This new introductory text invites students to go beyond graphs and equations, to grasp the essential ideas of economics, and in so doing, to better understand the world in which they live.
This volume takes the liberal arts view of economics as political economy - that is, as a social science. The economic theory of social cooperation - of collaboration and trade between two persons and the bases of collective action - is a basic element running through the text. So is the theory of inefficient cooperation and non-cooperation.
The focus of the text is on the debates between the classical defenders of the market as a useful institution for individual welfare with social justice and various opponents who argue for extensive government intervention to replace or repair the market's defects. It carries the theme of conflicting views towards the market economy to the present with clear, carefully developed discussions of the modern theories of how markets work and the present-day struggle between the New Classical and New Keynesian schools in monetary economics.
Part 1 introduces the scope and characteristics methods of economics. Part 2 takes up the sources and problems of cooperation in two-party situations. Multilateral cooperation, particularly the rise of law and markets, occupies Part 3. The classical case for reliance on markets within certain limits - made first by Adam Smith and steadily refined over the centuries - is the subject of Part 4, while Part 5 takes up critiques of the market made by Marx and the New Left, and their case for non-market remedies for its flaws. Part 6 then presents the moderninst models of labor markets, and capital markets that have developed in recent years. Part 7 then expounds the Keynesian criticism of markets and the controversy it has sparked.