The Economics of the Ghetto

The Economics of the Ghetto

The Economics of the Ghetto

The Economics of the Ghetto

Excerpt

WITH ALL that has been written about the ghetto, why read a book called The Economics of the Ghetto? What can it add to the testimony offered to the Kerner Commission, the witnesses of Dark Ghetto or Down These Mean Streets or The Other America , the newspaper reports of violence in city streets, and the demonstrations in city welfare offices? What does the economist have to contribute?

THE ROLE OF ECONOMISTS

The term "economics" lends itself handily to a variety of topics: the economics of pollution, of national defense, of transportation, urban economics, international economics, consumer economics -- and all these uses refer to economics as a method of analyzing any given subject, a system of thought. Some have criticized economists for thinking rather than feeling; this comment is typical:

Economists...have a built-in bias to see social problems in wholly rational, nonemotional, and static terms because they are preoccupied and almost solely focused on the concepts of macroeconomics, the Gross National Production, the economics of the country as a whole rather than . . .

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