A poll by rwer blog led to following results:
- 1. (1,597 votes) John Maynard Keynes, General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936)
- 2. (1,027) Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation (1944)
- 3. (927) Joseph A. Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism & Democracy (1942)
- 4. (780) John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society (1958)
- 5. (731) Hyman Minsky, Stabilizing an Unstable Economy (1986)
- 6. (687) Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2014)
- 7. (583) Joan Robinson, The Accumulation of Capital (1956)
- 8. (582) Michal Kalecki, Selected Essays on the Dynamics of the Capitalist Economy(1971)
- 9. (580) Amartya Sen, Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970)
- 10. (500) Piero Sraffa, Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities (1960)
These lists are always difficult to compile. Here is a criticism which brings 4 different books. Am sure there must be many more such lists. Thomas PIketty inclusion is obviously due to the recent spark created by his capital book. Then one will always expect Keynes to be there in the list but Minsky? This is the crisis effect which continues to linger as crisis refuses to go away as well
I have a bigger question. Given most of these books deal with history/history of economic thought, how many are really taught in economics programs?
Barring a few programs here and there, most places will not even mention these books remotely leave reading them. Most probably, people will be reading these books outside their courses. This blog itself is ashamed to say it has not read any of these books cover to cover.
This is interesting. Most such polls show a lot of respect to the people who wrote about economics ages ago. This was last 100 year list so we find Smiths, Ricardos, Marshalls etc missing. But economics curriculum will barely talk about them. Keynes is actually admonished in most books. All this is partly to be blamed on the publish and perish culture where only research papers matter. Students just scurry from one printer to another printing these papers. Visiting the library and digging these books out is not a rewarded activity anymore.
As a student one is only recognised from distinguishing one paper from the other. AS you graduate, the game apparently changes where knowing all these figures seems to matter greatly..