Category Archives: Economics

Friday Focus on … Bitcoin

I am the first to admit that I do not know much about bitcoin (the mysterious digital currency) recently in the news as the method of payment by a California hospital to hackers after a malware attack (see this story on CNN Money). I saw my first Bitcoin ATM while on a trip to Portland Oregon last year in the Pioneer Place Mall.

How can you learn more about bitcoin, and other digital currencies? Here are some new books that may be of interest:

Dust jacket for Digital GoldDigital Gold: Bitcoin and the inside story of the misfits and millionaires trying to reinvent money by  Nathaniel Popper.  New York: Harper, 2015. Call No: HG 1710 P68 2015.  

“A New York Times technology and business reporter charts the dramatic rise of Bitcoin and the fascinating personalities who are striving to create a new global money for the Internet age” [publisher’s website].


Dust Jacket for Digital Currency book.Handbook of Digital Currency: Bitcoin, Innovation, Financial Instruments, and Data edited by D. Lee Kuo Chen. Academic Press, 2015. Ebook available on the ScienceDirect platform.

” •Discusses all major strategies and tactics associated with digital currencies, their uses, and their regulations
•Presents future scenarios for the growth of digital currencies
•Written for regulators, crime prevention units, tax authorities, entrepreneurs, micro-financiers, micro-payment businesses, cryptography experts, software developers, venture capitalists, hedge fund managers, hardware manufacturers, credit card providers, money changers, remittance service providers, exchanges, and academics” [publisher’s website].


Dust jacket for understanding bitcoinUnderstanding Bitcoin: Cryptography, Engineering, and Economics by Pedro Franco. New York: Wiley, 2014. Available online via the Wiley Online Library platform.

Part one explores the foundations, technology, and economics of bitcoin and provides examples of how bitcoin is used in business applications. Part two explores bitcoin technology including public key cryptography, transactions, the blockchain, wallets, and mining. Part three explores the cryptocurrencies landscape.







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Filed under ebooks, Economics, Finance, New Books, technology

Friday Focus on … Applied Economics

The October 2013 list of new books in the James A. Gibson Library contains several interesting titles in different areas of applied economics.

Climate economics: the state of the art / Frank Ackerman and Elizabeth A. Stanton. London: Routledge, 2013.Call No: QC 903 A145 2013.

  • This book explores the field of climate economics. It begins with a chapter on climate science for economists, and then examines climate impacts on natural and human systems, uncertainty, public goods and public policy, the climate policy debate, technologies for mitigation, the economics of mitigation, and adaptation.


Economics and HIV: the sickness of economics / Deborah Johnston. London: Routledge, 2013. Call No: RA 643.8 J646 2013.

  • This book applies economics to the HIV pandemic, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Part one focuses on the economics of HIV transmission, and links to development. Part two examines the economic impact of AIDS on farms, firms, individuals, households. It concludes with an exploration of the political economy perspective of the economic impact of AIDS.


Economics of AgglomerationEconomics of agglomeration: cities, industrial location, and globalization, 2nd ed. /Masahisa Fujita, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan ; Jacques-Francois Thisse, Catholic University of Louvain. New York : Cambridge University Press, 2013. Call No: HT 388 F84 2013. 

  • This book explores the fields of spatial economics, urban economics, and economic geography. Part one explores the fundamentals of spatial economics, part two examines the structure of metropolitan areas, part three focuses on factor mobility and industrial location, while part four covers urban systems, regional growth, and the multinationalization of firms.

Wine Economics - Series Edited By Orhan Güvenen and Henri Serbat and Edited By Eric Giraud-Héraud and Marie-Claude Pichery

Wine economics: quantitative studies and empirical applications / edited by Eric Giraud-Heraud and Marie-Claude Pichery. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Call No: HD 9370.5 W55 2013.

  • Written by two French wine economists, this book explores a wide variety of topics related to alcohol consumption and welfare; consumer behaviour and prices; wine rankings and financial issues; intermediary markets and strategic decisions; and new topis such as wine tourism, and the rising alcohol content in wine.

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Filed under Climate Economics, Economics, Health Economics, Urban Economics, Wine

Friday Focus on… Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Economics will be awarded on Monday October 14th, 2013. Here are an article with some predictions regarding the forthcoming announcement.

For more information on the Economics Prize, including a countdown clock, facts, and  video interviews with recent Laureates, see:

The Brock University Library is a great place to find biographies of Economists, and key scholarly works. Once the prize is announced, you can use SuperSearch to identify books and journal articles authored by the Laureates.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

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Friday Focus on … Routledge International Handbooks in Economics

The James A. Gibson Library has recently acquired the “e-book” editions of two titles in the Routledge International Handbooks series which are relevant for economic researchers. Both are now available on Ebscohost’s EBook collection. There is a 1 concurrent user limit on each book.

