out to produce an attack on current city planning and rebuilding and to introduce new principles by which these should be governed. The result is one of the most stimulating books on cities ever written.

Throughout the post-war period, planners temperamentally unsympathetic to cities have been let loose on our urban environment. Inspired by the ideals of the Garden City or Le Corbusier's Radiant City, they have dreamt up ambitious projects based on self-contained neighbourhoods, super-blocks, rigid 'scientific' plans and endless acres of grass. Yet they seldom stop to look at what actually…


Book cover of Competition & Entrepreneurship

David Emanuel Andersson Author Of Property Rights, Consumption and the Market Process

From my list on understanding how societies develop.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been curious about why societies develop, which is why I was drawn to the social sciences as a student. I first encountered attempts to explain development in economics, but found that mainstream models were too neat and abstract to account for my everyday observations. Why are there no entrepreneurs in the models, and why do most economists assume that property rights are unambiguous? I eventually discovered that non-mainstream economic theories and some of the other social sciences are more concerned with reality. Eventually I developed an eclectic framework with a focus on entrepreneurship, institutions, and spatial agglomerations as factors that shape socio-economic development. 

David's book list on understanding how societies develop

David Emanuel Andersson Why did David love this book?

This is the second book that I read about entrepreneurship. It’s also my second favorite book on economics.

Unlike Schumpeter, Kirzner does not assume that entrepreneurship is an unusual activity. Most people are entrepreneurial at some point. Successful entrepreneurship means being alert to profit opportunities that others have not noticed.

The underlying message is that there is such a thing as a free lunch. Kirzner views the market as a process rather than an equilibrium state. It is a superb book for understanding why mainstream neoclassical economics is unrealistic, but it does not address uncertainty. 

By Israel M Kirzner, Peter Boettke (editor), Frederic Sautet (editor)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Competition & Entrepreneurship as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stressing verbal logic rather than mathematics, Israel M. Kirzner provides at once a thorough critique of contemporary price theory, an essay on the theory of entrepreneurship, and an essay on the theory of competition. Competition and Entrepreneurship offers a new appraisal of quality competition, of selling effort, and of the fundamental weaknesses of contemporary welfare economics.

Kirzner's book establishes a theory of the market and the price system which differs from orthodox price theory. He sees orthodox price theory as explaining the configuration of prices and quantities that satisfied the conditions for equilibrium. Mr. Kirzner argues that "it is more…


Book cover of The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction

Paul Stoneman Author Of The Microeconomics of Product Innovation

From my list on the study of the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I began my doctorate many years ago I was somewhat disenchanted with the static nature of much economic analysis whereas it was apparent that the world is very much dynamic and continually changing. I thus committed myself then, and in a long career that followed, to exploring the ways in which Economics could be used to clarify and address the major issues that arise from innovation generation and diffusion. I present these choices as a way that other like-minded individuals may begin the exploration of innovation and discover the breadth and depth of the contribution that has been made by economists.

Paul's book list on the study of the economics of innovation

Paul Stoneman Why did Paul love this book?

This major textbook written for students with some basic knowledge of economics, written by one of the best expositors in the field, provides a comprehensive yet very accessible introduction to the economics of innovation and as such represents an excellent place to start.

I have known Peter for a number of years and he always offers in his writings (and lectures) both valuable insights into his subject and a sense of excitement.

By G. M. Peter Swann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This major textbook provides a comprehensive yet accessible introduction to the economics of innovation, written for students with some basic knowledge of economics. G.M. Peter Swann contends that innovation is one of the most important economic and business phenomena of our time and a topic of great practical and policy interest, with widespread implications for our economy and society. This book engages with the reader to explore some of the key economic issues concerning innovation.

Bridging a gap in the literature, this timely textbook addresses critical questions such as: How should different aspects of innovation be described and classified? What…


Book cover of Handbook of the Economics of Innovation: Volume 1

Paul Stoneman Author Of The Microeconomics of Product Innovation

From my list on the study of the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I began my doctorate many years ago I was somewhat disenchanted with the static nature of much economic analysis whereas it was apparent that the world is very much dynamic and continually changing. I thus committed myself then, and in a long career that followed, to exploring the ways in which Economics could be used to clarify and address the major issues that arise from innovation generation and diffusion. I present these choices as a way that other like-minded individuals may begin the exploration of innovation and discover the breadth and depth of the contribution that has been made by economists.

Paul's book list on the study of the economics of innovation

Paul Stoneman Why did Paul love this book?

This is the first volume of a two-volume, tour de force, which jointly offers 29 specially written papers by major contributors to the field that broadly explore the genesis of technological change and the ways it is commercialized and diffused.

It is an invaluable source of literature surveys of the many different areas covered within the definition of the economics of innovation and also provides predictions of fruitful research directions.

Having myself edited a Handbook some years earlier I know both the time and effort involved but also the extent of knowledge dissemination that a book such as this can provide.

By Bronwyn H. Hall (editor), Nathan Rosenberg (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Handbook of the Economics of Innovation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Economists examine the genesis of technological change and the ways we commercialize and diffuse it. The economics of property rights and patents, in addition to industry applications, are also surveyed through literature reviews and predictions about fruitful research directions.

