100.3 Vision and Story of Essentials of Economics


This is a book about economics as the study of what people do and how they interact, a study very much informed by real-world experience.

Dear Students and Instructors,

These words, this spirit, have served as a guiding principle for us in every edition. While we were driven to write this book by many small ideas about particular aspects of economics, we also had one big idea: an economics textbook should be built around narratives, many of them pulled from real life, and it should never lose sight of the fact that economics is, in the end, a set of stories about what people do.

Many of the stories economists tell take the form of models—for whatever else they are, economic models are stories about how the world works. But we believe that student understanding of and appreciation for models are greatly enhanced if they are presented, as much as possible, in the context of stories about the real world that both illustrate economic concepts and touch on the concerns we all face living in a world shaped by economic forces.

You’ll find a rich array of stories in every chapter, in the chapter openers, Economics in Actions, For Inquiring Minds, Global Comparisons, and the end-of-part Business Cases. As always, we include many new stories and update others. We also integrate an international perspective throughout, and most visibly, in our Global Comparison feature. An overview of the narrative-based features in the text is on p. viii.

We also include pedagogical features that reinforce learning. For example, each major section ends with three related elements devised with the student in mind: (1) the Economics in Action: a real-world application to help students achieve a fuller understanding of concepts they just read about; (2) a Quick Review of key ideas in list form; and (3) Check Your Understanding self-test questions with answers at back of book. Our thought-provoking end-of-chapter problems are another strong feature. And we are pleased to introduce the new Work It Out feature: one end-of-chapter problem in each chapter that students solve with the help of an interactive tutorial. An overview of the text’s tools for learning are on p. ix.

Students also benefit from the impressive set of online resources in image that are linked to specific chapter content. These include adaptive quizzing, tutorials, interactive activities, and much more. All have been devised with the goal of supporting instructor teaching and student learning in the one-semester introductory course.

We hope that your experience with this text is a good one. Thank you for introducing Essentials of Economics into your classroom.

Paul Krugman
Robin Wells