A fascinating and entertaining account of the lives of the most important economists of the past.
Until the late nineteenth century, economics couldn’t be studied at the university level; the field was the domain of well-educated figures whose radical curiosity drew them to a discipline that was little understood and often ridiculed. In the Long Run We’re All Dead tells the story of one of those figures in each of its thirteen chapters. Each of these extraordinary lives is worthy of fiction, and the manner of their deaths, oddly, often illuminates their work. Björn Frank shows us how these economists developed the theories for which they became famous and explains those ideas—utilitarianism, social costs, the endowment effect, and others—with reference to the lives of their creators in an engaging, irreverent, even comic style. Frank also takes daring leaps into speculation, considering how the principles of these long-gone economists might be applied to problems of today and of the future.