100 books like The Value of Everything

By Mariana Mazzucato,

Here are 100 books that The Value of Everything fans have personally recommended if you like The Value of Everything. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality

Dietrich Vollrath Author Of Fully Grown: Why a Stagnant Economy Is a Sign of Success

From my list on the economic challenges of the 2020s.

Who am I?

I’m a professor of economics at the University of Houston, with a focus on long-run growth and development rather than things like quarterly stock returns. I write a blog on growth economics where I try hard to boil down technical topics to their core intuition, and I’m the co-author of a popular textbook on economic growth.

Dietrich's book list on the economic challenges of the 2020s

Dietrich Vollrath Why did Dietrich love this book?

This is a good book to understand the pervasive existence of “rents” in the economy. From the literal rents that homeowners in popular areas can charge, to the rents that accrue to copyright or patent holders, to the rents earned by firms using regulation to block competition, the authors document all the places in our economy where this restricts innovation. It is ultimately a book asking “what is fair?”.

By Brink Lindsey, Steven M. Teles,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For years, America has been plagued by slow economic growth and increasing inequality. In The Captured Economy, Brink Lindsey and Steven M. Teles identify a common factor behind these twin ills: breakdowns in democratic governance that allow wealthy special interests to capture the policymaking process for their own benefit. They document the proliferation of regressive regulations that redistribute wealth and income up the economic scale while stifling
entrepreneurship and innovation. They also detail the most important cases of regulatory barriers that have worked to shield the powerful from the rigors of competition, thereby inflating their incomes: subsidies for the financial…


Book cover of The New Geography of Jobs

Dietrich Vollrath Author Of Fully Grown: Why a Stagnant Economy Is a Sign of Success

From my list on the economic challenges of the 2020s.

Who am I?

I’m a professor of economics at the University of Houston, with a focus on long-run growth and development rather than things like quarterly stock returns. I write a blog on growth economics where I try hard to boil down technical topics to their core intuition, and I’m the co-author of a popular textbook on economic growth.

Dietrich's book list on the economic challenges of the 2020s

Dietrich Vollrath Why did Dietrich love this book?

Moretti’s book is, I think, woefully underappreciated. He gives a clear portrait of different regions of the United States, classifying them on the basis of their current economic structure and not on a predetermined political split or on industrial classifications from fifty years ago. It shows that we are in the midst of a substantial economic transformation that likely rivals the shifts seen during the early industrial revolution. This book gives you a real sense of what a “knowledge economy” will look like. More than that, though, he shows how that transformation could be beneficial to everyone (but might not).

By Enrico Moretti,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In The New Geography of Jobs, award-winning Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti looks at the major shifts taking place in the US economy and reveals the surprising winners and losers ​— ​specifically, which kinds of jobs will drive economic growth and where they’ll be located ​— ​while exploring how communities can transform themselves into dynamic innovation hubs.

“A timely and smart discussion of how different cities and regions have made a changing economy work for them ​— ​and how policymakers can learn from that to lift the circumstances of working Americans everywhere.” ​— ​Barack Obama

We’re used to thinking of the…


Book cover of The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time

Michael Zakim Author Of Accounting for Capitalism: The World the Clerk Made

From my list on modern capitalist economy.

Who am I?

As both a scholar and a citizen I have spent my adult life seeking to better understand the dynamics of power, especially power wielded in flagrantly unjust fashion in societies otherwise founded on notions of life, liberty, and happiness for all. This has led me to study the history of the economy, not just as a material but as a cultural system that encodes the categories of modern life:  self and society, private and public, body and soul, and needs and desires.

Michael's book list on modern capitalist economy

Michael Zakim Why did Michael love this book?

The Great Transformation, in which Karl Polanyi explores “the political and economic origins of our time,” is arguably the most important history of the economy ever written. 

Polanyi published his study during the dark times of the twentieth century in an attempt to trace the origins of modern fascism (a task that has lost none of its relevance in the twenty-first century). He located those origins in the industrial transformation of land, labor, and money – the foundations of social existence – into full-fledged commodities, that is to say, into ephemeral vehicles of profit. 

The resulting market society, touted by liberals as the source of universal freedom and equality, brought personal and communal disaster for those less advantageously positioned to compete in the new economy. The price, Polanyi argues, has been catastrophic.

By Karl Polanyi,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Great Transformation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this classic work of economic history and social theory, Karl Polanyi analyzes the economic and social changes brought about by the "great transformation" of the Industrial Revolution. His analysis explains not only the deficiencies of the self-regulating market, but the potentially dire social consequences of untempered market capitalism. New introductory material reveals the renewed importance of Polanyi's seminal analysis in an era of globalization and free trade.


Book cover of The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic

Cass Morris Author Of From Unseen Fire

From my list on ancient Roman society.

Who am I?

