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Economics and Finance

Economics and Finance

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Reforming the Greek Economy

More than eight years after the global financial crisis began, the economy of Greece shows little sign of recovery, and its position in the eurozone seems tenuous. Between 2008 and 2014, incomes in Greece shrank by more than 25 percent, homes lost more than a third of their value, and the unemployment rate reached 27 percent. Most articles on Greece in the media focus on the effects of austerity, repayment of its debt, and its future in the eurozone.

Reform Priorities

The European Union (EU) faces critical challenges in energy policy making, the most pressing of which are how to achieve the deep greenhouse gas reductions promised at the December 2015 UN Conference of the Parties in Paris, and how this effort can be coordinated with already existing policies. Energy policy is primarily a member state responsibility, and policy makers need an overarching view of the main issues in energy policy and their interaction with environmental policies.

In Giving Kids a Fair Chance, Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman argues that the accident of birth is the greatest source of inequality in America today. Children born into disadvantage are, by the time they start kindergarten, already at risk of dropping out of school, teen pregnancy, crime, and a lifetime of low-wage work. This is bad for all those born into disadvantage and bad for American society.

Design and Analysis

In the twenty-first-century digital world, virtual goods are sold for real money. Digital game players happily pay for avatars, power-ups, and other game items. But behind every virtual sale, there is a virtual economy, simple or complex. In this book, Vili Lehdonvirta and Edward Castronova introduce the basic concepts of economics into the game developer’s and game designer’s toolkits. Lehdonvirta and Castronova explain how the fundamentals of economics—markets, institutions, and money—can be used to create or analyze economies based on artificially scarce virtual goods.

The Art of Policymaking in India

In December 2009, the economist Kaushik Basu left the rarefied world of academic research for the nuts and bolts of policymaking. Appointed by the then Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, to be chief economic adviser (CEA) to the Government of India, Basu—a theorist, with special interest in development economics, and a professor of economics at Cornell University—discovered the complexity of applying economic models to the real world. Effective policymaking, Basu learned, integrates technical knowledge with political awareness.

This book presents a self-contained, comprehensive, and yet concise and condensed overview of the theory and methods of probability, integration, stochastic processes, optimal control, and their connections to the principles of asset pricing. The book is broader in scope than other introductory-level graduate texts on the subject, requires fewer prerequisites, and covers the relevant material at greater depth, mainly without rigorous technical proofs.

Felix Muñoz-Garcia’s Advanced Microeconomic Theory provides examples and exercises that help students understand how to apply theoretical models and offers tools for approaching similar problems on their own. This workbook provides solutions and step-by-step explanations for the odd-numbered exercises (107 problems in total). The answer key and detailed explanations emphasize the economic intuition behind the mathematical assumptions and results and, in combination with the textbook, enable students to improve both their theoretical and practical preparation.

Understanding Economics in the News

This introductory text offers an alternative to the encyclopedic, technically oriented approach taken by traditional textbooks on macroeconomic principles. Concise and nontechnical but rigorous, its goal is not to teach students to shift curves on diagrams but to help them understand fundamental macroeconomic concepts and their real-world applications. It accomplishes this by providing a clear exposition of introductory macroeconomic theory along with more than 700 one- or two-sentence “news clips,” based on economics media coverage, as illustrations or student exercises.

An Intuitive Approach with Examples

This textbook offers an introduction to advanced microeconomic theory that emphasizes the intuition behind mathematical assumptions, providing step-by-step examples that show how to apply theoretical models. It covers standard topics such as preference relations, demand theory and applications, producer theory, choice under uncertainty, partial and general equilibrium, monopoly, game theory and imperfect competition, externalities and public goods, and contract theory; but its intuitive and application-oriented approach provides students with a bridge to more technical topics.

The foreign currency denomination of contracts in international transactions can lead to international currency exposure at the country level with important economic and policy implications. When debts are denominated in foreign currency and revenues in domestic currency, exchange rate fluctuations can result in balance sheet effects for countries with either net asset or liability positions. Moreover, currency mismatch between assets and liabilities can be a cause for crises in developing and emerging economies.

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