Interest in economics is at an all-time high. Among the challenges facing the nation is an economy with rapidly rising unemployment, failures of major businesses and industries, and continued dependence on oil with its wildly fluctuating price. Americans are debating the proper role of the government in company bailouts, the effectiveness of tax cuts versus increased government spending to stimulate the economy, and potential effects of deflation. Economists have dealt with such questions for generations, but they have taken on new meaning and significance.
Tackling these questions and encompassing analysis of traditional economic theory and topics as well as those that economists have only more recently addressed, 21st Century Economics: A Reference Handbook is intended to meet the needs of several types of readers. Undergraduate students preparing for exams will find summaries of theory and models in key areas of micro and macroeconomics. Readers interested in learning about economic analysis of an issue as well students embarking on research projects will find introductions to relevant theory and empirical evidence. And economists seeking to learn about extensions of analysis into new areas or about new approaches will benefit from chapters that introduce cutting-edge topics. To make the book accessible to undergraduate students, models have been presented only in graphical format (minimal calculus) and empirical evidence has been summarized in ways that do not require much background in statistics or econometrics. It is thereby hoped that chapters will provide both crucial information and inspiration in a non-threatening, highly readable format.