I’m a writer and educator working in central Virginia, and I’ve been in love with the ancient world since my first Latin class back in the seventh grade. I’ve always been interested in social history more than just the chronology of battles and the deeds of famous men, so my research looks for sources that can illuminate daily life and the viewpoints of marginalized populations. I hold a BA in English and History from the College of William and Mary and an MLitt from Mary Baldwin University.

Cass' book list on ancient Roman society

Cass Morris Why did Cass love this book?

Duncan walks the reader through the generations leading up to the fall of the Republic, examining the political, economic, and social conditions that led to civil war and, eventually, the transition to Empire. While Duncan provides biographies of key figures like the Gracchi brothers, he also sets them in the context of their world: its constraints, its faith, its competing pressures. The Storm Before the Storm opens a window into an under-examined period of history, one which has echoes in modern-day politics.

By Mike Duncan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Storm Before the Storm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization. Beginning as a small city-state in central Italy, Rome gradually expanded into a wider world filled with petty tyrants, barbarian chieftains, and despotic kings. Through the centuries, Rome's model of cooperative and participatory government remained remarkably durable and unmatched in the history of the ancient world.

In 146 BC, Rome finally emerged as the strongest power in the Mediterranean. But the very success of the Republic proved to be its undoing. The republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome now ruled:…


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.

Who am I?

'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 21st Century Capitalism

Mohamed Rabie Author Of The Global Debt Crisis and Its Socioeconomic Implications: Creating Conditions for a Sustainable, Peaceful, and Just World

From my list on serving humanity and revealing misleading secrets.

Who am I?

I am a retired professor, was raised in a refugee camp, one of a family of 9 living in one tent. studied in Palestine, Egypt, Germany, and America, have Ph.D. in economics; scholarships financed my education journey. I lived a life no human has lived or can live, because some of the times I lived had come and gone and cannot come back again. I taught at 11 universities on 4 continents, published 60 books in Arabic and English: books on economics, politics, culture, history, conflict resolution, philosophy, racism, novels, and poetry. True intellectuals cannot stay in one area because issues that shape mankind's history and man’s destiny are interconnected. 

Mohamed's book list on serving humanity and revealing misleading secrets

Mohamed Rabie Why did Mohamed love this book?

This book was published after communism collapsed. Heilbroner doubted America’s intention to reform the market system, he saw a new society emerging that does not believe in the promise of progress. Heilbroner saw the communist collapse as giving corporations the opportunity to control the economy and reshape society. As I wrote in my books, the communist system was politics’ last attempt to control economics, therefore, the collapse of communism allowed large corporations and banks to control the political process, corrupt politics, and politicians, and control global wealth. The latest report by Oxfam says that since 2020, the richest 1% of the world’s population took 63% or $26 trillion of the global wealth, leaving %37 or $16 trillion for 99% of the world’s population. 

By Robert L Heilbroner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 21st Century Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"It is my hope that some grasp of what the twenty-first century holds in store for capitalism may enable us to avoid at least some of the pain we might otherwise have to endure," writes the eminent economist Robert Heilbroner in this important book on the world's economic future.


Although communism lies shattered almost everywhere it once existed, no single form of capitalism has emerged worldwide. Which of the varieties of capitalism will be hardy enough to survive into the next century? Will the private sector make way for government to redress the failures of the market system? Does the…


Book cover of Ethics and Capitalism

Kleio Akrivou Author Of The Challenges of Capitalism for Virtue Ethics and the Common Good: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

From my list on capitalism, ethics, and the self.

Who am I?

I have cross-disciplinary expertise (ethics and moral philosophy, philosophical anthropology and moral psychology), and my work focuses on personalist virtue ethics, moral human development, and the links between ethics and economics; I am a person who loves nature and animals, and I’m thrilled to do good work. I was educated and worked internationally, with academic degrees in different Europe countries and the USA, and 30 years of work and academic experience in Europe, the USA, and SE Asia. I live with my family near London, U.K.. I am passionate about enabling a more sustainable society that however remains rooted in human dignity and avoids instrumentalizing the person

Kleio's book list on capitalism, ethics, and the self

Kleio Akrivou Why did Kleio love this book?

I like that the economic advantages of capitalism have not been underestimated, but also that its social, economic failures (corruption, exclusion/poverty, harmfulness and hubristic behaviours, impersonalism, and environmental degradation).

A solution offered is balancing justice and productivity, is trying to fix capitalism without alienating its elites. 

By John Douglas Bishop (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Despite the great economic advantage of capitalism - that it is an efficient system of production and distribution - capitalist societies struggle with its by-products of poverty, exclusion, corruption, and environmental destruction. The essays in "Ethics and Capitalism" address the question of ensuring ethical and just societies within a capitalist system without sacrificing productivity. The introductory essay is a guide to the issues in the emerging field of ethics and capitalism, and refers to recent contributions from several disciplines. The collection as a whole evaluates the morality of capitalism by looking at its foundation in property theory, its relationship to…


Book cover of Capitalism: A Short History

Kleio Akrivou Author Of The Challenges of Capitalism for Virtue Ethics and the Common Good: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

From my list on capitalism, ethics, and the self.

