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Faculty & Research

Merage School CIWM Social Impact Investing


about the May 4th
Social Impact Investing: Strategies and Implications for the Future.

Faculty's Recommended Reading

Members of the Merage School faculty are often asked for reading recommendations for extracurricular enrichment. Here are a few choices to add to your own reading list. Please note that links to the books are for reference only; sales proceeds do not benefit the Merage School.


Thomas Eppel


  • Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. This book provides a good introduction to the field of behavioral economics. Ariely is one of the most creative experimenters and the book is full of practical lessons.
  • Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb. A brilliant exposition of our tendencies to mistake randomness for meaningful events. Since Taleb works on Wall Street, many of the examples center on finance and investing.
  • The Long Tail by Chris Anderson. Anderson convincingly demonstrates “why the future of business is selling less of more.” Free of physical constraints (such as limited shelf space), digital goods offer us almost unlimited choices with profound impacts on both the demand and the supply side.
  • Common Wealth by Jeffrey Sachs. Jeff Sachs, a renowned economist at Columbia University, gives a systematic analysis of why our crowded planet is on an unsustainable trajectory and what needs to be done to change course.
  • Success Built to Last by Porras, Emery and Thompson. Based on a worldwide survey and interviews of “successful” people, this book provides a thought-provoking assessment of traditional criteria of success and why they may be misguided.
  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. Hailed as one of the most influential business books ever written, the 7 Habits provide a principle-centered approach to leadership and personal growth. A must read for everyone, not just business folks.
  • Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman. NYT Columnist Thomas Friedman gives a worrisome description of why climate change (hot), globalization (flat) and overpopulation (crowded) may create a perfect storm for disaster.
  • The Element by Ken Robinson. This is not necessarily a business book but a passionate plea for a stronger emphasis and recognition of creativity and a more balanced view on “intelligence” in our education and lives.


David Hirshleifer


  • The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. A lucid, powerful explanation of evolution by natural selection, and a contribution the the theory of how ideas and culture evolve. Should be read by anyone who wants to know why there are people.
  • Showboat World by Jack Vance. Vance creates rich fantastic worlds. A great writer.
  • The True Believer by Eric Hoffer. Hoffer provides unique insight into the psychology of fanaticism.

Jone Pearce



Robin Keller



Richard McKenzie


  • The Sub-Prime Solution by Rober Shiller, 2008. One of the few economists who spotted the coming crisis early.
  • A Failure of Capitalism by Richard Posner. An analysis of the financial/economic crisis that lays blame for the mess on defects in the market system, especially when it comes to financial markets.
  • The Housing Boom and Bust by Thomas Sowell, 2009. An analysis of the financial/economic mess that lays blame for the problems squarely on misguided federal policies.
  • The First Billion Is the Toughest by T. Boone Pickins, 2009. A surprising and interesting autobiography from a former corporate raider who recounts his philosophy of making deals.
  • Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink, 2007. A book ostensibly about how external considerations (plate, glass, and portion sizes) affect the amounts people eat, but also a book that is indirectly about marketing and doing business in the food industry.