Predrag Rajsic

Definite term lecturer

Predrag RajsicEmail: prajsic@uwaterloo.ca

Location: HH 242

Phone: 519-888-4567 x 40748

CV: Predrag Rajsic

BSc Specialized Honours, Agricultural Economics, University of Guelph

MSc, Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics, University of Guelph

PhD, Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics, University of Guelph

Areas of Specialization: environmental economics, economics of regulation, business finance

Biography

What follows is part of a welcome note that I use in all my courses. Its aim is to illustrate why everyone should know some economics.

500 billion Yugoslavian DinarI used to be a billionaire back in 1993. This is 500 billion Yugoslavian dinars, and I used to own a few of these.<--break->

Throughout the 1990s, I lived in what used to be Yugoslavia until then, a region torn by war and extreme economic hardships. This was the time of one of the worst episodes of hyperinflation in human history. I remember the days when people ran to the store to spend their paycheque quickly, before the prices of everything doubled the same day.

A high schooler at the time, I was quite puzzled by this situation, especially because I saw a rapid decline in people’s well-being. When I turned on the TV, our politicians kept repeating that they needed to keep printing more money to help the citizens keep up with the rapidly rising prices. There was nothing in my high school curriculum that could help me understand why people are living so miserably in my country.

Only after I started studying economics, I realized its tremendous power to explain why some societies are poor while others are prosperous. I also learned that the Yugoslavian politicians in the 1990s were lying to us. It is not the rise in prices that prompted the politicians to print more money. The causality runs in the opposite direction. It was the politicians’ desire to fund the failing government programs that prompted them to print more money and then caused the prices to rise.

This is only one social issue that can be vastly clarified using the economic way of thinking. In your future, you will be deciding on important economic matters by supporting or opposing future economic policies. If I can teach you how to use the economic way of thinking to determine whether those economic policies will bring the promised consequences, I consider my mission accomplished.

Selected publications

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo