Textbooks: Openstax, UMinn and CORE

The most important material in EC101 DD and EE is contained in the lectures, discussions sections and assigned problem sets.

In the last few years, three free textbooks have become available: Openstax Principles of Microeconomics 2e, UMinn Library’s Principles of Economics and CORE’s The Economy. All three publishers are sponsored by nonprofit foundations, and the books can be read online or downloaded to student computers free of charge. Printed copies of the books are also available at very low prices, or students can print the books themselves from the downloaded copies.

Use the following links to download pdf files containing the textbooks: Openstax (22 mb), Uminn (54 mb), CORE (72 mb).  [Note: In the UMinn pdf ebook, Chapt 5 Sec 1 and Chapt 10 Sec 1 appear as the last section of the chapter rather than as the first.  In the CORE pdf ebook, some of the graphs are divided between pages and are difficult to read.]

We have decided not to ask students to buy a commercially-published textbook for this course.  The commercially-published books are expensive, and I have the impression that their contents are determined more by the business interests of the publisher than by the educational plans of the authors, who are often among the best academic economists.

Students will be able to use the free textbooks as reference books to clarify concepts covered in lecture and to learn about material not covered in lecture.  Links to these readings will appear in the Schedule page of this course website.  Most reading will be optional; only a few are required.  The textbooks also contain problems that students may wish to use for practice.  Some of the those problems will be assigned as homework.