Is Economics Dead?

By Miller, Theone | Teaching Business & Economics, Summer 2013 | Go to article overview

Is Economics Dead?


Miller, Theone, Teaching Business & Economics


Is Economics Dead?, Chris Vidier, Woodbine Publications, 2013, 221 pages, £9.99, ISBN 978 0 95755 360 6

It is clear throughout this book that Chris Vidier is a teacher with examiner experience and that this comprehensive book on economics is written primarily for students studying economics for the first time. The book is written as a discussion of the usefulness and effectiveness of traditional economic theory and models in explaining both long-standing and current economic conditions. In his book, Chris questions the basis and validity of models commonly used which have very little, if any, empirical underpinning.

Chris references significant works on economics as well as connected literature. How many books explain the works of Aristotle, Plato, Malthus, Galbraith, Donaldson, Adam Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Keynes and Robbins in a relevant context and in a way that ALevel pupils can understand? This both highlights the author's authority in writing on the subject and provokes further reading and research on the part of the reader. Many textbooks seem to leave these relevant fathers of economics out of the picture altogether and give the briefest of mentions to their contribution to our understanding of how economic systems function. The book remedies this in an easy to understand way, which enhances students' grasp of the development of the theories they are expected to learn and evaluate in their exams.

Each chapter contains a historical discussion of the origins of the relevant theory to help the reader understand the development and context of particular theories. The book is full of incredibly useful and necessary diagrams throughout, which makes it clear that the book is informed by examiner reports, which repeat year-on-year that A-Level candidates do not illustrate their points sufficiently with diagrams.

Vidler's book follows most awarding body specifications closely in their delivery of content, once again proving this book a valuable resource for students. He starts with an explanation of the purpose of economics in Chapter 1 by describing the development of the scientific method, as well as the development of modern economic thinking. He offers a clear explanation of econometrics and behavioural economics in which the major figures mentioned above are explained in context.

The traditional questions of what to produce, how to produce it and who should benefit from production are discussed in the context of widening inequalities globally and in the UK. …

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