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Foundations of Real‑World Economics
AuthorJohn Komlos
PublisherRoutledge a subsidiery of Taylor and Francis

Foundations of Real-World Economics: What Every Economics Student Needs to Know is a 2019 book by John Komlos[1] that argues that the turbulence of the 21st century, that includes the Dot-Com bubble, the 2008 financial crisis, the rise of right-wing populism the covid-pandemic, and numerous wars, cannot be adequately understood by conventional economics rooted in 20th-century ideas.[2][3][4][5]

Book outline

The book outlines the situation of those hurt by the economic policies by neoliberal economists. It is critical of those who advocated cutting taxes and starving the state, those who supported deregulation that culminated in the Meltdown of 2008, and those who advocated hyper-globalization that led to the rustbelt and the rise of discontent.[4][6][7]

The text provides a look at the way the economy actually works for the typical person rather than how academics imagine it works in college classrooms. It presents an alternative perspectives on the economy; it shows that the homo-ocoenomicus rational-agent model does not work in the real world. It shows that oligopolies are a much better description of today’s multinational mega-corporations than the perfectly competitive framework.[6][7][8][9]

The textbook demonstrates how misleading it is to apply oversimplified models to the real world. The book features Kahneman on behavioral economics, Galbraith on the need for countervailing power, Case & Deaton on deaths of despair, Minsky on financial instability, Krugman on new trade theory, Rawls on justice, Stiglitz on the hollowing out of the middle class, Simon on bounded rationality, and Veblen on conspicuous consumption.[10] The book advocates for a humanistic economics and for a Capitalism with a Human Face.

The book has been translated into Russian,[11] German,[12] Hungarian,[13] Romanian, [14] and Chinese.[15]


  1. ^ "John Komlos, "Foundations of Real-World Economics: What Every…". New Books Network. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  2. ^ Blackford, George H (2019-06-01). "The Foundations of Real-World Economics: What Every Student Needs to Know". Contributions to Political Economy. 38 (1): 98–99. doi:10.1093/cpe/bzz005. ISSN 0277-5921.
  3. ^ "Foundations of Real-World Economics | VOXLACEA". vox.lacea.org. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  4. ^ a b "15 Things That Markets Must Deal with to Work as the Textbooks Say They Do". Evonomics. 2015-10-19. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  5. ^ "Magyar származású közgazdász írta meg az emberarcú kapitalizmus krédóját | Mandiner". mandiner.hu (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  6. ^ a b Tomer, John F. (2020-03-01). "Foundations of Real-World Economics: What Every Economics Student Needs to Know Routledge". Society and Economy. 42 (1): 98–104. doi:10.1556/204.2020.00006. ISSN 1588-9726. S2CID 219057388.
  7. ^ a b Foster, John (December 2019). "Foundations of Real‐World Economics: What Every Student Needs to Know, 2nd edn, by JohnKomlos (Routledge, New York, 2019), pp. 306". Economic Record. 95 (311): 514–516. doi:10.1111/1475-4932.12514. ISSN 0013-0249. S2CID 212955693.
  8. ^ Burnazoglu, Merve; Ostermeijer, Francis (2020-04-02). "Rethinking what every economics student needs to know". Journal of Economic Methodology. 27 (2): 179–184. doi:10.1080/1350178X.2020.1729530. ISSN 1350-178X. S2CID 214451797.
  9. ^ Coclanis, Peter A. (2020-01-02). "Not His Kind of Town". Challenge. 63 (1): 52–57. doi:10.1080/05775132.2019.1693031. ISSN 0577-5132. S2CID 213901622.
  10. ^ "Opinion | It's time we tear up our economics textbooks and start over". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  11. ^ "Джон Комлос. Что должен знать каждый, кто изучает экономику, и о чем не написано в обычных учебниках : монография / Джон Комлос ; науч. ред. российского издания С.Д. Бодрунов". inir.ru. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  12. ^ "John Komlos: Ökonomisches Denken nach dem Crash". www.metropolis-verlag.de. Retrieved 2022-10-24.
  13. ^ "Őszintén a kapitalizmusról". Új Egyenlőség (in Hungarian). 2021-10-03. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  14. ^ Komlos, John (2019). Principiile economiei într-o lume postcriză (in Romanian). Romania: Editura Centrului de Informare şi Documentare Economică. ISBN 978-973-159-230-5.
  15. ^ "《重新认识经济学:真实世界的经济学基础(不要模型、抛弃幻想、回归人性,给经济学以温度!极具创新性的经济学书!)》([德] 约翰·科姆洛什(John Komlos))【简介_书评_在线阅读】 - 当当图书". product.dangdang.com. Retrieved 2022-10-24.