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Brilliant Economics by Phil Thornton

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Economists have never had a good press. Someone could probably compile a highly amusing – and long – book of jokes about this profession. But beneath many of the jokes are a number of assumptions about what economics is and what economists do. Some of these criticisms have a lot of truth to them but many of them have been overtaken by advances in economic thinking.

To keep the mood light-hearted we can use a series of the best-known jokes to illustrate some of those assumptions. But before doing that it is worth thinking about the recent damage to the reputation of economics inflicted by the financial crisis that began in 2007 – or more accurately ...

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