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117 of 119 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you're confused about all of Dr. Mankiw's different macroeconomics texts floating about out there, lemme try to set you straight.

The one you see on this page: "Macroeconomics" is usually used in 2nd or 3rd year macroeconomics courses in college. This is because the exercises at the end of each chapter can be a little equation-intensive, and some of the exercises, such as the proper derivation of the IS-LM curve, require differentiation. The text of each chapter itself is not so vicious, so a energetic instructor could conceivably use this book in a lower-level course, if you were willing replace the book's exercises with easier ones.

Anyhow, the seventh edition has just come out: this has a bluish abstract geometric-type design on a tan background. The ISBN-13 is 9781429238120. The sixth edition had a blue cover; the fifth edition had an orange cover. The publisher, Palgrave-MacMillan, claims that the seventh edition balances "short-run and long-run issues in a way that emphasizes the relevance of Keynesian and classical ideas to current practice. Featuring the latest data and extensive coverage of the current financial crisis, the text has also been revised with the addition of new case studies on real-world issues such as President Obama's stimulus plan and a study of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe."

Mankiw is also well-known as the author of "Principles of Macroeconomics," currently in its fifth edition (ISBN-10: 0324589972; ISBN-13: 978-0324589979), at least as of my writing. This text is more appropriate for freshman-level, non-major survey courses, or for high-school courses provided that they're honors courses, such as AP courses. The exercises at the end of each chapter require only arithmetic and the most rudimentary algebra.

Note that "Macroeconomics" is not just a gratuitous ratcheting up of "Principles of Macroeconomics:" they're two fundamentally different books, arranged differently, and with completely different publishers. There are even massive concepts in "Macroeconomics" (IS-LM model, Solow steady state, the Keynesian consumption function, etc.) which don't warrant a mention in the much more watered-down "Principles of Macroeconomics."

The publisher of Mankiw's "Principles of Macroeconomics," Thomson South-Western also puts out an even simpler version of that text called "Essentials of Economics" (currently ISBN-10: 0324590024; ISBN-13: 978-0324590029). This book is quite obviously intended for use in normal high-school settings: it's just a watered down version of "Principles of Economics." Whatever edition "Principles of Macroeconomics" is in, that's the edition that "Essentials of Economics" will be in, since they come out in tandem.

Believe it or not, we ain't finished yet. Whenever Thomson South-Western comes out with a new "Principles of Economics," they also come out with a new "Brief Principles of Economics," which is a shorter -- but not watered-down -- version of "Principles of Economics." The level of this is the same as that of "Principles of Economics" (i.e., freshman surveys or honors high school), it's just that many discussions have been given short shrift, should that meet your needs. Like "Essentials of Economics," this will always have the same latest edition as "Principles of Economics." Currently, "Brief Principles of Macroeconomics" is ISBN-10: 0324590377 and ISBN-13: 9780324590371.

As far as I know, Dr. Mankiw is not the author of an intermediate-level microeconomics text similar to the "Macroeconomics" text I discussed first.

Hope all this helps. For what it's worth, Dr. Mankiw looked through this review.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you're confused about all of Dr. Mankiw's different macroeconomics texts floating about out there, lemme try to set you straight.

The one you see on this page: "Macroeconomics" is usually used in 2nd or 3rd year macroeconomics courses in college. This is because the exercises at the end of each chapter can be a little equation-intensive, and some of the exercises, such as the proper derivation of the IS-LM curve, require differentiation. The text of each chapter itself is not so vicious, so a energetic instructor could conceivably use this book in a lower-level course, if you were willing replace the book's exercises with easier ones.

Anyhow, the seventh edition has just come out: this has a bluish abstract geometric-type design on a tan background. The ISBN-13 is 9781429238120. The sixth edition had a blue cover; the fifth edition had an orange cover. The publisher, Palgrave-MacMillan, claims that the seventh edition balances "short-run and long-run issues in a way that emphasizes the relevance of Keynesian and classical ideas to current practice. Featuring the latest data and extensive coverage of the current financial crisis, the text has also been revised with the addition of new case studies on real-world issues such as President Obama's stimulus plan and a study of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe."

Mankiw is also well-known as the author of "Principles of Macroeconomics," currently in its fifth edition (ISBN-10: 0324589972; ISBN-13: 978-0324589979), at least as of my writing. This text is more appropriate for freshman-level, non-major survey courses, or for high-school courses provided that they're honors courses, such as AP courses. The exercises at the end of each chapter require only arithmetic and the most rudimentary algebra.

Note that "Macroeconomics" is not just a gratuitous ratcheting up of "Principles of Macroeconomics:" they're two fundamentally different books, arranged differently, and with completely different publishers. There are even massive concepts in "Macroeconomics" (IS-LM model, Solow steady state, the Keynesian consumption function, etc.) which don't warrant a mention in the much more watered-down "Principles of Macroeconomics."

