Business Economics: Concepts and Cases

Article excerpt

Business Economics: Concepts and Cases, M.S.Greenwood and M.J.Carter,

This book has been written as a support to economics courses that are offered as part of a management course; it does however provide some very useful material for A level Economics and could also offer a useful perspective for the business studies teacher.

In such management courses, students are typically offered a theoretical framework, often with no historical background, case studies (or in many cases) much application. The course the authors have devised seeks to redress this, providing an alternative that is both student based and inspiring. A pro-active, tutorial approach is used, with an examination of how theory can be applied to recent cases; the aim is to equip students with the tools to think like economists, and in this it succeeds. The merits of a case study approach are rightly justified - that it helps students to acquire skills (amongst others) of curiosity, organisation and communication. A real strength is its incisive application of theory to cases.

It focuses on microeconomics, with an emphasis on real world situations and practice. A good groundwork in the basics is provided - including what economists do, scarcity, supply and demand with a later emphasis on industrial economics. The book offers summaries of economic theory which would be especially useful for A level students. An example of this is its treatment of numerical issues, identifying trends, forecasting the future and relationships between variables. Those studying economics A level without also studying maths would find its clear discussion of positive and negative relationships useful. Indeed, a real strength throughout is its clarity - clear definitions and current relevant examples. Students are asked to consider questions such as `how will the income of hill farmers be affected by the BSE crisis?'

Case studies feature throughout, and the issues are treated often in an inventive and original way. The question `should there be advertising on the BBC?' goes beyond the conventional treatments to look at the price elasticity of demand foe advertising slots, and whether such advertising would increase or reduce total advertising revenue for the broadcasting industry. …