The recent financial crisis illustrated vividly the flaws of weakly regulated markets, yet textbooks remain unchanged, failing to convey the systematic limitations of free markets. This book redresses this imbalance in the tradition of G. Akerlof, R. Easterlin, J.K. Galbraith, H. Minsky, D. Kahneman, J.M. Keynes, P. Krugman, A. Sen, R. Shiller, H. Simon, J. Stiglitz, Th. Veblen, and the Institute of New Economic Thinking.
It does so by exploring important topics that are generally overlooked in introductory economics courses and by juxtaposing blackboard models of the economy with real-world empirical observations. Komlos argues convincingly that it is misleading to focus on models of perfect competition in a world where such markets have become an insignificant share of economic activity. Rather, even beginning students ought to be introduced to the workings of oligopolistic market structures with imperfect information and endemic underemployment. In such cases markets are no longer efficient and there is plenty of opportunities to enhance the quality of life of its participants. Komlos proposes a human centered economics that attains full employment and an equitable distribution of income striving above all toward a just economy.