Economics by Design: Survey & Issues, 3rd Edition

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9780131400580: Economics by Design: Survey & Issues, 3rd Edition

Current issues and main principles of economics are presented in this best-selling book; its easy readability and intuitive manner captures and holds readers' interest. It takes readers on an economic journey where they can explore theory and concepts, promoting economic reasoning and balanced thought. Real-world examples show readers how economics is around them everyday. A great wealth of topics is presented; coverage, although brief, is thorough. These topics include: the economic perspective; production and trade; demand and supply; pricing power; market power; earnings and income distribution; public goods, regulation, and information; public choice; output, employment, and the price level; money and monetary policy; and the global economy. An excellent read for all fledgling economists; this book can also serve as an excellent desk reference for professional economists and others in the field.

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About the Author:

Robert A. Collinge is Professor of Economics at the university of Texas, San Antonio. Among other courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels, Dr. Collinge has taught micro principles, macro principles, or the combined survey/issues class in each of his 16 years at UTSA. In the last few years, Professor Collinge has twice been awarded his University President's Outstanding Achievement Award, once for overall teaching and once for teaching at the core curriculum level. Most recently, he has received his College's Combined Teaching, Research, and Service Excellence Award. Along with Ronald Ayers, Professor Collinge co-directed his University's Center for Economic Education.

After undergraduate studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Bob enrolled at the University of Maryland at College Park, where he went on to receive his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. In 1982, he joined the Economics faculty at the University of Louisville. To gain experience outside of academia, Dr. Collinge worked in Washington, D.C., first as a Visiting Economist with the U.S. International Trade Commission, and then as an Economist in the Policy Analysis Department of the American Petroleum Institute.

Professor Collinge's research focuses on the design and analysis of public policies, such as his recent articles in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management and the Canadian Journal of Economics. He has contributed to an array of other books and journals, including The Economic Journal, The Journal of Public Economics, and World Development. Professor Collinge currently serves as a member of the editorial board of Public Works Management and Policy. In his free time, Bob enjoys hiking through the woods near his Texas Hill Country home.

Ronald M. Ayers is Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the University of Texas, San Antonio. He teaches principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics, as well as the university's core curriculum course in political economy and various field courses, including labor economics, money and banking, and industrial organization. His classes have ranged from small honors sections to lecture sections of 300.

After receiving Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of New Orleans, he subsequently received his Ph.D. in economics from Tulane University. Earlier in his career, Dr. Ayers served as a faculty member at Loyola University (New Orleans), Ohio State University, and Texas A&M University. He has also worked as a consultant for the City of San Antonio and several private consulting firms and attorneys. In recent years he was awarded the President's Distinguished Achievement Award for Core Curriculum Teaching, the College of Business Teaching Award, and the U.T. System Chancellor's Council Teaching Award. He also was named a Senior Fellow, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, in 2000. In 2001-2002, Professor Ayers was elected to serve as the Chair of the University's Faculty Senate.

Dr. Ayers has published chapters in Putting the Invisible Hand to Work: Concepts and Models for Service-Learning in Economics (University of Michigan Press) and U.S.-Mexican Economic Relations: Prospects and Problems (Praeger Publishing Company). In addition, he has published articles in many different journals, including the National Social Science Journal, and the Journal of Urban and Regional Information Systems. Along with Robert Collinge, Professor Ayers has written Economics: Explore & Apply. When he is not pursuing his interest in how people learn, Dr. Ayers enjoys spending time with his dogs" collecting books, and tinkering.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

A BOOK FOR TODAY'S STUDENTS

Taking your first course in economics can be like finding yourself in a foreign country where you do not know the language. You want the freedom to explore various interesting spots, but you cannot read the street signs for direction and you struggle when trying to communicate with the locals. There may be several different, exciting paths you can choose, but you are not sure which is best. To get your bearings in the country and reach your destinations, you need to learn something about the country's language.

Students in a first economics course face many of the same challenges as a wandering traveler. They have registered for the course, but they face the hurdle of learning a new language that includes many new terms and concepts. They also face the challenge of learning how to read and interpret graphs. Economics by Design: Survey and Issues was written to help students in one-term courses learn the language of economics. As in the first two editions, substance, access, and interest motivate learning. We engage students with familiar real-world examples and applications that bring economics to life. Our goal is to encourage students to apply the concepts they learn in this book to personal, business, and social issues that will face them long after their economics course is over. We teach students how to analyze events in the world around them and draw their own conclusions. To achieve our goal, we use three key tools:

  1. Real-world applications
  2. Sound pedagogy
  3. Straightforward presentation

The third edition of Economics by Design is significantly revised from the second edition. It is now subtitled Survey and Issues to emphasize that each chapter surveys fundamental economic concepts and applies the analysis to economic issues. The third edition expands the number of chapters from 14 to 17> which allows for an easier learning pace through core micro and macro material, as well as through the analysis of both market and government failure. Because of the expansion of the book, Economics by Design now offers adopters full chapters on market power (Chapter 7), the economics of the environment (Chapter 10), public choice (Chapter 11), and fiscal policy (Chapter 15). All chapters are oriented toward coverage of current issues, an emphasis which is often at the heart of the one-term course. Pedagogical adjustments have been made throughout, such as the more intuitive and expanded graphical presentations in the chapter on supply and demand (Chapter 3) and its applications (Chapter 4).

