How do the major economic issues that dominate today's news—questions about gross domestic product or budget deficits or trade imbalances—impact the average citizen? Why are health insurance and college tuition increasingly expensive? What can be done about soaring energy prices?
In Modern Economic Issues, Professor Robert Whaples has crafted a course designed to answer just these sorts of questions—a primer in 21st-century economics for the non-economist. He first presents the results of a survey of professional economists around the country on what they consider today's most urgent economic issues—the ones all of us most need to understand. Professor Whaples then puts his award-winning teaching skills to work to shape an accessible course, explaining not only those urgent issues but also the raw data economists use to describe their shape and impact.
The result is a course that finally makes the connection between the economics you may have studied in school and the economics of the lives we experience every day.
For example, how do you make the decisions—big and small—that make up your daily life?
What factors come into play when you're deciding whether to buy this car or that one, or even commute by bus? Mow the lawn or take a nap? Grill a burger with a bubbling slice of cheese or eat a simple salad?
Most economists will tell you that you make decisions on this personal level by acting as what they would call a "rational maximizer," comparing, whether explicitly or implicitly, what you expect to gain from your decision against what you expect to give up.
You weigh comfort and convenience against the rising cost of gasoline. The need to maintain your home's "curb appeal" against your need for sleep in a much-too-busy life. Your raw craving for that burger against the realities of an expanding waistline.
1What Economists Know about Economic Policy
2Economy Up or Down? How to Tell
3Economists' View of the Future
4Productivity and Productivity Growth
5Inflation—Why the Measure Matters
6Unemployment—A Global Perspective
8The Fallacy of Trade Barriers
9Trade Imbalances and Saving
10Budget Deficits—Past, Present, and Future
11Taxes and the Income Tax Code
12Rx for Social Security
13Economic Answers for an Aging Population
14Financing World-class Health Care
15Supply, Demand, and the Future of Oil
16Pollution—Tax or Trade?
17Global Climate Change—Costs and Benefits
18Minimum Wage and the Poverty Rate
19It Pays to Be Married
20Pay Gaps by Sex and Race
21Economic Impact of Immigration
22Labor Unions in Contemporary Economics
23Productivity Trends in Schools
24Higher Education—Supply and Demand
25Wal-Mart and Productivity Growth
26Corporate Governance in a Strong Economy
27Zero-Sum Game of Conspicuous Consumption
28Economic Upside of Postal Reforms
29Is Everything a Commodity?
30Economics of the Baseball Industry
31Examining Economic Response to Terrorism
32Helping Poor Countries
33Upsides and Downsides of Urban Sprawl
34Economic Costs and Benefits of Gambling
35Economists’ View of Overeating
36American Economy in the 21st Century