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The Economic Way of Thinking (10th Edition) Paperback – May 15, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0130608109 ISBN-10: 0130608106 Edition: 10th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 529 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 10th edition (May 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130608106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130608109
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Noted for its clear and informative style, this acclaimed text provides an in-depth discussion of a limited, but crucial set of economic principles and concepts, then applies these tools of analysis to a wide variety of familiar situations. Heyne presents conceptually demanding material in a lively, often witty fashion that is both accessible and pertinent for beginning students. The goal of this text is to help students think by developing the key insights into economic theory and applying these insights to numerous real-world examples. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The Economic Way of Thinking develops the basic principles of micro- and macroeconomic analysis, and rigorously employs them as tools rather than ends unto themselves. This book introduces readers to a method of reasoning; to think like an economist—teaching through example and application. It even teaches by showing learners how not to think, by exposing them to the errors implicit in much popular reasoning about economic events. Chapter topics include opportunity cost and the supply of goods, supply and demand, profit and loss, competition and monopoly, price searching, competition and government policy, the distribution of income, markets and government, the overall performance of economic systems, the supply of money, monetary and fiscal policies, national policies and international exchange, employment and unemployment, promoting economic growth, and the limitations of economics. For individuals seeking a deeper understanding of the effects of world events on the economy and vice versa.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J A W on July 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Heyne begins w/ the first principles of economics: how human beings interact on a mass scale, and the positive consequences of those actions, and the negative consequences of interferring w/ voluntary human interaction. He then carries the reader through the traditional economic concepts of Supply and Demand, Specialized Labor, Externalities...all focused through the lens of the "Economic Way of Thinking".
Make no mistake--this book is a substantive, philosophical refutation of "Statism". Heyne hits Comparative Advantage, Price Theory, Rule of Law, and Private Property hard (in the affirmative), and if you're for tariffs, regulated prices, arbitrary Gov't intervention, and public property, your views won't be validated. All the more reason for you to read this book, and understand why so many stamp their foot down against politicized economic policies that superficially sound and feel so good. Heyne's lesson is to think on a macro-scale, think about the unintended consequences of mass social change, for that is the Economic Way of Thinking.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Nhon Quach on August 4, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently took a course that used this as the main textbook. When I read the book the first time before the course started, I didn't like it at all and was thinking of dropping the course. But after the course started and the professor went over the material in greater detail, I began to understand and appreciate why the authors chose to write the book this way, instead of in the way most conventional textbooks are written -- define and explain new terms or concepts, etc.

Like other conventional economic textbooks, the Economic Way of Thinking teaches major concepts in micro and macro economics (such as supply and demand, inflation, GDP, etc.) but teaches them in a much more engaging way -- not just a collection of facts, definition of terms or concepts, etc. The authors pointed out the importance and subtlety in each new term or concept. That gave me additional insight into the material in the book. I also found the exercises at the end of the chapters very useful.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Paula Thornton on May 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
To counter some of the negative reviews, consider this -- they don't get it. Indeed, it was only in reading the introductions of the 10th edition that I gained a deeper understanding of what I already knew to be the brilliance of Paul Heyne. He left the academic restrictions of SMU to be granted the freedom at the University of Washington to introduce his new way of thinking about economics.

Having been taught economics by these principles it took me a long time to understand why when I talk about economics it seems to be at odds with others...my perspective is clearly different based on these fundamental principles.

Indeed, there are several compelling tributes to Paul Heyne and his approch to economic thinking: 1) There is an 11th edition...a second edition beyond his death, that bears his name, 2) The 10th edition includes a reference to Ph.D.s in economics suggesting that they had a deeper understanding of their own discipline by reading this book.

Contrary to another review, economics is NOT about charts...that's the message Paul illustrates in his concepts. Economics is a way of thinking about the world around us. Those who fail to embrace it in this way will miss the potential that it holds: helping us to understand the dynamics of decision making.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By D. W. MacKenzie on April 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
Heyne's text explains what it explains well. It is a good Freshman level price theory text. Its strengths are in explaining informational and coordination issues in markets. It does more to explain how the price system works as a communications network than any other text I have seen. It also explains the issues of property rights and transactions costs clearly.
When it comes to the public sector, it is vastly better than many other texts. There are other texts, like Gwartney and Stroup, and Ekelund and Tollinson, which are arguably better at explaining the public sector.
The biggest weaknesses of this book are in macro and international economics. Its chapters on money are ok, but it explains far too little about trade cycles. It has some good material on growth, but could explain more and in more detail. The chapter on international economics could go further as well. The shortcomings of this book likely reduce its sales. So, it seems that the marginal benefits of such revisions exceed their marginal costs.
Heyne is no longer around to revise this book, but the co-authors who took over for him could improve this book greatly for the next edition.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Avinash P. Mulye on January 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
I used this book as an essential study material for my MacroEconomics course at UCBerkeley. I enjoyed it immensely.

The book is organized into 22 chapters and takes you through what could be termed as a more of libertarian, laissez faire form of markets.

It begins with the assertion that it is very difficult to approach the process of economic exchange with an open mind. And that there is a need for a framework. And I agree. Then it gives you a typical example of rush-hour traffic to illustrate and then explain the importance of "agreement on certain rules" in order to ensure co-operation which facilitates transaction.

And then it takes you through the supply and demand PROCESS (rather than STRUCTURE), Elasticity, Price-searchers/takers, MR/MC, importance of price discrimination, price-controls (and perils thereof) etc and then back to the macroeconomic issues (role of Fed, Government, Treasury, inflation, externalities, regulation).

This book (as its title indicates) tends to blur the boundries between Macro and Micro.

Some of the salient features -

1) Uses more enonomics and less mathematics (Paul Krugman's approach).

2) A lot of emphasis on Marginalism.

3) Claims to be simple (e.g. The preface opens up with an important question - Why are so many introductory economics courses taught as if every student is going on to acquire a PhD in the subject?) And the book tends to live by the expectation.

4) The tone is a lot more prescriptive that you could imagine.

5) Maintains that the term Monopoly is very hard to define.

6) Goes close to Austrian school.

7) All in all approaches the economic theory as a process rather than structure.

I will certainly recommend this one to a beginner. And if you are more of left-of-center then this one is for you if you want to understand the other side of the argument.
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