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Principles of Microeconomics: OpenStax

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Principles of Microeconomics Cover is copyrighted by Rice University. It is not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.

Description: Published by OpenStax College, Principles of Microeconomics covers the scope and sequence for a one-semester economics course. The text also includes many current examples, including; the Keystone Pipeline, Occupy Wall Street, and debates over the minimum wage. The pedagogical choices, chapter arrangements, and learning objective fulfillment were developed and vetted with feedback from educators dedicated to the project. The outcome is a balanced approach to economics and to the theory and application of economics concepts. Current events are treated in a politically-balanced way, as well.

Author: Timothy Taylor, Macalester College

Original source: openstaxcollege.org

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Principles of Microeconomics: OpenStax by Timothy Taylor, Macalester College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


Review this book

Reviews for 'Principles of Microeconomics: OpenStax'

Number of reviews: 3
Average Rating: 4.3 out of 5

1. Reviewed by: Sazid Hasan
  • Institution: Simon Fraser University
  • Title/Position: Teaching Assistant
  • Overall Rating: 4.1 out of 5
  • Date:
  • License: Creative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

Pretty comprehensive for introductory level microeconomics. Includes a variety of applications. Index and glossary are helpful and effective.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

Didn't find any error.

Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

This book contains a number of real life numeric examples. The examples are still up-to-date but they should be updated at least in each alternate year in future. Updates should be straightforward, however whether recent data will still fit the context must be checked prior to updating them.

Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

Easy to understand and well-written.

Clarity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

Yes.

Consistency Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

Good. To improve further, I would suggest using two columns in the body text and include side notes (definitions, key points) in the discussion.

Modularity Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

Yes. Pretty straightforward and clear.

Organization Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

In most of the cases fine. A few tables is spread over two pages. It will be better if each table can be presented in a single page. Given size of the tables, I think it is possible.

Interface Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

I did not find any.

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

Surely not insensitive or offensive. Covers a number of nice examples that should be attractive to all.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

I think the book is appropriate in a Canadian context. Occasional revision about the numeric data should be enough for next few years at least.

2. Reviewed by: Emma Graham
  • Institution: Simon Fraser University
  • Title/Position: Teaching Assistant
  • Overall Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Date:
  • License: Creative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

This book provides a comprehensive introduction to fundamental microeconomic concepts. It is structured very similarly to other microeconomic textbooks, with subsequent chapters building on concepts introduced in previous chapters. 'Key terms' lists are placed throughout the book, which are helpful to understanding the material discussed in each chapter. The index is comprehensive as well and I was able to find very specific items with ease.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

The content is accurate and error-free, but would benefit from a Canadian verison, as there are subtle differences in regulations, markets, etc. The application of theory seems to have a slight liberal bias, unsurprisingly. Material is presented in a fair and balanced way, overall.

Content Accuracy Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

The book benefits from being a very new publication, and the examples used (eg: Obamacare, Keystone) make the material more relevant and interesting. However, since the examples are political in nature, this book will need frequent updating to ensure it remains relevant. It may benefit from using more sustainable examples for its theory applications.

Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

This book uses straightforward, clear, and non-academic/stuffy prose, which makes the content very easy to read and understand. 'Key terms' lists are distributed frequently throughout the book, which explains any terms or jargon that may be unclear to the reader. Overall, it is a very well written book.

Clarity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

This textbook utilizes a very systematic framework to introduce the material. The layout and order of content is very similar to other microeconomic texts, beginning with consumer choice, moving onto supply/demand, then different economies, etc. This order makes learning microeconomics for a beginner very straightforward.

Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

This text does a good job of breaking up large concepts, making content easily digestible and less overwhelming for the reader. There are a sufficient number of chapters, and frequent headings within chapters to further break up content. While not overly obvious, this text does seem to self-reference more than other microeconomic texts I have read. Overall, the layout of this book is very visually-appealng, and helps the reader learn.

Modularity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

This text presents the topics in a very logical way. Each chapter builds upon material introduced in past chapters, and no concept is introduced out of the blue.

Organization Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

The colour blue is used frequently throughout the book, for both headings and the charts/graphs/diagrams. The charts are clear, but could benefit from more contrast. For example, I would find the graphs easier to read if the functions were red, rather than everything (axis, numbers, function, labels) being the same blue colour.

