FOR YEARS many teachers of economics and other professional economists have felt the need of a series of books on economic subjects which is not filled by the usual textbook or by the highly technical treatise.
This present series, published under the general title of The Economics Handbook Series, was planned with these needs in mind. Designed first of all for students, the volumes are useful in the ever-growing field of adult education and also are of interest to the informed general reader.
The volumes are not long--they give the essentials of the subject matter within the limits of a few hundred pages; they present a distillate of accepted theory and practice, without the detailed approach of the technical treatise. Each volume is a unit, standing on its own.
The authors are scholars, each writing on an economic subject of which he is an authority. In this series the author's first task was not to make important contributions to knowledge--although many of them do--but so to present his subject matter that his work as a scholar will carry its maximum influence outside as well as inside the classroom. The time has come to redress the balance between the energies spent on the creation of new ideas and on their dissemination. Economic ideas are unproductive if they do not spread beyond the world of scholars. Popularizers without technical competence, unqualified textbook writers, and sometimes even charlatans control too large a part of the market for economic ideas.
In the classroom The Economics Handbook Series will serve, it is hoped, as brief surveys in one-semester courses, as supplementary reading in introductory courses, and in other courses in which the subject is related.
In this book, Professor Raymond Mikesell deals with major issues of international economic policies: the balance of payments, assistance and loan policies, inclusive of the European Recovery Program, dollar shortage, tariff and other restrictive policies, the International Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank, foreign exchange rates, and exchange controls. The reader will find in this book the major facets of the substantial issues in the area of international economic policies discussed and opposing positions weighed. Preliminary to the discussion of the significant problems of the last ten years, Professor Mikesell presents a brief historical survey.