Economic Way of Thinking, The, 13th edition

  • Paul L. Heyne, 
  • Peter J. Boettke, 
  • David L. Prychitko

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The Economic Way of Thinking goes beyond the basic principles of micro- and macroeconomic analysis by showing you how to apply principles as tools. You'll be exposed to a method of reasoning that helps you to think like an economist through example and application and also exposes errors in popular economic reasoning.

Published by Pearson (July 14th 2021) - Copyright © 2014

ISBN-13: 9780137521296

Subject: Economics

Category: Principles of Economics

Table of contents

1. The Economic Way of Thinking
Recognizing Order
The Importance of Social Cooperation
How Does It Happen?
An Apparatus of the Mind -- The Skill of the Economist
Cooperation Through Mutual Adjustment
Rules of the Game
Property Rights as Rules of the Game
The Biases of Economic Theory: A Weakness or a Strength?
Biases or Conclusions?
The Skills of the Economist
Questions for Discussion

2. Efficiency, Exchange and Comparative Advantage
Goods and Bads
The Myth of Material Wealth
Trade Creates Wealth
Is It Worth It? Efficiency and Values
Recognizing Trade-Offs: Comparing Opportunity Costs of Production
The Gains from Specialization and Exchange
Why Specialize?
From Individual Trade to International Trade, and Back Again
Transaction Costs
Incentives to Reduce Transaction Costs: Middlemen
Middlemen Create Information
Markets as Discovery Processes
The Big Picture: First Thoughts on Economic Growth
Searching for an Explanation
The Evolution of Rules That Encourage Specialization and Exchange
Questions for Discussion

3. Substitutes Everywhere: The Concept of Demand
On the Notion of "Needs"
Marginal Values
Forks in the Road: Everyday Choices Are Marginal Choices
The Demand Curve
The Law of Demand
Demand and Quantity Demanded
Demand Itself Can Change
Everything Depends on Everything Else
Misperceptions Caused by Inflation
Time Is on Our Side
Price Elasticity of Demand
Thinking About Elasticity
Elasticity and Total Receipts
The Myth of Vertical Demand
What Role Should Demand Play?
Is Money All That Matters? Money Costs, Other Costs, and Economic Calculation
Questions for Discussion

4. Cost and Choice: The Concept of Supply
Refresher on Opportunity Costs
Costs Are Tied to Actions, Not Things
What Do I Do Now? The Irrelevance of "Sunk Costs"
Producers' Costs as Opportunity Costs
Marginal Opportunity Costs
Costs and Supply
The Supply Curve
Supply Itself Can Change
Marginal and Average Costs
The Cost of a Volunteer Military Force
Price Elasticity of Supply
Cost as Justification
Questions for Discussion

5. Supply and Demand: A Process of Coordination
The Market Is a Process of Plan Coordination
The Basic Process
Competition, Cooperation, and Market Clearing
Changing Market Conditions
Learning from Free-Market Prices Central Planning and the Knowledge Problem
Property Rights and Institutions
Money: The General Medium of Exchange
Money and Interest
Time Preference
Saving Creates Credit Opportunities
The Risk Factor in Interest Rates
Real and Nominal Interest Rates
Questions for Discussion

6. Unintended Consequences: More Applications of Supply and Demand
Catastrophe and Confusion
Catastrophe and Coordination
The Urge to Fix Prices
Competition When Prices Are Fixed
Appropriate and Inappropriate Signals
Looking for an Apartment in the City? Read the Obituary!
Strong Booze, Stronger Drugs: Criminal Incentives
Skim Milk, Whole Milk, and Gangster Milkmen
Supports and Surpluses
Supply, Demand, and the Minimum Wage
Slavery Goes Global, Again
High-Priced Sports, Low-Priced Poetry: Who's to Blame?
Do Costs Determine Prices?
The Dropouts Release Their First CD
"There's Gold in Them Thar Hills!" So What?
Even Butchers Don't Have the Guts
Why Does It Cost So Much to Change Bedpans?
An Appendix: Framing Economic Questions Correctly
Beware of Wrong Questions or Misleading Specifications of the Problem
Beware of Data That Appear to Speak for Themselves
The Graphic Case of Growing and Permanent Shortages
Once Over Lightly
Questions for Discussion

7. Profit and Loss
Wage, Rent, and Interest: Incomes Established in Advance by Contract
Profit: Income That Can Be Positive or Negative
Calculating Profit: What Should Be Included in Costs?
Comparing Economic Profit and Accounting Profit
Uncertainty: A Necessary Condition for Profit
The Entrepreneur
The Entrepreneur as Residual Claimant
Not-for-Profit Institutions
Entrepreneurship and the Market Process
Mere Luck?
Profit and Loss as Coordinating Signals: The Role of Monetary Calculation
Beware of Experts
An Appendix: Profiteering in Futures Markets
Questions for Discussion

