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Cengage Learning
How to Think Like An Economist / Edition 1

How to Think Like An Economist / Edition 1

by Roger A. Arnold
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How to Think Like an Economist is a new text designed as a supplement for introductory courses in economics. With its economics stories and real-world applications, this text helps readers recognize how economics affects their everyday lives. The author has used these stories and real-world applications in his classes to help hundreds of students make the connection between economics and their lives. This book is an original, class-tested success!

Thinking Like an Economist: Each chapter concludes with a summary openly addressing how an economist would look at the issue. This approach helps readers envision not just the significance of choosing economics as a major, but also identifies what economists do on a daily basis, and why their work is important. Appealing Writing Style: Concise, easy-to-read stories draw students into an understanding of economics in their lives. Teaching Support: The preface offers six different suggested instructional methods for seamlessly incorporating the book's material into the course.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900324015750
Publisher: Cengage Learning
Publication date: 01/09/2004
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Dr. Roger A. Arnold is Professor of Economics at California State University San Marcos, where his fields of specialization include general microeconomic theory and monetary theory. A widely respected authority on economic issues, Dr. Arnold is a regularly featured expert on talk radio discussing the state of the economy. He is also a proven author who has published numerous academic articles, hundreds of newspaper columns, as well as the popular ECONOMICS: NEW WAYS OF THINKING and principles of economics supplemental text, HOW TO THINK LIKE AN ECONOMIST. Dr. Arnold earned a B.S. in Economics from the University of Birmingham in England and received his M.A. and his Ph.D. degrees from Virginia Tech.

