"All too often, the economics that people hear discussed consists of jargon and acronyms that seem remote from the practicalities of life. Steve Coulter provides a straightforward yet sophisticated guide to the elements of economics that most matter to everyone: housing, the job market, personal finances, shopping. Everyday Economics captures the complexity of the modern global economy while making it intelligible." – Diane Coyle, Professor of Economics, University of Manchester
"Everyday Economics succeeds in introducing readers to economics through a number of important, topical and accessible case studies. Its strength is not only the amount of relevant concepts it includes, but the way in which they are handled, which is completely different to textbooks, being far more discursive and accessible. It was a real pleasure to read. It is certainly relevant to, and suitable for, students of A level and Pre-U economics, with some chapters directly addressing specific elements of these syllabuses, and with others being highly valuable background reading. I will certainly be recommending the book to my students." – Graham Mallard, Head of Economics, Cheltenham College
“A great read. … a non-partisan look at the economics profession. … it is in the area of policy development whereby better understanding individual behaviour and learning from other disciplines [that] the use of economics can best help distinguish between good and bad policy measures.” – Vicky Pryce, former Joint Head of the UK's Government Economic Service
Much of economics is a top-down analysis that simplifies and reduces the huge varieties between individuals to a predictable range of characteristics that lend themselves to systematic analysis. This book eschews this conventional perspective, which sees national economies as simply agglomerations of the activities of millions of people, and instead explores the role played by the individual in the economy, in particular, how the individual experiences the economy. In so doing, the book is able to illuminate the economic landscape for the non-technical reader in a much more engaging and accessible way.
Steve Coulter examines those areas of our lives that most direcly connect with the economy – jobs, education, healthcare, housing, personal finance, welfare, consumption – and explores how the individual choices we make are determined. He shows how the things we experience, need and consume fit into a fast-changing and interdependent global economic setting and highlights the role of government and markets in shaping our lives.
1. Economics; what is it good for?
2. Knowledge is power: education and training
3. Let's get busy: work and occupations
4. Get well soon: health and healthcare
5. Making the world go around: money and personal finance
6. Home sweet home: the housing market
7. Shop 'til you drop: shopping and consumption
8. From cradle to grave: benefits and welfare
Steve Coulter is Head of Communications and Publications at the European Trade Union Institute. He was previously a Visiting Fellow at the European Institute, London School of Economics and a Senior Economics Analyst for BBC News. He is the author of New Labour Policy, Industrial Relations and the Trade Unions (2014).