• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Interest in economics is at an all-time high. Among the challenges facing the nation is an economy with rapidly rising unemployment, failures of major businesses and industries, and continued dependence on oil with its wildly fluctuating price. Economists have dealt with such questions for generations, but they have taken on new meaning and significance.Tackling these questions and encompassing analysis of traditional economic theory and topics as well as those that economists have only more recently addressed, 21st Century Economics: A Reference Handbook is a must-have reference resource.Key FeaturesProvides highly readable summaries of theory and models in key areas of micro and macroeconomics, helpful for students trying to get a "big picture" sense of the fieldIncludes introductions to relevant theory as well as empirical evidence, useful for readers interested in learning about economic analysis of an issue as well for students embarking on research projectsFeatures chapters focused on cutting-edge topics with appeal for economists seeking to learn about extensions of analysis into new areas as well as new approaches Presents models in graphical format and summarizes empirical evidence in ways that do not require much background in statistics or econometrics, so as to maximize accessibility to students.


Over the past several decades, microfinance, broadly defined as financial services to poor and low-income clients, has become an increasingly important tool for governments, multilateral agencies, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to address poverty. Initially, for example, with Banco Sol in Bolivia, the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, and Bank Rakyat of Indonesia, microfinance was focused primarily on microcredit, small loans to poor people. The basic idea was to extend credit to poor people who do not have access to finance, enabling them to help themselves. In designing products for the poor, the industry has made substantial innovations in the practices used in lending. In addition, some microfinance institutions (MFIs) now offer a range of financial services, including savings vehicles, money transfers, and insurance specifically designed ...

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