Principles of Microeconomics
Timothy Taylor, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Steven A. Greenlaw, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Eric Dodge, Hanover, Indiana
Copyright Year: 2014
ISBN 13: 9781938168246
Conditions of Use
The textbook covers most of the intro-level mainstream microeconomic topics. An honors level microeconomics course would consider a textbook that was more advanced and in-depth. read more
The textbook covers most of the intro-level mainstream microeconomic topics. An honors level microeconomics course would consider a textbook that was more advanced and in-depth.
The content is accurate.
Photos and real-world examples would need to be regularly updated.
The text is written in an easy-to-read manner. However, the book would benefit significantly from graphic design overhaul. The graphs are too small in size and lack color. The use of color would illuminate the various cost curves. Math equations could be typeset more clearly by using a different font and improved layout. Table data could be laid out more clearly.
The textbook is consistent in its use of terminology.
The chapters can be used in the same groupings as other microeconomics textbook.
The chapters are organized in a standard way.
There are no issues with the interface.
I didn’t find any grammatical errors, but there are quite a few typos.
I didn’t find anything that was culturally offensive. Many of the examples are quite dated though. Note that the textbook is from an American perspective.
OER is a very worthy project. I root for its success. The prose of the book is very approachable; however, the graphic design including the text layout makes this textbook not ready for primetime. Although the free price tag of this book is attractive, the lack of integration between the explanations and the graphs (e.g. no use of color) detracts from the effectiveness of the textbook.
The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject and provides an effective index and/or glossary. The text can be used as a required text at an Introductory level Microeconomics course at College level. read more
The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject and provides an effective index and/or glossary. The text can be used as a required text at an Introductory level Microeconomics course at College level.
Most part I found the text to be accurate and error free and unbiased. But I would like to mention the following as improvements to the text. The Figure 1.2 on page 11 shows a picture of absolute poverty rather than scarce resources for me. Scarcity is a relative term and the picture on the figure shows an absolute concept. Students will surely get confused as to scarcity is something like poverty. Scarcity is limited resources to fulfill unlimited wants. Scarcity is prevalent everywhere even among the rich. So I wouldn't put that figure 1.2 as scarcity. Another improvement that I suggest is to explain absolute advantage and comparative advantage where the explanation of specialization and division of labor is mentioned. If Trade and Markets are introduced in page 14 some understanding about absolute and comparative advantage should be mentioned at that point. This can be connected to the Chapter on International Trade later on. I like how the cost curves and product curves are well explained in chapter 7. However on page 199 it would be great if another two diagrams are used after Figure 8.6 showing the shaded areas such as contribution towards covering fixed cost in the short run and the loss areas when price goes below Average Variable Cost. The Chapter on Oligopoly could be expanded with sub topics as price wars and non price competition. Since this market is a very interesting market more examples from different countries could be used. In the chapter on Monopoly a dead weight loss diagram comparing perfect competition and monopoly firms, a diagram to show Allocative inefficiency and sub topic on price discrimination would complete that chapter well.
Content is up- to-date on most part but Table 1.2 and many other tables could be updated. The text is written in such away that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straight forward to implement.
The text is written in lucid, accessible prose and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used.
The text is internally consistent in terms of framework.
The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion. But in Chapter 3 I would include a section on distinction between movement along and the shifts of demand and supply curves. Also an explanation on how excess demand and excess supply moves towards a market equilibrium will be a needed addition to page 50 on Chapter 3. The features such as Link it Up, Work it Out, Bring it Home, Key terms, Key concepts and summary,Review Questions, Critical Thinking questions, Problems at the end of each chapter are great features.
The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader. The Link it up feature is great feature. Videos and articles both could be used for this feature.
the text contains no grammatical errors.
The text is not culturally insensitive. But I would not include Table 1.2 with countries like China. Based on the national income categorization China is a upper middle income country and India is a lower middle income country. Tables like table 1.2 can be culturally sensitive especially in an era where trade wars and controversies are happening with this country.
Education resources such as these texts are way of bridging the gap between the divided world. Especially texts on Economics can be used to do this bridging very well. I would use many examples from around the world in my classes of Macro and Micro Economics. When using countries as examples I would be cautious as to what the essence the students will bring home. Overall this text has done great justice in building a text of Principles of Microeconomics. I recommend it to Instructors for an introductory level course at College level.
