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Doughnut Economics

Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist
Narrated by: Kate Raworth
Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Doughnut Economics written and read by Kate Raworth.

Economics is broken. It has failed to predict, let alone prevent, financial crises that have shaken the foundations of our societies. Its outdated theories have permitted a world in which extreme poverty persists while the wealth of the super-rich grows year on year. And its blind spots have led to policies that are degrading the living world on a scale that threatens all of our futures.

Can it be fixed? In Doughnut Economics, Oxford academic Kate Raworth identifies seven critical ways in which mainstream economics has led us astray, and sets out a roadmap for bringing humanity into a sweet spot that meets the needs of all within the means of the planet. En route, she deconstructs the character of 'rational economic man' and explains what really makes us tick. She reveals how an obsession with equilibrium has left economists helpless when facing the boom and bust of the real-world economy. She highlights the dangers of ignoring the role of energy and nature's resources - and the far-reaching implications for economic growth when we take them into account. And in the process, she creates a new, cutting-edge economic model that is fit for the 21st century - one in which a doughnut-shaped compass points the way to human progress.

Ambitious, radical and rigorously argued, Doughnut Economics promises to reframe and redraw the future of economics for a new generation.

Longlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2017

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our desktop site.

©2017 Kate Raworth (P)2017 Random House Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"The John Maynard Keynes of the 21st century." (George Monbiot, The Guardian)
"This is sharp, significant scholarship.... Thrilling." ( Times Higher Education)
"A really important economic and political thinker." (Andrew Marr)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Utopian and preachy

More a critique of existing economics than a genuine proposal on a new model. Some interesting points but felt I was being lectured, not in a good way. Some inconsistency. The author calls modern democratic societies “weird”, then seemingly without intentional irony warns of the dangers of labels. Pretty sure the “textbook” definition of supply and demand wasn’t in the textbook I read at school. Glad I got through it, but mostly so I can argue with people who say they loved it. The book may help some people, but other books have more usefully addressed shortcomings in traditional economic theory for me.

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great addition to systems thinking

loved the narration , the examples and clarity of theory. also the summary pdf is helpful

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the reading is so...

the reading makes this book sound like a economic teacher speaking at you.
i really appreciate the points this book makes. Normally i would rewind to hear a point again... but i couldnt for this book because i just cant bear listening to that voice again.

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Amazing - a must read

Kate is amazing as a narrator - just as she is as a thinker and person. Loved it!

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Essential reading

Primer and how to for all 21st century economists. Don't leave home without it - could well be the best guide to saving our blue dot from ourselves.

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Amazing, eye-opening insights - must read

I wished leaders and people in our world read, understand and embrace Kate's wisdom, so we can create a sustainable space for humanity - not much time left.

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Must Read

For anyone interested in the economic, policy and social change required to ensure we avoid catastrophic changes into our collective future.

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Makes perfect sense

I couldn't disagree with anything in this book. I've now bought the hard copy. Some bits were read a bit too quick for me to be able to absorb but finally I'm hearing someone speak about economics in a way that makes sense to me. Very refreshing. Clearly laid out, and easy to go back to particular points. A must read.

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  • ben
  • 26-03-2018

excellent

quite excellent. refreshing. exciting. solid. gives one hope about a world that seems to be a few degrees off the right direction.

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transformative!!

there is such an opportunity in this work to truly understand where we are, how we got here and how we can choose our way out it. ANYONE can hear the need for change, few have detailed the global processes necessary. I am now a 21st century economist, best we all begin to own that title, that we may be in deeper relations with a future we can thrive in!

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  • G B.
  • 19-01-2019

making growth uncool again

You would think that after the financial crisis and decades of knowing about environmental pollution and human induced climate change we would change the way we do business. But the story we tell ourselves and each other about what an economy is is still based on the idea of limitless growth which can't be sustained on an inherently finite planet. In these precarious times the world seems to fall back on very simple (political) messages because out of fear our brains revert back to primal survival modes. That's perhaps why I was first opposed to this image of the doughnut but throughout the book have come to embrace it as the simple message and shared image the world needs to replace our old ideas. Kate was educated as an economist herself and admits that the people best fit to be the new world's economists are the ones not formally trained as one. Throughout the book she reveals how the ideas of Maynard Keynes, Adam Smith, Friedman and Stiglitz were used to push nations' agendas for GDP growth in a global financial market economy for which there seemed no alternative. Even though political and economical philosophers back to Aristotle have made a distinction between economics as the production of value in the household and the accumulation of wealth as something different, in capitalist society we have to come to regard the latter as the goal since we don't monetize the first. Kate is aware of the power of evoking mental (visual) frames and in the end talks about the economy as a plane that took of and has been flying ever since but we didn't really think how we would land it. Far from talking doomsday scenarios, she actually makes very concrete proposals to start thinking differently within the means of the planet and actually change the goal of what we're doing. She does not say it in these exact words but we should focus on human nature and happiness (learning skills, being connected, etc) rather than material gain beyond what we need to live well. We should create and economy in which everyone can thrive, us and the planet, regardless of whether the economy grows or not.

