Social Issues

Product cover Image for Social Issues

Social Issues is a one-semester product that explores the intersection of government, society, and markets. We feature a panel of leading experts that explains economic principles in compelling ways and with meaningful, real-world examples. We reinforce concept explanations with rich, interactive media, and present a learning design model that promotes personal application and information mastery. As with our other media books, Social Issues comes in pre-packaged versions that are optimized for traditional, hybrid, and online courses.

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Product Information

Our Authors

We create our product content using a Panel of Experts, with each lesson author focusing on his or her specific area of expertise. This translates to concept explanations and presentations that represent a broader set of experiences and perspectives than those found in traditional textbooks or courseware. Our Panel of experts for Social Issues includes:

Peter Boettke, George Mason University
Per Bylund, Oklahoma State University
Art Carden, Samford University
William English, Georgetown University
Joshua Hall, West Virginia University
Peter Klein, Baylor University
Robert Lawson, Southern Methodist University
Michael Munger, Duke University
James Otteson, Wake Forest University
Benjamin Powell, Texas Tech University
Christine Ries, Georgia Institute of Technology
Richard Vedder, Ohio University

Instructor Supplements

At EdBooks, our commitment is to help faculty members create and deliver their ideal personal teaching solution, regardless of the learning context. This commitment includes learning design consultations, content recommendations and curation, and assistance with product customization. We also provide instructor-specific materials to support faculty in the preparation and delivery of their courses. These supplements include:

  • Sample syllabi for traditional, hybrid, and online courses
  • Instructor overview and suggestions for each lesson
  • Guide to supplemental resources for each lesson
  • Powerpoint presentation slides for each lesson
  • Alternate activities for each lesson,
Table of Contents

LESSON 1: Human Action: Scarcity, Cost, and Choice
Choice and scarcity of materials
-Scarcity of time
-Scarcity of cognition
Choice and opportunity cost
Value creation via wise choices

LESSON 2: Costs
Average and marginal costs
Fixed and variable costs
Economies of scale and experience effects
Sunk costs

LESSON 3: Marginal Decision Making
Marginal or average?
Realistic or utopian?
Law of diminishing returns
Individual decision-making
Firm decision-making

LESSON 4: The Market’s Invisible Hand: Exchange, Prices, and Profits
Price as signal and incentive
Profits as signal and incentive
Role of prices and profits in resource allocation
Role of prices and profits in value creation

LESSON 5: Selfishness, Self-interest, and Self-sacrifice
The Wealth of Nations and Theory of Moral Sentiments
Contrasting self-interest and selfishness
Mutually reinforcing nature of markets and morality
Voluntary cooperation and mutual respect
The limits of good intentions and generosity

LESSON 6: Rules, Rhetoric, and Flourishing
What makes a country wealthy?
Formal institutions
Informal institutions

LESSON 7: Comparative Political Economy
Economics and politics
Mixed economies
Free markets today
Freedom and prosperity

Socialism: private property, prices, and profit and loss accounting
Socialism: the incentive problem
Socialism: the knowledge problem
Socialism: the moral problem
Socialism’s twin children: economic deprivation and political tyranny

LESSON 9: Political Entrepreneurship
Rent-seeking and robber barons
Limiting competition
Markets or politics
Government subsidized innovation

LESSON 10: Everyday Political Economy
The natural order to human affairs
The three-legged stool of political economy: public, private, and civic
How the public sector can help the private and civic sectors
How the public sector can hurt the private sectors
The problem of political corruption

LESSON 11: Economic Justice
Rawls or Nozick?
Poor equals or rich poor?
Economic justice in a classical liberal state.
Problems implementing aid
How much aid?

LESSON 12: The Social Entrepreneur
The social entrepreneur: a definition
Balancing financial and social mission
Analyzing a social venture idea
Non-profit status
-Financial implications
-Organizational implications

LESSON 13: Macro-Economy: Goals and Measurement
Eliminating poverty
Maximizing material prosperity
Maximizing material equality
Providing societal stability
Facilitating human flourishing

LESSON 14: A Systems View of the Global Economy
Emergent order
Numerous interconnected markets
Role of the nation-state

LESSON 15: Work
Vital for economic output
Vital for human flourishing
The War against work
-Welfare state
-Societal attitude to “menial” labor

LESSON 16: Government Spending: For What?
Public goods
Private goods
State Provided
State Financed

LESSON 17: Efficient and Inefficient Taxation
Taxes at the local level
Taxes at the regional or state level
Taxes at the national level

LESSON 18: Market Failure and Government Failure
Markets and governments as imperfect systems
Four kinds of market failures
Government incentive problems
Government’s information problem
Government’s democratic coherence problem

LESSON 19: Regulation: The Seen, Unseen, and Unrealized
When intervention might be justified
Benefits of regulation need to be significant because costs are high
-Misallocation of resources
-Missed innovation
No regulation as the default position

LESSON 20: Labor
Economic liberty of the worker
Health and safety issues
Occupational licensing
Unions: closed shops and mandatory collective bargaining

LESSON 21: Externalities
Negative externalities and market failure
Methods of regulating externalities
Cost-benefit analysis of externality regulation
Positive externalities and market failure

LESSON 22: Regulating Moral and Social Order
Protecting social order or social engineering?
Social order and social pluralism
Current Issues
-Non-discrimination in employment
-Freedom of conscience
-Recreational drugs

LESSON 23: Corporate Governance
Who runs the corporation?
Critique of stakeholder theory
Problem: public company without major shareholders
Problem: political voting by public pensions

LESSON 24: Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporation as moral agent?
Voluntary corporate “social responsibility”
-Knowledge and specialization problems with doing “good”
-How to define “good”?
Government limits on forcing business to do good
-Personal definitions of “good” and “evil”


Price to Students

With EdBooks Economics, students pay one price and learn for life. A one-time fee of $75 for a standard mediabook grants students access to all their materials for the duration of a course, as well as ongoing access after they complete a course and leave the institution. Through the EdBooks Library, students will continue their lifelong learning journey with free access to their course content, as well as any updates we make to the curriculum. The EdBooks Library also supports community interaction and resource contributions by its members.

How to Adopt
Adopting an EdBooks product is easy. Simply contact us via e-mail at We’ll follow-up immediately to help you get started.
Ways to Customize

We design each or our mediabooks, from the ground up, for customization. Our content is modular and can be reorganized or augmented easily. Here are some of the ways you can customize your content.

-You can resequence lessons in your media book, or swap out lessons with another mediabook in the EdBooks library
-Our Learning Design team will work with you to create your own lessons using our EdBooks templates
-You can modify lessons by omitting select content or assignments
-You can modify lessons by adding your own content such as text, video, activities, quizzes, and discussions
-You can select from alternate assignments provided by our Content team

Product Demo
We’ve created a lesson demo to let you experience, firsthand, the advantages of our product’s content and learning design. Fill out this demo request for a guided overview from one of our staff.