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Economics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Economics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Kindle Edition]

Partha Dasgupta
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Description


An excellent introduction... presents mathematical and statistical findings in straightforward prose. (Financial Times)

I wish more people would read Dasgupta's book, and I wish more economists would write variations on its theme. It is a model specimen. (

The text is direct, rigorous and thought-provoking. It provides an intelligent, rigorous and readable introduction to economics. (London Book

London Book

"The text is direct, rigorous and thought-provoking. It provides an intelligent, rigorous and readable introduction to economics."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 865 KB
  • Print Length: 193 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0192853457
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (22 Feb 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000SEI7Q2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,581 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
By G-man
The problem with the low reviews of this book is that they are expecting a short treatise explaining the complexities of the economic world to people whose desire is to learn about current affairs more than economics as a subject.

This book is not attempting to explain the history of finance (Niall Ferguson's ascent of Money is excellent for this) or the reasons for the credit crunch (try Peston, Who runs Britian for a UK perspective).

Rather, it introduces the layperson to economics as a discipline particularly the kinds of questions/topics economists are concerned with and the methodologies and conceptual frameworks employed to deepen our understanding.

If considered from this perspective, Professor Dasgupta (who was tutored by Nobel Laureate James Mirlees) has written an excellent short introduction. Its core strengths are twofold. Firstly, Dasgupta considers some of the most interesting and counterintuitive economic concepts ( such as Trust) and the implications of such ideas on interaction and economic results. Secondly, Professor Dasgupta has a gift for highlighting and drawing attention to the most theoretically interesting issues, whilst at the same time explaining these in language that is clear for non-experts to understand.

So, if you want to understand economics and not just the business pages of the Times, this book will be worth reading.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Careful of which edition you buy 17 July 2010
This is a great book and Professor Dasgupta was an excellent choice of author. But I want to warn everyone that the publisher messed up and so the Sterling edition has a lot of typos in it which make some of the calculations very confusing. There are about six pages of errors in the Sterling edition so make sure you only buy the Oxford University Press Edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Economics in the Very Short Introductions Series 10 Nov 2013
By Robin Friedman TOP 500 REVIEWER
The Very Short Introductions series of Oxford University Press provides succinct introductions to more subjects than a person can reasonably hope to know. Parath Dasgupta offers a brief, pointed look at Economics in this 2007 volume in the series. Dasgupta is the Frank Ramsey Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. Dasgupta was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his work in economics and has written many important books and studies.

"A little learning is a dangerous thing"; and a "very short introduction" does not have to be easy. Dasgupta's book is not written "for dummies" and it does not present its subject in the manner of an introductory textbook. Instead, Dasgupta offers the lay reader an example of how economists define problems and issues and try to solve them. In other words, the book offers the reader an example of how to "think like an economist". This gives the book a dense character. Dasgupta develops his own way of approaching and his position of questions of economics, neither of which might be fully shared by all members of his profession.

At the outset, Dasgupta makes two broad worth noting. First, he ties in economics with politics and, especially with ethics. Unlike some scientists who might try to minimize ethical, philosophical questions, Dasgupta is quite clear that ethical commitments are a driving force behind economics and politics. The second point involves Dasgupta's approach to economic questions. He rejects a historical, "narrative" approach because of the difficulty of supporting one proposed "narrative" over another. Dasgupta's approach is heavily analytical and quantitative, relying on mathematical modeling, statistics, and game theory.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected/wanted 15 July 2010
By bns
The fundamental problem with this book was that it just didn't do what I wanted it to do.

When I bought this book, I was expecting something that quickly taught/explained to me exactly what fundamental Economic concepts meant - in a concise but interesting manner too. Like any reader, all I wanted was a simple introduction to the topics so typically associated with Economics; such as supply & demand, inflation and currencies. Sadly, this book wasn't what I expected at all - it didn't give me my no-nonsense jargon-free introduction. To be honest, it felt rather deepend, philosophical and prose-like; whereas I'd imagine most readers expect something more factual, simplistic and somewhat text-book like.

It's a bit like a book about cars - whilst one type of book may tell you about the history of cars & the "passion" behind racing, another type of book may just give you a quick overview of famous models and their core specs. This book is certainly the former, but I expected the latter.

To give the author some credit, I do understand why he took this direction for this book. Now a BSc Economics student, I can understand why he chose to introduce Economics in more rounded, depthful and discussive way. After all, Economics (a social science), is much more than a few theories about prices, interest rates and economies. But if you are like me, and wanted this book because for a quick intro to daily economic topics, then this isn't for you. But if you want something that gives a very depthful introduction into the core foundations of economic thinking, this is great. Mixed feelings!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Too simple
Economics is a tough matter, and I believe this book is too simplistic in its language. It did not help that much and I believe it does not provide enough knowledge on the matter
Published 28 days ago by Romina
5.0 out of 5 stars no-nonsense into to econ
Excellent book for a brief overview of many of the technical and non-technicalconcepts that economists deal with. Packs a punch for such a pocket-sized book. I highly recommend it.
Published 12 months ago by OXford undergrad
4.0 out of 5 stars Economics (VSI)
Really helpful introduction for an economic ignoramus - I thought the storyline approach was a good way in to an intricate subject. Now I understand the news that bit better! Read more
Published 19 months ago by Revd P. Taylor
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as simple and well-written as it needs to be
I picked up this book to try to gain a basic understanding of simple economic concepts and theories. Read more
Published on 19 Oct 2011 by J. Welford
2.0 out of 5 stars Economics
To be honest, I bought this book to give me a "short introduction" and I hoped to gain a bit of information of Economics prior to reading other books for university. Read more
Published on 3 Jun 2011 by Marcus
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
I read this book, it explains a lot about the central purpose and use of economics, and the economic situation of various countries. Read more
Published on 10 May 2011 by HH
1.0 out of 5 stars An entirely misleading title
As someone who has never studied economics beyond reading newspapers, I thought that this 'introduction' to economics would be a good place to start. Read more
Published on 14 Feb 2011 by E. J. Berge
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing-title should be economics of the rich and poor
Before I start I just want to say that the author is a excellent authority on economics, and apart from a few books (including this one), OUP's Very Short Introductions have been... Read more
Published on 18 May 2009 by H.P.J.M.
2.0 out of 5 stars Substandard and a waste of reading time
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has bought this book thinking it would rid me of my ignorance of the economic crises that have beset the world. Read more
Published on 18 Feb 2009 by J. Denham
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Social norms work only when people have reasons to value the future benefits of cooperation. &quote;
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The accumulation of productive capital assets is only a proximate cause of prosperity, the real cause is progressive institutions. &quote;
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In short, even when appropriate institutions are in place to enable people to cooperate, they may not do so. Whether they cooperate depends on mutual beliefs, nothing more. &quote;
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