Two volumes, available as a set or sold separately


Book cover of An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change

Paul Stoneman Author Of The Microeconomics of Product Innovation

From my list on the study of the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I began my doctorate many years ago I was somewhat disenchanted with the static nature of much economic analysis whereas it was apparent that the world is very much dynamic and continually changing. I thus committed myself then, and in a long career that followed, to exploring the ways in which Economics could be used to clarify and address the major issues that arise from innovation generation and diffusion. I present these choices as a way that other like-minded individuals may begin the exploration of innovation and discover the breadth and depth of the contribution that has been made by economists.

Paul's book list on the study of the economics of innovation

Paul Stoneman Why did Paul love this book?

This book provides the foundations for the evolutionary approach to the analysis of innovation and technological change.

In doing so it represents a serious attack on the dominant neoclassical approach to economic analysis, raising significant objections to assumptions of profit maximization and market equilibrium, instead borrowing the concept of natural selection to construct a detailed evolutionary theory of business behaviour.

It is probably in the field of innovation that evolutionary economics has its greatest presence. As a mainly neoclassical scholar myself I value this alternative paradigm both as a challenge and a valuable alternative viewpoint.

By Richard R. Nelson, Sidney G. Winter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book contains the most sustained and serious attack on mainstream, neoclassical economics in more than forty years. Richard R. Nelson and Sidney G. Winter focus their critique on the basic question of how firms and industries change overtime. They marshal significant objections to the fundamental neoclassical assumptions of profit maximization and market equilibrium, which they find ineffective in the analysis of technological innovation and the dynamics of competition among firms.

To replace these assumptions, they borrow from biology the concept of natural selection to construct a precise and detailed evolutionary theory of business behavior. They grant that films are…


Book cover of Oslo Manual 2018: Guidelines for Collecting, Reporting and Using Data on Innovation

Paul Stoneman Author Of The Microeconomics of Product Innovation

From my list on the study of the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I began my doctorate many years ago I was somewhat disenchanted with the static nature of much economic analysis whereas it was apparent that the world is very much dynamic and continually changing. I thus committed myself then, and in a long career that followed, to exploring the ways in which Economics could be used to clarify and address the major issues that arise from innovation generation and diffusion. I present these choices as a way that other like-minded individuals may begin the exploration of innovation and discover the breadth and depth of the contribution that has been made by economists.

Paul's book list on the study of the economics of innovation

Paul Stoneman Why did Paul love this book?

This manual provides an internationally agreed set of definitions of, and measurements for, different innovative activities and as such provides widely accepted guidelines by which internationally comparative data can be collected and government policies be targeted.

This may seem rather dry, but I think that it is crucial to the development of a subject area that all parties involved are using the same definitions of variables.

This has become of particular importance for many aspects of innovation have become the concerns of politicians and policymakers and past discussions have made me aware that parties more often than would wish are talking at cross purposes, using the same terms for different concepts.

By Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Eurostat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oslo Manual 2018 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What is innovation and how should it be measured? Understanding the scale of innovation activities, the characteristics of innovative firms and the internal and systemic factors that can influence innovation is a prerequisite for the pursuit and analysis of policies aimed at fostering innovation. First published in 1992, the Oslo Manual is the international reference guide for collecting and using data on innovation. In this fourth edition, the manual has been updated to take into account a broader range of innovation-related phenomena as well as the experience gained from recent rounds of innovation surveys in OECD countries and partner economies…


Book cover of Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit

David Emanuel Andersson Author Of Property Rights, Consumption and the Market Process

From my list on understanding how societies develop.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been curious about why societies develop, which is why I was drawn to the social sciences as a student. I first encountered attempts to explain development in economics, but found that mainstream models were too neat and abstract to account for my everyday observations. Why are there no entrepreneurs in the models, and why do most economists assume that property rights are unambiguous? I eventually discovered that non-mainstream economic theories and some of the other social sciences are more concerned with reality. Eventually I developed an eclectic framework with a focus on entrepreneurship, institutions, and spatial agglomerations as factors that shape socio-economic development. 

David's book list on understanding how societies develop

David Emanuel Andersson Why did David love this book?

No author has had a greater impact on my thinking about entrepreneurship than Frank Knight.

He explained that entrepreneurs do not maximize anything, since the future is uncertain in a non-probabilistic sense. Instead they exercise judgment while facing an unknown future.

This book is divided into three parts. The first two parts read like a conventional economics textbook, but the third part is phenomenal. He explains why risk and uncertainty are different, which is a lesson that many economists and other social scientists still disregard. 

By Frank H Knight,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit is a groundbreaking work of economic theory, distinguishing between risk, which is by nature measurable and quantifiable, and uncertainty, which can be neither be measured nor quantified.

We begin with an analysis of the functions of profit, risk and uncertainty in the economy. Frank H. Knight introduces his work with a discussion on profit and how there are conflicts about its nature between various economic theorists. As the title implies, the author's chief concern is the interplay between making a profit, incurring risk, and determining if there is uncertainty.

