A Macroeconomics Reader

By Brian Snowdon; Howard R. Vane | Go to book overview

Preface

Anyone who teaches ‘intermediate undergraduate’ macroeconomics can vouch that there now exist a large number of excellent textbooks they can choose from and direct their students to buy. This was certainly not the case when we were undergraduate and graduate students in the late 1960s and early 1970s. However, when it comes to recommending journal articles for students to read, two main problems arise. First, many important and/or seminal papers display a high degree of technical virtuosity and mathematical sophistication which most students find extremely demanding, to say the least. Second, students often experience difficulty in gaining access to popular articles which are inevitably in heavy demand.

The present volume seeks to alleviate these two problems. The main aim of the book is to bring together in a single volume a collection of insightful articles, for intermediate undergraduates, which shed light on the development of, and selected important controversies within, modern macroeconomics. As such the book will serve as a supplementary text to be read alongside a main macroeconomics textbook. The articles which make up this book of readings have been chosen to provide the reader with accessible and predominantly non-technical, reflective papers which critically assess and/or survey important areas/issues in the development of, and selected controversies within, modern macroeconomics. Choosing the final collection of twenty-six articles which make up this volume proved to be a more difficult task than we first anticipated (every economist would no doubt select their own favourite collection). One important criterion for selection has been the need to keep an ever watchful eye on production costs so that the book could be published at a price which is affordable to students. Our original proposal, which contained a collection of thirty-eight articles, would have been prohibitively expensive to produce, especially given the disproportionately high copyright permission fees levied by certain journals. The final selection of twenty-six articles chosen for this volume we believe are both thought provoking and insightful.

The book follows a structured direction, tracing the origins and development of modern macroeconomics in historical perspective around the main schools of macroeconomic thought through to the focus of much current

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