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Since the end of the Second World War, industrial economic activity has been generated on an unparalleled scale. This continuous search for yet greater output and productivity have been dominant policy objectives of practically every country in the world for the past 50 years. However, there is a cost for industrial growth on this scale and the price has been and is being paid in widespread social and cultural disruption and potentially catastrophic effects on the global environment. Real Life Economics challenges traditional economic theories which have promted this situation and constructs an economic framework within which it can be both understood and ameliorated. This framework is designed to illuminate and offer guidance about practical matters of an economic nature in the real world, in order to help in the construction of an economy more productive of human welfare. The book is divided into three parts. The first part defines the place of the economy in broader human culture. It begins with a clarification of issues of methodology, process and purpose. It goes on to develop a perspective of the whole economy and models the process of wealth creation. Part 11 presents a deeper discussion of economic progress and development and how they can be measured in practice. Part 11 discusses the relationship between the market, the state and non-monetary production. Despite its innovative interdisciplinary approach, Real-Life Economics remains recognisably economic in nature, incorporating many of the means and concepts from a variety of the schools of thought (including the neoclassical) which constitute the economics discipline today. The individual papers, from contributors manyof whom are among the acknowledged leaders in their respective fields, are woven together by editorial comment into a powerful statement of an important new economic perspective.
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