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Economics for Policy Makers


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MICROECONOMICS Part I INTRODUCTION Chapter 1 ECONOMIC PROFIT 1.1 The Value of the Best Foregone Alternative: The Opportunity Cost 1.2 Sunk Costs vs Recoverable Costs 1.3 Accounting Profit 1.4 The Economic Profit: Comparing Two Scenarios 1.5 Different Objectives of the Firms Chapter 2 VALUE ADDED 2.1 Intermediate Consumption and Value Added 2.2 Value Added and Vertical Integration Part II PRODUCTION AND COSTS Chapter 3 PRODUCTION AND PRODUCTIVITY 3.1 Rigid and Flexible Production Techniques 3.2 The Measurement of Efficiency 3.3 Marginal Productivity 3.4 The Cornerstone of Industrial Negotiations: Unit Labour Cost Chapter 4 COSTS 4.1 Fixed Costs and Variable Costs 4.2 Marginal and Average Costs 4.3 Types of Costs 4.4 The Supply: Is the Firm Ready to Sell a Certain Quantity? At What Price? 4.5 A Special Cost: The Cost of Using the Market or Transaction Cost Chapter 5 ECONOMIES OF SCALE 5.1 Reducing the Average Cost of a Firm 5.2 The Causes of Economies of Scale 5.3 The Limits to Economies of Scale 5.4 The Minimum Efficient Size and Concentration Part III CUSTOMERS AND COMPETITORS Chapter 6 DEMAND FOR THE PRODUCTS OF AN INDUSTRY AND OF A MONOPOLIST 6.1 An Industry and the Demand for its Product 6.2 Demand and Supply 6.3 Total Revenue and Marginal Revenue 6.4 Price-Elasticity 6.5 The Effects of Income on Demand: Income-Elasticity 6.6 Price Cross-Elasticity: Complements and Substitutes Chapter 7 MARKET ENVIRONMENTS 7.1 Monopoly 7.2 Perfect Competition 7.3 Oligopoly 7.4 Monopolistic Competition MACROECONOMICS Part IV INTRODUCTION TO MACROECONOMICS Chapter 8 KEY WORDS OF NATIONAL ACCOUNTS 8.1 Supply (Sources) of Goods: Production (GDP) and Imports 8.2 Uses of Goods: Household Consumption, Private Investment, Government Spending and Export Chapter 9 MONEY AND PRICES 9.1 Money and other Financial Assets 9.2 The Demand for and Supply of Money and the Interest Rate 9.3 Money Supply and Prices 9.4 How much inflation is "too much"? Part V FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS Chapter 10 THE FOREIGN TRADE OF GOODS: EXPORTS AND IMPORTS 10.1 The Quality of Goods 10.2 The (Nominal) Exchange Rate and the Exchange Rate Regimes 10.3 The Real Exchange Rate 10.4 The Determinants of Imports 10.5 The Determinants of Exports Chapter 11 FINANCIAL MOVEMENTS 11.1 Main Types of Financial Movements 11.2 Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Portfolio Investments 11.3 Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) 11.4 The Freedom of Movement of Capital Chapter 12 INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTS 12.1 The Current Account of the Balance of Payments 12.2 The Capital Account of the Balance of Payments 12.3 The Financial Account of the Balance of Payments 12.4 The International Investment Position (IIP) Part VI FISCAL POLICY Chapter 13 MONETARY TRANSFERS: TAXES, BENEFITS, SUBSIDIES AND SOCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS 13.1 General Taxation: Taxes not Earmarked to Fund Specific Expenses 13.2 Earmarked Monetary Transfers Between Private Subjects and Government: Social Contributions, Pensions and Benefits 13.3 The Macroeconomic Effects of Taxes (and Social Contributions) Chapter 14 GOVERNMENT SPENDING ON GOODS AND SERVICES 14.1 Public Employment 14.2 Public Procurement Chapter 15 PUBLIC SPENDING ON EDUCATION, TRAINING, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (R&D) 15.1 Education and Training 15.2 Public Expenditure in R&D 15.3 Government Expenditure in Education and R&D and its Macroeconomic Effects Chapter 16 PUBLIC DEFICIT AND PUBLIC DEBT 16.1 The Public Budget and the Public Deficit 16.2 The Public Debt and the Market for Sovereign Bonds 16.3 The Sustainability of a Public Debt Part VII PRIVATE DEMAND Chapter 17 HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION: THE MAIN DESTINATION OF GOODS AND SERVICES 17.1 The Main Features of Household Consumption 17.2 The Determinants of Consumption 17.3 Disposable Income Which is not Consumed: Savings Chapter 18 PRIVATE INVESTMENT: SUPPLYING THE PRIVATE SECTOR WITH NEW CAPITAL 18.1 The Net Present Value (NPV) Method for Firms' Investment Decision 18.2 The Main Features of Investment Part VIII THE LABOUR MARKET AND INEQUALITY Chapter 19 THE LABOUR MARKET 19.1 A Basic Description of Labour Market Stocks and Flows 19.2 Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM) 19.3 The Determinants of Salaries 19.4 Economic Growth and Unemployment 19.5 Unemployment and Prices Chapter 20 INCOME DISTRIBUTION AND ITS EFFECTS 20.1 The Nature of Inequality 20.2 The Change of Inequality and its Effects 20.3 Causes of and Remedies for Inequality APPENDIX - INDEXES OF COMPETITIVENESS A) Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) B) World Competitiveness Ranking (WCR) C) Doing Business Indicators (DBI) D) Discussion Index

About the Author

Gustavo Rinaldi, Ph.D., is a lecturer in macroeconomics at the University of Turin, Italy, and an ILO consultant.


"This exceptionally useful book does exactly what the title claims: it explains economics simply, in words and graphs. Those without much, if any, training in the subject who find themselves having to deal with its underlying concepts and measurements regularly, which is most people in business and policymaking, will find this an invaluable guide. It will take a bit of effort to work through it. But nothing worthwhile is easy. The reward will be much greater understanding of the economy, economics and economists." - Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times

"This book is easy and clear reading, rich in practical examples and case studies of the issues decision makers in the private and the public sectors face daily. The book is full of ideas, tools and thought-frameworks that are crucial for business leaders who wish to influence policies that foster businesses to flourish and countries to develop." - Deborah France-Massin, Director, Bureau of Employers' Activities, ILO Geneva.

"Economics for Policy Makers is a must read for business leaders and trade unionists, but also for any development practitioner who is "daily in contact", but not familiar or even "scared" by macro and micro economics. With a very practical approach highlighting the applications of economic principles to real situations, the book helps in better understanding which are the different policy options for decision makers and in explaining the impact of government policies and business strategies on economic growth and social development." - Paolo Salvai, Senior Programme Officer, International Training Centre of the ILO

"Prof. Rinaldi's book is an excellent introduction into economic analysis for practitioners in the field of collective bargaining. I am certain that this book will become an essential reading for anybody trying to prepare for collective negotiations, be it at the level of an individual company, in sectoral or occupational representations or at the level of national tripartite institutions." - Dr Ekkehard Ernst, Research Department, International Labour Organisation

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