Book:Introduction to Economic Analysis

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Bibliographical Data

Title:Introduction to Economic Analysis
Author:R. Preston McAfee
Key words:
Education Level:
License:CC Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike (by-nc-sa)
Description:As an Econ minor, I’ve long been baffled by the cost of Economics textbooks. If any group should know about competition, pricing products properly to maximize sales, and the disruptive effects of new technology, it should be economists. Teaching economics from a bland overpriced book like Mankiw’s (the book I was assigned this semester) is positively hypocritical.

And at last, it appears that there is an Econ professor who agrees. Check out what Prof. McAfee has to say:

The current draft…is very rough and could easily have serious mistakes. (boldface added) I’ll be working on it through December. Please email comments, advice and favorite exercises I can use to me. I cite contributions in the text, unless specifically requested not to do so.

Why open source? Academics do an enormous amount of work editing journals and writing articles and now publishers have broken an implicit contract with academics, in which we gave our time and they weren’t too greedy. Sometimes articles cost $20 to download, and principles books regularly sell for over $100. They issue new editions frequently to kill off the used book market, and the rapidity of new editions contributes to errors and bloat. Moreover, textbooks have gotten dumb and dumber as publishers seek to satisfy the student who prefers to learn nothing. Many have gotten so dumb (“simplified”) so as to be simply incorrect. And they want $100 for this schlock? Where is the attempt to show the students what economics is actually about, and how it actually works? Why aren’t we trying to teach the students more, rather than less?...

The way principles is taught embodies an inefficiency—generally we motivate the analysis in principles but don’t complete it, then perform the analysis in intermediate micro. Why not combine these two in one more thorough course? In this regard, managerial economics in business schools does a much better job (and the books are better, too, but are focused on business applications and not general economics)...

My attempt is to produce a version that covers principles through intermediate in a single course, by using mathematics where needed, and not where it isn’t. This idea is that this book, plus econometrics, provides most of the economic analysis tools to take upper division economics courses of any type. ”

Economics students of the world, rejoice!


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