Table of Contents

Can You Get Too Much of a Good Thing?
The Price of a Good     2
Life Is Full of Tradeoffs     2
Can There Ever Be Too Little of a Bad Thing?     2
Actions Speak Louder Than Words     3
What the Economist Thinks     3
Questions to Answer     4
There Is a Right Amount of Everything
Benefits and Costs     5
Total and Marginal Magnitudes     6
Finding the Optimum by Thinking in Terms of Marginal Benefits and Marginal Costs     6
Hitting Yourself in the Head With a Hammer     7
The Right Amount of Time to Play Tennis     7
A View of Life     9
What the Economist Thinks     10
Questions to Answer     10
Have a Question, Build a Theory
If You Are Eight, Then You Should See     13
There Is Cause for Concern if a Theory Cannot Be Falsified     14
What the Economist Thinks     15
Questions to Answer     15
Change Often Begets Change
The Way Things Could Be     16
Why Dieters Often Don't Lose Weight     18
Price Ceilings     18
One Change Begets Another Change Begets the Need for Empirical Evidence     19
To Tell the Whole Story, We Need to Identify All the Changes     20
What the Economist Thinks     21
Questions to Answer     21
Why Is It Harder to Predict Than to Explain?
What Do You Need to Know to Make a Prediction?     22
What Do You Need to Know to Give an Explanation?     25
If You're So Smart, Then Why Aren't You Rich?     26
What the Economist Thinks     27
Questions to Answer     27
Did You Really Mean to Pay for That?
Why Not Give Goods Instead of Money?     30
Let's Change the Example and See if We Get Different Results     30
Why Professors Might Say No to Review Sessions     31
What the Economist Thinks     32
Questions to Answer     32
Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side of the Fence?
Which Stock Is Better?     33
Let's Summarize Our Analysis     34
Now Let's Look at House Prices     35
Which Is the "Greener" Side of the Fence?     36
A Pinch of Reality     37
Are Physicians Really Rich?     38
Trying to Stop the Adjustment Process     39
What the Economist Thinks     40
Questions to Answer     40
Why There Will Always Be Lies and Liars
We Lie to Ourselves All the Time     42
Why Do People Lie?     42
What Are People Most Likely to Lie About?     43
Reducing the Number of Lies     44
What the Economist Thinks     45
Questions to Answer     45
How Things Will Turn Out
The Economist's Mindset     46
Our Divorce Situation     49
An Important Condition Is Necessary to Reach Our Conclusion     49
What the Economist Thinks     50
Questions to Answer     50
What Kinds of Explanations Do Economists Use?
Grapes in California and New York     54
Use What Works Often and Well     55
What the Economist Thinks     55
Questions to Answer     56
Good Things Can Just Happen
What Are the Benefits of Money?     58
Money Was Not Invented     58
What the Economist Thinks     59
Questions to Answer     59
Winners and Losers
Positive-Sum Games     60
Negative-Sum Games     61
Zero-Sum Games     61
How the Economist Thinks About the Various Games     62
What the Economist Thinks     63
Questions to Answer     63
Life Is Just One Big Real Estate Market
What Does Superior Market Position Imply?     65
What the Economist Will Do at This Point     66
The College Market     66
The Dating Market     67
The Marriage Market     69
What the Economist Thinks     69
Questions to Answer     70
Rational Men and Women
What the Economist Thinks     73
Questions to Answer     74
Rationing Devices
Many Arguments in Life Are About Rationing Devices     75
"That's Not Fair"     76
No Matter What the Rationing Device, People Will Compete for It     76
The Beauty of Money Price as a Rationing Device     77
What the Economist Thinks     78
Questions to Answer     78
Where's Waldo? Where's the Economics?
Aisle, Window, and Middle-of-the-Row Seats     79
Overhead Compartments     81
Will More Overhead Compartment Space Do the Trick?     81
Going to the Restroom     82
The Curtain     82
Airline Magazines     83
What the Economist Thinks     84
Questions to Answer     84
Drug Busts and SUVs, or the Importance of Thinking in Threes
Drug Busts and Crime     85
SUVs and Terrorism     86
What the Economist Thinks      88
Questions to Answer     88
Is It the Same Everywhere? Is It the Same All the Time?
New York Apartments     90
The Question the Economist Asks     92
Gas Prices and Another Question the Economist Asks     92
What the Economist Thinks     94
Questions to Answer     95
Gifts, Trades, and Transfers
Gifts     96
Trades     97
Transfers     97
Looking for Gifts, Trades, and Transfers     98
What the Economist Thinks     99
Questions to Answer     99
There Are No {dollar}10 Bills on the Sidewalk
How Does the {dollar}10 Bill Principle Help the Economist?     101
The {dollar}10 Bill Principle and the Law of Demand     102
The {dollar}10 Bill Principle and Cheating on Cartel Agreements     102
The {dollar}10 Bill Principle and Hiring     103
Is It Over Yet?     104
What the Economist Thinks     104
Questions to Answer     105
Ratios: More Than Twice As Good
Ratio of Percentage Change in Dollar Income to Percentage Change in Prices     107
Ratio of Quantity Demanded to Quantity Supplied     107
Ratio of Prices in One Year to Prices in Another Year     107
Ratio of Percentage Change in Quantity Demanded to Percentage Change in Price     108
Ratio of Average Variable Cost to Price     109
Ratio of Marginal Revenue to Marginal Cost     109
Will It Last?     110
Another Will-It-Last Ratio     111
Buddha's Ratio     111
Finding Your Own Ratios     112
What the Economist Thinks     112
Questions to Answer     112
More Than Common Sense Is Needed
How Would You Answer This Question?     113
Why Didn't Ricardo Simply Rely on His Common Sense? Or, How Can We Become Ricardians?     116
Adam Smith Had a Puzzle Too     116
Common Sense and a Ratio     118
How Do I Know When I'm Wrong?     118
What the Economist Thinks     120
Questions to Answer     120
Did I Ask for This? Would I Have Asked for This?
We Sometimes Constrain Ourselves for a Good Reason     122
Do Students Want Challenging Exams?     123
Are Speeding Tickets a Bad?     124
Bosses and Workers     125
What the Economist Thinks     127
Questions to Answer     127
Right for Me, Right for You, But Wrong for Us
The Cold War     128
Disneyland     129
Self-Interest and Group Outcome     129
Analysis of a Negative Outcome-The Free Rider     130
What the Economist Thinks     132
Questions to Answer     132

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