on 9 September 2003
Macro textbooks tend to run in 2 flavours: 1). the highly technical and mathematical, where for most students the effort to read the book obscures the actual learning 2). the trivial and simplistic. This book by Miles and Scott manages to avoid either pitfall. Mathematics is kept to a minimum (there is no differential calculus in the main body of the text) and the focus is on logical analysis and presentation of data.
The book manages to be straightforward without being simplistic. Very few economics textbooks, in my experience, manage that trick.
The macroeconomics covered is very up to date: the latest debates on economic growth theory, the 'productivity revolution' of the US in the late 1990s, etc.
One small niggle: the data (a huge feature of the book is a vast amount of relevant and up to date data) is not always consistently presented for each country. So we may know Canada's technology expenditure as a per cent. of GDP on one page, but not its technology and a per cent. of investment on the next table. This can make it slightly frustrating to read.
All in all this is a very worthy book and a great introduction to macroeconomics for someone who is interested in the subject, but not necessarily mathematically oriented.
(I am selling my spare copy so not just trying to enhance the sale value!)