Readings in Economic Analysis - Vol. 1

Readings in Economic Analysis - Vol. 1

Readings in Economic Analysis - Vol. 1

Readings in Economic Analysis - Vol. 1

Excerpt

The papers in this volume have been collected primarily for the use of undergraduates in courses in economic theory. All the articles have been thoroughly tested in my own classes, and all are suitable for undergraduate instruction. I have tried to include treatments of the chief topics usually covered in general theory courses, and to make sure that different points of view are represented. The student is thus given an opportunity, not only to detect errors in economic literature, but also to distinguish between errors and valid differences in outlook.

Although my choices have been made strictly with a view to the capacities of undergraduates, the essays in this volume are well worth the attention of advanced students. I believe that other professional economists will, like myself, be able to reread the papers with profit, and graduate students will certainly find ample material to engage their interest. Most of the papers deal with questions that should be pursued beyond the boundaries of an undergraduate course, and at the higher levels of instruction the volume is adequate to provide much of the desired reading.

The order of arrangement of the essays is only one of a number of logical possibilities. There is nothing sacred about it, and it is merely the order in which the papers are introduced in my own course. The development of an argument may, however, be detected in much of the present sequence.

My major contribution to the usefulness of this book has been to keep all my own comments out of it. This has naturally been difficult, but I have had to recognize that anything I might add would diminish the value of the volume for the purpose it is primarily intended to serve. It seems clear that the more penetrating my comments might be, the more harm they would do, and that nothing worth saying could advantageously be said. I suspect that the absence of my remarks will be regretted chiefly by my own students, and that it is not my views in which others will be particularly interested.

Since so many distinguished authors have supplied the contents of this volume, I can hardly try to disarm criticism by inserting the conventional disclaimer of any intent to produce a good book. I shall therefore confess openly that I have tried hard to make the book good, and that the result is the best I have been able to do. For its particular purpose, however, the contents can doubtless be improved, and I shall be grateful for suggestions . . .

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