Principles of Economics

Product cover Image for Principles of Economics

Principles of Economics is a one-semester product designed to introduce non-majors to the core concepts of economics. 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, Principles of Economics 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 Principles of Economics includes:

Peter Boettke, George Mason University
Per Bylund, Oklahoma State University
Art Carden, Samford University
William English, Georgetown University
Vance Fried, Oklahoma State University
Kevin Grier, University of Oklahoma
Peter Klein, Baylor University
Robert Lawson, Southern Methodist University
Michael Munger, Duke University
Robert Murphy. Texas Tech University
James Otteson, Wake Forest University
Christine Ries, Georgia Tech
Russel Sobel, The Citadel
Richard Vedder, Ohio University
John Winters, Oklahoma State 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: Comparative Advantage, Specialization, and Trade
The middleman advantage

LESSON 4: Supply and Demand
Supply and demand curves
Equilibrium and surplus
Perfect markets

LESSON 5: Changes in Supply and Demand
Changing expectations and preferences
Barriers to entry and exit
Production and supply

LESSON 6: Imperfect Markets
Barriers to entry
Market structures
Market power

LESSON 7: Property: Land, Labor, and Capital
Defining assets
Using assets to produce value
Asset valuation
Time preference

LESSON 8: Marginal Decision Making
Marginal or average?
Realistic or utopian?
Law of diminishing returns
Individual decision-making
Firm decision-making

LESSON 9: 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 lead value creation

LESSON 10: 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 11: Comparative Political Economy
Economics and politics
Mixed economies
Free markets today
Freedom and prosperity

LESSON 12: Political Entrepreneurship
Rent-seeking and robber barons
Limiting competition
Subsidies Markets or politics
Government subsidized innovation

LESSON 13: 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 14: Macro-Economy: Goals and Measurement
Eliminating absolute poverty
Maximizing material prosperity
Maximizing material equality
Providing societal stability by limiting creative destruction
Facilitating human flourishing

LESSON 15: Economic Growth
Split countries—Korea and Germany
Solow Model
Exogenous or endogenous growth?
Institutions and growth

LESSON 16: The Business Cycle
History of business cycles
Theories of the business cycle
The inevitability of business cycles

LESSON 17: Money
A barter economy
The mutual coincidence of wants
Characteristics of money
Commodity money vs. fiat money

LESSON 18: The Financial System
Capital markets

LESSON 19: Monetary Policy
The Federal Reserve and “fine tuning” of the economy
IS-LM model
Problems with the Federal Reserve
-Exchange rate manipulation

LESSON 20: Government Spending: For What?
Public goods
Private goods
State Provided
State Financed

LESSON 21: Government Spending: What’s the Point?
Benefits to economy
Cost to economy
Optimal amount
Optimal composition

LESSON 22: 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 23: 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 24: Externalities
Negative externalities and market failure
Methods of regulating externalities
Cost-benefit analysis of externality regulation
Positive externalities and market failure


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 of 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:

-Resequence lessons in your media book, or swap out lessons with another mediabook in the EdBooks library
-Work with our Learning Design team to create your own lessons using our EdBooks templates
-Modify lessons by omitting select content or assignments
-Modify lessons by adding your own content such as text, video, activities, quizzes, and discussions
-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.