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.
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).
PART ONE: STUDYING ECONOMICS 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 PART TWO: ECONOMIC GROWTH AND CHANGE 8. Understanding growth and change 9. Theories of economic growth 10. Institutional studies of economic development 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 PART THREE: DEMANDS FOR GOODS & SERVICES 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 PART FOUR: THE PRODUCTIVE INSTITUTIONS 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 PART FIVE: THE DISTRIBUTIVE INSTITUTIONS 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 PART SIX: ECONOMIC STRATEGY 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 Index