"In my view, the most effective way to teach microeconomic theory is to demonstrate how economics can be, and has been, used to shed light on important real-world problems. If one takes the time to show students the relevance and power of microeconomic theory, they are usually motivated to learn it more thoroughly. Throughout this volume, articles are included that demonstrate the application and applicability of microeconomic theory. In addition, the final section of the book is devoted entirely to the discussion of important social problems of the seventies, all of considerable interest to the students of today – air pollution, water pollution, urban renewal, the economic status of the black population, the all-volunteer army, and the impact of technological change. Each of the articles in this section shows how economics can be used to shed light on one of these vital issues."
Edwin Mansfield (1930–1997) was a professor of economics at University of Pennsylvania from 1964 and until his death. From 1985 he was also a director of the Center for Economics and Technology.
Edwin Mansfield is best known for his scientific results concerning technological change/diffusion of innovations, and also for his textbooks on microeconomics, managerial economics, and econometrics that were published in millions copies and translated into foreign languages.
Mansfield received an A.B. from Dartmouth College, a Diploma from the Royal Statistical Society, and a Ph.D. from Duke University. In 1964, after teaching at Carnegie-Mellon, Yale, and Harvard Universities, he was appointed professor of economics at Penn, where he taught until early October. In 1985, he became director of the University's Center for Economics and Technology.
He received many awards for his research on the Economics of technological change, including the Kenan Enterprise Award in 1996, the Special Creativity Award of the National Science Foundation in 1994, the Honor Award of the National Technological University in 1992, the 1982 Publication Award of the Patent Law Association, the Prentice Hall Award, and Ford Foundation and Fulbright fellowships. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and was among the 20 economists in the United States most cited in professional journals from 1971 to 1985.
Author of over 200 articles and 30 books, his textbooks, which sold several million copies, were adopted at over 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities, and were translated and widely used abroad. He wrote the text for, and participated in, Economics USA, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's well-known television course in economics, and at Lehigh University carried out for several years one of the first television courses on the management of technology. In 1979, when Sino-American scientific agreements were reached, he was the first American economist invited to lecture by the People's Republic of China.
An adviser and consultant to many government agencies, including the Executive Office of the President and the World Bank, he received the Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, was appointed to the National Technology Medal Committee, and was U.S. Chairman of the Working Group on Science and Technology established by the United States and Russian governments. In Pennsylvania, he was appointed to the Governor's Science Advisory Committee.
He was also a consultant to many firms, including Exxon, Mobil and SmithKline, the object generally being to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of research and development. He was on the board of directors of the American Productivity and Quality Center and was chairman of the Visiting Committee at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.