Contemporary Economics / Edition 1

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Bring economics to life with rich, practical examples that make concepts clear and intriguing. Contemporary Economics blends economic expertise and educational insights with comprehensive content, sound instructional design, and extensive print and media teaching tools. The Power of Understanding Will McEachern, successful author and award-winning economist and educator, helps students discover the role economics plays in their personal lives. Move from the basics of demand, supply, market equilibrium, and decision making to market institutions, national and international economies, the role of government, and public policy. Each lesson is concise and appropriately paced for maximum learning. Each of NCEE's National Content Standards in Economics is covered completely and repeatedly. Two new chapters provide coverage of important personal finance topics.

Energize Your Classroom Excellent real-world features allow students to learn economics by experiencing economics. Xtra! Web site at contains a wealth of online learning tools: Quiz Prep, Graphing Workshops, Buck Institute for Education's Problem-Based Economics, Econ Debates, Econ Data, Ask the Xpert, NetBookmarks, and Study Tools. Sharpen Your Skills teaches basic skills, such as interpreting graphs, to reinforce students' knowledge of economics and prepare for standardized testing. Connect to History takes a historical viewpoint of economics, exploring how economic principles relate to American history. Movers & Shakers introduces students to individuals who have made an impact with entrepreneurial ideas. In the News examines the economic principles behind everyday news articles. ComprehensiveAssessment appears at the end of every major section, every lesson (both print and online), and every chapter (both print and online). Span the Globe brings an international focus to economic principles as students examine how global interactions impact local, regional, and national economies.

Where Life and Economics Intersect A wealth of print, video, electronic, and online resources make it simple to address varied learning styles, use formal and informal assessment, and integrate technology where it makes sense to you. Take a tour of the Contemporary Economics resources by visiting

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In Your World' is a good way to help students relate to the material. It provides a frame work."

"The end of lesson assessments are a good mix of written, graphing, and research questions."

"The Chapter Assessments offer challenging questions and are an excellent measure of student learning."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780538437004
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 2/3/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 720
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

William A. McEachern began teaching large sections of economic principles shortly after joining the University of Connecticut, and a several years later he began offering teaching workshops around the country. The University of Connecticut Alumni Association conferred on him its Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award in 2000. He earlier won the Association's award for Distinguished Public Service. Professor McEachern has published books and monographs on public finance, public policy, and industrial organization. His research has also appeared in edited volumes, such as READINGS IN PUBLIC CHOICE ECONOMICS (University of Michigan Press), INTERNATIONAL HANDBOOK ON TEACHING AND LEARNING ECONOMICS (Edward Elgar Publishing), and RETHINKING ECONOMIC PRINCIPLES (Irwin Publishing), and in a variety of refereed journals, including ECONOMIC INQUIRY, NATIONAL TAX JOURNAL, QUARTERLY REVIEW OF ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS, JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL ECONOMICS, KYKLOS, ECON JOURNAL WATCH, and PUBLIC CHOICE. He is the founding editor of THE TEACHING ECONOMIST, a newsletter that for more than two decades has focused on teaching economics at the college level. Professor McEachern has advised federal, state, and local governments on policy matters, and has been quoted in media such as the NEW YORK TIMES, TIMES OF LONDON, WALL STREET JOURNAL, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, USA TODAY, and READER'S DIGEST. He was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, earned an undergraduate degree with honors from College of the Holy Cross, served three years as a U.S. Army officer, and earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.
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Table of Contents

National Content Standards in Economies     xxiv
Reading Skills     xxvi
Introduction to Economics     2
What Is Economics?     4
The Economic Problem     5
Economic Theory     10
Opportunity Cost and Choice     19
Chapter Assessment     28
Economic Systems and Economic Tools     32
Economic Questions and Economic Systems     33
Production Possibilities Frontier     41
Comparative Advantage     50
Chapter Assessment     56
U.S. Private and Public Sectors     60
The U.S. Private Sector     61
Regulating the Private Sector     68
Public Goods and Externalities     75
Providing a Safety Net     82
Chapter Assessment     90
The Market Economy     96
Demand     98
The Demand Curve     99
Elasticity of Demand     107
Changes in Demand     116
Chapter Assessment     124
Supply     128
The Supply Curve     129
Shifts of the Supply Curve     138
Production and Cost     145
Chapter Assessment     156
Market Forces     160
Price, Quantity, and Market Equilibrium     161
Shifts of Demand and Supply Curves     167
Market Efficiency and Gains from Exchange     176
Chapter Assessment     184
Market Structure     188
Perfect Competition and Monopoly     189
Monopolistic Competition and Oligopoly     199
Antitrust, Economic Regulation, and Competition     206
Chapter Assessment     214
Market Institutions     218
Businesses     220
Entrepreneurs     221
Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships     229
Corporations and Other Organizations     237
Chapter Assessment     246
Labor Markets     250
Demand and Supply of Resources     251
Wage Determination     262
Labor Unions     269
Chapter Assessment     278
Financial Markets and Business Growth     282
Production, Consumption, and Time     283
Banks, Interest, and Corporate Finance     290
Business Growth     299
Chapter Assessment     308
The National Economy     312
Economic Performance     314
Estimating Gross Domestic Product (GDP)     315
Limitations of GDP Estimation     322
Business Cycles     329
Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply     337
Chapter Assessment     346
Economic Growth     350
The PPF, Economic Growth, and Productivity     351
Living Standards and Labor Productivity Growth     360
Issues of Technological Change     368
Chapter Assessment     376
Economic Challenges     380
Unemployment     381
Inflation     391
Economic Instability     397
Poverty     406
Chapter Assessment     414
Public Policy and the National Economy     418
Government Spending, Revenue, and Public Choice     420
Public Goods and Taxation     421
Federal, State, and Local Budgets     429
Economics of Public Choice     439
Chapter Assessment     446
Fiscal Policy, Deficits, and Debt     450
The Evolution of Fiscal Policy     451
Fiscal Policy Reconsidered     460
Federal Deficits and Federal Debt     467
Chapter Assessment      476
Money and Banking     480
Origins of Money     481
Origins of Banking and the Federal Reserve System     488
Money, Near Money, and Credit Cards     497
Chapter Assessment     506
Money Creation, the Federal Reserve System, and Monetary Policy     510
How Banks Work     511
Monetary Policy in the Short Run     517
Monetary Policy in the Long Run     528
Chapter Assessment     536
The International Economy     540
International Trade and Finance     542
Benefits of Trade     543
Trade Restrictions and Free-Trade Agreements     549
Balance of Payments     557
Foreign Exchange Rates     564
Chapter Assessment     572
Economic Development     576
Developing Economies and Industrial Market Economies     577
Foreign Trade, Foreign Aid, and Economic Development     587
Rules of the Game, Transition Economies, and Convergence     593
Chapter Assessment     602
Personal Financial Literacy     606
Consumer Responsibilities and Protections     608
Consumer Choice     609
Using Credit Responsibly     617
Consumer Protection     627
Chapter Assessment     636
Managing Your Money     640
Saving     641
Investing     650
Insurance     660
Chapter Assessment     666
Economic Data     670
Glossary     680
Spanish Glossary     693
Index     708
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