This principles textbook covers all areas generally taught in a principles of microeconomics course as well as including chapters on social welfare and behavioral economics. Theories are thoughtfully presented and easy to read with many examples... read more
This principles textbook covers all areas generally taught in a principles of microeconomics course as well as including chapters on social welfare and behavioral economics. Theories are thoughtfully presented and easy to read with many examples that students will enjoy reading about.
All information appears to be accurately presented and covers many subjects that might be considered controversial but are explained in a neutral, unbiased manner
There are plenty of examples of companies and policies that are current, However, a number of the tables offered need to be updated with current statistics. Many end in 2015 or before. By early on offering the availability of the FRED website students will be able to take the tables used in the text and update the information to make it more relevant.
This textbook is extremely well written and clearly explains the topics offered. Students will find the readings easy to follow.
A great framework for presenting the material. Each chapter gives an overview of the material then proceeds to follow that outline step by step. Each chapter ends with a glossary of terms used for easy reference and questions that are thought provoking. However, I found some of the graphs difficult to follow as they are one color and not bold enough to present a clear understanding of the graphical presentation. Found that the switch back and forth between linear and non linear graphs might be somewhat confusing for the students.
This textbook will be easy to divide into sections that can be brought forward or pushed back as you organize your class structure.
I found the position of some chapters very curious. I would have talked about elasticity before government involvement and international trade much earlier when looking at consumer and producer surplus.
As mentioned above the only complaint I have is the presentation of the graphs. They need to be bolder and more consistent in shape.
no major grammatical errors
The textbook is neutral in its presentation
This textbook can easily be adapted to cover any topic covered in a Principles of Microeconomics course
The textbook covers all of the sections that are expected for a principles class. Further extensions into financial markets, income inequality, and political economy are covered well. There is a nice index with links to the appropriate pages,... read more
The textbook covers all of the sections that are expected for a principles class. Further extensions into financial markets, income inequality, and political economy are covered well. There is a nice index with links to the appropriate pages, however there is no glossary with all of the key terms and definitions in one place; instead they are presented at the end of each chapter which could potentially make them difficult to find. A drawback of the way the material is presented is that trade is covered in the last two chapters; the concept of comparative advantage and the gains from trade are fundamental reasons that markets form and should thus be covered much earlier. Further, the authors introduce consumer, producer, and social surplus but neglect to tie these concepts to deadweight loss and market inefficiencies in subsequent chapters.
The graphs and diagrams are for the most part high-quality and accurate. There are some specific instances, for example the chapter on externalities, where the graphs presented don't flow with the material as well as they could. In the chapter on externalities the graphs do not clearly show that the social cost curve lies above the private supply curve as a result of the size of the externality. Otherwise, in the examples, clear it up, and bring it home sections material is presented well and in a non-biased manner.
The base content is up-to-date and in general the content taught in a standard principles class will not change frequently. Some of the examples and policy applications are somewhat out-of-date. For example, one example concerns Netflix charging for streaming and DVD rentals, which most college students won't really connect with as they don't consume DVDs anymore. Any economics textbook will have to deal with this dilemma and new editions and updates are straightforward; however, this book may be out of date within two or three years.
The text is well-written and easy to follow. Each chapter is structured well so that it is clear what topics are covered in which sections and the flow is sensible. The biggest issue I find is that some of the graphs and diagrams do not always align smoothly with the text that discusses the associated concepts.
Terminology and the flow of each chapter is consistent with each other. As mentioned previously there are some concepts that could easily be linked across chapters. The authors are consistent in that this content does not appear and disappear readily.
The book is modular. As noted earlier it may be very beneficial to in fact go out of order, for example, by teaching chapter 19 early in the course and linking this content to the production possibilities frontier and why markets form. Within chapters the introduction clearly lays out what is covered in each section and sections can easily be re-ordered or skipped.
Within chapters the content is well-organized, has a clear logical flow and hard-to-digest concepts are properly built and presented. As mentioned earlier, I would re-order some of the chapters if using this book to teach my class.
The textbook has several hyperlinks and qr codes that function properly. There are no noticeable distortions or errors that prevent delivery of the textbook content.
The book is well-written and does not contain noticeable grammatical or spelling errors.
Economics generally can tackle questions that are divisive and some of the topics in the book should be treated with care if presented in class. Having pointed that out, the authors are very objective in presenting these examples, applications, and concepts in a way that is unoffensive and culturally relevant.