Cover of Routledge Handbook of Major Events in Economic History

Book Cover

The Routledge Handbook of Major Events in Economic History

This handbook spans the period from the late 19th century to the early 21st century. It is organized into four parts. Part one covers the era just prior to and including World War I  and includes chapters on the establishment of the U.S. Federal Reserve System, the great merger wave, the classical gold standard, and various financial panics. Part two covers the interwar era and World War II and features chapters on the 1929 stock market crash, the Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II. Part three covers the post World War II era from 1945 to the 1990s and includes chapters on the Marshall Plan, oil shocks, disinflation, the rise of China and India, and the fall of the Soviet Union. Part four of the handbook covers the contemporary era and includes chapters on world hyperinflations, recent financial panics, and government bailouts.

Cover of Routledge Handbook of Modern Economic History

Book cover

The Routledge Handbook of Modern Economic History

According to the publisher, “The Routledge Handbook of Modern Economic History aims to introduce readers to important approaches and findings of economic historians who study the modern world. Its short chapters reflect the most up-to-date research and are written by well-known economic historians who are authorities on their subjects”.

The handbook is organized into four parts: 1) the methods of modern economic history; 2) influences on growth and stagnation; 3) individual economic sectors (agriculture, transportation, healthcare, banking, entertainment and sports; 4) the work force and human outcomes (labor markets, labor unions, education, immigration, slavery, urbanization, the changing role of women, African Americans).

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Friday Focus on Budget 2013

Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty unveiled Canada’s 2013 Budget on March 21st. There are several traditions associated with Canadian Federal Budgets. One involves new shoes (this year they are from Roots Canada), and the other involves a lock-up. There are a series of photos in Finance Canada’s photostream on Flickr.

As is the tradition, journalists and experts from banks, consulting firms, and other organizations, are given access to budget documents before the budget is tabled in Parliament in something called the “budget lock-up”. This allows them to review the document and write up their analysis in a timely manner, and much of their commentary can be found online.

Federal Budget 2013 Documents on the Ministry of Finance website

– Includes the Budget Plan (the detailed budget, chapter by chapter), the Budget in Brief, Priorities, the official News Release,  and a Video Gallery.

Analysis and Commentary

News Coverage

  • To identify news articles on the 2013 Federal Budget, you have several options including a Google News search for Federal Budget 2013, visiting your favorite news outlet, or conducting a Library database search using Canadian Newsstand (20+ major Canadian daily newspapers) or LexisNexis Academic (for global English language news coverage).

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Friday Focus on … Oxford Handbooks in Economics

Oxford University Press has now published quite a few titles in the Oxford Handbooks series that are relevant to Economics. These are state-of-the-art surveys on specific subject areas and are great resources for students thinking about research topics for a thesis or project, for faculty embarking on research in a new stream in Economics, or for scholars in other disciplines seeking to bring themselves up to speed on the latest research.

The Oxford Handbook of the Digital Economy. Call No: HC 79 I55 O93 2012.

  • “The economic analysis of the digital economy has been a rapidly developing research area for more than a decade. Through authoritative examination by leading scholars, this handbook takes a closer look at particular industries, business practices, and policy issues associated with the digital industry. The volume offers an up-to-date account of key topics, discusses open questions, and provides guidance for future research. It offers a blend of theoretical and empirical works that are central to understanding the digital economy. The chapters are presented in four sections, corresponding with four broad themes: 1) infrastructure, standards, and platforms; 2) the transformation of selling, encompassing both the transformation of traditional selling and new, widespread application of tools such as auctions; 3) user-generated content; and 4) threats in the new digital environment.” (Publisher’s web site).

The Oxford Handbook on the World Trade Organization. Call No: HF 1385 O94 2012.

  • “The Oxford Handbook on the World Trade Organization provides an authoritative and cutting-edge account of the World Trade Organization. Its purpose is to provide a holistic understanding of what the WTO does, how it goes about fulfilling its tasks, its achievements and problems, and how it might contend with some critical challenges.” (Publisher’s web site).

 The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Poverty. Call No: HC 79 P6 O97 2012

  • “The Handbook is written in a highly-accessible style that encourages the reader to think critically about poverty. Theories are presented in a rigorous but not overly-technical way; concise and straightforward empirical analyses enlighten key policy issues. The volume has six parts: Poverty in the 21st Century; Labor Market Factors; Poverty Policy; Poverty Dynamics; Dimensions of Poverty; and Trends and Issues in Anti-Poverty Policy. A goal of the Handbook is to stimulate further research on poverty. To that end, several chapters challenge conventional thinking about poverty and in some cases present specific proposals for the reform of economic and social policy.” (publisher’s website).

