Microeconomics: Principles, Applications, and Tools

Arthur O'Sullivan / Steven Sheffrin / Stephen Perez  
Total pages
November 2013
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Microeconomics: Principles, Applications, and Tools
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Questions that drive interest, applications that illustrate concepts, and the tools to test and solidify comprehension.
Students come into their first Economics course thinking they will gain a better understanding of the economy around them. Unfortunately, they often leave with many unanswered questions. To ensure students actively internalize economics, O'Sullivan/Sheffrin/Perez use chapter-opening questions to spark interest on important economic concepts, applications that vividly illustrate those concepts, and chapter-ending tools that test and solidify understanding.


MyEconLab and the Text are in Synch
All of the end-of-chapter text questions are replicated in MyEconLab with the same numbers to make creating homework easier for instructors, and remediation easier for students.

MyEconLab New Design is Available for this Title!

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    • Email: Instructors can send emails to their entire class, to individual students or to instructors who has access to their course.
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Draw Students Into the Material
Chapter-opening questions spark students’ interest on important economic concepts. After drawing students into the material, these opening questions are paired with in-chapter applications that bring the economic concept to life. Exercises that test students’ understanding of the questions, concepts and applications appear in the end-of chapter materials.
Demystify the Tools of Economics

The 5 key principles of economics show students the logic of economic reasoning and demystify the tools of economics. The 5 principles are first presented in Chapter 2, and then the authors return to these 5 principles throughout the text to remind students of the underlying logic behind newly presented concepts:

  1. The Principle of Opportunity Cost
  2. The Marginal Principle (comparing marginal benefits and marginal costs)
  3. The Principle of Diminishing Returns
  4. The Principle of Voluntary Exchange
  5. The Real-Nominal Principle (distinguishing real from nominal magnitudes)

Apply the Concepts

This is an Applications-driven textbook. The authors carefully selected over 120 real-world Applications that help students develop and master essential economic concepts.

  • Each chapter starts with 3-5 thought provoking Applying the Concepts questions that convey important economic concepts.
  • Once we present the economic logic behind a concept, we illustrate its use with a real-world Application.
  • For each Application and Applying the Concept question, we provide exercises that test students’ understanding of the concepts.
  • In addition, some chapters contain an Economic Experiment section that gives them the opp

New to this Edition

In addition to updating all the figures and data, the authors made a number of other key changes in this edition. They include the following:

  • At the beginning of each chapter, a set of Learning Objectives is introduced. These give the students a preview of what they will learn in each section of the chapter, facilitating their learning.
  • The discussion of fiscal policy in Chapter 10 is revised and updated to reflect our continuing difficulties in attempting to restore the economy to full unemployment and the changing views of the effectiveness of fiscal stimulus.
  • The treatment of monetary policy in Chapter 14 is revised and updated, as the Federal Reserve has continued to experiment with quantitative easing and other new monetary policies.
  • Chapter 15 includes a discussion of how the thinking of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke evolved during this past decade as he faced unprecedented challenges.
  • Chapter 5 includes a discussion of the length of economic recoveries and the slow pace of the current recovery.
  • A revised and expanded discussion of the euro is included in Chapter 19, reflecting the serious challenges now facing the European Monetary Union.
  • Chapter 18 highlights how rapid increases in imports can affect employment in local labor markets.

The authors also incorporated a total of 61 exciting new applications into this edition, including 11 in the common chapters (Chapters 1 — 4), 17 in macroeconomics, and 33 in microeconomics. In addition, they incorporated a total of 19 new chapter-opening stories, including 2 in the common chapters, 10 in macroeconomics, and 7 in microeconomics. These fresh applications and chapter openers show the widespread relevance of economic analysis.

In the chapters common to macroeconomics and microeconomics, the new applications include incentives to purchase hybrid cars (Chapter 1), choosing how fast to sail a container ship (Chapter 2), the markets for meteorites (Chapter 3), and the economic forces behind the proposal to include sheep shearing as an Olympic sport (Chapter 4).

  • In the microeconomics chapters, the new applications include the effects of supply disruptions on the price of gasoline (Chapter 20), the use of a large cigarette tax to overcome consumers’ present bias and make current low-income smokers better off (Chapter 22), the decision of some Chinese farmers to shift from growing tea to coffee (Chapter 24), the economic logic of low prices during “happy hour”, a period of relatively high demand (Chapter 26), Microsoft as an insecure monopolist (Chapter 27), gender discrimination in insurance (Chapter 29), the economics of energy-efficient buildings (Chapter 31), and state lotteries as regressive taxes (Chapter 32).