Preface to Principles of Economics: Scarcity and Social Provisioning
Principles of Economics: Scarcity and Social Provisioning takes a pluralistic approach to the standard topics of introductory economics courses. The text builds on the chiefly neoclassical (or orthodox economics) material of the OpenStax Principles of Economics text, adding extensive content from heterodox economic thought. Emphasizing the importance of pluralism and critical thinking, the text presents the method and theory of neoclassical economics alongside critiques thereof and heterodox alternatives in both method and theory. This approach is taken from the outset of the text, where contrasting definitions of economics are discussed in the context of the various ways in which orthodox and heterodox economists study the subject. The same approach–of theory and method, critique, and alternative theory and method–is taken in the study of consumption, production, market exchange, macroeconomic equilibrium, fiscal and monetary policy, as well as in the applied theory chapters. Historical and contemporary examples are given throughout, and both theory and application are presented with a balanced approach.
This textbook will be of interest especially to instructors and students who wish to go beyond the traditional approach to the fundamentals of economic theory, and explore the wider spectrum of economic thought.
About the Authors
Erik Dean is an instructor of economics at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon.
Justin Elardo is an instructor of economics at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon.
Mitch Green is an instructor of economics at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon.
Benjamin Wilson is an assistant professor of economics at Eastern Oregon University.
Sebastian Berger is a senior lecturer in economics at the University of the West of England – Bristol.
History of the Text
As noted above, the foundational content for this text comes from OpenStax. OpenStax is a non-profit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. Their free textbooks go through a rigorous editorial publishing process, and are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of today’s college courses. Unlike traditional textbooks, OpenStax resources live online and are owned by the community of educators using them. Through partnerships with companies and foundations committed to reducing costs for students, OpenStax is working to improve access to higher education for all. OpenStax is an initiative of Rice University and is made possible through the generous support of several philanthropic foundations.
To develop Principles of Economics, OpenStax acquired the rights to Timothy Taylor’s second edition of Principles of Economics and solicited ideas from economics instructors at all levels of higher education, from community colleges to Ph.D.-granting universities. The pedagogical choices, chapter arrangements, and learning objective fulfillment were developed and vetted with feedback from educators dedicated to the project. They thoroughly read the material and offered critical and detailed commentary. The outcome was a balanced approach to micro and macro economics, to both Keynesian and classical views, and to the theory and application of economics concepts. Data current as of 2015 are incorporated for topics that range from average U.S. household consumption to the total value of all home equity. Current events are treated in a politically-balanced way as well.
The current text, emphasizing a pluralist approach, began with the awarding of an Open Oregon grant in 2016. That grant allowed the authors to develop a pluralist textbook for introductory microeconomics courses. The text has since been expanded to cover both micro- and macroeconomics.
Organization of the Book
The book is organized into four main parts:
- Introduction. Including a look at the various ways that economists, orthodox and heterodox, define the subject
- Metal and Modern Money. The macroeconomics section, differentiating orthodox and heterodox perspectives by the traditional divide between neoclassical and post Keynesian theorists.
- Markets and Management. The microeconomics section, differentiating orthodox and heterodox perspectives with a focus, for the latter, on institutionalist and post Keynesian perspectives.
- International Economics. Introduces the international dimensions of economics, including international trade and protectionism.
About the OpenStax Team
Senior Contributing Author
Timothy Taylor, Macalester College
Timothy Taylor has been writing and teaching about economics for 30 years, and is the Managing Editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, a post he’s held since 1986. He has been a lecturer for The Teaching Company, the University of Minnesota, and the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, where students voted him Teacher of the Year in 1997. His writings include numerous pieces for journals such as the Milken Institute Review and The Public Interest, and he has been an editor on many projects, most notably for the Brookings Institution and the World Bank, where he was Chief Outside Editor for the World Development Report 1999/2000, Entering the 21st Century: The Changing Development Landscape. He also blogs four to five times per week at http://conversableeconomist.blogspot.com. Timothy Taylor lives near Minneapolis with his wife Kimberley and their three children.
Steven A. Greenlaw, University of Mary Washington
Steven Greenlaw has been teaching principles of economics for more than 30 years. In 1999, he received the Grellet C. Simpson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at the University of Mary Washington. He is the author of Doing Economics: A Guide to Doing and Understanding Economic Research, as well as a variety of articles on economics pedagogy and instructional technology, published in the Journal of Economic Education, the International Review of Economic Education, and other outlets. He wrote the module on Quantitative Writing for Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics, the web portal on best practices in teaching economics. Steven Greenlaw lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife Kathy and their three children.
|Eric Dodge||Hanover College|
|Cynthia Gamez||University of Texas at El Paso|
|Andres Jauregui||Columbus State University|
|Diane Keenan||Cerritos College|
|Dan MacDonald||California State University San Bernardino|
|Amyaz Moledina||The College of Wooster|
|Craig Richardson||Winston-Salem State University|
|David Shapiro||Pennsylvania State University|
|Ralph Sonenshine||American University|
|Bryan Aguiar||Northwest Arkansas Community College|
|Basil Al Hashimi||Mesa Community College|
|Emil Berendt||Mount St. Mary’s University|
|Zena Buser||Adams State University|
|Douglas Campbell||The University of Memphis|
|Sanjukta Chaudhuri||University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire|
|Xueyu Cheng||Alabama State University|
|Robert Cunningham||Alma College|
|Rosa Lea Danielson||College of DuPage|
|Steven Deloach||Elon University|
|Debbie Evercloud||University of Colorado Denver|
|Sal Figueras||Hudson County Community College|
|Reza Ghorashi||Richard Stockton College of New Jersey|
|Robert Gillette||University of Kentucky|
|Shaomin Huang||Lewis-Clark State College|
|George Jones||University of Wisconsin-Rock County|
|Charles Kroncke||College of Mount St. Joseph|
|Teresa Laughlin||Palomar Community College|
|Carlos Liard-Muriente||Central Connecticut State University|
|Heather Luea||Kansas State University|
|Steven Lugauer||University of Notre Dame|
|William Mosher||Nashua Community College|
|Michael Netta||Hudson County Community College|
|Nick Noble||Miami University|
|Joe Nowakowski||Muskingum University|
|Shawn Osell||University of Wisconsin, Superior|
|Mark Owens||Middle Tennessee State University|
|Sonia Pereira||Barnard College|
|Brian Peterson||Central College|
|Jennifer Platania||Elon University|
|Robert Rycroft||University of Mary Washington|
|Adrienne Sachse||Florida State College at Jacksonville|
|Hans Schumann||Texas AM|
|Gina Shamshak||Goucher College|
|Chris Warburton||John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY|
|Chiou-nan Yeh||Alabama State University|
Instructors may contact Open Oregon Educational Resources for quiz question test banks associated with each chapter.
© May 18, 2016 OpenStax Economics. Textbook content produced by OpenStax Economics as well as by the present authors are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 license.
For questions regarding this license, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Economics, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Introductory
Copyright: 2016 by Rice University; 2020 Erik Dean, Justin Elardo, Mitch Green, Benjamin Wilson, Sebastian Berger.