Economics: Progression, Stagnation or Degeneration?

Glass, J.C.

Many students are drawn to the study of economics by the wide range of interesting topics (such as inflation, wages, unemployment, income distribution, resource allocation, economic growth, pollution, international trade, balance of payments, exchange rates, etc.) that are studied under the general heading of economics. In particular, many students are keen to take at least an introductory course in economics in order to enhance their understanding not only of how the economy works, but also of the problems involved in current public debates over government economic policy. Such students often expect to find decisive answers to the important economic questions which quickly emerge from the analysis of the above topics. They do not, however, have to progress very far into an introductory economics course before they discover that such decisive answers are lacking. Instead of finding that just one theory has been proposed to explain certain economic phenomena, they quickly discover that two or more rival theories have been advanced in an attempt to explain them, and that not only is there often considerable disagreement among the proponents of these theories, bu.t also that these rival theories form the basis for very different (and even directly conflicting) economic policy recommendations. this book which, as the subtitle points out, is intended to provide an introduction to the methodological issues involved in assessing the growth of economic knowledge.

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