Interface Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

This text contains no grammatical errors.

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

This text is not culturally insensitive or offensive. As mentioned earlier, there seems to be a slight left-wing leaning based on the examples used, but the examples are largely tolerant and inclusive of different cultures/backgrounds.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

This book would benefit greatly from a Canadian edition. Also, as mentioned, the examples could benefit from being less dependent on current political events, to avoid it from becoming quickly outdated.

3. Reviewed by: Peter Dalley
  • Institution: Thompson Rivers University
  • Title/Position: Lecturer
  • Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5
  • Date:
  • License: Creative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

This textbook is quite comprehensive for a first year textbook. It covers a thorough foundation of principles of microeconomics plus a number of chapters dedicated to various applications of microeconomics. There's always a trade off in how a book covers certain topics. This one did seem to noticeably skimp on a few relatively basic models that tend to be covered in more depth in other books. However, it went into some depth on other topics that similar texts would skip over.

I would expect chapters 4 and 14 through 20 to be covered only if times permits within a course. These are great applications of theory, but it is unlikely they all could be covered within one course. Also, these selected topics chapters are quite US centric and may lack relevancy and context for canadian students,

The key terms at the end of each chapter is very helpful as first year textbooks often contain a lot of new jargon students will have never heard. This book is no exception.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

The text is sufficiently accurate in all areas. As with most texts in economics, there is significant bias towards US examples, case studies and application of concepts. A number of spelling and grammatical errors were found, however they are not so problematic as to cause confusion or misunderstanding

Content Accuracy Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

The text seems as up to date as any I've seen. The text contains a large number of cases and examples that are time sensitive, but shouldn't be too difficult to update. For the most part, the content itself won't require updating as often. The later chapters, beginning with chapter 11, will likely be more time consuming to update as these are application and policy chapters. In these later chapters, not only will the cases and examples require periodic updating at a similar pace as preceding chapters, but the content itself may change more quickly than preceding in chapters as laws, regulations and the economic environment changes.

Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

This textbook is very well written. The language is clear and concise with enough extra attention given to those concepts that require it. It is a relatively easy read. If any jargon is used throughout the text that requires more explanation than that given within the body of the text, the glossary at the end of each chapter should provide enough clarity for most students to grasp.

Clarity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

The authors did a great job building basic terminology and conceptual knowledge in a logical manner so that it can be built upon in later chapters. I have no complaints here. The text is sufficiently consistent.

Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

This is a particular strength of this text. It covers a wide range of topics within microeconomic theory including numerous chapters on applications. As there is likely too much material in this text to cover in a single course, it permits some flexibility in covering a specific selection and/or reorganization of chapters to focus on specific sub-topics or various course designs.

Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

Overall, this book flows well. There are a couple of chapters that seem out of place, but could easily be skipped without loss of coverage. For example, chapter 4 doesn't seem to belong, but course developers could easily skip this chapter. Chapters 11 onwards could be covered in any order as they don't necessarily built on each other. The preceding chapters are well organized and material is covered in a perfectly logical manner, building on concepts at a normal pace.

Organization Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

Navigation was a breeze. The table of contents in the PDF was hyperlinked to each section making navigation as easy as it could be. The tables were well formatted and easy to read. The case studies and examples were well highlighted making them easy to find and well separated from the main body of the text. I found no issues in this text with regards to navigation, interface or readability.

Interface Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

With the exception of a few typos, the text is generally free of errors. Those that were found did not distract from the content.

Grammar Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

The text is extremely US centric. Most of the case studies and examples are based on US material. This is most problematic in chapters 11 onwards where the material could use a significant Canadian revision. Most of the discussion on legal and regulatory frameworks have little value in a Canadian context. In most classroom textbooks, this type of content undergoes significant Canadian revisions prior to be adopted in canadian classrooms.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 2 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

As much as this text is very well written, organized and thorough, I would be hesitant to adopt it because of the extent to which it lacks Canadian context. The first 10 chapters are perfectly useable but would require an instructor to add Canadian content on the fly. However, the later chapters, although very well written and organized, are far too specific to the U.S. to be of significant value in a Canadian classroom studying applied microeconomics in a Canadian context. If this text was given a significant Canadian revision, I would feel very comfortable recommending it. Otherwise, it remains a very good book for studying principles of microeconomics within the U.S. economy.