Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New Database: The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

We have recently added a new online edition of one of the classic reference texts in the field of economics. This is The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. The first edition, called The Dictionary of Political Economy, was edited by Robert Harry Inglis Palgrave, and published in three volumes, the first of which was printed in 1894. Several revising editions appeared in the more than 100 years since.

The current New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics contains articles by 1,506 contributors, including 25 Nobel Laureates in Economics. It includes 1,872 articles: 1,057 of these are new to the second edition; 550 are edited original articles; 157 are revised articles; 80 are ‘classics’; and 28 are ‘signpost’ articles. For those, like me, who do not want to "do the math," this supposedly means that over 70% of this edition’s articles are either new or heavily revised.

New or expanded areas include: experimental and behavioural economics, game theory, international economics and technological change and growth. Topics are placed in their historical perspective, indicating likely future trends as well as describing the contemporary situation.

With online access, current Suffolk students and faculty will be able to search and browse the content of this important reference work 24/7, from wherever they have an internet connection.

We also purchased the 8 volume print edition, which will please those who prefer the tactile pleasures of the physical book. However, the online edition has another key advantage. It will be regularly updated with new articles, updates to existing articles, and new features and functionality. The first updates are due to go live at the end of August.

That first online update is scheduled to include the following articles: "Patent Pools" by Daniel Quint; "Thin Markets" by Marzena Rostek and Marek Weretka; "Stigma" by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume; "Cross-Country Growth Regressions" also by Durlauf and Blume; and there will also be 20 selected biographies of key economists in that load.

Like the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics does not have the most elegant or attractive interface. Still, it is a functional one, with the ability to search for keyword concepts from the box in the upper right, or browse A-Z alphabetical entries.

If you would like to consult a brief introduction to this online resource, prepared by the publisher, take a look at their Flash Tour.

And while you are exploring the Palgrave, also take a look at our re-configured Databases by Subject/E-Books page, which now includes not only large collections of eBooks, but also a list of multi-volume single-title reference sources worth exploring.

[FIND The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics on our "Databases by Subject" List in the "E-Books" category.]

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