With its clear and engaging writing style, ESSENTIALS OF ECONOMICS, Sixth Edition, continues to be one of the most popular books on economics available today. Mankiw emphasizes material that you are likely to find interesting about the economy (particularly if you are studying economics for the first time), including real-life scenarios, useful facts, and the many ways economic concepts play a role in the decisions you make every day.
Economics is a study of mankind in the ordinary business of life. So wrote Alfred Marshall, the great 19th-century economist, in his textbook Principles of Economics. Although we have learned much about the economy since Marshall’s time, this definition of economics is as true today as it was in 1890, when the first edition of his text was published.
Three reasons why you should study Economics
The First Reason
It will help you understand the world in which you live. There are many questions about the economy that might spark your curiosity. Why are apartments so hard to find in New York City ? Why do airlines charge less for a round-trip ticket if the traveler stays over a Saturday night ? Why is Johnny Depp paid so much to star in movies ? Why are living standards so meager in many African Countries? Why do some countries have high rates of inflation while others have stable prices ? Why are jobs easy to find in some years and hart to find in others ? These are just a few of the questions that a course in economics will help you answer.
The Second Reason
It will make you a more astute participant in the economy. As you go about your life, you make many economic decisions. While you are a student, you decide how many years to stay in school. Once you take a job, you decide how much of your income to spend, how much to save, and how to invest your savings. Someday you may find yourself running a small business or a large corporation, and you will decide what prices to charge for your products. The insights developed in the coming chapters will give you a new perspective on how best to make these decisions. Studying economics will not by itself make you rich, but it will give you some tools that may help in that endeavor.
The Third Reason
It will give you a better understanding of both the potential and the limits of economic policy. Economic questions are always on the minds of policymakers in mayors’ offices, governors’s mansions, and the White House. What are the burdens associated with alternative forms of taxation ? What are the effects of tree trade with other countries? What is the best way to protect the environment? How does a government budget deficit affect the economy? As a voter, you help choose the policies that guide the allocation of society’s resources. An understanding of economics will help you carry out that responsibility. And who knows, perhaps someday you will end up as one of those policymakers yourself.
The principles of economics can be applied in many of life’s situations. Whether the future finds you reading the newspaper, running a business, or sitting in the Oval Office, you will be glad that you studied economics.
Content and Chapters preview
- Part 1 – Introduction
- Ten Principles of Economics
- Thinking Like an Economist
- Interdependence and the Gains from Trade
- Part 2 – How Markets Work
- The Market Forces of Supply and Demand
- Elasticity and Its Application
- Supply, Demand, and Government Policies
- Part 3 – Markets and Welfare
- Consumers, Producers, and the Efficiency of Markets
- Application: The Costs of Taxation
- Application: International Trade
- Part 4 – The Economics of the Public Sector
- Public Goods and Common Resources
- Part 5 – Firm Behavior and the Organisation of Industry
- The Costs of Protection
- Firms in Competitive Markets
- Part 6 – The Data of Macroeconomics
- Measuring a Nation’s Income
- Measuring the Cost of Living
- Part 7 – The Real Economy in the Long Run
- Production and Growth
- Saving, Investment, and the Financial System
- The Basic Tools of Finance
- Part 8 – Money and Prices in the Long Run
- The Monetary System
- Money Growth and inflation
- Part 9 – Short-Run Economic Fluctuations
- Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply
- The Influence of Monetary and Fiscal Policy on Aggregate Demand
Hardcover: 592 pages
Publisher: Cengage Learning; 6 edition (February 9, 2011)
10.1 x 8.5 x 1.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
About the author
Professor Mankiw is a prolific writer and a regular participant in academic and policy debates. His research includes work on price adjustment, consumer behavior, financial markets, monetary and fiscal policy, and economic growth. His published articles have appeared in academic journals, such as the “American Economic Review”, “Journal of Political Economy”, and “Quarterly Journal of Economics”, and in more widely accessible forums, such as “The New York Times”, “The Washington Post”, “The Wall Street Journal”, and “Fortune”.
He has written two popular textbooks–the intermediate-level textbook Macroeconomics (Worth Publishers) and the introductory textbook Principles of Economics (South-Western/Thomson). Principles of Economics has sold over a million copies and has been translated into twenty languages.
In addition to his teaching, research, and writing, Professor Mankiw has been a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, an adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Congressional Budget Office, and a member of the ETS test development committee for the advanced placement exam in economics. From 2003 to 2005 he served as Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.