Essentials of Economics

John Sloman / Dean Garratt  
Total pages
December 2018
Related Titles


Why study economics?

Economic decisions are central to societies, firms, governments and individuals

Our lives are dominated by our economic situation. Some people are rich; others are poor. Some people have good jobs; others just get paid minimum wages; others are unemployed. Some people spend their money wisely; others waste money.

We are also affected by government economic policy. Governments choose how much to tax us and in what way; they choose how much to spend and on what. They try to manage the economy to achieve economic growth, falling unemployment and a stable financial system; but political parties often disagree on the best way to do this.

Economists advise governments, firms, charities and other interest groups on how best to achieve their objectives. Their advice is crucial to good decision making: to making the best choices between alternatives.

But to give good advice requires understanding issues and assessing evidence. Studying economics helps you to do this – to become a better problem solver.

Being good at analysing and solving problems makes economists employable. In fact, graduates who have studied economics are highly sought after by employers and can command high salaries.


This book looks at the key economic issues of today; from economic growth to recessions and unemployment; from trade to Brexit; from wages and employment to inequality and poverty; from producing more to caring for the environment; from competition to the domination of markets by powerful firms; from government spending more on what we need to tackling budget deficits.

The book is full of case studies and examples and opportunities for you to reflect on your learning. It helps you to develop the skills and knowledge to make you a more effective employee and a more informed member of society.

Economics is exciting and relevant to us all – as you’ll discover in the pages of this book.


John Sloman and Dean Garratt


New to this Edition

§  Many of the boxes are new or extensively revised.

§  There are many new examples given in the text.

§  All tables and charts have been updated, as have factual references in the text.

§  Economic analysis and debate has been strengthened and revised at various points in the book in light of economic events and developments in economic thinking.

§  Building on the revisions in previous editions we have enhanced further our discussion around behavioural economics. In particular, we have expanded our treatment of consumer demand in a new chapter. This has allowed us to explore in more detail the traditional treatment of the ‘rational consumer’ alongside insights from behavioural economics.

§  We have restructured the opening two macroeconomic chapters to enhance our treatment of the business cycle and of long-run economic growth. We hope this new simplified structure will help students to make a clear distinction between the short and long run in macroeconomics and between demand-side and supply-side changes.

§  We have extended the analysis throughout the book on the issues of globalisation and financialisation. 

§  The text provides extensive coverage of the recent developments in money and banking and their impact on the economy.

§  All policy sections have been thoroughly revised to reflect the changes that have taken place since the last edition. This includes an analysis in several parts of the book of the implications of the Brexit vote and of various economic policies pursued by the Trump administration.

§Most importantly, every part of the book has been carefully considered, and if necessary redrafted, to ensure both maximum clarity and contemporary relevance.

Table of Contents

Brief contents
About the authors
Student and lecturer resources
Publisher’s acknowledgements
1 Economic issues
2 Markets, demand and supply
3 Markets in action
4 The demand decision
5 The supply decision
6 Market structures
7 Wages and the distribution of income
8 Market failures and government policy
9 Aggregate demand and the business cycle
10 Aggregate supply and economic growth
11 The financial system, money and interest rates
12 Output, unemployment and inflation
13 Macroeconomic policy
14 Globalisation and international trade
15 Balance of payments and exchange rates
Websites appendix
Key ideas and glossary


Back Cover

See Economics in Action!

In a world full of volatility, uncertainty and conflicting approaches, this market leading, concise text in introductory economics looks at the key economic issues of today and helps you make sense of them.


This new edition has been updated with the most recent data and coverage of economic issues such as growth, unemployment, the environment, Brexit and behavioural economics. Its classic features and clear, engaging writing style are complemented by strong theoretical basis and a wealth of pedagogical features to support learning. Expect real-life examples, case studies, questions and problems to guide your understanding.



Always up-to-date! The Sloman Economics News Site

Make use of the leading student-friendly blog that’s updated several times a month with news and topical stories, all linked to your textbook chapters, so you can understand current affairs more deeply.


New! Access additional resources on the open Companion Website

The website is full of supporting material such as threshold concepts, audio animations, case studies, web appendices, glossary, flashcards and answers to selected questions from the book.


This book can also be supported by a premium homework and assessment system, MyLab Economics. Learn more inside.



[author bios]





John Sloman was Director of the Economics Network from its foundation in 1999 until 2012, and is now Visiting Fellow at the University of Bristol where the Network is based. John is also Visiting Professor at the University of the West of England, Bristol.

Dean Garratt is a Senior Teaching Fellow at Aston Business School and Associate of the Economics Network. Dean is also Academic Assessor for Government Economics Service and a tutor on HM Treasury’s Graduate Development Programme.