The Oxford Handbook of Urban Economics and Planning. Call No: HT 321 O94 2012.

  • “This volume embodies a problem-driven and theoretically informed approach to bridging frontier research in urban economics and urban/regional planning. The authors focus on the interface between these two subdisciplines that have historically had an uneasy relationship.” (Publisher’s web site).

The Oxford Handbook of Sports Economics. Call No: GV 716 O94 2012 v.1-2

  • Volume 1 – The Economics of Sports and Volume 2 – Economics Through Sports.
  • Stephen Shmanske and Leo Kahane have brought together nearly all of the important authors in the quickly growing field of Sports Economics to contribute chapters to this two-volume set….The editors have recognized two ways that economics and sports interact. First, economic analysis has helped everyone understand many of the peculiar institutions in sports. And second, quality data about individual productivity, salaries, career histories, teamwork, and managerial behavior has helped economists study topics as varied as the economics of discrimination, salary dispersion, and antitrust policy. These two themes of economics helping sports and sports helping economics provide the organizational structure to the two-volume set.” (Publisher’s web site).

The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Religion. Call No: HB 72 O954 2011

  • “This is a one-of-kind volume bringing together leading scholars in the economics of religion for the first time. The treatment of topics is interdisciplinary, comparative, as well as global in nature. Scholars apply the economics of religion approach to contemporary issues such as immigrants in the United States and ask historical questions such as why did Judaism as a religion promote investment in education?” (Publisher’s web site).

The Oxford Handbook of Health Economics. Call No: RA 410.5 O94 2011

  • “The Oxford Handbook of Health Economics provides an accessible and authoritative guide to health economics, intended for scholars and students in the field, as well as those in adjacent disciplines including health policy and clinical medicine. The chapters stress the direct impact of health economics reasoning on policy and practice, offering readers an introduction to the potential reach of the discipline.” (Publisher’s web site).

The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Food Consumption and Policy. Call No: HD 9000.5 O94 2011

  • This handbook provides an overview of the economics of food consumption and policy and is a useful reference for academics and graduate students interested in food economics and the consumer-end of the supply chain. It is also relevant to those employed in food and agricultural industries, policy makers, and activist groups. (Publisher’s web site).

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Friday Focus on … Water

There are some interesting new titles related to water in April’s New Books list.

The big thirst: the secret life and turbulent future of water / by Charles Fishman. New York: Free Press, 2012. Call No: HD 1691 F55 2012 (9th floor)

“As Charles Fishman brings vibrantly to life in this surprising and mind-changing narrative, water runs our world in a host of awe-inspiring ways, yet we take it completely for granted. But the era of easy water is over …. As Charles Fishman writes, “Many civilizations have been crippled or destroyed by an inability to understand water or manage it. We have a huge advantage over the generations of people who have come before us, because we can understand water and we can use it smartly.” The Big Thirst will forever change the way we think about water, about our essential relationship to it, and about the creativity we can bring to ensuring that we’ll always have plenty of it.”

[ Description from publisher’s web site]

Book cover of The Future of WaterThe future of water: a startling look ahead / by Steve Maxwell with Scott Yates. Denver, CO: American Water Works Association, 2011. Call No: HD 1691 M38 2011 (9th floor)

This book  examines the future of water use at home, in agriculture, in industrial settings. It looks at future sources of water, the future of water storage, the future of water utilities, the future of water business, and the future role of water.

Learn more about this book by visiting the publisher’s web site.

Book cover of Water Resource ConflictsWater resource conflicts and international security: a global perspective / edited by Dhirendra K. Vajpeyi. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2012. Call No: HD 1691 W38 2012.

This is an edited collection of ten case studies ” which analyzes the increasing global demand for water in economic and social development, and the dire need to efficiently manage this vital natural resource, particularly in water-scarce countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.”

Learn more about this title by visiting the publisher’s web site.

Waterlife: five Great Lakes, one last change

I recently attended a demonstration of the new National Film Board of Canada educational video site ( and learned that there is an interactive version of the NFB video Waterlife.

You can find a DVD copy of the original video in the DVD collection on the 5th floor of the James A. Gibson Library. The Call Number is TD 223.3 W38 2009.

You can watch the trailer for this documentary to learn more about it.

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New Books on Economics in the Brock Library

Just in case you were too busy to visit the New Books display in the Brock Library last month, here are some highlights of some  new Economics books that were added to the print collection.

Just click on a linked title to view its Library Catalogue record and to check the status (in case you want to sign it out or request it).

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