The publisher of Mankiw's "Principles of Macroeconomics," Thomson South-Western also puts out an even simpler version of that text called "Essentials of Economics" (currently ISBN-10: 0324590024; ISBN-13: 978-0324590029). This book is quite obviously intended for use in normal high-school settings: it's just a watered down version of "Principles of Economics." Whatever edition "Principles of Macroeconomics" is in, that's the edition that "Essentials of Economics" will be in, since they come out in tandem.

Believe it or not, we ain't finished yet. Whenever Thomson South-Western comes out with a new "Principles of Economics," they also come out with a new "Brief Principles of Economics," which is a shorter -- but not watered-down -- version of "Principles of Economics." The level of this is the same as that of "Principles of Economics" (i.e., freshman surveys or honors high school), it's just that many discussions have been given short shrift, should that meet your needs. Like "Essentials of Economics," this will always have the same latest edition as "Principles of Economics." Currently, "Brief Principles of Macroeconomics" is ISBN-10: 0324590377 and ISBN-13: 9780324590371.

As far as I know, Dr. Mankiw is not the author of an intermediate-level microeconomics text similar to the "Macroeconomics" text I discussed first.

Hope all this helps. For what it's worth, Dr. Mankiw looked through this review.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Educational, concise, readable.
What more could you ask for in a textbook?

I have trouble sitting down and actually reading textbooks, but I found this textbook enjoyable. The author breaks the text up into manageable sections. Helpful anecdotes are separated as well, so that the text seems shorter. The reader soon realizes that these anecdotes are interesting and is thus less likely to skip them.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
But, for the intermediate course my school is using it for, it just isn't rigorous enough. It has a little too much fluff. Math notes are put in the footnotes, and many math notes don't exist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Economics is called the dismal science for a reason. Students are often frustrated with the theoretical nature of the subject as well as the daunting graphs and equations you are required to memorize, with no clear real world application to motivate the concepts. Mankiw tries to motivate the study of macroeconomic models through the use of numerous 'case studies', examples from history which can be explained by the models. While the idea is commendable and perhaps pedagogically sound, the execution was absolutely terrible. Numerous case studies were oversimplified so that they could fit the model as opposed to the model fitting them, which gives students a false sense of belief that the models are extremely powerful and accurate, and not enough is done to highlight the obvious limitations of the model. Furthermore, I have to agree with the other reviewers; there were simply too many case studies. Too many times the concepts Mankiw is attempting to teach gets lost as he piles numerous case studies into each chapter. It feels more like a textbook on economic history rather than a book for intermediate macroeconomic theory.

EDIT: After spending more time with this book I am bumping up my rating by 1-star. This book is quite good, but one has to know how to navigate it in order to obtain the best utility. My advice is to skip over all the case studies when you are reading to ensure that you do not get confused. Focus on the concept and ignore all the fluff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
My background is in the hard sciences and not economics and am reading the book for personal enrichment. Mankiw is a good writer. His book is unbiased and objective as a good economics book should be. He also frequently cites so you can easily read the source material if you want. The only other macro book I've read is a "For Dummies" book (which was a good introduction), so it is hard for me to compare to others and find flaws or shortcomings. However, the reading this book has made the econ blogs I read more understandable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Don't let the author name scare you - he's pretty objective here and provides quite a few examples. Yeah, some of them are clearly self-serving and ideological, but it's also well-written enough that you'll get a lot out of it. I'm using Romer's graduate text now, and I know there's no going back to undergraduate, but there's a reason this book is so widely used.

(Price not taken into account with this rating. The book is ridiculously overpriced, like all textbooks, but that's not a specific problem here.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The concepts are straightforward. I love all the interesting "side-stories" in this book; they are all highly interesting perspective on macro economics: US Great Depression, Asian Financial Crisis, Bush Tax Cut, European after WWII economic development, etc

One down-side of this textbook tho is the math proofs: it's really short, the author put the additional notes at the bottom of the page but it's still not quite enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Having used many econ textbooks I like Mankiw because he keeps everything simple and easy to follow. Sections within the chapter are short to stay to the point.
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on November 29, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I bought this book because of its high rating and as the semester progressed, I used Mankiw to supplement the assigned text more and more. Mankiw provides a decidedly liberal/dovish view of macro which was a great balance to Stephen Williamson's religious-like dedication to real business theory. Both views have merit but it's nice to get both perspectives at the same time. This text is easy to read because it explains concepts intuitively first with real world examples, then offers mathematical structure and models where necessary. Williamson, however, prefers to drag you through the models first and leaves it to the reader to figure out how the models apply to the real world (if at all). If I could only choose one text it would be Mankiw hands down.
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