Looking for a couple books (economics and chaos theory)

You may be wondering what these two disciplines have in commn. Despite any other connections that exist, the only commonality that concerns me is the fact that I’m interested in both of them. That and I didn’t want to start two threads.

I’ve read James Gleick’s Chaos, but I’m looking for something closer to a textbook aimed at a serious student of the field. I’m six credits away from a B.A. in math, so I’m not scared of math; in fact, I’d rather have a mathematical book on chaos theory than a non-mathematical one.

My situation with economics is almost the exact opposite. I took introductory classes in both the micro and macro branches. I’m interested in a book aimed at lay readers (something on the level of The Selfish Gene or A Brief History of Time (and preferably as well-written, although that’s more of an ideal than a criterion)) that gives an overview of both branches of the subject.

Any suggestions?

I have a suggestion, but not for book titles. Might I suggest that the two fields have more in common than you suppose? That was my first thought when seeing your title: “Aha! Of course! Why haven’t I considered that before!”

I am well aware of the connections between the two fields. Of course, chaos theory is probably pretty well-connected to every branch of science. However, the only connection I’m concerned with is that they both interest me at the moment.

BUMP! [sub]Ooh, clumsy me.[/sub]

I don’t know of any overview of economics worth reading, but that may be because I’m too fussy. Landsberg’s The Armchair Economist is a good collection of short essays across a good selection of topics though. Easy bed-time reading. R and P Musgrave’s Public Finance is a good (if a bit dated) introduction to the microeconomics of government, as is J Stiglitz’s Public Economics, which I use as a text for third year undergraduates. Neither are technical, although I doubt most would see them as light reading.

For macroeconomics I’d struggle to recommend anything. There doesn’t seem to be much that is not very dry that is not polemical in ways that a layperson would struggle to pick up. Perhaps Krugman has something, maybe either The Age of Diminished Expectations or The Return of Depression Economics. David Colander is worth looking for too (both for micro, macro and history of thought).

We haven’t got a Dawkins. Galbraith, Thurow and others might fancy themselves in this regard, but you are liable to be misled. There isn’t much that is simultaneously serious economics and readable by the educated lay-person. The only thing I can think of in that category is F von Hayek’s 1945 article “The Use of Knowledge in Society”. For both topics, you could try Colander’s edited volume Complexity in the History of Economic Thought, but your eyes may glaze over working out what economists disagree about.