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Economics and Finance

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Theory and Computation

This text provides an introduction to the modern theory of economic dynamics, with emphasis on mathematical and computational techniques for modeling dynamic systems. Written to be both rigorous and engaging, the book shows how sound understanding of the underlying theory leads to effective algorithms for solving real world problems. The material makes extensive use of programming examples to illustrate ideas. These programs help bring to life the abstract concepts in the text.

This comprehensive introduction to economic growth presents the main facts and puzzles about growth, proposes simple methods and models needed to explain these facts, acquaints the reader with the most recent theoretical and empirical developments, and provides tools with which to analyze policy design.

Policy makers need quantitative as well as qualitative answers to pressing policy questions. Because of advances in computational methods, quantitative estimates are now derived from coherent nonlinear dynamic macroeconomic models embodying measures of risk and calibrated to capture specific characteristics of real-world situations. This text shows how such models can be made accessible and operational for confronting policy issues.

A vast body of empirical evidence has accumulated demonstrating that incentives affect health care choices made by both consumers and suppliers of health care services. Decisions in health care are affected by many types of incentives, such as the rate of return pharmaceutical manufacturers expect on their investments in research and development, or disincentives, such as increases in copayments patients must make when they visit physicians or are admitted to hospitals.

The urgency of reducing poverty in the developing world has been the subject of a public campaign by such unlikely policy experts as George Clooney, Alicia Keyes, Elton John, Angelina Jolie, and Bono. And yet accompanying the call for more foreign aid is an almost universal discontent with the effectiveness of the existing aid system. In Reinventing Foreign Aid, development expert William Easterly has gathered top scholars in the field to discuss how to improve foreign aid.

Reclaiming the Environmental Agenda

The past twenty-five years have seen a significant evolution in environmental policy, with new environmental legislation and substantive amendments to earlier laws, significant advances in environmental science, and changes in the treatment of science (and scientific uncertainty) by the courts. This book offers a detailed discussion of the important issues in environmental law, policy, and economics, tracing their development over the past few decades through an examination of environmental law cases and commentaries by leading scholars.

Theory and Applications

The marginal cost of public funds (MCF) measures the loss incurred by society in raising additional revenues to finance government spending. The MCF has emerged as one of the most important concepts in public economics; it is a key component in evaluations of tax reforms, public expenditure programs, and other public policies.

Over the past twenty years, economic theory has begun to play a central role in antitrust matters. In earlier days, the application of antitrust rules was viewed almost entirely in formal terms; now it is widely accepted that the proper interpretation of these rules requires an understanding of how markets work and how firms can alter their efficient functioning.

Over the last thirty years, a new paradigm in banking theory has overturned economists’ traditional vision of the banking sector. The asymmetric information model, extremely powerful in many areas of economic theory, has proven useful in banking theory both for explaining the role of banks in the economy and for pointing out structural weaknesses in the banking sector that may justify government intervention.

A Citizen's Guide to the Debate over Taxes

As Albert Einstein may or may not have said, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” Indeed, to follow the debate over tax reform, the interested citizen is forced to choose between misleading sound bites and academic treatises. Taxing Ourselves bridges the gap between the two by discussing the key issues clearly and without a political agenda: Should the federal income tax be replaced with a flat tax or sales tax? Should it be left in place and reformed? Can tax cuts stimulate the economy, or will higher deficits undermine any economic benefit?

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