Economics for Policy Makers: A Guide for Non-Economists, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Economics for Policy Makers

A Guide for Non-Economists, 1st Edition

By Gustavo Rinaldi

Routledge

330 pages | 44 B/W Illus.

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Description

Certain key economic decisions taken by organizations and indeed countries are often not made by economists but by businessmen, trade unionists, politicians and policy-makers. Those who employ people, those who represent workers, those who make laws and those who elect them need economics but may have little time or desire to study it.

This book makes economics easily available to everyone. The author’s use of simple language and avoidance of technical jargon provides non-economists with a better understanding of economic reasoning and the tools "to know and to decide". The author achieves this through introducing key concepts in short presentations and arming the reader with selected press articles and recent research using these concepts. An analysis of these demonstrates how a general concept can be derived from a specific context and highlighted questions provide the basis for further debate. The reader can then focus on the parts most relevant to their own needs.

This book will have great appeal to employers, trade unionists and public officials attending courses organized by international institutions, professional training providers, as well as graduate students of courses where economics is an important element, especially in relation to its policy implications. Finally, it is invaluable for anybody who has wanted to learn the basics of practical economics but has been deterred by its technicalities.

Reviews

"This exceptionally useful book does exactly what the title claims: it explains economics simply, in words and graphs. Those without much, if any, training in the subject who find themselves having to deal with its underlying concepts and measurements regularly, which is most people in business and policymaking, will find this an invaluable guide. It will take a bit of effort to work through it. But nothing worthwhile is easy. The reward will be much greater understanding of the economy, economics and economists." — Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times

"This book is easy and clear reading, rich in practical examples and case studies of the issues decision makers in the private and the public sectors face daily. The book is full of ideas, tools and thought-frameworks that are crucial for business leaders who wish to influence policies that foster businesses to flourish and countries to develop." — Deborah France-Massin, Director, Bureau of Employers’ Activities, ILO Geneva.

"Economics for Policy Makers is a must read for business leaders and trade unionists, but also for any development practitioner who is "daily in contact", but not familiar or even "scared" by macro and micro economics. With a very practical approach highlighting the applications of economic principles to real situations, the book helps in better understanding which are the different policy options for decision makers and in explaining the impact of government policies and business strategies on economic growth and social development." — Paolo Salvai, Senior Programme Officer, International Training Centre of the ILO

"Prof. Rinaldi’s book is an excellent introduction into economic analysis for practitioners in the field of collective bargaining. I am certain that this book will become an essential reading for anybody trying to prepare for collective negotiations, be it at the level of an individual company, in sectoral or occupational representations or at the level of national tripartite institutions." — Dr Ekkehard Ernst, Research Department, International Labour Organisation