This textbook not only covers the major content for principles level class, but also introduces chapters related to industrial organization, labor economics, environmental economics and international trade. The index is hyperlinked, which is... read more
This textbook not only covers the major content for principles level class, but also introduces chapters related to industrial organization, labor economics, environmental economics and international trade. The index is hyperlinked, which is useful and efficient to locate the chapter accurately. Each chapter begins with a real world economic example or question in "Bring it Home" section, and it also ends with a detail explanations related to the examples or questions in "Bring it Home". This layout is efficient and helpful for students to catch up the application of the chapter content. Key terms, concepts and summary at the end of each chapter are also useful to help student better catch the main points.
The content is accurate. However, I want to point out that the graphs in Chapter 3 are little bit messy, especially on Page 53. The students might be confused to see the graph at the first time. In my opinion, it might be not necessary to put all the dots on the graph, and the numbers of arrows are more than needed. And this also shows on Page 48 and 49. You have already shown the demand schedule and supply schedule in tables, it might be much clearer to show two dots on the graph to explain how to draw the curves.
The textbook begins with a question to Facebook, which and catch students' attentions as they use it often. And this question can also make student realize that Economics is everywhere. I think the book content is up-to-date and policy relevant. For example, Chapter 12 introduces the environmental protection, and it uses the example of bottle bills, which is what we need to pay in Oregon. Therefore, it might be interesting to encourage my students' engagement to discuss it.
Overall, the text is written in lucid and accessible prose. But I still want to point out the layout of Chapter 3. It might be better to move Figure 3.2 on Page 48 to Page 47, which is easier to student to understand how to draw a demand curve based on the demand schedule. At the end of Page 51, it might be better to move the title 3.2 to next page. Too many pairs of price and quantity in graphs of Chapter 3 might be a little bit messy.
The book is consistent in terms of terminology and framework.
There are 20 chapters in this textbook. I think it might be a little bit more than my students. For example, after Chapter 3, the authors add Chapter 4 which mainly focuses the policy application of Chapter 3. And there are also some contents, such as Minimum Wage, repeating in Chapter 14. Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 introduce the negative and positive externalities, and it might be better to combine these two chapters into one chapter.
Each chapter is well organized. I like the "Introduction" at the beginning of each chapter. It highlights the questions needed to understand and gives me a guideline to go through the content.
Download the textbook online is easy and the hyperlinks and QR codes in "Link It Up" section work well.
I cannot recall any grammatical errors in the textbook.
I think there is no culturally offensive content.
As an instructor to community college students, I think the content of this textbook is up-to-date and easy to go through. However, for microeconomics, I think 20 chapters might be more for my students. For the section of "Link-It-Up", it might be better to put more video (less than 4 mins) to catch students' attention and improve their engagement.
I find the book very comprehensive. Comparing with some of the leading published textbooks the coverage and depth are both comparable. Perhaps the section on Oligopoly could be expanded a bit with a few more examples. read more
I find the book very comprehensive. Comparing with some of the leading published textbooks the coverage and depth are both comparable. Perhaps the section on Oligopoly could be expanded a bit with a few more examples.
The subject matter is accurate and unbiased.
The book is relevant today and I believe it will be relevant long term.
I feel that the presentation of the material is lucid.
The subject matter is internally consistent.
Very well demarcated into modules for easy reading and understanding.
Nicely organized, though I would have had a better demarcation between monopolistic competition and oligopoly.
The book's interface is a little less attractive than some of the textbooks from traditional publishers. It is by no means bad, but students used to current levels of gloss might find the interface a bit drab. However, this has more to do with superficial presentation techniques than with real factors associated with learning. The less expense might make students more amenable to forgoing the catchiness of the product.
Not culturally offensive
It is a book that is thoughtful and comprehensive. It can compete on an equal footing with textbooks offered by traditional commercial publishers.
The textbook covers most of the intro-level standard microeconomic materials and provides students a relatively full picture of the microeconomic landscape with real-world examples. I do hope it can incorporate more heterodox and historical... read more
The textbook covers most of the intro-level standard microeconomic materials and provides students a relatively full picture of the microeconomic landscape with real-world examples. I do hope it can incorporate more heterodox and historical perspectives and research, so students can be exposed to the arguments and contribution made by Institutionalists, Marxists, etc on a variety of topics in microeconomics and get the impression that many theories and issues are debatable and many terms have a historical context. I did use a real-world micro reader as a complementary text in teaching.
It's a quite standard intro-level microeconomics textbook. The mainstream interpretation in microeconomics is accurate.
I would like to see more updates in the chapter on international trade.