8. Price Searching
The Popular Theory of Price Setting
Introducing Ed Sike
The Basic Rule for Maximizing Net Revenue
The Concept of Marginal Revenue
Why Marginal Revenue Is Less Than Price
Setting Marginal Revenue to Equal Marginal Cost
What About Those Empty Seats?
The Price Discriminator's Dilemma
The College as Price Searcher
Some Strategies for Price Discrimination
Ed Sike Finds a Way
Resentment and Rationale
Lunch and Dinner Prices
Cost-Plus-Markup Reconsidered
Questions for Discussion

9. Competition and Government Policy
Competition as a Process
The Pressures of Competition
Controlling Competition
Restrictions on Competition
Competition for the Key Resource: The $1,000,000 Taxi License
Competition and Property Rights
The Ambivalence of Government Policies
Selling Below Cost
What Is the Appropriate Cost?
"Predators" and Competition
Regulating Prices
"Antitrust" Policy
Interpretations and Applications
Vertical Restraints: Competitive or Anticompetitive
The Range of Opinion
Toward Evaluation
Once Over Lightly
Questions for Discussion

10. Externalities and Conflicting Rights
Externalities, Negative and Positive
Perfection Is Unattainable
Reducing Externalities Through Adjudication
The Case of the Complaining Homeowner
The Importance of Precedents
The Problem of Radical Change
Reducing Externalities Through Legislation
Minimizing Costs
Another Approach: Taxing Emissions
Licenses to Pollute?
Efficiency and Fairness
The Bubble Concept
Rights and the Social Problem of Pollution
Traffic Congestion as an Externality
Once Over Lightly
Questions for Discussion

11. Markets and Government
Private Versus Public?
Competition and Individualism
Economic Theory and Government Action
The Right to Use Coercion
Is Government Necessary?
Excluding Nonpayers
The Free-Rider Problem
Positive Externalities and Free Riders
Law and Order
National Defense
Roads and Schools
Income Redistribution
The Regulation of Voluntary Exchange
Government and the Public Interest
Information and Democratic Governments
The Interests of Elected Officials
Concentrated Benefits, Dispersed Costs
Positive Externalities and Government Policies
How Do People Identify the Public Interest?
The Prisoners' Dilemma
The Limits of Political Institutions
Once Over Lightly
Questions for Discussion

12. The Distribution of Income
Suppliers and Demanders
Capital and Human Resources
Human Capital and Investment
Property Rights and Income
Actual, Legal, and Moral Rights
Expectations and Investment
People or Machines?
The Derived Demand for Productive Services
Who Competes Against Whom?
Unions and Competition
Poverty and Inequality
Why Inequality Is Increasing
Are the Rich Getting Richer and the Poor Getting Poorer?
Redistributing Income
Changing Rules and Social Cooperation
Once Over Lightly

13. Measuring the Overall Performance of Economic Systems
Gross Domestic Product
GDP as Total Income Created in the Domestic Economy
GDP Is Not a Measure of All Purchases in the Economy
GDP as Total Value Added
Is Value Added Always Positive?
Loose Ends: Unsold Inventories and Used Goods
Aggregate Fluctuations
Unemployment and Nonemployment
Employed, Not Employed, and Unemployed
Labor-Market Decisions
Unemployment and Recessions
Recession and Inflation Since 1960
What Causes Aggregate Fluctuations?

14. Money
The Evolution of Money
The Myth of Fiat Money
The Nature of Money Today
So How Much Money Is Out There?
Credibility and Confidence
Banks Under Regulation: Legal Reserve Requirements
Deposit Expansion and the Creation of Money
The Fed as Monitor and Rule Enforcer
The Tools Used by the Fed
The Discount Rate
Open Market Operations
Monetary Equilibrium
But Who Is Really in Charge?
An Appendix: What About Gold?
Once Over Lightly

15. Economic Performance and Real-World Politics
The Great Depression
What Really Happens in a Recession?
A Cluster of Errors
Credit and Coordination: Savings and Investment in the Free Market
Credit and Discoordination: The Unsustainable Boom
The Recession is the Correction
When Is Monetary Policy Effective?
The Case for Fiscal Policy
The Necessity of Good Timing
The Federal Budget as a Policy Tool
Time Horizons and Politics
Deficits Unlimited
Why Not Government at All Levels?
Who Is at the Controls?
Understanding Recent Experience
Once Over Lightly

16. The Wealth of Nations: Globalization and Economic Growth
Who Is Rich, Who Is Poor?
The Historical Record
Sources of Economic Growth
Foreign Investment
Human Capital
Oil Comes from Our Minds
Economic Freedom Index
The Developmental Power of Private Property Rights
The Asian Record
Outside of Asia
The Difficulties of International GDP Comparisons
Globalization and Its Discontents
The Power of Popular Opinion
The Power of Special Interests
The Outsourcing Controversy: Soundbytes vs. Analysis
Once Over Lightly

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