REAL-WORLD APPLICATIONS

A course in economics is often required for a variety of majors, since its subject matter relates to so many of life's issues: Should I stay in school, or quit and get a full-time job? Which major should I select? Why does it matter if the Federal Reserve increases or decreases interest rates, or if Microsoft is a monopoly? To help students find the answers to such questions and fulfill the purpose of this course, we emphasize both economic tools and the application of those tools.

Explore & Apply

A unique feature of Economics by Design has been its issues section that follows the teaching of each chapter's core economic principles. The third edition retains this approach by concluding each chapter with an Explore & Apply section that provides an in-depth application of the chapter's analysis to a selected issue. Many of these segments are new or thoroughly updated for this edition. New topics include:

  • market incentives in China
  • the economy's role in military success
  • electricity shortages in California
  • business ethics in principle and practice
  • the growth of government
  • the war on terrorism
  • deficits and debt
  • technology and the new economy
  • energy security

Each Explore & Apply includes two Thinking Critically questions that promote economic reasoning and encourage students to debate a policy issue. A compass icon, located in the chapter-opening learning objectives and various places in the chapter, identifies material and questions related to the Explore & Apply sections.

To keep the Explore & Apply sections up to date and to strengthen class discussions, we offer two kinds of web support materials at www.prenhall.com/collinge :

  1. Updates on each Explore & Apply section and supporting exercises.
  2. Eight custom-filmed videos that further explore the issues at hand. Current statistical information and interviews with professionals and students highlight the various viewpoints. Tips on how to use these videos appear in the book's Instructor's Manual.

PEDAGOGY

Our pedagogical features, dramatically expanded for the third edition, support our goal of helping students learn the language of economics and apply what they have learned.

  • Learning Objectives. Each chapter opens with a list of objectives that establishes the goals and organization of the chapter. We repeat these learning objectives and use them as an organizational tool for the end-of-chapter summary. The linking of the learning objectives and summary provides students with a helpful and coherent way to review the concepts in each chapter. One learning objective per chapter supports the Explore & Apply section.
  • Snapshots. Students retain economic concepts best when they see how these concepts relate to their immediate world. We include three Snapshots in each chapter to reinforce key concepts that have been presented.
  • QuickChecks. Three or more questions with answers interspersed throughout each chapter allow students to check their knowledge of key concepts before moving on.
  • Margin Definitions. This running glossary allows students to check their understanding of key terms.
  • Graphs. Reading and interpreting graphs is central to understanding economic concepts. Colors are used consistently to reinforce key concepts. For example, the supply and aggregate supply curves are red, the demand and aggregate demand curves are blue, and shifts in curves are shown with a different shade. Call-out boxes are inserted into the graphs to help students interpret them. Graph captions are clear and self contained so that students can understand how and why curves are shifting.
  • Extensive Array of End-of-Chapter Pedagogy. Each chapter ends with a wide array of summary and self-test materials that appeal to a variety of teaching and learning styles:
    • Summary and Learning Objectives summarize the key points of the chapter and tie those points back to the learning objectives that opened the chapter.
    • Key Terms List gives students an opportunity to review the concepts they have learned in the chapter. A page reference is included next to each term so that students can easily locate the definitions.
    • Test Yourself questions in true/false and multiple-choice formats give students self-assessment opportunities and support the Explore & Apply section. Solutions appear at the end of the book.
    • Questions and Problems are annotated by topic. The annotation appears before each question and problem so that instructors can easily make assignment choices. Solutions to even-numbered items appear in the back of the book: All solutions appear in the instructor's manual.
    • Web Support Materials encourage students to visit www.prenhall.com/collinge to access more self-test quizzes, Exploring the Web exercises, news articles, and much more.

The third edition appears in full color, including a photo to accompany each A Look Ahead, Snapshot, and Explore & Apply. Graphs also appear in full color and are fully labeled, with abbreviations avoided.

STRAIGHTFORWARD PRESENTATION

One of the most frequent complaints about many existing textbooks is that they offer more material than can be covered adequately during the term. Economics by Design responds to this concern by covering essential concepts without bogging down the reader in too much detail. The book accomplishes this objective by emphasizing the intuition of economics and focusing on those concepts that are at the heart of economic analysis. The result is a 17-chapter book that can easily be read and taught from with an ample but not excessive read amount of material.

ORGANIZATION

Previous users of the book will find much that is familiar, along with that which is new. The third edition, like the first two, presents micro before macro. However, in this edition the macro material has been reorganized and expanded, with aggregate supply and aggregate demand now serving as its framework. Coverage of taxation and Social Security have been integrated into the new fiscal policy chapter. Chapters on economic growth and the international economy have been repositioned to conclude the book, which is consistent with traditional placement of this material.

THE GLOBAL ECONOMOY

Whether it be economic incentives in China, the multinational nature of the work force, or treaties on the global environment, international economic issues are integrated throughout the book. Furthermore, they appear in many of the Explore & Apply sections, Snapshots, and comparative tables and figures. Part G concludes the book by looking at the global marketplace, including the role of exchange rates and issues of trade policy.

CURRENCY AND ACCURACY

At all times, we strive for currency of content. Graphs and tables include the most recent data available. Throughout the book, we apply economic analysis to genuinely current issues—the ones that appear in headlines today and promis...

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