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Getting Hold Of Old Economic Textbooks

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Hi, I have been asked to take up a post tutoring a child in economics.

I did economics at university, but I still remember the best books were the course book I had at school in Scotland, for what was then called O Grade and Higher Economics (circa 1987-88).

I did buy a self-help book at the same time for the English A-Level Economics course (a big book with a large orange "A" on the cover), but I remember thinking it was not quite so good.

Does anyone know the best place to go for old economics textbooks? Or maybe you can recommend the best recent one, which goes through basic economics from supply/demand and opportunity cost to OMO and free/fixed exchange rates...?

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You should be able to find almost any old textbook, unless it's really rare, at amazon or abebooks. Have you got his syllabus and past exam papers? It might be worth looking at these first, just to check what he needs to know.

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It is just to provide a general course, not for any specific exam. When I did O Grade Economics at school, we covered the sort of basic course. The Higher Course was basically the same! Only a bit more intense and the exam was harder. The first year at uni was also very much like the school level!

I am also thinking of looking at online resources, but I wish I still had my old Economics notes from school that the teachers gave us, they were very good....

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In these modern times (QE, ZIRP, HTB etc.) you will need to be careful about referencing the old text books because there has been a paradigm shift with much of the old school thinking being turned on it's head. :D

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On 3/2/2016 at 10:16 PM, pmf170170 said:

In these modern times (QE, ZIRP, HTB etc.) you will need to be careful about referencing the old text books because there has been a paradigm shift with much of the old school thinking being turned on it's head. :D

Do you think these things are taught?  This thread seems to indicate that you could take the 1948 Oxford degree and it would be little changed to that of today.

  I am not sure I believe in "Economics" as a studiable thing anyway.  If Banks can changes rules at any time, print any amount of money; if a guy can create a "currency" entirely from bits and bites, with no useful labour involved, then what the hell is Economics?

  Zimbabwe has an economy, but how on earth it works is anyone's guess.  Do courses cover the model where you totally inflate your currency away but still have an army and Banks and mobile phones?  Why is it NOT in the Stone Age?

  Venezuela, give free stuff away to everyone, destroy any large companies through Nationalisation, run out of toilet paper and you can still have an economy, but I bet the model is not in a text book.

  How do you get an economics degree?  You study for three years, rack up £50,000 debt, get charged 6% on it and pay nothing back until you earn over £25,000.  After 26 years, you may, if you are a top earner, pay it off after 26 years.  But the Banks get all the interest, which actually amounts to more than the degree cost you.

Year     Loan value    Salary    Repayment    Total repayments   Interest rate (%)    6.0%
        £50,000.00                        
1      £53,000.00    £25,000.00    £0.00              £0.00            
2      £55,703.00    £30,000.00    £450.00        £450.00            
3      £58,091.18    £35,000.00    £900.00        £1,350.00            
4      £60,145.65    £40,000.00    £1,350.00    £2,700.00            
5      £62,227.99    £45,000.00    £1,440.00    £4,140.00            
6      £63,958.27    £50,000.00    £1,890.00    £6,030.00            
7      £65,315.37    £55,000.00    £2,340.00    £8,370.00            
8      £66,276.89    £60,000.00    £2,790.00    £11,160.00            
9      £66,819.10    £65,000.00    £3,240.00    £14,400.00            
10    £67,298.45    £70,000.00    £3,330.00    £17,730.00            
11    £67,329.55    £75,000.00    £3,780.00    £21,510.00            
12    £66,885.53    £80,000.00    £4,230.00    £25,740.00            
13    £65,937.86    £85,000.00    £4,680.00    £30,420.00            
14    £64,456.33    £90,000.00    £5,130.00    £35,550.00            
15    £62,790.51    £95,000.00    £5,220.00    £40,770.00            
16    £60,547.74    £100,000.00    £5,670.00    £46,440.00            
17    £57,693.40    £105,000.00    £6,120.00    £52,560.00            
18    £54,190.81    £110,000.00    £6,570.00    £59,130.00            
19    £50,001.06    £115,000.00    £7,020.00    £66,150.00            
20    £45,464.52    £120,000.00    £7,110.00    £73,260.00            
21    £40,178.79    £125,000.00    £7,560.00    £80,820.00            
22    £34,098.92    £130,000.00    £8,010.00    £88,830.00            
23    £27,177.25    £135,000.00    £8,460.00    £97,290.00            
24    £19,363.29    £140,000.00    £8,910.00    £106,200.00            
25    £10,889.69    £145,000.00    £9,090.00    £115,290.00            
26    £1,430.67    £150,000.00    £9,540.00    £124,830.00            
27    -£9,072.89    £155,000.00    £9,990.00    £134,820.00            
28    -£20,683.66    £160,000.00    £10,440.00    £145,260.00            
29    -£33,468.08    £165,000.00    £10,890.00    £156,150.00            
30    -£47,496.57    £170,000.00    £11,340.00    £167,490.00            
 