The text is written in lucid, accessible prose. It may be better to include more real-world examples, debates, and data, so students can feel more involved, especially on issues directly related with a college campus, such as a tobacco ban, contingent labor form, and student debt.
The text is quite consistent in terminology and the general framework.
I was not able to teach the entire book in one semester, so a few later chapters were skipped, but students had no problem to do the readings.
The topics are organized in a standard way.
My students, in general, feel the textbook quite easy to navigate.
The text contains no grammatical errors.
The text is not culturally offensive.
Given the high price of other standard non-open source textbooks, I think this textbook does a fairly good job as a substitute. I would recommend instructors to consider adopting this book while at the same time using a more non-standard book/reader (collection of short essays) as a complementary (but also required) piece of readings.
This OER text offers readers a comprehensive breadth of topics from an introductory standard microeconomics perspective. This text features a table of contents, index, end-of-chapter key terms, and a comprehensive chapter/topic list of references. read more
This OER text offers readers a comprehensive breadth of topics from an introductory standard microeconomics perspective. This text features a table of contents, index, end-of-chapter key terms, and a comprehensive chapter/topic list of references.
Content is accurate and error-free. The book is biased toward an assessment of economic outcomes from market approaches and fairly free-market driven processes. Early in their careers, young aspiring economists ought to be exposed to an understanding of the enclosure of the commons and the overriding importance of alternative property regimes. “Because things are driven by tradition, [DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN] there is little economic progress or development”. (Principles of Microeconomics, p. 15. My emphasis) Conversely, self-sustenance and small-scale farming – elements under a “traditional economy”- are considered key bottom-up principles for the conservation of natural capital and a revitalization of the commons.
Content is up-to-date and policy-relevant. The relevance may improve should alternative policy examples be included in areas such as international migration; forced migration due to global climate change, a juxtaposition of views surrounding controversial economic theories or themes related to microeconomics (i.e.: environmental and natural resources economics views versus ecological economic views concerning natural capital).
Prose is clear. Use of jargons and techncal terminology is limited. Although diagrams may seem a bit convoluted at first sight. Authors may removing so many quantity,price numbered pairs, particularly under chapter 3: Demand and Supply.
Book is consistent based on approach (standard microeconomics) and terminology.
Modularitty is evident from the beginning of the text, as authors offer alternate sequencing. Also, more advanced topics may be read and discussed without significant prior knowledge in microeconomics.
Topics are presented in a logical and consistent manner. Text structure is fine.
The text's interface is also fairly nimble. Navigation (online or on downloaded PDF version) is smooth.
I can't recall any grammatical errors.
Text may offer cultural or "traditional economy" insenstivity. Refer to above case concerning "traditional economy".
Principles of Microeconomics textbook covers the breath of microeconomic topics from introduction to the subject, to development of the main model of demand and supply, fundamentals of the microeconomics theory, microeconomic policy issues, and... read more
Principles of Microeconomics textbook covers the breath of microeconomic topics from introduction to the subject, to development of the main model of demand and supply, fundamentals of the microeconomics theory, microeconomic policy issues, and it finishes by introducing international economics. It covers everything typically covered in the introductory microeconomics course. Index is hyperlinked, which makes it efficient. The book is well organized. Each chapter has a 'Clear It Up' sections where the most typical misconceptions are addressed. Additionally, there are review and practice problems at the end of the chapter, along with summaries, and key terms.
The examples used are relevant and current. Hyperlinks to different websites where examples came from are provided for further reading. Definitions and explanations are straightforward and accurate. The data used in numerous examples is current as of 2015.
The book uses examples and data from 2015. The examples are carefully picked. The textbook will stay current for the number of years. For example, oil price changes in the US economy will always be a topic of interest that captures students attention regardless when the particular price change discussed took place. Number of examples are about the US economy.
The text is straightforward and easy to understand. Explanations are clear. For example, the text provides one of the best explanations for the concept of perfectly elastic demand that I have ever read in a principles textbook. I put special focus on topics that students usually have troubles grasping, such as elasticity, and I am excited to introduce this textbook to my principles class this winter and see how students react to it.
I did not find any inconsistency in terms of terminology and framework.
The text is divided into 20 chapter. Each chapter is subtitled and organized by topics. Examples are provided throughout the text. The organization of topics is organized in a way I typically use when I teach the material. Depending on the class, instructor can chose to skip some of the later chapters on policy issues without disruption to the reader.
I found the text easy to read and interesting, well organized in a logical order. The effort that went into producing this text is admirable.
