First published in 1984, this book carefully dissects and convincingly demonstrates that conservative economics is incoherent in theory and disastrous in practice. The three main schools of thought supporting "free-market" policies - supply side economics, monetarism and rational expectations - are examined in turn and each is found defective. Three case studies of conservative policy in action follow: Reagan's U.S., Thatcher's U.K. and Pinochet's Chile and their courses are charted in depth. In addition, Robert Heilbroner and Edward Nell analyse economic conservatism's ideology and social policy, and the book concludes with an assessment of the political reasons for the continuing appeal of free-market conservatism despite its theoretical incoherence and practical failure. This is a careful and comprehensive look at this subject which tackles both the theory and the practice head-on. It will make useful and stimulating reading for students of economics and political economy on courses of economic policy and macro-economics and in addition will be of keen interest to all those involved in the debate about one of the major policy issues of our time.