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Missed Econ 101?

In light of all this financial upheaval, I’ve been trying to find good sources for learning basic economic concepts. I must admit that I haven’t taken economics since high school, a class that consisted of one semester learning to balance checkbooks… and that was about it. Lately I’ve been reading a basic economics book, and have another on my to-read list, but it struck me that what I really needed was a series of short educational publications on specific economic topics.

Hmmm… government documents, anyone? Here are some helpful documents and websites I’m using.

Please comment if you’ve got further resources–I’m fascinated to see them!

BEA Digital Library Expands

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Digital Library

The BEA digital library of seminal documents related to the history of the U.S. national economic accounts. The library includes key Survey of Current Business articles from the 1930s through the 1990s, early reports by the Department of Commerce on the measurement of national income and product, volumes from the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, Annual Review articles through 1974, and selected other documents….

The Digital Library has recently undergone a major expansion. It was first launched in June 2006, and now includes 1,141 articles from the Survey of Current Business, spanning from 1934 to 1992. The latest update, brought online May 14, 2008, introduces 111 new articles from the 1980s, adding some of the most recent content to the Digital Library yet available.

…The Digital Library now contains a total of 1,158 documents, including those that were not originally published in the Survey of Current Business.

See also: more about the Digital Library Expansion.

iSimulate – collaborative economic modeling

Macroeconomic modeling might not be everyone’s cup of tea but for those practitioners of the "dismal science", computer-based economic modeling is essential.  David and Gauresh are two World Bank staff who work with economic data.  In a kind of internal "grassroots" programming effort they’ve built a web interface to access the World Bank’s economic simulation models.  The nice twist is that they plan to offer it free to anyone who wants to use it.  I met them this winter and I’ve been following their progress for several months now.  Today I learned that the site is now on the web.

Some blurbage about iSimulate:

  • Policy makers, students and others in developing countries are able to simulate domestic policies, analyze the impact of international developments and do cross-country analyses from remote locations.
  • It is possible to organize collaborative forecasts and analyses of the world economy with teams of individuals spread across the globe.
  • Provides a user-friendly and standardized interface to often complicated macroeconomic modeling tools.