The National Economy

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From the impact of rising gas prices to debates over free trade agreements, the workings of the economy remain a mystery to most, even as the demands on our economic resources increase. This volume presents a basic introduction to the national economy—how it works and how various political and business decisions affect it. Chapters one through four explain the concept of Gross Domestic Product, with an emphasis on supply and demand, long-term growth, and short-term fluctuations, resulting from such factors as interest rates and inflation. Chapters five through eight highlight the four basic sectors of the economy—businesses, households, the government, and the international arena—and how they interact.

The national economy is the engine of growth for any country—whether it is a superpower with global reach or a small nation struggling to emerge from poverty. Every citizen is a participant in the economy, as they work to create income for their families, pay taxes, spend their earnings of products and services, or draw from government programs, such as welfare or Social Security. And yet the workings of the economy remain a mystery to most, even as the demands on our economic resources increase.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"For the general reader, non-economist, and high school and college student, Hansen presents an introduction to the economy of the US, with a focus on long-term growth and short-run fluctuations. He explains economic growth, business cycles, how market economies work, how economic performance is measured, and the roles of business, households, the government, and the foreign sector."


Reference & Research Book News

"[T]his volume provides a clearly written introduction to the structure and performance of the American economy. Hansen begins by using the basics of supply and demand to examine how markets work. After discussing measures of economic performance, including gross domestic product, unemployment, and inflation, Hansen covers issues of long-term growth, short-run fluctuations, and economic policy. The bulk of the text describes the economic roles of businesses, households, the government, and the foreign sector. Current controversies such as globalization and immigration are touched upon. The book also includes sources of current economic information, a chronology of important economic events, and a glossary. Primarily descriptive with economic terminology and theory employed sparingly, this book will be a useful resource for novice readers wanting an accessible introduction to the American economy. Highly recommended. General readers and all levels of undergraduate students."



"Provides an introduction to the American economy for noneconomists. with an emphasis on understanding long-term growth and short-run fluctuations. Presents an overview of how market economies such as in the United States work. Examines how we measure economic performance. Provides an explanation of long-term growth. Covers short-run fluctuations. Examines the roles of business, households, government, and the foreign sector in the national economy."


Journal of Economic Literature

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313335419
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/30/2006
  • Series: Greenwood Guides to Business and Economics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

BRADLEY A. HANSEN is Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Economics, University of Mary Washington, where he has taught since 1995. He previously served on the faculty of Moorhead State University and as a senior teaching fellow at Washington University. He is the author of many articles, book chapters, research papers, and conferences presentations on economic policy and social welfare.

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