Foundations of Economics: A Beginner's Companion

Foundations of Economics: A Beginner's Companion

Foundations of Economics: A Beginner's Companion

Foundations of Economics: A Beginner's Companion

Synopsis

This book covers all the essential economic concepts and addresses three main areas in detail: consumption and choice, production and markets, and government and the state.

Excerpt

This book is written with the conviction that the economics textbook, contrary to all evidence, contains delightful mind-teasers, philosophically exciting questions and lots of intriguing politics. It is also written in the conviction that beginners, who are usually dismissed as insufficiently sophisticated to get involved with these higher order issues, are perfectly up to the detective work necessary to bring these delights on to the surface. Additionally, I embarked on this book with the certainty that pursuing these discoveries promises not only to enliven an otherwise dull course but also to help students do well in it. Who knows—it may even inspire us, the teachers of this all-conquering but prosaic discipline, to lift our game.

And lift it we must! Open any economics textbook. These days you will find excellent graphics, numerous examples, helpful appendices, computer disks with moving curves and, naturally, sets of solved problems to help you get a handle on how economists answer the questions they pose. Indeed, today’s textbook is incredibly competent at providing answers to set questions. Already publishers of economics textbooks offer web pages on the Internet which contain numerous links to material relating to the topics in each chapter; students who have bought their book are even given passwords allowing them to submit their answers to set problems electronically. Indeed the textbook has become only an entry point into a multimedia package which provides answers to given questions with astonishing competence. But here is the rub: none of this technological wizardry provides a guide as to where the questions come from, of why different questions are not being asked, of who does the asking. It works like a do-it-yourself manual taking you by the hand and illustrating the method for doing things.

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