Microeconomics: Markets, Methods and Models
Doug Curtis, Trent University
Ian Irvine, Concordia University
Copyright Year: 2015
Conditions of Use
The stated purpose of this text is to cover materials in a first introductory economics course. The text covers the typical content areas for an introductory microeconomics course. However, it appears to be designed for economics majors and not... read more
The stated purpose of this text is to cover materials in a first introductory economics course. The text covers the typical content areas for an introductory microeconomics course. However, it appears to be designed for economics majors and not the standard student that I would find in my introductory course. It jumps right into the weeds of economic modeling in the first chapter and goes deeper into them in the second chapter. My students would be lost by this time and would likely not continue.
This text is accurate and error free but examples and data tables tend to center around the Canadian economy.
The content is current and the data is relevant though with a decidedly Canadian flavor. To keep it so, tables and charts would need to be updated periodically to match the changing economy.
The authors clearly know economics but telling it in a way that would be understood by a 1 semester-only economics student is a stretch.
The framework is consistent across all chapters.
The module groupings make sense and are typical of an economics text.
The book follows a logical structure and is organized appropriately.
Some graphs and figures have challenges (see chapters 1 - 3, for instance). The words are written over the top of the numbers making both hard to read.
No grammatical errors.
I don’t think significant thought has been given to the students in today’s universities. The content is excellent but it is written in an old-style state the facts, give an example and move on format. Perfect for imparting knowledge but not so great for holding interest of today’s student who is more familiar with story-based telling and integrative learning.
I think this text would be best suited for a course designed to teach economics majors the basics of economics. I’m just not sure that a student taking one economics course would find a reaction function useful in their everyday understanding of economics.
Table of Contents
- Introduction to key ideas
- Theories, models and data
- The classical marketplace – demand and supply
- Measures of response: elasticities
- Welfare economics and externalities
- Individual choice
- Firms, investors and capital markets
- Production and cost
- Perfect competition
- Imperfect competition
- Labour and capital
- Human capital and the income distribution
- International trade
About the Book
Microeconomics: Markets, Methods and Models provides a concise, yet complete, coverage of introductory microeconomic theory, application and policy in a Canadian and global environment. Our beginning is orthodox: we explain and develop the standard tools of analysis in the discipline. Economic policy is about the well-being of the economy's participants, and economic theory should inform economic policy. So we investigate the meaning of ‘well-being' in the context of an efficient use of the economy's resources early in the text.
We next develop an understanding of individual optimizing behaviour. This behaviour in turn is used to link household decisions on savings with firms' decisions on production, expansion and investment. A natural progression is to explain production and cost structures. From the individual level of household and firm decision making, the text then explores behaviour in a variety of different market structures.
Markets for the inputs in the productive process – capital and labour – are a natural component of firm-level decisions. But education and human capital are omnipresent concepts and concerns in the modern economy, so we devote a complete chapter to them. The book then examines the role of a major and important non-market player in the economy – the government, and progresses to develop the key elements in the modern theory of international trade.
Opportunity cost, a global economy and behavioural responses to incentives are the dominant themes.
This book has been updated and revised by the publisher. A newer adaptation of this book is called Principles of Microeconomics.
About the Contributors
Doug Curtis is a specialist in macroeconomics. He is the author of twenty research papers on fiscal policy, monetary policy, and economic growth and structural change. He has also prepared research reports for Canadian industry and government agencies and authored numerous working papers. He completed his PhD at McGill University, and has held visiting appointments at the University of Cambridge and the University of York in the United Kingdom. His current research interests are monetary and fiscal policy rules, and the relationship between economic growth and structural change. He is Professor Emeritus of Economics at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, and Sessional Adjunct Professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
Ian Irvine is a specialist in microeconomics, public economics, economic inequality and health economics. He is the author of some thirty research papers in these fields. He completed his PhD at the University of Western Ontario, has been a visitor at the London School of Economics, the University of Sydney, the University of Colorado, University College Dublin and the Economic and Social Research Institute. His current research interests are in tobacco use and taxation, and Canada’s Employment Insurance and Welfare systems. He has done numerous studies for the Government of Canada, and is currently a Professor of Economics at Concordia University in Montreal.