I downloaded the pdf version of the textbook without any issues. I used hyperlinks for internal end external materials without any problems.
I found no grammatical errors while reading the text.
I did not find text offensive. It is geared mostly to the US audience, but without favoritism or bias. Authors are from the US and they use examples from their own frame of reference, which is as expected.
I enjoyed the text and I am going to adopt it in my principles class. I would like to thank the authors and everyone involved for the time and effort they devoted to creating a high quality textbook.
The text covers all the areas and ideas of Macroeconomics that one would expect to find at the introductory level. The subjects are clear, easy to follow, relevant with applied examples. Global examples are used through the lens of US laws and... read more
<p> The text covers all the areas and ideas of Macroeconomics that one would expect to find at the introductory level. The subjects are clear, easy to follow, relevant with applied examples. Global examples are used through the lens of US laws and economics. No index or glossary was provided with the version that was reviewed.</p>
<p> Text is accurate, error-free, but does have a bias towards US law and economics. Many of the case studies are global in origin, which are excellent, however, the authors always return to the effects towards the US, or if a US case study is examined there is very little mention of the effect towards the Canadian economy.</p>
<p> The content is up to date and should constantly be up dated to truly connect the student to the learning objectives as they effect the global economies of today. Generally the text will not become obsolete in a short period of time yet the authors will need to either update the data within the text or provide updated links to the already numerous web sites referred to within the text.</p>
<p> The authors use a story telling format that is easy to read and comprehend.</p>
<p> The text is consistent in terminology and framework. The early chapters are well setup providing foundational information for the each of the subsequent chapters. Each chapter progressively provides the learner with more challenging concepts, language, and equations.</p>
<p> The text builds upon each chapter that provides effective information to the reader to continue. There are many reading sections with each followed by "Key Takeaway" statements and "Checking Your Understanding" questions. It may be difficult for those not familiar with economic concepts to not read the chapters sequentially.</p>
<p> Story telling format; the reader is provided with fundamental economic realities in the world using examples that are relevant to people in general. The foundational concepts are discussed before the math and graphs are introduced hence the reader has already seen the "what's in it for me" reality.</p>
<p> No problems were found.</p>
<p> None were found.</p>
<p> The text does not appear to be insensitive or offensive in any way. As the text is focused to US learners, students from other countries, such as Canada, may not feel that this is relevant to their history, or future.</p>
<p> The text is well laid out as is the content but the text should be entitled: Macroeconomics: Theory in Application from a US Perspective. Web links worked as did page reference links (there was a request to register to Flatworldknowledge.com which I did not do). The international examples are excellent for any student to use. Overall the text would be excellent if there was a considerable amount of Canadian content added. The reason for this is that while economic policies appear to be similar between Canada and the USA, the decision making is different.</p> <p> This review originated in the <a href="https://open.bccampus.ca/find-open-textbooks/">BC Open Textbook Collection</a> and is licensed under CC BY-ND.</p>
The textbook covers the major content areas covered in a Principle of Microeconomics course. The index and the glossary are just as good, if not better, than those found in other textbooks. On top of the topics you come to expect in any... read more
The textbook covers the major content areas covered in a Principle of Microeconomics course. The index and the glossary are just as good, if not better, than those found in other textbooks. On top of the topics you come to expect in any Microeconomics textbook, other relevant topics are also included later in the book, such as risk and insurance, issues in labor markets, and financial markets.
Even though the textbook goes into many examples and additional areas of Microeconomics, little was found in terms of errors. The textbook seems to be unbiased in its presentation, but that would be more of a concern in a Macroeconomics textbook. Typing errors are very rare, and most likely will not be noticed by most readers. Overall, the textbook was found to be accurate throughout.
The textbook does have lots of relevant examples throughout, which is one of its strong points, but with that comes the issue of ensuring that these examples are updated as time goes on, which may have implications on the books longevity. When it comes to the core issues covered, the textbook is again relevant and the longevity issue becomes much less of a concern.
The textbook is written at a level appropriate for the expected audience. Plenty of context is given for the economic terminology that is presented throughout the book. The structure of the chapters makes the textbook very approachable, and provides a good structure in explaining the complicated concepts that can arise in a microeconomics course.
The book is consistent in its chapter structures and general layout. After the first few chapters, students will know where to look in a chapter for additional resources (list of key terms, self check questions, etc.) and what to expect in these resources.
The textbook breaks the topics up in an appropriate matter that makes it easy for the instructor to "bounce" around the textbook as they see fit. The textbook also mentions how the material to be covered in a particular section may relate to other topics within the book.
