What’s New with Common Sense Economics

Greetings, friends of Common Sense Economics!  The latest book edition of Common Sense Economics (St. Martin’s, 2016) is available. 

While the organization of the 3rd edition is largely the same as the 2nd, the data are updated and examples are refreshed. Joe Calhoun of Florida State University joins Jim Gwartney, Rick Stroup, Dwight Lee, and Tawni Ferrarini on the author team. As in the first and second edition, this edition focuses on making economic analysis understandable, increases the relevancy of economics and explains how using sound economic reasoning can lead to financially secure and personally rewarding lives.  Extra effort was dedicated by the authors to stay away from the use of heavy jargon.

A few of the key features of the third edition follow:

  1. Part 3: 10 Elements of Economic Thinking about the Role of Government carefully lays out the differences between how resources are allocated by the political process versus markets. It explains why these differences matter to individuals living in households and operating businesses.  Part 3 also includes discussions on how monopolies and high barriers negatively impact efforts to grow and prosper. Of particular relevancy to readers, Part 3 lays out why an unconstrained democracy can lead to special interest politics, large budget deficits, a rise in transfer programs and central planning, and the increased likelihood of political corruption. The final Element 10 of Part 3 suggests some rule changes that could restore limited constitutional government and, at the same time, minimize the shortcomings of an unconstrained democracy.
  2. Part 4: Twelve Key Elements of Economics has been revamped. Discussions on why attitudes matter in the workplace and about how they can help draw others to your work and ideas are introduced in 4.2 “Cultivate skills, attitudes, and entrepreneurship that increase productivity and make your services more valuable to others.” The last two elements now read 4.11 “Take steps that will reduce risk when making housing, education, and other investment decisions, and 4.12 “Use insurance to help manage risk.”
  3. For instructors who would like to increase the coverage of personal finance or focus solely on microeconomics and macroeconomics, supplementary modules exist for the Common Sense Economics textbook adopter. The course shell is highly customizable.  Instructors can use their own materials or they can bring in any of the additional supplemental units that delve deeply into topics like insurance, student debt, buying versus renting a house, fiscal policy, monetary policy, the Economic Crisis of 2008, the Great Depression, and macroeconomic indicators.  These additional features make the third edition more valuable as a potential text in both college and high school basic economics classes.  In total, 12 supplemental modules are available for you to mix and match with the core 15 modules in the most effective way for your class. The supplemental modules are posted at:  https://commonsenseeconomics.com/supplementals/

If you are interested in adopting the book for your course, please register at: https://commonsenseeconomics.com/adopt/  You will be directed to Certell.org, our marketing and promotional partner. Shortly after registration, information about how to obtain a complimentary copy of the book and all of the course materials will be emailed to you.

In addition, Common Sense Economics hosts a Facebook page to help you keep current on new developments and link you to discussions on innovative ways of teaching.  Please also visit CommonSenseEconomics.com for details of the book, course packages, professional development, and supplementary materials.