Student review: Macroeconomics: Economic Crisis Update

May 27, 2010

Author: Charles I. Jones

Edition: Eighth international

Publisher: W.W. Norton

Pages: 496

Price: £42.99

ISBN 9780393117394

Undergraduate economists find themselves barraged with numerous and often complex economic models. The ease with which these concepts are learned depends greatly on the resources at hand, of which there are many competing authors and publishers (including textbooks by N. Gregory Mankiw and Olivier Blanchard).

Macroeconomics: Economic Crisis Update successfully provides a firm grounding of intermediate macroeconomics, using a well-balanced mix of graphs, mathematics and text. Its organisation builds on ideas from section to section and the exercises and worked examples make this book a suitable central learning resource. Nevertheless, those who would prefer to use it as a learning supplement remain free to dip in and out of chapters as they wish.

Jones' diligence in introducing new theoretical models is a great strength, serving the book well against its competitors. The learning of new models poses a challenge to students who must keep track of the many variables and equations involved and this textbook expresses these "sticking points" clearly and regularly.

This edition distinguishes itself from the first edition by giving time to the recent financial crisis, fruitfully making the study of theory (which can at times seem unrealistic) a more accessible area for undergraduates. However, this analysis would benefit from a little more application of theory, as opposed to the heavy scrutiny of data.

Jones' treatment of economic growth theory, a fascinating and dynamic area of economics, is the book's greatest strength. He successfully discusses growth in a compelling manner, making use of mathematics, diagrams and real-world examples to introduce multiple models.

However, the book lacks sufficient depth. Many chapters fail to cover all the content of a first-year macroeconomics course, particularly the handling of short-run theory. Further, Macroeconomics provides no facility whereby keen students can delve into more complex areas of theory, unlike some other texts that cover all of the information included here, and more.

The clear, easy-to-follow approach to macroeconomic theory makes this a worthwhile text for first-year economists. However, competing titles offer a more suitable resource for economists who wish to gain a deeper insight into macroeconomics (and make that student loan stretch a little further), or who are subject to a more rigorous course specification.

Who is it for? First-year undergraduates.

Presentation: Generic.

Would you recommend it? To those with less interest in, or with a less rigorous course in, macroeconomics.

Recommended

Economics of Strategy

Authors: David Besanko, David Dranove, Mark Shanley and Scott Schaefer

Edition: Fifth

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons

Pages: 624

Price: £42.99

ISBN 9780470484838

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