You are previewing The Complete Idiot's Guide to Economics, 2nd Edition.
O'Reilly logo
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Economics, 2nd Edition

Book Description

Dollars and sense.

For both general readers and students, The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Economics, Second Edition, clearly explains macroeconomics and microeconomics, covering the dynamics of the markets, consumer behavior, business, budgets and taxation, recession and expansion, unemployment and inflation, fiscal policy, and international trade. This user-friendly second edition also discusses depression, wartime economics, and situational economics such as healthcare and energy.

? With the economy topping the headlines every day, the timing is right for a second edition

? Will appeal to anyone getting an MBA or taking economics courses, as well as general readers who want to learn about economics in terms they can understand

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Introduction
  4. Acknowledgements
  5. Part 1 - Economics Explains It All
    1. Chapter 1 - Who Gets What, and How?
      1. What Is Economics and Who Cares?
      2. Macroeconomics and Microeconomics
      3. Applying Economics
      4. A Firm Base
      5. Getting Organized: Command, Market, and Mixed Economies
      6. Three Key Economists and Their Theories
      7. The Dismal Science?
    2. Chapter 2 - GDP and the Players Three
      1. All Together Now: C + I + G
      2. GDP Is “The Economy”
      3. Consumers: Buyers, Buyers Everywhere
      4. Investment: Business Buys as Well as Sells
      5. Government: He’s Your Uncle, Not Your Dad
      6. Imports and Exports
      7. It All Adds Up
    3. Chapter 3 - The Economist’s Toolbox
      1. Numbers Please: Economic Data
      2. Watch Out!
    4. Chapter 4 - Supply, Demand, and the Invisible Hand
      1. Demand: Wants, Needs, and Red Meat
      2. Demand Change!
      3. Back to the Curve
      4. Supply: You Want It, We Got It
      5. Change Supply!
      6. Equilibrium: Mr. Demand, Meet Mr. Supply
      7. It’s Not Just a Good Idea, It’s “The Law”
    5. Chapter 5 - Look at These Prices!
      1. Let’s Stretch: Elasticity of Demand
      2. What Determines Elasticity?
      3. Tinkering with Markets
  6. Part 2 - Capitalism at Work
    1. Chapter 6 - Buyer Be Where?
      1. What’s the Use? Demand and Utility
      2. Milk and/or Cookies
    2. Chapter 7 - Income, Outgo, and Investment
      1. Where Income Comes From
      2. Propensity to Save and to Consume
      3. Spend or Save?
      4. Meanwhile, At the National Level
      5. The Importance of Investment
      6. How Investment Flows Through the Economy
    3. Chapter 8 - The Business of Business
      1. Business Realities
      2. What’s a Business Person to Do?
      3. Why the Big Get Bigger
      4. Monopoly and Oligopoly
      5. Meanwhile, Out in the Marketplace
    4. Chapter 9 - Wages, Workers, and the Workplace
      1. Fighting Over the Pie?
      2. The State of the Unions
      3. Discrimination Doesn’t Pay
      4. What Works?
    5. Chapter 10 - To Have and Have Not
      1. What Is Poverty?
      2. Who’s Got How Much?
      3. Why Incomes Are Becoming More Unequal
      4. What’s the Government’s Role?
      5. Other Aspects of Wealth and Poverty
      6. The Ultimate Issue: Quality of Life
  7. Part 3 - The Government and the Economy
    1. Chapter 11 - The Ups and Downs of the Business Cycle
      1. What Is the Business Cycle?
      2. The Inflation-Unemployment Trade-Off
      3. Changes in the Cycle
      4. The Great Recession
      5. Serious Depression
      6. Booms and Busts
      7. Look Out Below: Falling Prices
    2. Chapter 12 - Hey, Big Spender! The Federal Budget
      1. The Role of Government in a Capitalist Economy
      2. The Government Share of the Economy
      3. The Biggies: Social Security and Medicare
      4. Government Agencies That Affect the Economy
      5. Government: The Enemy?
    3. Chapter 13 - Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth
      1. Government’s Unique Situation
      2. Of Deficits and Debt
      3. So Who’s Right About Fiscal Policy?
  8. Part 4 - Money, the Banking System, and Policy
    1. Chapter 14 - The Color—and Velocity—of Money
      1. What Is Money?
      2. In Circulation: The Velocity of Money
      3. Where We’re Going
    2. Chapter 15 - The Banks’ Bank: The Federal Reserve
      1. A Bank for All Reasons
      2. A Bit of Background on Banking
      3. Monetary Moves
      4. How Money Is Created
      5. Modern Money Creation
    3. Chapter 16 - Monetary Policy: The Gas and the Brakes
      1. Monetary Policy in Action
      2. Let’s Look at the Record
      3. The Fed’s Response to the 2008 Financial Crisis
      4. The Fed’s Expanding Balance Sheet
      5. Fed Watching
  9. Part 5 - The Global Economy
    1. Chapter 17 - International Trade: Exports, Imports, etc.
      1. Exports, Imports—Why Bother?
      2. The Argument for Free Trade
      3. Arguments Against Free Trade
      4. The Rise of China
      5. Barriers to International Trade
      6. International Trade Agreements
      7. Let’s Trade
    2. Chapter 18 - International Finance
      1. About Foreign Exchange
      2. Effect on Imports, Exports, and GDP
      3. Trade Deficits: Bad or Good?
      4. The International Monetary System
      5. The Dollar and the U.S. Economy
    3. Chapter 19 - The Global Economy
      1. A Three-Part World?
      2. The World’s Economies
      3. High Sovereign Debt
      4. Production and Income Classifications
      5. A Worldwide Market?
      6. What Does the Future Hold?
  10. Part 6 - Situational Economics
    1. Chapter 20 - U.S. Health Care—On Life Support?
      1. Public Good or Private Good?
      2. The U.S. Approach
      3. What Is Health Insurance?
      4. Health-Care Reform or Insurance Reform?
      5. Why the U.S. System Is So Hard to Change
      6. Why the Current System Is Unsustainable
      7. The Private Insurance Dilemma
      8. Options for Reform of the U.S. Health-Care System
    2. Chapter 21 - The Economics of Sustainable Growth
      1. Sustainability, Politics, and Policies
      2. Aspects of Sustainability
      3. Environmental Impact and Natural Resources
      4. Population and Nutrition Issues
      5. Energy Availability and Usage
      6. Infrastructure
      7. Innovation and Education
      8. Factors Working For and Against U.S. Sustainability
      9. Meanwhile, Around the World
    3. Chapter 22 - Learning to “Read” the Economy
      1. Words of Caution
      2. Go Directly to the Sources
      3. Do-It-Yourself Economic Watch
      4. Why Interest Rates Are of Interest
      5. Heads Up
    4. Chapter 23 - Everyday Economics
      1. All Economics Is Local
      2. Personal Business and Economics
      3. Economics and Citizenship: Understanding the Issues
  11. Appendix - Additional Resources
    1. Associat ions
    2. Government Agencies
    3. Economic Information Companies
    4. Books
  12. Index