What would Keynes do?


Have you ever wondered what Adam Smith would have to say about you playing the lottery? Or whether Jeremy Bentham could cure your hangover (through economics)? Ever pondered over what Milton Friedman might get you for Christmas?

By comparing and contrasting what the greatest economists of all time would have to say about 40 questions from your everyday life, What Would Keynes Do? will help you get to grips with all the important economic theories in an original and thought-provoking way.

Includes such puzzling conundrums as:

  • Should I park in an illegal parking space and risk a fine?
  • Should I go to University or start working straight away?
  • Should I give up my secure job and work for myself?
  • Should I ever commit a crime?
  • If I enjoy drinking beer, how much should I drink?
  • Is it OK to be selfish?
  • Should I vote for a political party which promises to raise taxes?

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Author’s Comment

This book was a lot of fun to write as it involved examining a wide range of economic perspectives on unusual economic problems.

Some of the topics are standard economic fare – should we raise taxes? Should we worry about government borrowing? But, also it was an opportunity to consider economic issues from outside the box. Should we park illegally? And should we worry about switching off the light?

It gives food for thought for both students studying economics and those interested with how economics affects our everyday lives. It also gives an insight into the thinking of a diverse range of economists from free-marketeers to behavioural economists and Keynesians.

Full list of questions

  1. Is it OK to be selfish?
  2. Should I park in an illegal parking space and risk a fine?
  3. If I enjoy drinking beer. How much should I drink?
  4. Is it better to gamble on the lottery or gamble by having no insurance?
  5. What is the optimal number of children to have?
  6. What is the secret of happiness?
  7. Can I trust a second-hand car salesman?
  8. Should I make an effort to turn off all the electrical lights?
  9. Should I give a gift or money for Christmas Presents?
  10. How can I resolve disputes with neighbours?
  11. How can I get a pay rise?
  12. How do I motivate my fellow workers?
  13. It is worth taking a promotion if it involves working long hours?
  14. Should I go to College/university?
  15. Should I vote for a political party which promises to cut my income taxes?
  16. Should I worry about my government getting into debt?
  17. Should I favour buying local goods?
  18. Will I be better off with tariffs on imports?
  19. How do I avoid getting caught by financial bubbles?
  20. How do I beat the market?
  21. Should I pay to jump the queue?
  22. How much personal debt should I take on?
  23. Should I welcome parking charges on my street and city?
  24. Should I boycott goods made in sweatshop factories?
  25. How much should I put into retirement savings?
  26. Should I support the legalisation of drugs?
  27. How can I make my small business more profitable?
  28. Should I support government subsidies for a local firm facing bankruptcy?
  29. How do we best manage common resources?
  30. How to survive inflation?
  31. How to get a good deal when shopping?
  32. Should we worry about rising inequality?
  33. How to be a good manager of people?
  34. Should I give up my secure job and work for myself?
  35. Do I benefit or suffer from immigration?
  36. How much should we give to charity?
  37. Can economics help us to lose weight?
  38. Should health care be private or public?
  39. Should I bother to recycle?
  40. Should I run my business just for profit?