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Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner? - Katrine Marcal

Reviewed by Elias, Balgowlah


When Adam Smith theorised modern economics in the 18th Century, he based it on the individual. The workings of the market were driven by this individual pursuing their rational self-interest, as natural to humans as eating or breathing. In this hilarious, breezy, and sharp book, Katrine Marçal points out just how narrow and inadequate this formulation of human nature is, and the disastrously silly consequences of taking it seriously. Most obviously, Adam Smith and those classic economists who follow after him seem to leave half the population out of the equation: they have a great deal to say about economic man, but either forget or ignore economic woman.  The answer to why modern economics is so narrow, financial crashes are so common, and the gender pay gap is so wide resides in one simple question: who cooked Adam Smith’s dinner?

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