Macroeconomics book recommendation
May 29, 2015 6:40 AM   Subscribe

Looking for best intuitive introduction to macroeconomics.

Hi! I am going to take a full year of very math intensive macroeconomics next year at undergraduate level. Which is all very exciting. But I realised while doing the microecon equivalent that the stuff we do in class in very analytic from the get-go. So I would like to prepare during holidays before next semester by reading a good book on macroeconomics that would hone my intuitions, get the macroeconomics ideas rolling in my head before I dive right in into some very dense mathematics and details.

Any such book recommendation?

As an example, for someone looking to read about Buddhism the first time, I wouldn't recommend Peter Harvey's 'Introduction to Buddhism'. It is a very good scholarly book but for someone reading on the subject the first time I would recommend Christmas Humphreys heartfelt books who encapsulates the heart and soul of Buddhism in magnificent lyricism.
posted by iliketothinknu to Education (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you're thinking you want to sort of warm up using a different textbook, Mankiw's Macroeconomics is widely used in not-too-math-intensive intermediate Macro courses. I don't think it requires much, if any, calculus, for example, but will give you the big ideas and lots of graphical intuition to get yourself going. He also cashes in by putting out new editions frequently, so you can probably find a used copy of an older edition quite cheap.
posted by dismas at 7:05 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

You might want to follow it up with an intro text, but a very intuitive and completely nontechnical start is Memos to the President. Author Charles Schultze "..imagines that the next president has promised to devote one hour a week to learning about key economic principles and has asked the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers for instruction." The twist: Schultze actually chaired President Carter's Council of Economic Advisers. A bit dated (1992), but general enough so that's not a big problem.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 8:17 AM on May 29, 2015

"Almost Everyone's Guide to Economics" by Galbraith and Salinger is very helpful for this. Takes an irreverent and jargon-free approach to developing intuitions for the underlying principles of macroeconomics. Can be a bit hard to locate nowadays, but Amazon may have some used copies available.

Also seconding the Cartoon Intro
posted by NotAlwaysSo at 2:00 PM on May 29, 2015

How Markets Fail, by John Cassidy
posted by at at 5:34 PM on May 29, 2015

I'm going to go with a book that's a little lighter and recommend "The Undercover Economist Strikes Back" by Tim Harford. It approaches it more conversationally than programmatically which is what I think you're looking for.
posted by 27kjmm at 7:25 PM on May 29, 2015

I went to a small liberal arts college and my macro professor made us read The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times And Ideas Of The Great Economic Thinkers.
posted by kinoeye at 7:41 PM on May 29, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for your input! I chose to go with the cartoon introduction to economics: volume two: macroeconomics! :)
posted by iliketothinknu at 5:45 PM on May 30, 2015

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