For CEOs-to-be, with or without calculus

Managerial Economics for Decision Making. First edition - Managerial Economics

May 28, 2004

These texts are written for students whose main interest is in business and management at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Both use cases from the UK and elsewhere in Europe, but they have different student groups in mind, different styles and achieve different goals.

The book by John Adams and Linda Juleff assumes no prior knowledge of economics. The authors concentrate on economics directly applicable to managerial decisions and on making the text readable without oversimplifying important concepts.

Each chapter (three on the macroeconomic environment, six on the firm and competitive strategy, three on investment decisions) has a clear practical agenda and provides a compact but rigorous account of relevant concepts.

Basic algebra is used where this is helpful, but diagrams and mathematics are used sparingly and calculus is avoided. The style is interactive, with excellent self-assessment questions throughout each chapter to prompt readers to think about the practical significance of ideas as they are introduced. This book would work very well as the basis for a one-semester course for those in tune with its approach.

George Petrochilos' book is closer to a traditional managerial economics text. It is more formal than the work by Adams and Juleff and is intended for students with a foundation in economics. Calculus is used throughout, and most of the end-of-chapter problems are quantitative and algebraic exercises.

The book covers most topics in managerial economics, including the main models of the firm, demand and cost analysis, linear programming, advertising, capital budgeting, decisions under risk and uncertainty, growth by horizontal and vertical expansion and the government's regulatory role. There are also thoughtful chapters on the methodology of managerial economics and on business ethics. The style is clear, with plenty to interest students who want to apply economics to management problems.

The book could be effective in a one or a two-semester course and is well worth considering as an alternative to its larger US cousins, though I was disappointed that there are relatively few case studies and that these do not fit the analytical content as well as they might.

Martin Carter is lecturer in economics, Leeds University.

Managerial Economics for Decision Making. First edition

Author - John Adams and Linda Juleff
Publisher - Palgrave Macmillan
Pages - 343
Price - £28.99
ISBN - 0 333 96111 0

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