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Faculty New Year's Reading List

We hope you enjoy the books recommended below. Topics range from the rise of Chicago from muddy riverbanks to how economics can help solve some of the most challenging problems of our day.


In addition to these books, Professors Matthias Doepke and Charles Manski have published:

Faculty New Year's Reading List


Cover Image

Book Description

Ian Savage

Lori Beaman, Associate Professor 



Evicted, Matthew Desmond

Compelling narrative about how problems in the housing markets in the U.S. traps households into poverty.

Chris Udry

Chris Udry, Robert E. and Emily King Professor

Good Economics for Hard Times, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo

You won't agree with all of it. But the arguments are thoughtful, the writing is superb and the ideas matter.


Robert Gordon

Robert Gordon, Stanley G. Harris Professor



The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up On Free Markets, Thomas Philippon

This book argues persuasively that the increased concentration of numerous American industries is having a negative impact on innovation and is undermining the benefits of American capitalism.

Economists, Robert M. Solow and Marina Cook

This book combines 100 original photographic portraits of leading American economists, including many winners of the Nobel Prize, with fascinating answers by each featured economist to a question posed to them by Robert M. Solow that is attuned to their expertise and interests.

Mark Witte


Mark Witte, Professor of Instruction; Director of Undergraduate Studies

Beau Geste, P.C. Wren

An exciting 1924 novel about the French Foreign Legion that applies some remarkable examples of backward induction and game theory. Very fun!


James Hornsten, Professor of Instruction

Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West, William Cronon

Chicago played a key intermediary role in America’s 19th century development as the home of well-organized markets that gathered and processed natural products from the Great West before transporting them to buyers, especially in the Northeastern United States. This book explains the rise of Chicago – from muddy riverbanks to an urban center – as well as the historic and economic significance of railroads, grain elevators, lumberyards, meat-packing plants, refrigerated railcars, mail-order catalogs, and futures contracts.

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