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TABLE OF CONTENTS List of boxes Preface 1. Introduction. PART I. THE SUBJECT OF ECONOMICS 2. What Economists Do I. What economics encompasses II. How economists work III. Some Characteristics of Economics Appendix A. Unrealistic Assumptions can a Good Theory Make Appendix B. Is the Stock Market Efficient? 3. How Well Do They Do It? I. Forecasting II. Choosing the Right Polices: the Problem of Value Judgments III. Implementing Economic Policies IV. Biases V. Disagreements among Economists Appendix: A Survey of American Academic Economists¿ Opinions. PART II. SOME INFRASTRUCTURE 4. Beguiling Words I. Some widely used terms and phrases II. Some Terms and Phrases relating to Economics and Politics 5. Important Economic Ideas: Often Misunderstood I. Levels vs. Rates of Change II. Stocks vs. Flows III. Real vs. Nominal dollars IV. Future vs. Current dollars V. The Price Level vs. Prices VI. Stable Prices vs. Low Prices VII. Gross vs. net, and Single vs. double counting VIII. Opportunity Costs vs. Monetary Costs IX. Cost Benefit Analysis X. Wage Rates vs. Labor Costs XII. Capital Goods vs. Human Capital XII. Marginal vs. Average Utility XIII. Marginal vs. Average Costs XIV. Big Business vs. Market Power XV. Pro- Market vs. Pro-Business XVI. "Should" and "Can" vs. "Will" XVII. Comparative vs. Absolute Advantage PART III. Economic Theory and Policy 6. The Crown Jewel of Economics: The Price Mechanism I. An overview of the price mechanism II. Equilibrium III. Shortages IV. A Digression: The Equilibrium of the Firm V. What happens in the absence of a price mechanism? VI. The dark side of the price mechanism VII. The Upshot Appendix. More on Supply and Demand 7. Risk Taking and Incentives I. Risk bearing and entrepreneurship II Incentives 8. Looking Around Corners I. Do Easier Bankruptcy Laws Help the Poor? II. Giving Artists a Share of the Gain when their Work is Resold III. Do we want Fewer People Exploiting the Poor? IV. Cut the Gas Tax to Ameliorate the effect of Soaring Gas Prices? V. A Costless Way to Alleviate Poverty in Third World Countries? VI. Ban or Fine all Speculators? VII. Limiting Tobacco Advertising VIII. Importing Pharmaceuticals from Canada IX. An Efficient and Humane Way to reduce Cocaine Production? X. Protecting Lives by Requiring Use of Seat Belts? XI. Auctions and Bidders XII. Fast Chinese growth bad for the United States? XIII. In Emergencies should Prices Ration Supply so that the Rich outbid the Poor? XIV. Is Gaining from Someone¿s Misfortune a Moral Wrong? XV. Should those Close at Hand have special Responsibility to alleviate Misery? XVI. Seven Short Ones XVII. On the other Hand 9. Looking Around More Corners: Environmental Issues I. Running out of Privately Owned Natural Resources II. The Tragedy of the Commons. III. Pollution Permits and Taxes on Pollutants IV. Tail-pipe Pollutants V. Protecting Endangered Species PART IV. LOOKING AT DATA 10. Empirical Economics I Role of Empirical Work in Economics II. Types of Empirical Evidence III. What to watch out for in Statistics: some General Appendix A: Survey Data Appendix B: Measuring GDP, Savings Rates, Price Indexes, Employment and Poverty 11. Some Simple (?) Ways of Presenting Data: Percentages, Figures and Graphs I. Percentages II. Figures and Graphs 12. Samples and their Problems I. Selecting a Representative Sample II. Watching for Inappropriate Samples III. The Regression Fallacy: building a Bias into the Sample IV. Sample Size and Coincidence V. Sampling Error, Confidence Intervals and Significance VI. Some Warnings about Significance Tests Appendix: the Normal Distribution 13. Regressions: The Workhorse of Empirical Economics I. The Regression Coefficient II. How well does the Regression fit the Data? III. What Should you Look at in a Regression? IV. A Summing Up V. Looking the Workhorse in the Mouth VI. In Conclusion 14. Some Examples of Empirical Economics I. Consumption and saving II. Should you choose a large Mutual Fund? III. The Slave Trade and African Economic Development IV. The Effect of a Tax Change on real GDP. Epilogue Index
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