IMF Summer Reads


By IMFBlog

A book is a must, as you head off to visit family and friends, or take time off during the summer to unwind.  A good book can bring in new thinking and perspective from the past. And it can inspire and motivate us to act. 

Below you’ll find some additions to your summer reading list, and possibly some food for thought, based on recent book reviews selected by our editors at Finance & Development (F&D).

Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue: Tax Follies and Wisdom through the Ages by Michael Keen and Joel Slemrod

“This is a rare find that can and should be read and enjoyed not only by experts but by anyone who has ever had questions about taxation. As Michael Keen (of the IMF) and Joel Slemrod (University of Michigan) show, ‘taxes are us’ in the sense that everywhere and always, they change and develop with the times,” Richard Bird writes in his review.

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez

“Criado Perez emphasizes that the ‘male unless indicated otherwise’ approach to all aspects of life and the myth of ‘male universality’ are not malicious or even deliberate, but are the product of thinking that has been around for millennia,” Kalpana Kolchar writes.

The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics by Tim Harford

“Building on well-researched examples across domains and time, Harford reminds us of key steps to take when analyzing a series of statistics, including maintaining some distance so as not to be influenced by our biases and personal experiences, which may not be representative; pausing and reflecting before coming to a conclusion; and, as a detective would, asking simple questions (What are we trying to measure? What is the sample or universe used?) to get a sense of context and perspective,” Louis Marc Ducharme writes.

Boom and Bust: A Global History of Financial Bubbles by William Quinn and John D. Turner

“From the Mississippi and the South Sea bubbles of the early 1700s to the subprime and Chinese excesses of the 2000s, Boom and Bust: A Global History of Financial Bubbles provides a fascinating guide through a historical journey of speculative financial crises,” writes Fabio Natalucci.

Angrynomics by Eric Longeman and Mark Blyth

“Despite what its title may suggest, Angrynomics is about more than just anger and economics. In fact, it’s composed of three interrelated topics: a history of capitalism over the past 150 years, an analysis of the current discontent (the anger), and a set of proposals for the future,” Antonio Spilimbergo writes.

Finally, F&D also has a tradition of featuring articles by authors of new, thought-provoking books. An example of this is the article “What We Owe Each Other” by Minouche Shafik, based on her book. Shafik argues that it’s time for a new social contract fit for the 21st century, writing that “harnessing everyone’s talents is not just an issue of fairness; it is also good for the economy.”

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