In recent years, innovative texts in mathematics, science, foreign languages, and other fields have achieved dramatic pedagogical gains by abandoning the traditional encyclopedic approach in favor of attempting to teach a short list of core principles in depth. Two well-respected writers and researchers, Bob Frank and Ben Bernanke, have shown that the less-is-more approach affords similar gains in introductory economics. Although recent editions of a few other texts have paid lip service to this new approach, Frank/Bernanke is by far the best thought out and best executed principles text in this mold.
Avoiding excessive reliance on formal mathematical derivations, it presents concepts intuitively through examples drawn from familiar contexts. The authors introduce a well-articulated short list of core principles and reinforcing them by illustrating and applying each in numerous contexts. Students are periodically asked to apply these principles to answer related questions, exercises, and problems.
The text also encourages students to become "Economic Naturalists," people who employ basic economic principles to understand and explain what they observe in the world around them. An economic naturalist understands, for example, that infant safety seats are required in cars but not in airplanes because the marginal cost of space to accommodate these seats is typically zero in cars but often hundreds of dollars in airplanes. Such examples engage student interest while teaching them to see each feature of their economic landscape as the reflection of an implicit or explicit cost-benefit calculation.
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In recent years, innovative texts in mathematics, science, foreign languages, and other fields have achieved dramatic pedagogical gains by abandoning the traditional encyclopedic approach in favor of teaching a shorter list of core principles in depth. Two well-respected writers and researchers, Bob Frank and Ben Bernanke, have shown that the less-is-more approach affords similar gains in introductory economics. The authors introduce a coherent short list of core principles and reinforce them by illustrating and applying each in numerous contexts. With engaging questions, explanations and exercises, the authors help students relate economic principles to a host of everyday experiences such as going to the ATM or purchasing airline tickets. Throughout this process, the authors encourage students to become “economic naturalists:” people who employ basic economic principles to understand and explain what they observe in the world around them.
Principles of Microeconomics, fifth edition, is thoroughly updated with examples that connect to current events such as the financial crisis of 2008 and Great Recession of 2007-2009 as well as other topics commonly discussed in the media. In addition, the text is paired with McGraw-Hill’s market-leading online assignment and assessment solution Connect Economics, providing tools to enhance course management and student learning.From the Publisher:
Well-known Authors: Robert Frank and Ben Bernanke are renowned experts in their fields (micro and macro, respectively). Frank's research has looked at rivalry and cooperation in economic and social behavior. He is the author of a best-selling intermediate economics text, Microeconomics and Behavior, (Irwin/McGraw-Hill), and has published such award-winning books for the general public as The Winner-Take-All-Society and, most recently, Luxury Fever. Bernanke is the co-author of a best-selling intermediate macroeconomics text by Addison-Wesley and has done significant research on the causes of the Great Depression, the role of financial markets and institutions in the business cycle, and measuring the effects of monetary policy on the economy. Instructors will be interested in taking a close look at a text authored by these two respected economists.
Emphasis on Core Principles: By employing a 'less-is-more' philosophy, the text engages students by repeated application of a short list of core principles: the Scarcity Principle, the Cost-Benefit Principle, the Principle of Comparative Advantage, the Not-All-Costs-Count Equally Principle, and the Efficiency Principle. In learning these essential principles of economics, students will not feel overwhelmed by an exhaustive list of concepts. Rather they will come to understand the most important ideas in economics fully.
Active Learning: The book assumes that active involvement is an essential part of the learning process. Throughout, the authors introduce new ideas in the context of simple examples and then follow them with applications showing how they work in familiar settings. Periodically, the text poses exercises that test and reinforce the understanding of these ideas. The end-of-chapter questions and problems are carefully crafted to help students internalize and extend core concepts. Students will learn the concepts better by being so actively engaged.
Economic Naturalism: The authors' ultimate goal is to produce 'economic naturalists' 'people who see each human action as the result of an implicit or explicit cost-benefit calculation. If the benefits exceed the costs, one should take action; if the benefits fall short of the costs, then one should not. The economic naturalist sees mundane details of ordinary existence in a new light and becomes actively engaged in the attempt to understand them.
Web site: Developed by Scott Simpkins of North Carolina A & T State University, an expert in the growing field of economics education on the World Wide Web. The ambitious web site will have a host of features that will enhance the principles classroom, including dynamic graphs, videos, e-mail updates, microeconomic experiments, current news articles, information about the text, eLearning Sessions, and more.
Thoroughly Modern Microeconomics: Chapter 2 discusses important pitfalls'the tendency to ignore opportunity costs, the tendency not to ignore sunk costs, and the tendency to confuse average and marginal costs and benefits. Economic surplus, introduced in Chapter 1 and applied repeatedly in 2-6 is more fully developed here than in any other text. This concept underlies the argument in support of economic efficiency as an important social goal. Rather than speak of tradeoffs between efficiency and other goals, the authors stress that maximizing economic surplus facilitates the achievement of all goals. Chapter 10 teaches game theory in a highly intuitive manner that doesn't rely on any mathematics. Students, who are intensely social creatures, will find this material highly engaging because of the insights it provides into their own, everyday social behavior.
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