(DP 2003-01) Revising Economics for the Next Generation

Gerardo P. Sicat

Abstract


The revision of Economics, a textbook in elementary economics, using the Philippines as the basis of the study material, will be available in academic year 2003-4. The paper begins with a review of the antecedents of the efforts at the University of the Philippines School of Economics to improve economic teaching materials in the country. The first part – elementary economics – builds on the concepts of the markets and on the law of supply and demand and illustrates the principles with actual life situations and economic policy applications. Different forms of market structures are discussed and departures from competition are related to problems of industrial policy, taxation, regulation of monopoly and competition policy. The second part – macroeconomics – deals with the open economy. Ignoring the usual step by step procedure of the closed economy until it opens to trade and payments, the analytical structure goes head-on with an economy operating in the presence of government fiscal operations and of international trade and payments. Monetary and exchange rate policy enters the analysis to complete the macroeconomic framework. The final part – Philippine economic development issues – covers separate chapters on economic growth and productivity, foreign direct investment, agriculture, rice economics, land reform, micro-financing for the poor and small businesses, and commercial development. In addition, it ends with a review of economic systems. Separate topics on income distribution, poverty, population, and industrialization policy were merged into the elementary economics part of the book as were saving and financial development in the macroeconomics part. Unlike the first book, the revised edition will be released around May, 2003 in three volumes. Each tract can be separately used for specific courses in introductory and intermediate Economics – Volume 1: Elementary Economics; Volume 2: Macroeconomics; and Volume 3: Philippine Economic and Development Issues.

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