Great structure overall. The text starts with the fundamental concepts that are typically covered in a Principles of Microeconomics course and builds off of them nicely as it progresses through the topics. If the instructor finds the structure doesn't necessarily follow the way they would normally address the topics, the textbooks modularity makes it easy for them to organize it in a way that works for them.
Overall, the books interface seems to be adequate for the topic, but also its weakest area. It would have been nice for the graphs to be bolder in color and professional looking. For instance, the graphs of supply, demand, and market equilibrium are all monotone with thin lines. This becomes even more of an issue when looking at the graphical representation of profit maximization in later topics. Adding more color would go a long way.
Very few grammatical errors were found throughout the textbook.
The textbook is not culturally insensitive or offensive. Like many other economic textbooks, it does address some controversial issues to lure the reader in, but does so in a way that avoids issues of insensitivity.
Overall a good textbook. It has smooth transitions from one topic to the other and interrelates the areas covered nicely. The graphs could be improved upon though, but this does not make or break the textbook.
The textbook is very comprehensive. It covers all topics covered in most principle of microeconomics courses and more. It has great index of the whole textbook and glossary attached to each chapter. It provides with good order of all major areas... read more
The textbook is very comprehensive. It covers all topics covered in most principle of microeconomics courses and more. It has great index of the whole textbook and glossary attached to each chapter. It provides with good order of all major areas covered in principles of microeconomics. I like organization of the topics as they follow most of the main stream textbook order of concepts.
After reading the textbook I could not find any errors or lack of accuracy in the textbook. Great link and updated stories attached in the body of the textbook. I really like the "Link it Up" section that bring accurate and updated stories to the students attention.
The content is relevant and up-to-date. It might be that the chapters (some of them) are a little too long. I might not be to objective as I am mostly teaching hybrid accelerate courses and the longevity of each textbook chapters are sort of important to me. But I like the section "Clear it Up" and "Work it Out" as a great resource for students regardless if the class is online or face-to-face.
I think the text is written with very clear language with some technical terminology that is necessary for better and clear understanding of economics.
The text is very consistent in using the same terms and framework through all the chapters.
The text has some flexibility and modularity as it can be assigned at different points within the course. Well organize with plenty of flexibility to reorganize the order of the assigned material.
The topics are presented in a logical, clear order following most of the main economics textbook like Krugman or Mankiw.
I have downloaded the text in PDF to better navigate on my computer (as being bigger file it was slowing down my navigation on line) and using PDF file I have not noticed any interface problems. It was not having any distortion of images/charts etc.
I did not detect any grammar issues in the textbook myself.
I have not found any cultural insensitive issues or examples that would have improper cultural relevance.
Very well done textbook. I might use it in the future in my classes.
The text covers all the learning objectives required for an introductory microeconomic theory course. Examples extend the content to topics such as supply and demand in financial and labor markets, and antitrust policy. Additional chapters at... read more
The text covers all the learning objectives required for an introductory microeconomic theory course. Examples extend the content to topics such as supply and demand in financial and labor markets, and antitrust policy. Additional chapters at the end of the text provide extensions into current topics such as poverty and inequality, unions, discrimination, and immigration. Chapters on public economics and financial markets are a nice addition for an instructor who wants to extend the typical micro theory content.
I did not find any material mistakes in the text. I was pleased with how more controversial topics were presented. The books gave facts and introduced methods of analysis without betraying a bias.
Examples are quite up to date. Some of the latest data in graphs were 2010 or 2012. Material in the international trade section will need to be updated by an instructor or a future edition.
The writing seems to be very clear and straightforward. Disciplinary specific terms are defined and placed in context but may need to be pointed out by an instructor.
The book is quite consistent - each chapter's layout is similar thus increasing the clarity for a student.
The book is broken down into short modules within chapters. Each chapter begins by placing it in the context of the course material and referring to other places in the text where it may be integrated. An instructor should have no difficulty using individual chapters.
The books begins with production possibility frontiers, incorporating budget lines in that content, then proceeds to supply and demand analysis. Examples from labor and financial markets reinforce supply and demand analysis before proceedings to elasticity and consumer choice. The next section of the book discusses industry structure and includes antitrust policy. The text then introduces externalities in the context of environmental protection and public goods. Finally, issues such as poverty, labor market issues, information, public economics are covered. The book ends with a section on international trade and globalization.
I reviews a print copy of the text that was professionally presented.
