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As a first year student reading Economics and Politics, I currently have to take a 30 credit module entitled "Principles of Economics". In essence I have found that this is extremely similar to the A' level economics course, however there are a few notable differences - namely the inclusion of Budget lines and indifference curves as part of the syllabus.
Economics by Begg, Fischer, and Dornbusch, I believe, was intended solely for first year university students undertaking basic, or introductory economics modules. For this purpose it is extremely useful. It contains all of the neccessary knowledge you will require for undetaking the first year examination, and will stand you in good stead as a prerequisite for many second and third year economics modules.
The book itself is split into 5 parts: Introduction, Positive microeconomics, welfare economics, macroeconomics, and the world economy. Personally I'm not a huge fan of this layout, as positive microeconomics and welfare economics can be combined under the more general title of microeconomics, and as the world economy is a component of macroeconomics, I believe that the two could also be combined under the former heading.
As well as being split into these 5 parts, each part is split into different chapters for each component of basic economic theory, for example market competition and imperfect competition comes under the heading of positive microeconomics, and output and aggregate demand comes under the heading of macroeconomics. Personally I think that this is an excellent idea, as it makes it easier to divide up topics when revising for the dreaded exams!
In my opinion, the layout of the individual chapters is excellent. The text is seperated into very readable paragraphs, and economic diagrams and models are clearly labelled and colourful. Furthermore, throughout each chapter, the definitions of important economic terms are highlighted in purple boxes making them extremely easy to interpret.
If you have never undertaken a basic economics course before beginning an economics related degree at university, then I am sure that you will find this book to be a blessing. It is clear, concise, and at times, extremely interesting. However, as I have an A' level in economics myself, the book can be quite tedious at times, although this is obviously no fault of the author's. If you have an A level in Economics and are considering whether to purchase this book, then I recommend that you wait a couple of months into your course to assess whether you really need it.
Although 'Economics' really is an excellent book for students, it does come at a price! It's recommended retail price is £34.99, however ive seen it available on a number of online bookshops for £29.99 - a welcome saving. I should also mention that there is a corresponding workbook available from the same authors, priced at £18.99. Although you will definately not need this if you do have an A level in economics, if not it will definately come in useful!
Finally I should mention that each chapter is ended with a useful concise summary of the important points raised, as well as some review questions to consider - both of which are very useful when revising for exams.
All in all an excellent book which I would highly recommend!