The Invisible Hand?
How Market Economies have Emerged and Declined Since AD 500
Bas van Bavel
Reviews and Awards
"A brief review...cannot do justice to wealth of material in this important new book, other than by noting that anyone interested in these issues should not miss it." - Gene Callahan, Cardiff University, History: Reviews of New Books
"This a beautifully written book, easy to read, which makes it adequate for a wide audience. Above all, it is an original and intellectually challenging piece of scholarly work that breaks new historical grounds. Van Bavel is one of the few scholars alive who is equally an expert on history, economics, politics. This characteristic enables him a truly subtle analysis of texts and ideas. I want to make clear at the outset that economists and economic historians neglect this book at their peril, since it represents a methodological challenge to research as usual ... this book is going to be a vital contribution to the advancement of economic discourse as well as a crucial intervention in current political debate." - Stefano Zamagni, Journal of Economics
"Van Bavel's deep expertise in the subject matter weaves an intricate web of connections of cultural, economic, and social aspects across time and space, and seamlessly draws the reader into a wonderful account" - Mauricio Drelichman, Journal of Economic Literature
"any social scientist interested in "big think" questions will benefit greatly from reading The Invisible Hand? While it presents only a piece of the "great divergence" puzzle, it is an understudied piece that is an important complement to existing theories based on institutions, culture, and governance." - Jared Rubin, EH.net