John Kay’s latest book offers an absorbing romp through the history of economic thought in the 20th century. Kay attempts to explain the complex reality of a modern market system rather than resorting to simplistic theorizing about it. Gone are perfectly rational traders, perfectly competitive markets, incentive compatibilities, low transaction costs, informational symmetries, and no externalities. Kay highlights problems and problem solving as the ubiquitous and historical strata through which markets in the West evolved.

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Copyright © 2005, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc. This article first appeared in Southern Economic Journal 71:3 (2005), 683-685.

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