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Principles of Economics

Principles of Economics

'Principles of Economics covers the scope and sequence for a two-semester principles of economics course. The text also includes many current examples, including; discussions on the great recession, the controversy among economists over the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the recent government shutdown, and the appointment of the United States’ first female Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen.

The pedagogical choices, chapter arrangements, and learning objective fulfillment were developed and vetted with feedback from educators dedicated to the project. The outcome is a balanced approach to micro and macro economics, to both Keynesian and classical views, and to the theory and application of economics concepts. Current events are treated in a politically-balanced way, as well.'

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Sherry Grosso
Sherry Grosso (Faculty)
3 years ago

This is a hefty, well-organized text covering topics in micro & macroeconomics. It is current with up-to-date information. The chapters include Key Terms & Key Concepts, brief summaries of chapter sections. There are several types of questions: Self-Check: formative assessments & the only questions for which the answers are included (clickable in the web version of the text, & at the very end of the .pdf text version, by chapter), Review: open-ended recall, Critical Thinking: applications of the material in different contexts, Problems: analysis & computation. The text chapters have interesting features interspersed, promoting reader engagement. Bring It Home, brief case studies relating the chapter’s main topic to the real world; Link It Up, links to websites providing examples of what is being discussed, with a good mix of sites from the government, short news stories or articles & some very unusual ones. I have researched & used many sites in my classes but was pleased to see some new ones. Some of the links go to You Tube videos - a great idea - I wish more were included. Work It Out, a computation problem with a clear step-by-step solution; Clear It Up, a more complete explanation of a concept introduced in the text. These start with a question, a good strategy to entice students to read the section. There are colorful photos, charts & tables throughout the text so that the students are not bombarded with text. These improve the overall look & differentiate the text from others. The graphs in this text were a pleasant surprise, presented in a unique way with an interesting use of words intermingled with the lines & numbers. The senior contributing author & senior content expert have extensive experience teaching economics which is crucial to writing a practical text; otherwise, it is very difficult to know what students easily grasp & what they have more trouble with. The authors have taken that to heart in their writing & vary the coverage so that the typically ‘difficult’ areas have more in-depth treatment. I did have concerns about some of the material & coverage. For example, I thought the treatment of antitrust was a little sparse. I would like to see this expanded since this is an area that provides a nice connection between economics & history, sparking interest in students. I was disappointed that MPC & MPS were only covered in an appendix. I have found that this concept is very understandable to students & having it included in the regular text gives them a better grasp of Keynes & Fiscal Policy. I also felt that the treatment of the different types of firms could have been stronger with better examples.  I did not like the way perfect completion was handled in the questions as some would cause confusion for the students; for example, a Critical Thinking question that says “Assuming that the market for cigarettes is in perfect competition…” but the cigarette market is not perfect competition. I would rather not have any questions that mention cigarettes, unless it is talking about the negative externalities of second-hand smoke. Chapters start with a list of topics students will learn about, but I would rather see actual learning objectives. The questions in the .pdf text are more comprehensive than those in the web version. There were a few instances where data sources in tables were not cited & a few typos, but postings to the errata list for the text & suggested corrections are invited. Impressively, the text, originally published in 2014, has been updated as recently as 9/29/15. Overall, the text is very well done. 

Time spent reviewing site: 3 days