Risks are different from uncertainty in that…


Book cover of Economic Analysis of Property Rights

David Emanuel Andersson Author Of Property Rights, Consumption and the Market Process

From my list on understanding how societies develop.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been curious about why societies develop, which is why I was drawn to the social sciences as a student. I first encountered attempts to explain development in economics, but found that mainstream models were too neat and abstract to account for my everyday observations. Why are there no entrepreneurs in the models, and why do most economists assume that property rights are unambiguous? I eventually discovered that non-mainstream economic theories and some of the other social sciences are more concerned with reality. Eventually I developed an eclectic framework with a focus on entrepreneurship, institutions, and spatial agglomerations as factors that shape socio-economic development. 

David's book list on understanding how societies develop

David Emanuel Andersson Why did David love this book?

I make use of the basic concepts that Barzel introduced in this book, but deviate more from conventional neoclassical economics.

Economic property rights are about effective control over resources, and not necessarily about legal rights. A key insight is that a resource consists of an open-ended number of attributes and therefore that control over a resource can become more complex as the number of attributes increases.

There is also a tendency for control to change hands as market participants discover more valuable uses of resources. 

By Yoram Barzel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Economic Analysis of Property Rights as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a study of the way individuals organise the use of resources in order to maximise the value of their economic rights over these resources. Property rights and all forms of organisation result from people's deliberate actions. In the tradition of Coase, this study offers a unified theoretical structure to deal with exchange, rights formation and organisation which traditional economic theory assumes away. A person's economic property rights over an asset are defined here as the person's ability to gain from the asset by direct consumption or by exchange. It is prohibitively costly to measure accurately all assets' attributes;…


Book cover of Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy

Jacqueline Kennelly Author Of Citizen Youth: Culture, Activism, and Agency in a Neoliberal Era

From my list on how neoliberalism f*&ks up democracy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I came to activism at a young age, inspired by a book given to me by a friend in Grade 10. I also grew up poor; my trajectory into university was unusual for my demographic, a fact I only discovered once I was doing my PhD in the sociology of education. By the time I started interviewing activists for my doctorate, I had a burning desire to understand how social change could happen, what democracy really looked like, and who was left out of participating. I am still trying to figure these things out. If you are, too, the books on this list might help!

Jacqueline's book list on how neoliberalism f*&ks up democracy

Jacqueline Kennelly Why did Jacqueline love this book?

The important argument lying at the heart of this beautifully written book is that the trajectory of the current global economy, driven by neoliberal logics, is fundamentally one of expulsions: that is, expelling the poor, the biosphere, democracy, and anything else that gets in the way of maximizing profit. This book takes massive case studiesfrom palm oil production in Malaysia and Indonesia to water bottling by large corporations in the USand demonstrates how they are ultimately about pushing people out instead of inviting people in. It raises important questions about who the economy is for, and what ends we are ultimately building toward as a global society. I don’t have a pithy personal story about this book; I just think you should read it.

By Saskia Sassen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Soaring income inequality and unemployment, expanding populations of the displaced and imprisoned, accelerating destruction of land and water bodies: today's socioeconomic and environmental dislocations cannot be fully understood in the usual terms of poverty and injustice, according to Saskia Sassen. They are more accurately understood as a type of expulsion-from professional livelihood, from living space, even from the very biosphere that makes life possible.

This hard-headed critique updates our understanding of economics for the twenty-first century, exposing a system with devastating consequences even for those who think they are not vulnerable. From finance to mining, the complex types of knowledge…


Book cover of Capitalist Development and Democracy

Joe Foweraker Author Of Polity: Demystifying Democracy in Latin America and Beyond

From my list on democracy in Latin America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with Latin America as I meandered around Mexico in the summer of 1969. The passion has never died. Within a year I walked into Brazil’s ‘wild west’ to research the violence along its moving frontier, while over fifty years later I am an emeritus professor of Latin American politics at the University of Oxford and an honorary professor at the University of Exeter. An early decision to look at politics from the ‘bottom up’ led to a life-long inquiry into the theory and practice of democracy, and the publication of many essays and books that are available to view on my Amazon author page.

Joe's book list on democracy in Latin America

Joe Foweraker Why did Joe love this book?

The author list combines a leading sociological theorist, a premier scholar of Latin American political economy, and a sophisticated practitioner of statistical analysis who between them have written one of the great classical works on Latin American economy and democracy. 

The book itself combines a rounded theoretical approach, a comparative framework that extends to Europe and North America, and a thorough grounding in Latin American history. Though published some thirty years ago, it remains a must-read for those trying to get to grips with Latin American democracy.

By Dietrich Rueschemeyer, Evelyne Huber Stephens, John D. Stephens

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How are capitalism and democracy related? Does capitalist development today generate pressures for democratization in the same way it did earlier in the core countries of capitalism? Past research has come to divergent conclusions on these questions. Cross-national statistical research has found that capitalist development and democracy are consistently correlated. By contrast, comparative historical studies have argued that economic development and democracy was and is compatible with a variety of political forms, and that in some cases economic development imperatives have led to the authoritarian eclipse of political competition, and that the chances of democracy in developing countries are rather…


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