Introduction

Supplementary materials for popular college textbooks used in courses in the Principles of Economics, Microeconomics, Price Theory, and Macroeconomics are suggested by topic. A few of these textbooks include

  • N. Gregory Mankiw, Principles of Economics
  • McConnell, Brue, and Flynn, Economics
  • David Colander, Microeconomics
  • Paul Heyne, The Economic Way of Thinking
  • Irvin Tucker, Macroeonomics for Today
  • Edwin G. Dolan, Introduction to Macroeconomics

Materials include podcasts, topical articles, encyclopedia entries, educational blog posts, and more. All materials have been selected for authoritativeness, quality of writing and speaking, liveliness, and ease of understanding. Additional advanced resource links include primary source materials that are available online or graduate level readings.*

List of Topics

Part I: Introduction to the Principles of Economics

Overview: Basics and a Taste of What’s to Come

What is economics? Definitions of economics, the economy, political economy. Economics is about making choices, not just about making money.

We face tradeoffs every day

The cost of something is what you give up to get it

People respond to incentives

Think about small changes first

Trade makes everyone better off

Markets are usually a good way to organize economic activity

Governments sometimes improve on market outcomes

Governments sometimes make conditions worse than market outcomes

A country’s standard of living depends on its ability to produce goods and services

Prices rise when the government prints too much money

Economists agree about the principles, but differ about government policy recommendations.

Thinking Like an Economist

Read and Listen Critically to the News

  • material to come

Supply and Demand Applies to Surprising Situations

The Roles of Graphs, Math, Equations, and Science in Economics


The Role of Institutions, Property Rights, Laws, and Customs

Part II: Microeconomics

Supply and Demand: How Markets Work

Supply and Demand Basics

Elasticity and Its Application

Supply, Demand, and Government Policies

Markets and Evaluating How Well-Off We Are: Consumers, Producers, Efficiency, Welfare, Well-being

Consumers, Producers and the Efficiency of Markets

  • Application: The Costs of Taxation (more to come)
  • Application: International Trade (more to come)

The Economics of the Public Sector


Externalities, Public Goods, and Common Resources

Rent Seeking and Public Choice

The Tax System

Firm Behavior and the Organization of Industry

The Costs of Production

  • more to come

Firms in Competitive Markets

The Economics of Labor Markets

Labor Costs, including Labor Unions

Employment versus Unemployment

Productivity

Earnings and Discrimination

  • more to come

The Distribution of Income

Advanced Topics in Microeconomics

  • The Theory of Consumer Choice


Part III: Macroeconomics

Measuring Macroeconomic Data

Measuring a Country’s Income and Growth

The Real Economy in the Long Run

Production and Growth

Saving, Investment, and Personal Financial Decisions

Employment, Unemployment, and the Natural Rate of Unemployment

Money and Prices in the Long Run


The Monetary System

Money Growth and Inflation

Business Cycles, Financial Crises, and Short-Run Economic Fluctuations

Business Cycles, Recessions, Financial Crises

Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply

The Influence of Monetary and Fiscal Policy on Aggregate Demand

International Economics and the Macroeconomics of Open Economies

Open-Economy Macroeconomics: Basic Concepts

Open Economy Macroeconomics

Ongoing Debates

Debates over Macroeconomic Policy


* Introductions to selected College Economics Topics materials were written by Lauren F. Landsburg.