Economics and the Consumer

Economics and the Consumer

by Barbara Barbara Killen

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-- Although the standard work on economics for this age level remains to be written, this book offers up-to-date examples and an attractive format. Focusing on the consumer as the end user of products, Killen presents two of the basic ideas of mainstream economics: maximizing behavior and opportunity costs, using them to link disparate examples of economic behavior in making economic choices. She also shows how government actions and technological innovations influence the choices available to consumers. A brief chapter on ``shopping smart'' covers comparison shopping, credit, and warranties. Graphs illustrate the final chapter on supply and demand. Generally, Killen presents basic concepts simply and understandably, but there are some logical and factual gaps in the examples. For instance, the problems of resource depletion, pollution, and waste disposal are mentioned but not clearly connected to the rest of the book. Women industrial workers are mentioned as a new phenomenon during World War II, but they were important in the early 19th-century textile industry. Overall, the book takes a positive view of the market economy, mentioning problems but without giving enough detail to provide a real sense of their effects. The distinguishing features here are the illustrations: clear black-and-white and color photos that show people engaged in economic activity (with a good range of ethnic groups, males, and females). While they tend to decorate rather than explain, their high quality will help attract readers. Some books on economics are more entertaining (Manfred Riedel's A Kid's Guide to the Economy Prentice-Hall, 1976; o.p.); others give more detail of how economics works (Robert Crane's Understanding Today's Economics Watts, 1979; o.p.). This one is not that much clearer than the alternatives, but it is more up-to-date in its examples and outstanding in its sheer physical attractiveness. --Jonathan Betz-Zall, Sno-Isle Regional Library System, Marysville, WA

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Economics for Today Series
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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