Principles of Macroeconomics
Pub Date: 2016
ISBN 13: 978-1-9461351-7-9
Publisher: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing
Conditions of Use
Having spent a bit of time working my way through other textbooks to arrive at one that seemed to fit my style of teaching, I am pleasantly surprised read more
Having spent a bit of time working my way through other textbooks to arrive at one that seemed to fit my style of teaching, I am pleasantly surprised at the comprehensiveness of this text. It covers all the main principles that would typically be covered, but also includes some chapters on subjects that would be great to implement given enough time. At the very least, they are a resource for students that have taken a greater interest in the course work. I am speaking specifically on the chapters toward the end relating to poverty and income inquality. Additionally, the book contains a good review of graphing and some of the mathematics utilized within the book.
I will not suggest that I am providing a thorough review in accuracy, but from what I have reviewed, nothing seemed remiss. Perhaps a typo here or there - not enough to interrupt the flow of the material. But everything seemed in order from a content perspective.
The ability to update material would be the part most concerning to me as I do not know the updating practices for the authors. There seems to be good coverage of more recent events, and certainly there is good coverage going further back. I do not take issue with it as it stands. Even with the more expensive textbooks, it is the obligation of the professor or lecturer to keep students current while applying the principles being taught.
I think that what I appreciate most with the textbook is that it seems to be written in a very straightforward manner. One common complaint that I hear from students is that textbook explanations can be tedious to get through. Given all the examples that are provided, and all the sample problems utilized, in addition to the actual writing, I think that students, including international students, would find this a generally approachable source.
Again, with the caveat that I have not read through every single part of the book, in my examination of the text, I did not enounter any inconsistencies within the book. Also, I felt that the presentation seemed consistent, yet more comprehensive, than most textbooks I have utilized.
The breakdown of the text makes it very approachable from a learner standpoint. It is clear what the objectives are within each small section, and the objectives never seem overwhelming. This is useful from a teaching standpoint to keep students from feeling overwhelmed.
The organization of the book does not align with the current way that I teach. While I am open to making adjustments, I do think that the order of some chapters could be rearranged. For example, the topic of economic growth could easily be combined with development rather than treated as an afterthought. With an increasing focus on internationalization in higher education, separating the two suggests a sense of other from my perspective. I find it confusing to have GDP included in the chapter on inflation and unemployment, but then treated separately afterward.
There were a few distractions for me in the layout that seemed to be issues with how it displayed on my computer. These were not so serious that they would prevent me from utilizing the materials. I have not had the chance to see how it presents on an ipad, tablet or phone.
I spotted one or two errors, but not enough to deter me from using the book.
I certainly did not encounter anything that seemed culturally insensitive or offensive. I would encourage greater use of international examples, particularly when looking at policy tools. The book is U.S. focused; although this is the case with virtually every textbook that is presented to me. Internationalization of the curriculum seems to be an increasingly popular theme. That said, the book certainly utilizes enough international examples for me to consider it.
I am pleasantly surprised by this book. As I prepare for the 2015-2016 academic year, I will certainly consider using this text. I would need to get a better idea of how easily one can access the specific materials needed on demand.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Economics: The Study of Choice
- Chapter 2: Confronting Scarcity: Choices in Production
- Chapter 3: Demand and Supply
- Chapter 4: Applications of Demand and Supply
- Chapter 5: Macroeconomics: The Big Picture
- Chapter 6: Measuring Total Output and Income
- Chapter 7: Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply
- Chapter 8: Economic Growth
- Chapter 9: The Nature and Creation of Money
- Chapter 10: Financial Markets and the Economy
- Chapter 11: Monetary Policy and the Fed
- Chapter 12: Government and Fiscal Policy
- Chapter 13: Consumption and the Aggregate Expenditures Model
- Chapter 14: Investment and Economic Activity
- Chapter 15: Net Exports and International Finance
- Chapter 16: Inflation and Unemployment
- Chapter 17: A Brief History of Macroeconomic Thought and Policy
- Chapter 18: Inequality, Poverty, and Discrimination
- Chapter 19: Economic Development
- Chapter 20: Socialist Economies in Transition
About the Book
Recognizing that a course in economics may seem daunting to some students, we have tried to make the writing clear and engaging. Clarity comes in part from the intuitive presentation style, but we have also integrated a number of pedagogical features that we believe make learning economic concepts and principles easier and more fun. These features are very student-focused. The chapters themselves are written using a “modular” format. In particular, chapters generally consist of three main content sections that break down a particular topic into manageable parts. Each content section contains not only an exposition of the material at hand but also learning objectives, summaries, examples, and problems. Each chapter is introduced with a story to motivate the material and each chapter ends with a wrap-up and additional problems. Our goal is to encourage active learning by including many examples and many problems of different types.
A tour of the features available for each chapter may give a better sense of what we mean:
Start Up—Chapter introductions set the stage for each chapter with an example that we hope will motivate readers to study the material that follows. These essays, on topics such as the value of a college degree in the labor market or how policy makers reacted to a particular economic recession, lend themselves to the type of analysis explained in the chapter. We often refer to these examples later in the text to demonstrate the link between theory and reality.
Learning Objectives—These succinct statements are guides to the content of each section. Instructors can use them as a snapshot of the important points of the section. After completing the section, students can return to the learning objectives to check if they have mastered the material.
Heads Up!—These notes throughout the text warn of common errors and explain how to avoid making them. After our combined teaching experience of more than fifty years, we have seen the same mistakes made by many students. This feature provides additional clarification and shows students how to navigate possibly treacherous waters.
Key Takeaways—These statements review the main points covered in each content section.
Key Terms—Defined within the text, students can review them in context, a process that enhances learning.
Try It! questions—These problems, which appear at the end of each content section and which are answered completely in the text, give students the opportunity to be active learners. They are designed to give students a clear signal as to whether they understand the material before they go on to the next topic.
Cases in Point—These essays included at the end of each content section illustrate the influence of economic forces on real issues and real people. Unlike other texts that use boxed features to present interesting new material or newspaper articles, we have written each case ourselves to integrate them more clearly with the rest of the text.
Summary—In a few paragraphs, the information presented in the chapter is pulled together in a way that allows for a quick review of the material.
End-of-chapter concept and numerical problems—These are bountiful and are intended to check understanding, to promote discussion of the issues raised in the chapter, and to engage students in critical thinking about the material. Included are not only general review questions to test basic understanding but also examples drawn from the news and from results of economics research. Some have students working with real-world data.
About the Contributors
Principles of Macroeconomics in the Information Age is adapted from a work produced by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution. This adapted edition is produced by the University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing through the eLearning Support Initiative.