Who am I?

I have cross-disciplinary expertise (ethics and moral philosophy, philosophical anthropology and moral psychology), and my work focuses on personalist virtue ethics, moral human development, and the links between ethics and economics; I am a person who loves nature and animals, and I’m thrilled to do good work. I was educated and worked internationally, with academic degrees in different Europe countries and the USA, and 30 years of work and academic experience in Europe, the USA, and SE Asia. I live with my family near London, U.K.. I am passionate about enabling a more sustainable society that however remains rooted in human dignity and avoids instrumentalizing the person

Kleio's book list on capitalism, ethics, and the self

Kleio Akrivou Why did Kleio love this book?

A brilliant short history of capitalism, and how it all evolved until we got to today’s late or hyper-capitalism.

I love the way the book draws from social and economic history, to show how economic, social, and personal relations and ways of life have been weakened is something that starts from the 14th century but also evolved locally as much as in more universal ways.

By Jurgen Kocka,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this authoritative and accessible book, one of the world's most renowned historians provides a concise and comprehensive history of capitalism within a global perspective from its medieval origins to the 2008 financial crisis and beyond. From early commercial capitalism in the Arab world, China, and Europe, to nineteenth- and twentieth-century industrialization, to today's globalized financial capitalism, Jurgen Kocka offers an unmatched account of capitalism, one that weighs its great achievements against its great costs, crises, and failures. Based on intensive research, the book puts the rise of capitalist economies in social, political, and cultural context, and shows how their…


Book cover of The Nature of Money

Tim Di Muzio Author Of An Anthropology of Money: A Critical Introduction

From my list on money and capitalism from a political economist.

Who am I?

I’m a Canadian political economist working in Australia as an Associate Professor in International Relations and Political Economy at the University of Wollongong, just south of Sydney. I’ve been fascinated by the history of capitalism and money since post-graduate school. Eventually I had some time to do a deep dive into the existing scholarly literature on money and have so far written two books on the topic and multiple articles. I hope you enjoy my book recommendations as much as I enjoyed reading them.   

Tim's book list on money and capitalism from a political economist

Tim Di Muzio Why did Tim love this book?

This book was a real eye-opener and can be considered seminal across the social sciences for its breadth and depth of analysis on money. 

I loved this book because it filled so many gaps in my knowledge. I was drawn to it because I once asked my professor how new money was generated and he said he knew but he forgot. 

This made me think that money might not be all that important to understanding capitalism. Alas, I was dead wrong of course and returned to my question years later.

That’s how I found Professor Ingham’s book. I still have comprehensive notes from his work and consult them regularly. 

This book is essential for anyone who wants to understand the past and present of money. 

By Geoffrey Ingham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this important new book, Geoffrey Ingham draws on neglected traditions in the social sciences to develop a theory of the 'social relation' of money. * Genuinely multidisciplinary approach, based on a thorough knowledge of theories of money in the social sciences * An original development of the neglected heterodox theories of money * New histories of the origins and development of forms of money and their social relations of production in different monetary systems * A radical interpretation of capitalism as a particular type of monetary system and the first sociological outline of the institutional structure of the social…


Book cover of Capitalism: A Conversation in Critical Theory

Richard R. Weiner Author Of Sustainable Community Movement Organizations: Solidarity Economies and Rhizomatic Practices

From my list on understanding regimes of law and political economy.

Who am I?

Rich Weiner co-edited this featured volume with Francesca Forno. He is a political sociologist with a strong foundation in the history of political and social thought. He has served for twenty-two years as dean of the faculty of arts and sciences. His focus has been on non-statist political organizations and social movements with a perspective of middle-range theorizing enriched by three generations of Frankfurt School critical theory of society.

Richard's book list on understanding regimes of law and political economy

Richard R. Weiner Why did Richard love this book?

Wide-ranging philosophical conversation and moral critique of capitalism as an instituted social order wherein a structure of domination establishes and reinforces an entire way of life attuned to the hegemony of exchange value as well as commodity production, and their social reproduction.

I very much appreciate the book’s strategy of cogent, accessible and explorative dialogue rather than tit-for-tat debate.

By Nancy Fraser, Rahel Jaeggi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this important new book, Nancy Fraser and Rahel Jaeggi take a fresh look at the big questions surrounding the peculiar social form known as "capitalism," upending many of our commonly held assumptions about what capitalism is and how to subject it to critique. They show how, throughout its history, various regimes of capitalism have relied on a series of institutional separations between economy and polity, production and social reproduction, and human and non-human nature, periodically readjusting the boundaries between these domains in response to crises and upheavals. They consider how these "boundary struggles" offer a key to understanding capitalism's…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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