Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Economics 101 revisited - again

In view of my previous post on complements and substitites and subsequent dilly dallying with Economic Texts, I came across this very interesting open source, free Economics Concepts book:

Form the blurb about this book:

Why open source? Academics do an enormous amount of work editing journals and writing articles and now publishers have broken an implicit contract with academics, in which we gave our time and they weren't too greedy. Sometimes articles cost $20 to download, and principles books regularly sell for over $100. They issue new editions frequently to kill off the used book market, and the rapidity of new editions contributes to errors and bloat. Moreover, textbooks have gotten dumb and dumber as publishers seek to satisfy the student who prefers to learn nothing. Many have gotten so dumb ("simplified") so as to be simply incorrect. And they want $100 for this schlock? Where is the attempt to show the students what economics is actually about, and how it actually works? Why aren't we trying to teach the students more, rather than less?

Here are actual prices, as of January 2005 (quoted by Amazon):

Economics, by Campbell R. McConnell, Stanley L. Brue, $136
Principles of Economics, by N. Gregory Mankiw, $131.95
Managerial Economics: Economic Tools for Today's Decision Makers, by Paul G. Keat, Philip K.Y. Young, $133
Economics, by John B. Taylor, $130.36
Microeconomics with MyEconLab Student Access Kit (7th Edition), by Michael Parkin, $93.80
Principles of Microeconomics, by Karl E. Case, Ray C. Fair, paperback $99
Principles of Macroeconomics, by Karl E. Case, Ray C. Fair, paperback $99

The author Preston McAfee is a Professor at CalTech. I find this a very interesting, novel approach to encourage collaborative learning and fostering interest.

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