Economism Typo Contest

By James Kwak

Today, you may be getting your copy of Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality in the mail. Or you may even be able to buy it in a bookstore. But before you crack it open, I want to tell you something.

I hate typos.

I try to read each of my book manuscripts carefully before submitting them. I hire my own line editor to go through my writing for grammatical and stylistic errors. The publisher then does a copy edit. When I get the “galleys” back from the publisher, I hire my own proofreaders to scour them again for mistakes. But inevitably typos sneak into the published books. Here’s one from 13 Bankers:


(That should be “economic policy,” in case you’re wondering.)

Furthermore, I am almost incapable of reading anything that I’ve written before. It’s just too boring when you already know what the next sentence is going to say; at best I can skim. So it’s very hard for me to catch mistakes in anything that I’ve published. Out of sympathy to my fellow writers, I often circle typos when I find them in books that I am reading. Sometimes I even email the author out of the blue with a list of mistakes, if there is still time to fix them in the paperback version.

So, before you start reading, I’d like you to know about the Economism Typo Contest. If you are the first person to find and tell me about a mistake, I will send you a limited edition, spiral-bound, 5×8 notebook with the jacket cover of Economism on the front (signed on the inside if you like). Or, if you prefer, I will pay you ten dollars in cash money.

The detailed rules and instructions for submitting mistakes are over at the version of this post over at Medium.

Thanks for your help.

4 thoughts on “Economism Typo Contest

  1. It takes a long time to finish writing a book, an educational engineering textbook in my case, I’m always finding things to add plus my spelling is horrible (thank goodness for spell check since I’m totally alone and don’t want to get others involved with things they might not understand). I had 1/2 of a rough copy for a year and even after the final copy was done, I found more to add. Good thing there is still plenty of time before submitting to a publisher cause a missing word or two can take the whole paragraph out of context and force the need to rewrite it.
    I experienced this as I was completing the so called final copy. (I don’t mind rereading my own stuff). But then this is why there are different editions, a first edition mistake of a future popular book can be worth more than all the copy’s thereafter. So have patience with the typos James and good luck with the sales, it’s a murky industry, economics.

  2. While we are at it, on page 100 of ’13 Bankers’ the term ‘end result’… “is redundant, unless there is occasion to differentiate between final and intermediate results.”

    ‘American Usage and Style’

  3. In the spirit of typo commiseration — I read the Introduction excerpt to “13 Bankers” posted on WP today ( and saw, I’m guessing, a leftover footnote in the 3rd sentence, 4th par. from the bottom: “… than Citibank had been in 1983.21 At the time of the White House meeting, …”
    Thanks for posting the Introduction. I found it, the book and blog after reading the BuzzFeed post today of the “dossier” of TrumpGate’s “Deep Throat,” with ref’s to Putin’s obsession with Russian oligarchs, which web-link-led, somehow, to “the new American oligarchy” — which seems like “prescient naming,” now. In fourth grade Miss Johnson often said that if we can just start calling things by their right names, eventually everything will make sense.

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