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The Economics of Social Problems
 
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The Economics of Social Problems
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
26 Jun 2008
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£29.99
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9780230553002
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The fourth edition of this classic textbook has been substantially revised to reflect changing social problems as well as recent policy developments. It adopts a common approach to each social problem, asking what are the government's efficiency and equity objectives and looking at the extent to which they can be achieved through market-based or government interventions. The use of a simple yet rigorous economic framework makes this an essential introductory textbook for those with little experience of economics who are interested in how economic tools can be used to understand and shape public policy.
 
The fourth edition features:

  • new chapters on climate change and pensions
  • a chapter on crime, featuring recent advances in measuring the costs of crime to society
  • substantial updating throughout
  • more international examples


Description


The fourth edition of this classic textbook has been substantially revised to reflect changing social problems as well as recent policy developments. It adopts a common approach to each social problem, asking what are the government's efficiency and equity objectives and looking at the extent to which they can be achieved through market-based or government interventions. The use of a simple yet rigorous economic framework makes this an essential introductory textbook for those with little experience of economics who are interested in how economic tools can be used to understand and shape public policy.
 
The fourth edition features:

  • new chapters on climate change and pensions
  • a chapter on crime, featuring recent advances in measuring the costs of crime to society
  • substantial updating throughout
  • more international examples


Reviews



'The first edition of this volume was my first rave book review and, in that sense, nothing has changed. The authors have sustained and developed the book's original strengths, notably the striking clarity with which it sets out the economist's approach to social policy, and introduced new and topical chapters on crime, climate change and – importantly – pensions. A chip off the old block!' - Professor Nicholas Barr, London School of Economics
 
'This is a lucid, well organised and accessible textbook for introductory courses in applied economics or the economics of social policy. It shows how standard economic theory can be applied to a wide range of social problems and it includes a well chosen selection of topics.' W. A. Jackson, The University of York
 
'This is a first rate textbook that highlights the importance of economics to the big questions of today. It combines depth and accessibility with a balance of different perspectives. It is ideal for students of economics, but will also be read, understood and debated by students in the social and political sciences. An outstanding introduction to the economics of social problems - very thoroughly recommended.' Dr Dan Coffey, University of Leeds

 
'The authors offer a lucid introduction to important economic concepts, showing how they are applied in a real-world setting.' - Times Higher Education Textbook Guide
 
'To paraphrase Shakespeare, age cannot wither it, nor custom stale its infinite variety.  Chapters on 'new' issues such as road congestion and climate change sit comfortably with the old favourites of health and education...the book sets out on a large and ambitious task of understanding the nature of social problems through the lens of economic analysis in a way that will be understood by those with little understanding of economics.  From my perspective this has been achieved with considerable aplomb' - Steve Iafrati, University of Wolverhampton
 
'By relating economic theory to real-world social policy problems this textbook aids learning in ways in which a book simply about social policy or a book simply about economic theory could not hope to achieve'. Citizen's income Newsletter, 2010.


Contents

Introduction
Social Objectives and the allocation of resources
Health
Education
Pensions
Housing
Crime
Road Congestion
Climate Change
Poverty and Welfare
The Market and the Government


Authors

JULIAN LE GRAND is the Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics. He is a leading expert on public and social policy and acted as a senior policy advisor to the Prime Minister between 2003 and 2005. He is the author, co-author or editor of seventeen books and over ninety articles on economics, philosophy and public policy.

CAROL PROPPER holds professorships at the University of Bristol, where she co-founded the Centre for Market and Public Organisation, and at Imperial College, London where she heads the new Healthcare Management Group. She specializes in the economics of healthcare provision markets, particularly the role of incentives, and has published extensively in economics and professional journals.
SARAH SMITH is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Market and Public Organisation at the University of Bristol. She has previously worked as an economist at HM Treasury, the Financial Services Authority and the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Her work centres on the microeconomic analysis of public policy and she has published widely in economics and policy journals.