Table of Contents

Foreword

Acknowledgments

MICROECONOMICS

Part I INTRODUCTION

Chapter 1 ECONOMIC PROFIT

1.1 The Value of the Best Foregone Alternative: The Opportunity Cost

1.2 Sunk Costs vs Recoverable Costs

1.3 Accounting Profit

1.4 The Economic Profit: Comparing Two Scenarios

1.5 Different Objectives of the Firms

Chapter 2 VALUE ADDED

2.1 Intermediate Consumption and Value Added

2.2 Value Added and Vertical Integration

Part II PRODUCTION AND COSTS

Chapter 3 PRODUCTION AND PRODUCTIVITY

3.1 Rigid and Flexible Production Techniques

3.2 The Measurement of Efficiency

3.3 Marginal Productivity

3.4 The Cornerstone of Industrial Negotiations: Unit Labour Cost

Chapter 4 COSTS

4.1 Fixed Costs and Variable Costs

4.2 Marginal and Average Costs

4.3 Types of Costs

4.4 The Supply: Is the Firm Ready to Sell a Certain Quantity? At What Price?

4.5 A Special Cost: The Cost of Using the Market or Transaction Cost

Chapter 5 ECONOMIES OF SCALE

5.1 Reducing the Average Cost of a Firm

5.2 The Causes of Economies of Scale

5.3 The Limits to Economies of Scale

5.4 The Minimum Efficient Size and Concentration

Part III CUSTOMERS AND COMPETITORS

Chapter 6 DEMAND FOR THE PRODUCTS OF AN INDUSTRY AND OF A MONOPOLIST

6.1 An Industry and the Demand for its Product

6.2 Demand and Supply

6.3 Total Revenue and Marginal Revenue

6.4 Price-Elasticity

6.5 The Effects of Income on Demand: Income-Elasticity

6.6 Price Cross-Elasticity: Complements and Substitutes

Chapter 7 MARKET ENVIRONMENTS

7.1 Monopoly

7.2 Perfect Competition

7.3 Oligopoly

7.4 Monopolistic Competition

MACROECONOMICS

Part IV INTRODUCTION TO MACROECONOMICS

Chapter 8 KEY WORDS OF NATIONAL ACCOUNTS

8.1 Supply (Sources) of Goods: Production (GDP) and Imports

8.2 Uses of Goods: Household Consumption, Private Investment, Government

Spending and Export

Chapter 9 MONEY AND PRICES

9.1 Money and other Financial Assets

9.2 The Demand for and Supply of Money and the Interest Rate

9.3 Money Supply and Prices

9.4 How much inflation is "too much"?

Part V FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS

Chapter 10 THE FOREIGN TRADE OF GOODS: EXPORTS AND IMPORTS

10.1 The Quality of Goods

10.2 The (Nominal) Exchange Rate and the Exchange Rate Regimes

10.3 The Real Exchange Rate

10.4 The Determinants of Imports

10.5 The Determinants of Exports

Chapter 11 FINANCIAL MOVEMENTS

11.1 Main Types of Financial Movements

11.2 Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Portfolio Investments

11.3 Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

11.4 The Freedom of Movement of Capital

Chapter 12 INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTS

12.1 The Current Account of the Balance of Payments

12.2 The Capital Account of the Balance of Payments

12.3 The Financial Account of the Balance of Payments

12.4 The International Investment Position (IIP)

Part VI FISCAL POLICY

Chapter 13 MONETARY TRANSFERS: TAXES, BENEFITS, SUBSIDIES AND SOCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS

13.1 General Taxation: Taxes not Earmarked to Fund Specific Expenses

13.2 Earmarked Monetary Transfers Between Private Subjects and Government:

Social Contributions, Pensions and Benefits

13.3 The Macroeconomic Effects of Taxes (and Social Contributions)

Chapter 14 GOVERNMENT SPENDING ON GOODS AND SERVICES

14.1 Public Employment

14.2 Public Procurement

Chapter 15 PUBLIC SPENDING ON EDUCATION, TRAINING, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (R&D)

15.1 Education and Training

15.2 Public Expenditure in R&D

15.3 Government Expenditure in Education and R&D and its Macroeconomic Effects

Chapter 16 PUBLIC DEFICIT AND PUBLIC DEBT

16.1 The Public Budget and the Public Deficit

16.2 The Public Debt and the Market for Sovereign Bonds

16.3 The Sustainability of a Public Debt

Part VII PRIVATE DEMAND

Chapter 17 HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION: THE MAIN DESTINATION OF

GOODS AND SERVICES

17.1 The Main Features of Household Consumption

17.2 The Determinants of Consumption

17.3 Disposable Income Which is not Consumed: Savings

Chapter 18 PRIVATE INVESTMENT: SUPPLYING THE PRIVATE SECTOR WITH

NEW CAPITAL

18.1 The Net Present Value (NPV) Method for Firms’ Investment Decision

18.2 The Main Features of Investment

Part VIII THE LABOUR MARKET AND INEQUALITY

Chapter 19 THE LABOUR MARKET

19.1 A Basic Description of Labour Market Stocks and Flows

19.2 Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM)

19.3 The Determinants of Salaries

19.4 Economic Growth and Unemployment

19.5 Unemployment and Prices

Chapter 20 INCOME DISTRIBUTION AND ITS EFFECTS

20.1 The Nature of Inequality

20.2 The Change of Inequality and its Effects

20.3 Causes of and Remedies for Inequality

APPENDIX – INDEXES OF COMPETITIVENESS

A) Global Competitiveness Index (GCI)

B) World Competitiveness Ranking (WCR)

C) Doing Business Indicators (DBI)

D) Discussion

Index

About the Author

Gustavo Rinaldi, Ph.D., is a lecturer in macroeconomics at the University of Turin, Italy, and an ILO consultant.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS000000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / General
BUS069000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General