I did not observe any grammatical errors in the text.
Most examples in the text were from common firms or products (Amazon, the cotton industry, TSA, etc.).
The textbook overall is very comprehensive, it covers all the areas of study and concepts that are typically covered in a Principles of Microeconomics course. The amount of information included in this book is impressive and some of the chapters... read more
The textbook overall is very comprehensive, it covers all the areas of study and concepts that are typically covered in a Principles of Microeconomics course. The amount of information included in this book is impressive and some of the chapters actually have more information than a typical textbook of this level. There are also chapters that are not necessarily covered in this type of class (mostly due to time constraints), however they are well presented in general and quite a great resource for instructors and students who want to include more and relevant material in their coursework. As with any other textbook there are also a few minor shortcomings. Some of the chapters can be a little longer than anticipated, which could have a distracting side effect on students. For example the introductory chapter does a good job of going over a lot of the topics that will be covered, but it feels as if it goes into too many details right from the beginning. It also talks about a few Macroeconomics issues that won’t be part of the textbook as it goes along, so it feels more of an introductory chapter to a Principles of Economics book. Another example is the presentation of the budget constraint, which appears in the same chapter as the presentation of the production possibilities frontier (to reflect choice for consumers versus choice for society) and then appears again in the consumer choice chapter. It is a more unusual way to present this topic, as typically the budget constraint and utility go together without having to refer back to another chapter. It is by no means a big problem, just an observation. Some other less typical groupings are negative externalities and positive externalities treated in separate chapters, grouped with other concepts (environmental protectionism and public goods respectively). This particular approach could potentially be a little confusing to students, especially since the Coase Theorem is not treated in a lot of detail. All chapters in general are well constructed. There are a few other concepts/details in some of these chapters though that miss certain aspects that one would expect to see. For example the elasticity chapter does not cover the details of elasticity along a demand curve. The oligopoly chapter does not have a detailed preliminary discussion on game theory and its elements before presenting actual game setups. Also, the monopoly chapter does not go into a lot of detail on the inefficiency and deadweight loss that results from a monopoly. There is also no discussion on price discrimination and it would have been great to see more explanatory graphs in here. There is however a separate chapter on monopoly and antitrust law and cases, which is well presented, if albeit slightly long. One last observation is related to the production side (i.e. the chapters on costs and perfect competition), which seem a little disjointed, with some aspects that we would expect to see in one chapter presented in the other. Other chapters are particularly well done and the concepts are very nicely and clearly explained, some with unique approaches (e.g. the supply and demand chapter, the labor and financial market chapters, the more unique labor market related chapter concentrated on unions, immigration, discrimination, the international trade and globalization chapters, the asymmetric information and risk chapter, the poverty and inequality chapter and the public economy chapter). There are also three Appendices included with this book, which are very useful. One covers the mathematics needed to understand all the concept explanations and applications, one covers a thorough presentation on indifference curves including a step by step explanation on income and substitution effects. The third appendix covers a presentation of present value calculation methods. Answers to review questions are provided as well, which can be extremely useful to students for self-assessment and better understanding of concepts. The PDF version of the book provides a comprehensive index at the end of it. The online version of the book has a glossary at the end of each of the modules from each chapter, which comes in very handy.
From what I have seen, the content of the book is accurate and error free. There are a few rare typos, but nothing that would distract the reader from the material. It also does not seem to be biased even though it covers some controversial topics in a few chapters, however it is in a manner of stating facts, not choosing sides, which is the most important distinction. There could be the argument that many examples are related to the US economy, however they contribute to the relevancy of the topic discussed. All examples included are very well chosen and one of the strong points of the book.
The book contains many current examples/cases/information, which is a big plus especially for a Microeconomics text that contains a lot of theory and many times it does not need frequent updates because of this reason. This book however has many examples and I think that from the way the book is structured and the manner in which these cases are included in each chapter, it would not make it too hard to keep them up to date. And it would have the added benefit that it would refresh the content and make it especially interesting to current and future students
Here is where this textbook excels in almost every chapter. The material is presented very clearly and in a very approachable style. There are learning goals listed at the beginning of each chapter and at the beginning of each of the subsections of said chapter as well, which is a great way to keep everything on track and make it clear to students what they should expect to know after reading that particular part of the material. The book gives a lot of examples, uses current information and data and clarifies concepts very well in this manner. It addresses the students directly and almost has the feel of the instructor talking to the class when reading it. It contains many step-by-step explanations of concepts and graphs and clarifies even elementary notions without giving the sense of simplifying things too much. It achieves a good level of interactivity (so to speak), because it breaks the text down in several ways. Each chapter has a “Bring it Home” example or case at the beginning and at the end of the chapter. It also contains “Work it Out” sections with solved problems relevant to the concepts presented. There are “Link it Up” sections that contain a link to a real world case or example relevant to the concept studied. And also there are “Clear it Up” sections that describe well many of the concepts that tend to be challenging to students at the beginning. In the online version of the book, these sections are not titled in that manner, but start with a “NOTE”, which does not provide the same level of detail. The PDF version’s notation is preferable from this point of view, to keep student’s interest high. Also each chapter contains key concept summaries at the end of it, self-check questions, review questions and critical thinking questions. All of these add to the clarity and understanding of the concepts studied.
