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Throughout most of modern history, economic sanctions have preceded or accompanied war, often in the form of a naval blockade intended to weaken the enemy. Only when the horrors of World War I prompted President Woodrow Wilson to call for an alternative to armed conflict were economic sanctions seriously considered. (W...

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Defeated in battle and ravaged by bombing in the course of World War II, Germany and Japan nevertheless made postwar recoveries that startled the world. Within ten years these nations were once again considerable economic powers. A decade later, each had not only regained prosperity but had also economically overtaken,...

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When asked by mathematician Stanislaw Ulam whether he could name an idea in economics that was both universally true and not obvious, economist Paul Samuelson’s example was the principle of comparative advantage. That principle was derived by David Ricardo in his 1817 book, Principles of Political Economy and Taxatio...

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What would be the consequences of applying the principle of laissez-faire—that is, completely free markets—to money? While the idea may seem strange to most people, economists have debated the question of competing money supplies off and on since Adam Smith’s time. In recent years, trends in banking deregulation,...

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  Although recognized equally for his contributions to economic policy, methodology, and the history of ideas, Lionel Robbins made his name as a theorist. In the 1920s he attacked Alfred Marshall’s concept of the “representative firm,” arguing that the concept was no help in understanding the eq...

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  From the 1950s through the 1970s, John Kenneth Galbraith was one of the most widely read economists in the United States. One reason is that he wrote so well, with the ability to turn a clever phrase that made those he argued against look foolish. Galbraith’s first major book, published in 1952, i...

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  From the time he was a young man growing up in Saint Petersburg, Wassily Leontief devoted his studies to input-output analysis. When he left Russia at the age of nineteen to begin the Ph.D. program at the University of Berlin, he had already shown how leon walras’s abstract equilibrium theory coul...

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High School Economics Topics

Introduction The Council for Economic Education (CEE) has compiled a list of the 51 key economics concepts common to all U.S. State requirements for high school classes in economics. The resources arranged here supplement these recommended CEE topics. These free resources are appropriate for teachers of high school...

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