Tom Riddell / Jean A Shackelford / Stephen C. Stamos / Geoffrey Schneider  
Total pages
January 2010
Related Titles

Product detail

Title no longer available


Economics: A Tool for Critically Understanding Society offers a clear, simple introduction to economic analysis in a style that is ideal for a one-semester introductory course. The authors take a historical perspective, presenting economic theories and their connections to a wide variety of schools of thought. The goal is to help students use economic concepts to analyze today's issues, to think about everyday decisions, and to examine their preconceived ideas and beliefs.


  • A heterodox approach includes perspectives often missing from other economics textbooks-without emphasizing one perspective over the others. Students are exposed to a greater variety of schools of thought that encourage debate and independent thought-two critical elements for learning.
  • A strong historical perspective traces the development of modern economic thought, beginning with the evolution of economic systems, and connecting the stories of Adam Smith, classical economics, Keynesian economics, and Marxism to current economic policies and debates.
  • Part 3 focuses on the latest issues and debates, such as policies regarding the global economy, race and gender, and the environment.
  • Thinking Critically sections, featured at the end of each part, present both sides of current economic issues and ask students to use their economic tools to analyze the arguments and come to their own conclusions.
  • Big Picture boxes provide accessible explanations of key concepts, including the Aggregate Demand/Aggregate Supply model, so students see the big picture without needing to know all the components of the model first.

New to this Edition

  • NEW!  Integrated economic methodology, economic history and the history of economic thought in the newly reorganized introductory chapters.
  • Aspects of Exploring issues of the global economy are now integrated through the text in parts II-IV.
  • Extensive coverage of the 2007-2009 financial crisis including integrating current events with economic theory.
  • NEW!  Coverage of the 2007-2009 great recession in the US and aspects of government programs to prevent depression.
  • NEW!  A section on the liberal market economies and coordinated market economies that compromise modern economic systems.
  • Current Issues are Highlighted even more with additional box features. 
  • Updated Companion website now includes new material as well as examples transferred from earlier editions of the text.
  • Critical Thinking sections - significantly revised and updated.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Economic Methodology, History, and the Development of Modern Economic Thought

Chapter 1: Economics as a Social Science
Chapter 2: The Evolution of Economic Systems
Chapter 3: Adam Smith, Classical Liberalism, and the Division of Labor
Chapter 4: Karl Marx and the Socialist Critique of Capitalism
Chapter 5: The Rise and Fall of Laissez-Faire in the U.S. Economy

Part 2: Microeconomics

Chapter 6: Scarcity: “You Can't Always Get What You Want”
Chapter 7: The Theory of Markets
Chapter 8: Perfect Competition and Efficiency
Chapter 9: Noncompetitive Markets and Inefficiency
Chapter 10: Resource Markets and the Distribution of Income
Chapter 11: Corporations and Labor Unions
Chapter 12: The Economic Role of Government

Part 3: Macroeconomics

Chapter 13: Macroeconomics: Issues and Problems
Chapter 14: Macroeconomic Theory: Classical and Keynesian Models
Chapter 15: Fiscal Policy: Government Spending and Taxation
Chapter 16: Financial Markets, Money, and Monetary Policy
Chapter 17: Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply
Chapter 18: Unemployment, Inflation, and Stabilization Policy in a Global Economy

Part 4: International Economics and Finance

Chapter 19: International Trade and Interdependence
Chapter 20: International Finance
Chapter 21: The Economics of Developing Nations
Chapter 22: Modern Economic Systems

Instructor Resources