Assuming you start well, get a £5,000 a year rise every year, without fail, they raise the threshold as they have done previously and of course, inflation stays really low.

Yours,

RS

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On 20/11/2017 at 3:54 PM, RockySpears. said:

Do you think these things are taught?  This thread seems to indicate that you could take the 1948 Oxford degree and it would be little changed to that of today.

  I am not sure I believe in "Economics" as a studiable thing anyway.  If Banks can changes rules at any time, print any amount of money; if a guy can create a "currency" entirely from bits and bites, with no useful labour involved, then what the hell is Economics?

  Zimbabwe has an economy, but how on earth it works is anyone's guess.  Do courses cover the model where you totally inflate your currency away but still have an army and Banks and mobile phones?  Why is it NOT in the Stone Age?

  Venezuela, give free stuff away to everyone, destroy any large companies through Nationalisation, run out of toilet paper and you can still have an economy, but I bet the model is not in a text book.

  How do you get an economics degree?  You study for three years, rack up £50,000 debt, get charged 6% on it and pay nothing back until you earn over £25,000.  After 26 years, you may, if you are a top earner, pay it off after 26 years.  But the Banks get all the interest, which actually amounts to more than the degree cost you.

AFAIK the Economics curriculum hasn't changed one iota since the GFC. The central texts are still Varian (micro), Mankiw (macro), Samuelson/Nordhaus (Keynesianism) and maybe something dedicated to international trade. Each of these can be picked up for pennies second hand, even in hardback. You will , of course, learn nothing from them about how economies and markets actually work, which is why as a general rule hedge funds don't employ Economics PhDs.

OTH the sometime econophysicist Joseph Mccauley has given an excellent prescription of the formal requirements of a reformed Economics degree in a reply to a paper by Steve Keen (and others).

https://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0606/0606002.pdf

Quote
The real problem with my proposal for the future of economics departments is that current economics and finance students typically do not know enough mathematics to understand (a) what econophysicists are doing, or (b) to evaluate the neo-classical model (known in the trade as ‘The Citadel’) critically enough to see, as Alan Kirman put it, that ‘No amount of attention to the walls will prevent The Citadel from being empty’.
I therefore suggest that the economists revise their curriculum and require that the following topics be taught:
Calculus through the advanced level, ordinary differential equations (including advanced), partial differential equations (including Green functions), classical mechanics through modern non linear dynamics, statistical physics, stochastic processes (including solving Smoluchowski-Fokker-Planck equations), computer programming (C, Pascal, etc.) and, for complexity, cell biology. Time for such classes can be obtained in part by eliminating micro- and macro-economics classes from the curriculum. The students will then face a much harder curriculum, and those who survive will come out ahead. So might society as a whole.

As to your very valid question about how the likes of Zimbabwe and Venezuela resist all out collapse even though their govts are bankrupt, I'd suggest the answers are to be found in the operation of the black market.

Edited by zugzwang

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