Economics : A New Introduction

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This book provides a fresh introduction to real economics. Highlighting the complex and changing nature of economic activity, this wide-ranging text employs a pragmatic mix of old and new methods to examine the role of values and theoretical beliefs in economic life and in economists' understanding of it.

It attends to the problems which have come with high productivity, rapidly changing technology and skills, changing proportions of earning and non-earning years in most people's lives, and a faltering revolution in childhood and parenting which has brought stress and over-work for many women.

It addresses such issues as rising poverty, inequality, insecurity and the slow progress of environmental reform. In focusing on such abuses of affluence the text draws on institutional, Keynesian, green and feminist theories, while emphasising all approaches to understanding economic life.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 864 pages
  • 192 x 244 x 48.26mm | 1,610.25g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0745315313
  • 9780745315317
  • 803,709

Table of contents


1. What you can know, what you can't know

2. Causes & effects (1) The need to select

3. Causes & effects (2) How to select

4. Explanations and equations

5. The controversial language of economics

6. Efficiency, welfare and the scope of economics

7. Skills and values you will need


8. Understanding growth and change

9. Theories of economic growth

10. Institutional studies of economic


11. Some economic histories

12. Changing modes of production and sources of income

13. Technology

14. Wants

15. Childhood

16. Threatened social capital

17 Threatened natural resources

18. The rich democracies now


19. Dual demands: for goods & services, and for modes of supply

20. How are wants and tastes formed?

21. How do prices, incomes and tastes

influence demand?

22. The elasticity of demand


23. People as producers

24. Household histories

25. Household capital

26. Housing policies

27. Households: a summary

28. Business powers

29. Theories about firms' purposes

30. How firms work

31. Costs of production: analysis

32. Costs of production: four ways to fix wages

33. Costs of production: how firms minimize their costs

34. How firms price their products

35. How firms invest

36. What private enterprises need from

government: a summary

37. Public growth

38. Public efficiency

39. What public enterprises need from government


40. Market theory

41. Market practice

42. Market examples

43. The composition & distribution

of wealth

44. The composition & distribution of income

45. Income policies

46. Taxation


47. The parts and the whole

48. Economic structure

49. How free should trade be?

50. Money and banking: national

51. Money and banking: international

52. Inflation

53. Employment

54. Global markets: Interactive effects of inadequately governed economic structure, trade, banking, exchange and employment

55. An open economy

56. A federal economy

57. Free-trading independence

58. Protected independence

59. Ex-communist options

60. Democracy in a global economy

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Review quote

'Extremely well-written ... blends a basic grounding in theory with well-judged and genuinely interesting case studies. The text, unlike many others in the field, is actually readable and enjoyable and should attract students rather than repel them as so many do' -- Derek Braddon, University of the West of England 'Exactly what is needed for the thoughtful and concerned student. It introduces the reader to the many different skills required in economics: analysis, a knowledge of history and institutions, philosophical concepts, quantitative precision, judgement, relevance and a sense of time and place.' -- G.C. Harcourt, Cambridge University
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About Hugh Stretton

Hugh Stretton studied law and classics at Melbourne University, history at Oxford University, and

economics as a visiting fellow at Princeton University. He has been a Fellow and Dean of Balliol College, Oxford and taught at Smith College, Massachusetts, Professor of History and Research Fellow in Economics at the University of Adelaide. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academies of the Humanities and the Social Sciences. His most recent book is Public Goods, Public Enterprise, Public Choice: Theoretical Foundations of the Contemporary Attack on Government (coauthored with Lionel Orchard).
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Rating details

4 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 25% (1)
4 25% (1)
3 50% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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