When economists wrestle with issues such as unemployment, inflation, or budget deficits, they do so by incorporating an impersonal, detached mode of reasoning. But economists also analyze issues that, to others, do not typically fall within the realm of economic reasoning, such as organ transplants, cigarette addiction, smoking in public, and product safety. Trade-Offs is an introduction to the economic approach to analyzing these controversial public policy issues.
Harold Winter provides readers with the analytical tools needed to identify and understand the trade-offs associated with these topics. By considering both the costs and benefits of potential policy solutions, Winter stresses that real-world policy decision-making is best served by an explicit recognition of as many trade-offs as possible.
Intellectually stimulating yet accessible and entertaining, Trade-Offs will be appreciated by students of economics, public policy, health administration, political science, and law, as well as by anyone who follows current social policy debates.
"With this slim volume, Winter joins the ranks of recent economists who have tried to unlock the mysteries of economic reasoning for the uninitiated. Winter's book boasts one major advantage over its competitors: its organization around a unifying theme (benefit-cost analysis and the gains from trade) provides a conceptual framework that enables the reader to see patterns among the different issues surveyed. Given the target audience for this volume, the value of this pedagogical device cannot be overestimated. The topics are interesting, the writing is crisp, technical terms are adequately explained, and the tone is entertaining. Winter's interest in law is readily apparent throughout the book, from his discussion of piracy and copyright infringement to his analysis of product liability. . . . Winter's book is a wonderful introduction to economics for the layperson, as well as an excellent supplement for use in an entry-level economics course."--J. H. Turek, Choice
J. H. Turek