PEOPLE say economists have their own peculiar language. If activists call the language of technocrats "technocratese" then the language of general economic practitioners and researchers might be called "economese".

This mini-dictionary of economic terms is intended to help today’s activists, leaders of people’s organizations and social movements grapple with common economic terms.

The last two decades of this century can perhaps be considered a period of tremendous changes both in the economy and in politics. A consequence of these changes is the evolution of concepts reflecting the changing global environment. Ideas behind free market economics, structural adjustments, environmentalism and feminism have to be understood by modern-day activists to meaningfully participate in debates and propose alternatives grounded on current realities.

This book is heavy on the first two areas enumerated above--free market economics and structural adjustments. Terms used in mainstream economics are defined, such as the incremental capital-output ratio (ICOR), gross national product (GNP), paid-up capital, etc. With the apparent failure of various socialisms and the claimed return to free market economics, such an emphasis is probably necessary. In addition, this book hopes to contribute to the understanding, and hopefully to the resolution of the debt problem. Thus, terms like LIBOR, Special Drawing Rights, the Brady Plan among others are explained. Alternative forms of an economy are presented--mixed, socialist and market economies are among the menu of terms that can be found. A little touch of environmentalism and feminism is added by including some terms in economics which may be useful for the movement.

The broadness of economics prevents this book from being comprehensive. Rather, the focus is on commonly encountered economic concepts. Terms which are part of a definition but are likewise defined elsewhere in the dictionary are typed in CAPITALS for cross reference. Some data are included to show trends and make comparative analysis. Drawings are likewise used to help clarify the issue or present an opinion.

It is to be hoped that this mini-dictionary contributes to forming not simply the typical economics school graduate but more so, a people’s economist.


SOURCES * Definitions denoted with this **Asteric** draw heavily from the following sources and references:
  • The Language of Organizing: A Guidebook for Filipino Organizers. Third World Studies Center. University of the Philippines. 1990
  • Plans, Markets and Relations: Studies for a Mixed Economy, edited by E. de Dios and L. Villamil. Philippine Center for Policy Studies. Kalikasan Press. Manila. 1990
  • The Philippine Financial System. IBON Primer Series. IBON Databank Phils., Inc. Manila. 1983
  • What Crisis? Highlights of the Philippine Economy, 1983. IBON Databank Phils., Inc. Manila. 1984
  • Directory of TNCs in the Philippines. IBON Databank Phils., Inc. Manila. 1988
  • IBON Facts & Figures. No. ‘87. 31 May 1986
  • 1989 Economic and Social Indicators. National Statistical Coordina-tion Hoard.
  • The Dictionary of Modern Economics. David W. Pearce. The Macmillan Press Ltd. London. 1983