Summary of Economics

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  • Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • Engaging


True to his subtitle, economist Ha-Joon Chang provides an accessible tutorial on economics and on several approaches to analyzing economic phenomena. His purpose is to offer a truer, more comprehensive picture of societal and individual economic consequences than you generally receive from the predominant neoclassical theory. Chang wants you, as a user of the economy, to learn how it works and how it affects you. Toward that goal, his primer facilitates various levels of study by suggesting reading sequences cherry-picked from the book: Skimming the chapter titles and their introductory pages will take you 10 minutes. If you have more time, dip into different sections and zip through the convenient summaries that dot the book. Warning: You may become so engrossed in Chang’s straightforward and engaging style that you end up reading the whole book. getAbstract recommends this refreshing manual to the lay reader who’d like a crash course in economics.

About the Author

Ha-Joon Chang teaches at Cambridge University. He wrote several other bestsellers, including 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism.



Citizen Participants Could Improve Economic Policy

Most people view economics as too difficult to understand. Over the past several decades, experts have presented economics as a natural science, similar to physics, with immutable principles, mathematical rigor, highly specialized terminology and questions that can have only one correct answer. As a result, laypeople tend to defer to economists as the authorities in this field and to refrain from participating in economic debate.

However, while economics is complex, unlike physics, it isn’t a science in the traditional sense. Economics doesn’t have static laws because it is about people and their behaviors, which constantly change and don’t always react in the ways that various theories might suggest.

Individuals, organizations, governments and countries interact as participants in an economy; they each have selfish goals that may not aim exclusively at maximizing profit. All levels of participants learn from experience and adapt their actions, sometimes independently and sometimes in coordination with each other.

Thus, a subject-based presentation of economics can help individuals deal with quotidian...

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