Economic Growth: International Student Edition (International Edition) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2012/9/14
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Why are some countries rich and others poor? David N. Weil, one of the top researchers in economic growth, introduces students to the latest theoretical tools, data, and insights underlying this pivotal question. By showing how empirical data relate to new and old theoretical ideas, Economic Growth provides students with a complete introduction to the discipline and the latest research.
With its comprehensive and flexible organization, Economic Growth is ideal for a wide array of courses, including undergraduate and graduate courses in economic growth, economic development, macro theory, applied econometrics, and development studies.
David N. Weil is James and Merryl Tisch Professor of Economics, Brown University, USA
If you are looking for a modern overview of economic growth, then perhaps the most important feature to consider is the technical level of the book. Weil's book is in the middle when it comes to the technical level, and is appropriate for people who already know at least a little bit of economics (e.g. supply & demand) and are comfortable with basic algebra (but not necessarily calculus, which only ever shows up in a handful of Weil's footnotes).
For those who want the least technical books, there are popular titles like "The Next Convergence" (by Spence) and "Why Nations Fail" (by Acemoglu & Robinson). These are written for a general audience and will involve no math and relatively few charts or graphs. They're easier to read than the more technical books listed below, but they also give a less complete picture of the field.
For those who want the most technical books, there are PhD-oriented texts like "Introduction to Modern Economic Growth" (also by Acemoglu) or "The Economics of Growth" (by Aghion & Howitt). These books have lots and lots of math and are well suited to people who want to be able to read or write growth papers on the research frontier, but you probably want to keep away from them unless you've already got a bit of experience working through calculus-laden econ texts.
Weil's book lies between these extremes, and I'd recommend it for anyone who wants some detail about the most important topics in economic growth without getting too bogged down. So what are these topics? Weil covers: capital accumulation, demographics, education, productivity, technology, efficiency, trade, government, inequality, culture, geography and natural resources, with at least a chapter for each (17 chapters total). Every chapter is full of good data, simple models, and clear explanations. It's exactly what a good undergraduate economics text should be, and it's probably the text I would use if I taught an undergraduate course in economic growth.