• Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist

  • By: Kate Raworth
  • Narrated by: Kate Raworth
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (404 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Economics is the mother tongue of public policy. It dominates our decision-making for the future, guides multi-billion-dollar investments, and shapes our responses to climate change, inequality, and other environmental and social challenges that define our times.

Pity then, or more like disaster, that its fundamental ideas are centuries out of date yet are still taught in college courses worldwide and still used to address critical issues in government and business alike. That's why it is time, says renegade economist Kate Raworth, to revise our economic thinking for the 21st century. In Doughnut Economics, she sets out seven key ways to fundamentally reframe our understanding of what economics is and does. Along the way, she points out how we can break our addiction to growth; redesign money, finance, and business to be in service to people; and create economies that are regenerative and distributive by design.

Named after the now-iconic "doughnut" image that Raworth first drew to depict a sweet spot of human prosperity (an image that appealed to the Occupy Movement, the United Nations, eco-activists, and business leaders alike), Doughnut Economics offers a radically new compass for guiding global development, government policy, and corporate strategy, and sets new standards for what economic success looks like.

Raworth handpicks the best emergent ideas - from ecological, behavioral, feminist, and institutional economics to complexity thinking and Earth-systems science - to address this question: How can we turn economies that need to grow, whether or not they make us thrive, into economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow?

Simple, playful, and eloquent, Doughnut Economics offers game-changing analysis and inspiration for a new generation of economic thinkers.

©2017 Kate Raworth (P)2017 Chelsea Green Publishing

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Economic romanticizing, not economic thinking

This book is not a true economic book. This is more of a "let's diss the current economics major, then try and fail to write a novel about how it should be." Its promises are big, but its solutions are inadequate at best.

First, the book brought up quite a few good points about the current politics of Economics. Economics is not really wrong (it's like "is Physics wrong?"), but its applications and moods can be. The book, though, makes no difference. Which, IMHO as an engineer, invalidates about 98% of the content. Look, if a person drives carelessly and causes accident, do you go and sue the car maker? That's idiotic!

Second, the premise of the book is non-scientific, non-mathematical. The author was correct: the economic diagrams are powerful because they are intuitive. But that conclusion is incomplete. The economic diagrams are powerful because they are intuitive MATH. They have real numbers to back up their intuition. The "doughnut," on the other hand, is pure hunch. I mean, nothing wrong with that, but you can't solve (economic) issues merely with hunches. You need NUMBERS to back it up.

For example, the doughnut implies 2 dimensions. What are these? None. It's pure fantasy! Furthermore, the dimensions applicable to the inner circles (of human needs) are not directly related to dimensions applicable to outer circles (of natural limits). For example, carbon emission impacts nature, but humans don't cloth or eat carbon emission! You can't put them on the same graph, for Newton's sake! (another criticism: it's not that we are in the inside space or out of the doughnut; we are in both; that's the problem; the doughnut does nothing to show that).

Thirdly, the books don't flow. Look above for the doughnut stupidity (seriously; don't pretend you are doing economics/math when you are writing novels). The whole thing about cast in the economy also doesn't flow. For example, "the nature is life-giving, so respect its boundaries." Huh? According to Christianity, God is life giving, and God has no such things as limit. Life-giving is unrelated to boundaries! Similarly, the "market is powerful, so embed it wisely" makes no sense. Power has nothing to do with embedding! I mean, King Kong is powerful, where do you embed it?

I mean, the author clearly has good intentions. She may or may not have good solutions. If she does, though, this book is clearly not it.

7 people found this helpful

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Healthy doughnut encounter!

When I recommend it to my friends the basic response is “ You had me at doughnuts but you lost me at economics.” The doughnut, even though it’s got a tasty name, is too complex for most people. I understand much of what she’s talking about because I spent my career in asset management. We need more people to understand economics and many more to understand it from a doughnut perspective. I wish she gave more examples of how to not just think but to act like a 21st Century economist. I would recommend this book to anyone who knows a little about economics, who is a progressive citizen and who wants humanity to live on a hospitable planet for centuries to come.

5 people found this helpful

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Read this flawed book

Read the book to be challenged and to be exposed to creative thinking.

However, you are going to have to navigate falsehoods, straw men and IMHO fundamental misunderstandings along the way.

If you can ignore some basic flaws and contemplate the higher-level points, you will be challenged.

And that is a good thing.

5 people found this helpful

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Thought Provoking

Very thought provoking with her unique approach to modern day economics. Some areas seem a bit idealistic, but interesting nonetheless. Definitely recommend this read!

5 people found this helpful

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Finally, some sanity

I've never been able to stomach reading economics, because it seemed insane to me. Everything I'd seen required me to pretend that the Earth was limitless. I'm refreshed to find an economic text that addresses this issue, as well as human flourishing, in it's pages.

5 people found this helpful

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How to Change Economics to Fix the Woy

Raworth argues that classical economics is wrong and if it were done correctly, we could fix many of the world's problems. She is very persuasive, but it seems she is fighting an uphill battle. She reads her book like an audio artist, and she has a great accent.

3 people found this helpful

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Finally a book focused on a global solution

I have been worried about climate change, wealth inequalities (and the gap growing), rich countries exploiting poor ones, animal welfare, and the race to bigger companies, bigger economies, bigger profits (at all costs). it's been hard to engage in meaningful discussions with friends and acquaintances because I always felt I didn't have enough data on hand, and not a lot to propose as a potential solution. this book is the answer to all my wishes. so grateful someone spent their life studying these important issues, and took the time & effort to summarize it in a book. wow.

2 people found this helpful

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Worth Listening to if You Are Interested in Economics, Social Welfare, Development, or Environmental Policy

I felt like the book started out a bit slow, but it was definitely interesting once it started flowing.

At times, it seemed like there was a lot of information being relayed without anything really being said. However, overall there were plenty of important points being made.

The data, studies, and views mentioned are great for challenging what has become accepted as “the way things are done,” and more work like this will be crucial to balancing the world in the coming decades.

2 people found this helpful

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intersting, but too many hours in the telling

There are many ideas here. I expect that the CCP is very pleased with most of them. I don't understand why she feels socialism, a system that has already been placed on the ash heap of history is the correct solution. Perhaps she feels it is best to take a radically extreme position to have a better shot at getting people to consider the radical reforms many could agree are needed to fix capitalism and insufficiently regulated market economies. I continued to listen (audio book) even as the author argued her belief that a global government would be better suited to address the global problems earth faces. One must agree that such government would be necessary to implement the global taxes and global wealth redistribution for which she calls. Wars have been fought over far less significant ideological points. However, before this is over, we will get such a global government. Biblical prophecies have yet to be wrong. How to prepare? Rom 10:9-10 Eph 2:8-9

1 person found this helpful

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This is what I've been trying to say

I've had a few conversations with my friends about how our current economy has very little to do with reality. This book does much better than I ever could in making this argument. Raworth covers all of the relevant fields, providing starting points, goals, and questions that need to be answered to get humanity on track to live for another 50,000 years.

1 person found this helpful