The Economics of Public Issues

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  • Edition: 15th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-07-10
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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The Economics of Public Issuesis a collection of brief, relevant readings that spark independent thinking and classroom discussions in principles of economics, public policy, and social issues courses.The Foundations of Economic Analysis:Death by Bureaucrat; Ethanol Madness; Flying the Friendly Skies?; The Mystery of Wealth.Supply and Demand:Sex, Booze, and Drugs; Expanding Waistlines; Is Water Different?; Slave Redemption in Sudan; Smoking and Smuggling; Bankrupt Landlords, from Sea to Shining Sea.Labor Markets:(Why) Are Women Paid Less?; The Effects of the Minimum Wage; Immigration, Superstars, and Poverty; A Farewell to Jobs.Market Structures:Monopsony and Competition in Health Care; Big Oil, Big Oil Prices?; Contracts, Combinations, and Conspiracies; Coffee, Tea, or Tuition-Free?; College Costs (hellip;and Costs and Costs); Keeping the Competition Out;Political Economy:Raising Less Corn and More Hell; Killer Cars and the Rise of the SUV; Crime and Punishment; The Graying of America; Heavenly Highway.Property Rights and the Environment:The Trashman Cometh; Bye-Bye, Bison; Smog Merchants; Greenhouse Economics.International Trade and Economic Prosperity:Free Trade, Less Trade, or No Trade?; The $750,000 Steelworker; The Lion, the Dragon, and the Future.For all readers interested in principles of economics, public policy, and social issues..

Author Biography

Roger LeRoy Miller received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is currently Director of the Institute for University Studies in Arlington, Texas. Dr. Miller is a legal specialist and author of numerous books on law and the legal environment, including criminal procedure. In addition, Dr. Miller has authored books on the war on drugs, the economics of crime and criminal behavior, and on related topics.


Daniel K. Benjamin graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia and completed his Ph.D. in economics at the University of California at Los Angeles where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. Benjamin has taught at Montana State University, the University of Washington and the University of California at Santa Barbara. Currently, he is Alumni Distinguished Professor of Economics at Clemson University. He was a national fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a visiting distinguished scholar at the University of Liverpool, England. He also served on the executive committee of the Western Economic Association. During the Reagan administration, he spent several years in Washington, D.C. where he was deputy assistant secretary for policy and then chief of staff at the Department of Labor. Earlier, he had served as a staff economist with the President's Council of Economic Advisers.


Douglass C. North is the Spencer T. Olin Professor in Arts and Sciences, Ph.D. University of California Berkeley Research Interests: New Institutional Economics, Economic History and Economic Development He is also professor of history and a fellow of the Center in Political Economy. He was on the faculty of the University of Washington and held visiting chairs at Cambridge and Rice Universities. In 1993 he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has served as president of the Economic History Association and the Western Economic Association. His major interest is the evolution of economic and political institutions. The effects of institutions on the development of economies through time is a major emphasis in his work in both economic history and development.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
The Foundations of Economic Analysisp. 1
Death by Bureaucrat: (when bureaucratic choices mean life for some people-and death for others)p. 5
Ethanol Madness: (how one government policy illustrates the nature of all government policy)p. 11
Flying the Friendly Skies?: (now safe is commercial air travel, and how safe should it be?)p. 15
The Mystery of Wealth: (why some nations are rich and others are poor)p. 21
Supply and Demandp. 27
Sex, Booze, and Drug's: (the unintended-and often harmful-consequences of prohibiting voluntary exchange)p. 30
Expanding Waistlines: (why Americans are getting heavier)p. 38
Is Water Different?: (are "necessities" like water really like other goods?)p. 43
Slave Redemption in Sudan: (how well-intentioned efforts to promote freedom can backfire)p. 50
Smoking and Smuggling: (why taxes fuel interstate and international trade in bootleg cigarettes)p. 55
Bankrupt Landlords, from Sea to Shining Sea: (when governments lower rents, tenants can suffer)p. 60
Labor Marketsp. 67
(Why) Are Women Paid Less?: (why are women paid less while men are working less?)p. 70
The Effects of the Minimum Wage: (how a "living wage" can ruin the lives of minority youngsters)p. 75
Immigration, Superstars, and Poverty in America: (are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer-and if not, why does it look that way?)p. 80
A Farewell to Jobs: (why efforts to "save jobs" make us all poorerp. 87
Market Structuresp. 93
Monopsony and Competition in Health Care: (insurance makes health care expensive, but it also makes it good)p. 97
Big Oil, Big Oil Prices?: (does Exxon Mobil really decide how much we pay at the pump?)p. 103
Contracts, Combinations, and Conspiracies: (why the NCAA and OPEC have more than four-letter names in common)p. 108
Coffee, Tea, or Tuition-Free?: (who wins and who loses from price discrimination)p. 113
College Costs (...and Costs and Costs): (college costs have tripled, but the quality of the product hasn't; what's going on?)p. 119
Keeping the Competition Out: (when the government steps in, the competition steps out)p. 124
Political Economyp. 129
Raising Less Corn and More Hell: (now your tax dollars end up in farmers' pockets)p. 132
Killer Cars and the Rise of the SUV: (why fuel economy kills)p. 139
Crime and Punishment: (incentives matter-especially to criminals)p. 144
The Graying of America: (America is getting older, and you will foot me bill)p. 149
Heavenly Highway: (how a simple market mechanism can eliminate traffic jams)p. 155
Property Rights and the Environmentp. 161
The Trashman Cometh: (the costs and benefits of recycling)p. 164
Bye-Bye, Bison: (why some species are endangered and others aren't)p. 171
Smog Merchants: (how markets can reduce pollution)p. 178
Greenhouse Economics: (the economics of global climate change)p. 183
International Trade and Economic Prosperityp. 189
Free Trade, Less Trade, or No Trade?: (if free trade is beneficial, why do people complain about it?)p. 191
The $750,000 Steelworker: (the economic consequences of restricting international trade)p. 197
The Lion, the Dragon, and the Future: (do China, India, and other modernizing nations spell the demise of America?)p. 202
Glossaryp. 208
Selected Referencesp. 214
Indexp. 223
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