The text is consistent in terms of terminology and framework, the presentation as well throughout the book with only a few exceptions that I mentioned in the comprehensiveness part of this review.
The way the text is separated in the sections mentioned above (in the “Clarity” part of the review) makes it very engaging and interactive for students. This way the student has the opportunity to read the material pertaining to a specific concept, relate it to a real-world example and also try a problem that would help deepen the understanding of that concept. It also helps by not making all the material in a chapter too overwhelming to go through. In the online version of the book, the modularity aspect is even more prevalent, because each chapter is separated in modules, each module containing a glossary, references and review questions at the end of it (whereas the PDF version has all the review questions at the end of the chapter, together with key concept reviews, self-check questions and critical thinking questions).
Some of the chapters of this book are not organized in a typical manner. I gave a few examples of this in the comprehensiveness part of the book (e.g. the externalities chapters, the monopoly chapters, some of the production side details, consumer choice details etc.). As an instructor, it would be easy to assign them in different order to students or combine the relevant information from some of the chapters. However for students who are looking to improve their economic knowledge and use the book outside of a class structure, it might prove a little more challenging to keep some of these related chapters and concepts organized.
There was only one issue that I encountered with the PDF version of the book. The links from the “Link it Up” section are not easily followed directly from the text (or copy/pasted in a browser). This is not an issue for the online version of the book.
There were only very few (very minor) errors spotted throughout the book, but nothing that would distract or keep students from using the textbook.
The textbook does not seem culturally insensitive or offensive, even if it covers some topics that could be considered controversial. However as I mentioned before, they are presented as facts in a relevant discussion surrounding the concepts covered, not as opinions, so it does not qualify as culturally offensive or insensitive. Many of the examples are focused on the US economy, however there are also international aspects and examples presented.
Overall, the textbook is a very pleasant surprise, with all relevant Microeconomics topics covered and in a comprehensive and clear manner. I especially like the approachable style and the structure that I think will keep students engaged and enthusiastic about the material, which is no small feat to accomplish from an introductory economics text.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Welcome to Economics!
- Chapter 2: Choice in a World of Scarcity
- Chapter 3: Demand and Supply
- Chapter 4: Labor and Financial Markets
- Chapter 5: Elasticity
- Chapter 6: Consumer Choices
- Chapter 7: Cost and Industry Structure
- Chapter 8: Perfect Competition
- Chapter 9: Monopoly
- Chapter 10: Monopolistic Competition and Oligopoly
- Chapter 11: Monopoly and Antitrust Policy
- Chapter 12: Environmental Protection and Negative Externalities
- Chapter 13: Positive Externalities and Public Goods
- Chapter 14: Poverty and Economic Inequality
- Chapter 15: Issues in Labor Markets: Unions, Discrimination, Immigration
- Chapter 16: Information, Risk, and Insurance
- Chapter 17: Financial Markets
- Chapter 18: Public Economy
- Chapter 19: International Trade
- Chapter 20: Globalization and Protectionism
About the Book
Principles of Economics 2e covers the scope and sequence of most introductory economics courses. The text includes many current examples, which are handled in a politically equitable way. The outcome is a balanced approach to the theory and application of economics concepts. The second edition has been thoroughly revised to increase clarity, update data and current event impacts, and incorporate the feedback from many reviewers and adopters.
Changes made in Principles of Economics 2e are described in the preface and the transition guide to help instructors transition to the second edition. The first edition of Principles of Economics by OpenStax is available in web view in the ancillaries
About the Contributors
Senior Contributing Author
Timothy Taylor, Macalester College
Senior Content Expert
Steven A. Greenlaw, University of Mary Washington
Eric Dodge, Hanover College