February Handbook Reviews

February 1, 2017


The following reviews appeared in the February 2017 issue of CHOICE. They have been modified to include links to referenced articles, which have been made freely available for a short time.

The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Networks
Edited by Yann Bramoullé, Andrea Galeotti, and Brian W. Rogers

"The articles in this collection were written by scholars knowledgeable in the area of networks. Together, they paint a lucid picture of the primary underlying reasons for the formation and significance of networks. The authors discuss the implications of networks for diverse kinds of human behaviors. They concentrate their individual as well as combined effort on theory, real-life field experiences, econometric analyses, and laboratory experiments. This particular handbook is partitioned into seven highly integrated parts: the introduction; perspectives; the formation of networks and games; experiments and empirical analyses; diffusion, learning, and contagion; communities; and the diverse organizations of markets. The breadth and depth of this book are excellent. The book provides the reader with great information and thoughtful reflections on the relevance and significance of networks in the diverse spheres of human life—especially, trade between and among people of diverse nation-states. Though an excellent handbook, the editors as well as the authors glossed over the significance of the quality of the human factor in the applications of networks, their efficiency, productivity, and long-term sustainability. Regardless, it is a great book. Recommended to everyone interested in this area of academic inquiry.

Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty."

S. B. Adjibolosoo, Fermanian School of Business, Point Loma Nazarene University


The Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy
Edited by Matthew D. Adler and Marc Fleurbaey

"'Well-being' seems a simple matter, but, on reflection, it can and does become complex. In the first part of the 20th century, the early success of such macroeconomic indicators as gross domestic product to track the economy and devise interventions sparked a movement to broaden the measurement of societal performance to include many other aspects of life. Those discussions and investigations extended the concepts across many disciplines outside economics, including philosophy, psychology, and sociology. This handbook is an invaluable summary of this research. Featuring prominent scholars from throughout the world, it probes concepts, methodologies, and outcomes. It is sophisticated in its analysis and thorough in its coverage. It is, however, not approachable for the most part because it assumes a close familiarity with highly technical material.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students and faculty."

E. T. Jones, University of Missouri--St. Louis