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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 1 No. 2 (Fall 1987)


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Review of Political Economy: An Introductory Text, by Edmund S. Phelps

Article Citation

Weinstein, Michael M. 1987. "Review of Political Economy: An Introductory Text, by Edmund S. Phelps." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 1(2): 179-182.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.1.2.179


Political Economy is a scintillating excursion into modern economic thinking. Not a stultified world of price elasticities of demand. Nor a world where transaction costs are zero and information is perfect. Rather, Phelps's world is a modernist (his word) vision of asymmetric and imperfect information, incentive compatibilities, and a host of other problems of coordination and reward that plague real economies. Phelps has laid down a challenge to which all of us who teach introductory economics must respond. His achievement is stunning. Yet, I predict you will not adopt this text. Unless your students are two standard deviations smarter than the ones I teach or you are three-standard deviations better at teaching than me, this text will not work well as primary text in your undergraduate course. Still you can bet that many of us will shamelessly steal its intellectual scaffold for our lectures.

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Weinstein, Michael M. (Unlisted)

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012: Teaching of Economics


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