To understand how humans react and adapt to economic change we need to study people who live in harsh environments. From death-row prisoners trading in institutions where money is banned to flourishing entrepreneurs in the world's largest refugee camp, from the unrealised potential of cities like Kinshasa to the hyper-modern economy of Estonia, every life in this book has been hit by a seismic shock, violently broken or changed in some way.
People living in these odd and marginal places are ignored by number crunching economists and political pollsters alike. Science suggests this is a mistake. This book tells the personal stories of humans living in extreme situations, and of the financial infrastructure they create. Here, economies are not concerned with the familiar stock market crashes, housing crises, or banking scandals of the financial pages.
In his quest for a purer view of how economies succeed and fail, Richard Davies takes the reader off the beaten path to places where part of the economy has been repressed, removed, destroyed or turbocharged. By travelling to each of them and discovering what life is really like, Extreme Economies tells small stories that shed light on today’s biggest economic questions.
RICHARD DAVIES is an economist based in London. He is a fellow at the London School of Economics, and has held senior posts in economic policymaking and journalism. He has been economic adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers at HM Treasury, an economist and speechwriter at the Bank of England, and economics editor of The Economist. Richard has published widely on economics. He was the editor of The Economist’s recent guide to economics (Profile, 2015) and his articles have featured in The Times and 1843 magazine. He is the author of numerous research papers and is a founding trustee of CORE, a charity which provides open-access resources for economics teachers and students in universities across the world. Richard has published widely on economics. In addition to The Economist he has written for The Times, Sunday Times and 1843 Magazine. He was the editor of The Economist’s guide to economics (Profile, 2015), and has published numerous articles and research papers.