Introduction to Economics: Social Issues and Economic Thinking
November 2012, ©2013
Introduction to Economics: Social Issues and Economic Thinking is designed to increase student engagement for introductory level economics courses by providing practical applications of economics while also providing a foundation for more technical economics issues.
The text begins with a set of chapters that are an "Economics Toolkit" including coverage of key topics like marginal benefits/marginal costs, production possibilities, supply and demand, efficiency, and macroeconomic measurement tools. It then uses the tools to understand various market outcomes, market interventions, and market failures.
These chapters, which are often overlooked or completely excluded in other texts, are a valuable means to provide a conceptual framework for students to judge the merit (or lack thereof) of market interventions and other types of social policies.
About the Author xiii
SECTION I THE ECONOMICS TOOLKIT 1
Chapter 1 An Introduction to the Economic Way of Th inking 3
Chapter 1 Appendix: Working with Graphs 18
Chapter 2 Production Possibilities 23
Chapter 3 Demand and Supply 40
Chapter 4 Consumer Surplus, Producer Surplus, and Economic Efficiency 67
Chapter 5 Elasticity 80
Chapter 5 Appendix: Elasticity and the Slope of Demand 94
Chapter 6 Measuring Economic Activity 97
Chapter 7 Inflation and the Measurement of Prices 115
Chapter 8 The Power and Limits of Markets 131
SECTION II MARKETS, MARKETS EVERYWHERE 143
Chapter 9 Wage Determination and Superstar Salaries 145
Chapter 10 The Minimum Wage 165
Chapter 11 International Trade of Goods 178
Chapter 12 Immigration and the International Trade of Labor 196
Chapter 13 Foreign Exchange and the International Trade of Money 212
Chapter 14 Farm Policy 222
Chapter 15 The Economics of Illegal Drugs 237
Chapter 16 Pollution, The Environment, and Global Warming 253
Chapter 17 The Economics of Education 271
Chapter 17 Appendix: Education as an Investment: Present and
Future Values 288
Chapter 18 Competition and Monopoly 291
SECTION III SOCIAL ISSUES 309
Chapter 19 The Economics of Labor Market Discrimination 311
Chapter 20 Poverty and the Distribution of Income 329
Chapter 21 The Economics of Health Care 347
Chapter 22 Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve 363
Chapter 23 Fiscal Policy and the Federal Budget 382
Appendix A Answers to “Think for Yourself” Questions 399
Appendix B Glossary 411
- Flexibility. The first eight chapters constitute "the economics toolkit". The remaining chapters apply the concepts from the toolkit to examine an array of social and economic issues. Instructors can select from the chapters based on their interests and the goals of their particular course.
- Chapters begin with learning objectives and vignettes to help draw students into each chapter.
- “Think for Yourself”: Each chapter includes several self-quiz problems, with answers at the end of the book providing practice for better applied decision making.
- Global perspective is incorporated throughout the text which is important for today’s student.
- “Economic Greats”: Each chapter includes at least one profile of an influential economic thinker such as Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Galbraith, Marshall, Mill, and many others. Student-friendly writing style, extensive use of examples, figures, and tables.
- The graphs and chapters complement each other well so that students can better understand the material.
- Historical references within the book help provide historical context for students.