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Showing 1-10 of 52 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 70 reviews
on June 30, 2013
Note: This is essentially an applied microeconomics book. You won't find too much macroeconomics in this book (maybe that's a good thing though). I am a professor of economics and in the process of writing a detailed outline for an undergraduate Survey of Economics course for Organizational Leadership majors. The main text I am using is Economics by McConnell, Brue, and Flynn. Economics of Public Issues is a required book to complement the main text. This book is very easy for students to read. The chapters are very short (2-5 pages) and the examples are excellent. A theme throughout this book is the role of negative unintended consequences of government policy. I have never taken nor taught a course in public policy or political science, but this book might make a great complement in those fields as well.

I intentionally chose the 16th edition because of price; used copies are selling for about $1 + shipping. There are some small changes between the 18th and 17th editions. I was given a copy of the 14th edition in 2008, and there are a number of differences between the 14th and 16th edition. The authors seem to make changes to update the book based on current events.

Each chapter has about 4 discussion questions. I plan assign two chapters a week for homework, and two for in-class discussion. For online courses, I plan to use the questions for graded discussion board posts. I have found that quality of online student discussion board is much better when the questions are "real world" in nature instead of generic or technical textbook questions. This book has very interesting "real world" examples and can stimulate debate among students. For example, the chapter on drugs, alcohol, and prostitution makes the point that quality of these "goods" is low when they are illegal. Does this mean that drugs should be legal? Students can discuss the costs and benefits. On another note, I like that the book clearly outlines negative effects regarding laws on rent controls and the minimum wage. Finally, I am very happy with the chapter on the mortgage meltdown as it discusses the government's role in over-subsidizing the housing market, and encouraging moral hazard and adverse selection in bank lending.

Update: I decided to adopt the 17th edition after all. The 17th edition has a chapter on health care and PPACA, a chapter on underground markets, and a chapter on the looming pension crisis. These chapters were removed in the 18th edition. My impression of the 18th edition is that it is very heavy on environmental economics. This might be good or bad depending on which course an instructor uses this book for. The 17th edition does the best job for my course.
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on December 30, 2012
I have to read this book for a class in college and I have to say, it's probably the most concise and clearly written introduction to economics and public issues I've ever encountered. Not only is it well written, it was exceedingly well edited. Nothing in this book is superfluous and everything is relevant. I would read this book even if it wasn't assigned reading. It's very even-handed, it's academic without being boring, but basically the point of the book is that there's no free lunch: Public issues are issues for a reason; there is no magical system that will result in no cost somewhere to someone, and sometimes measuring the outcomes is impossible until you've already chosen a path.

This book deals with some very serious issues in an engaging and thought provoking way, and it's a pretty easy read. You do not have to know one thing about economics to appreciate this book. I'd recommend it to anyone that's interested in politics, economics, business, or even just plain old social philosophy.
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on May 1, 2017
The book is completely new and everything is the same as described. It is purchased for my ECON class which is very helpful for building a strong foundation with some realistic concepts in life.
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on January 17, 2016
One of the very best books on understanding economics and life.
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on July 14, 2017
Has the format and feel of a textbook, yet is easy to read, understand and conceptualize. A well written broad overview of government regulations and their effect on economics.
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on October 24, 2016
Taking or teaching an economics class? If so you need this book.
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on October 13, 2016
I needed this book for an upper level microeconomics course. We used the book once a week to discuss issues. Only thing is this books isnt a text book so it has poor citations and it seems to be written from a conservative view point which is a bit challanging but it sometimes gets you mad so you really think about some of the issues disussed.
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on April 20, 2016
This books is not a textbook, it is a opinion piece from one side arguing against solutions to current society problems.
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on January 4, 2014
The chapters are short (4-6 pages), getting straight to the point while still providing a lot of information. The subject matter is actually thought provoking and a great discussion starter. I am glad I bought this instead of renting it because it is a book I will enjoy reading beyond what was required for class.
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on July 22, 2017
Excellent book. The book conveys basic economic principles with useful and enlightening applications. It works as a great companion to any introductory textbook on economics.
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