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  • Bonjek Hertz Pedersen
  • 10-01-2019

Amazing and inspirering

Loved it, and it is very inspirering! strongly recommend it if you feel a bit overwhelmed by the state of the world and can't find comfort I. the traditional economic viewpoints.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Olli Tuomikoski
  • 18-01-2018

Idealistic, provocative and preachy

Listened to it twice just to really get the hang it. Idealistic, provocative and preachy. Will follow the movement, not yet a fan.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-03-2018

awfull

this book keeps focussing on graphics and images, all the while referring to the 'conpanion booklet'. if I had my hands and eyes available I would be reading a paper book. this is like listening to a comic book. absolutely worthless.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-06-2019

Fresh and fine

Nice and novel thoughts that come in handy while facing the future and current challenges.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-05-2019

Fatally Conceited

This book is written by an activist, not an empirical observer of reality. It's well researched at times, but the author often gets lost in her own righteousness. It's is somewhat a nice counterbalance to anyone that's gone down the libertarian rabbits hole, but this book doesn't really address the stronger points that Hayek et al raises, simply dismisses them and moves on. The book assumes policy can overtly control the economy from the top down. Hayek describes this as the fatal conceit. An overestimation of ones control over their complex environment.

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  • Norah A. Solgaard
  • 17-01-2018

A must read for anyone interested in sustainability

A wonderful review of economic thinking and where it all went wrong. Puts economics in a new light, helping to reader to see how new economic thinking can be part of the solution. Made me eager to want to learn more.

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  • Andrej Drapal
  • 22-07-2019

Babbling, babbling...

This book is just another attempt to rationalize collective over individual. If Piketty cobered his attack with enormous load of data, graphs and calculations, this one tells us the same story in poetic language.
Poetic? Not really. Babbling of this book is tiresome, not poetic. There is one simple story repeated on and on: humans (collective) are destroying Earth. For that reason we should act more responsible, meaning, we should abandon market economy and enter dougnut economy model. And what is this model? Sorry, I cannot tell. Why. Because apart from babbling around responsibiliy, Kate tells us nothing.
To make this critics of the book short (and I am really pissed off being persuadad that I should read this novel aproach to economy): should you want to get some novel views on responsible economy, check Integrated Reporting Council activities (https://integratedreporting.org/). If you want to understand that contemporary liberalism in support to free market does not rely on human as rational being, read von Mises Human action. If you want to believe that free market caused crysis in 2008, bear in mind that it was caused mainly by banks heavilly regulated by the state (USA), same state that rested and still rests on inflationatory monetary policy.
I am appauled by the apparent success of this book and dougnut model. If governments really follow this pile of nothingness, then we are in deep trouble.
Last but not reast. System theory is mentioned couple of times. Ms. Raworth does not know S from System theory. It is an offence to Forrester, Senge and alike to use this term in her context.

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  • S J Bennett
  • 21-05-2018

Got better as it went along

A good book for understanding what people are proposing to overcome the shortcomings of today’s pervasive economics-based goals and reasoning. I was underwhelmed by the off-hand dismissals of all neoclassical economic thinking in the first half (a convincing treatment of why we need something better would have made it easier to go along with the story of how to go about it) but it improved and became more balanced. My lingering concerns: the focus is almost all on national economies and policies but there is almost nothing about how one country could break free of the growth paradigm without wrecking the value of its currency and its standing in the international economy, especially vis-à-vis multinationals; too much easy optimism drawn from very localised and context-specific case studies like small, isolated tribes and early-stage renewable power projects.

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  • Dr. M. A. Edwards
  • 05-07-2018

compelling arguments but misses one vital issue.

My take on her work is - it's all compelling, its all correct, it all makes sense, it speaks to our better natures and is a wealth of possibilities to see a thriving world for future generations. It's just I don't think it's powerful enough to offset our greed, selfishness, tribalism, neolibralism and xenophobia. Those fears and drivers are just too strong. Much like in iterations of the prisoners dilemma, we all know what we should do, we know we would all be better off, but we still choose the other path. I just don't think we have it in ourselves to enter and stay in the doughnut.

4 people found this helpful

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  • christopher g.
  • 16-07-2018

Great book, but audio version could be improved

Fascinating book, learned a lot. It is well researched, multi dimensional and changed the way I think. I found it rather heavy going to begin with but soon got into it. I Found Kate's reading pace too fast for me though, and could do with another listen. The audio kept cutting out at the beginning of sentences (particularly chapter 6/7) which was distracting. Also the illustration supplement is often referred to but I don't know how to get that (yet).

1 person found this helpful

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  • B. Poliak
  • 12-01-2020

great book, lots to think about

although if you are not new to the issues the world is facing some of this will be pretty familiar.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-12-2019

At last ... a new way of thinking

An excellent, thoughtful and intelligent book which should be on the syllabus of all secondary schools.
Economics is often though of as a dry, number led professional but this book makes one see otherwise.
It gives one hope for the future!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-2019

Highly recommend

Highly recommend for Economics and Business students, as well as decision makers. A promising step forward from classic economics.

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  • OrchardyHenry
  • 28-11-2019

fantastic, fantastic, fantastic

Many familiar concepts, brilliantly combined, thoroughly inspiring, essential reading. Recommended, read, rebel, lobby, create

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  • Phillip Middleton
  • 05-11-2019

wake the f up

like all great ideas; gravity, evolution and now donut economics, after you learn about them the concepts appear blindingly obvious.
Never ending economic growth is impossible within a finite planet, of course it is.
This book opens your eyes to the short term idiocy of mainstream economic thinking and points to an alternative to the dog eat dog, competitive rat race we have all grown up with in the wealthy West.
If you want to see into our best future, read this book.

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  • Elizabeth
  • 08-10-2019

Add this to your library now

Thought provoking. A lot of interesting information and arguments made about the relationship of the environment, inequalities and growth. Well worth a read, and very relevant to our current climate.

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  • M-Rev
  • 05-09-2019

Much needed perspective! Well narrated!

The author herself has narrated the book, underlying the need for a change in perspective on how we view and understand economics taking into account the natural world and others around us.