For your introduction to the global market place, visit
Samuelson-Nordhaus, ECONOMICS, 17th ed., 2001.
ECONOMICS: An Introduction
Paul A. Samuelson and William D. Nordhaus
Seventeenth Edition, 1998, McGraw-Hill
If you want to
contact the authors, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Internet Preface to
Economics, 17th edition
by Paul A Samuelson and William D. Nordhaus
As 2001 begins, the prospects for the United States economy are
less favorable than at any time during the record-breaking expansion of the 1990s. Real
output growth has slowed, the stock market is treading water, the high-technology sector
is slumping, and the "dot.com" world is in full retreat. This pause in economic
activity follows a decade of economic records for the U.S. In February 2000, the expansion
became the longest in U.S. recorded history, with several years of strong economic growth,
full employment, and low inflation. Outside the United States, January 2001 marked the
second anniversary of the EURO, a fascinating experiment in conducting a multinational
currency under the new European Central Bank. The Japanese economy continued to stagnate
while the East Asian countries recovered from their sharp slump of 1997-98.
Even with the current fear of recession, we must recognize that during the last
half century much of the world has experienced a spectacular rise in living standards,
particularly those in the affluent countries of North America, Western Europe, and East
Asia. While the first half of the century was marked by two world wars and one great
depression, the last half century has been one of virtually uninterrupted growth of living
standards and the spread of free markets, democracy, and personal freedoms to many corners
of the globe.
The central question for the years ahead is, Will the
good fortune spread from the affluent minority to the poor majority?
You might think that prosperity would lead to a declining interest in economic affairs.
Yet, as we reviewed our subject for the seventeenth edition of ECONOMICS, we
found paradoxically that an understanding of the enduring truths of economics has become
even more vital in the affairs of people and nations. The world has become increasingly
interconnected as computers and communications create an ever-more-competitive global
marketplace. The Internet is connecting people and places in ways that were undreamt of a
few years ago.
Countries like Russia or China, which are traveling the rocky road from central planning
to a market economy, need a firm understanding of the institutions of the market if they
are to make a successful transition. At the same time, there is growing concern about
environmental problems and the need to forge new market mechanisms that will preserve our
precious natural heritage. All these fascinating changes are part of the modern drama that
we call economics.
For more than half a century, ECONOMICS has served as the standard-bearer for the
teaching of elementary economics -- in classrooms in America and throughout the world.
Each new edition has distilled the best thinking of economists about how markets function
and about what society can do to improve people's living standards. But economics has
changed profoundly since the first edition in 1948. Economics is above all a living and
evolving organism. The need to keep Economics at the frontier in the rapidly evolving
world economy affords us an exciting opportunity to present the latest thinking of modern
economists and to show how the subject can contribute to a more prosperous world.
For you, the beginning studend, this trip in the land of
economics is an adventure that will reward you for your entire lifetime. So, as you
embark, we wish you bon voyage!