Principles of Macroeconomic Literacy

Written by: John Scott (North Georgia University)

Another wonderful free online textbook from the folks at North Georgia University. This one, written by John Scott, is a macroeconomics textbook that offers a thoughtful way of explaining core concepts of macroeconomics. Gone are the long-winded and thesaurus-busting virtually incomprehensible writings so often favored in textbooks about business. Scott has written a book that even this former STEM student can understand.

Original, narrative stories introduce each chapter and key concepts. Socialism is explained through an example about co-workers sharing a dinner out and being told what to eat in order to divide the cost equally. He uses a group of castaways to explain trade and production. A pizza shop, friends borrowing money from each other and a number of totally relatable narratives are cleverly placed among clearly written text to make this macroeconomics textbook excellent for self-study.

The Austrian School of economic thought is the basis for the research and information discussed in this macroeconomics textbook. The edition, we previewed, was published in 2015. Each chapter presents a number of “thinking exercises.” What’s great about these exercises is that through a series of questions, they guide the students towards a greater understanding of the material. Once the questions are posed, the author then takes students through a more thorough explanation of the terms and concepts presented.

Table of Contents for Principles of Macroeconomic Literacy

Chapter 1 Economic Decisions
Value/Benefit
Cost
Decisions
Supply and Demand
Overall Wellbeing
Market Adjustments
Chapter 2 Government Decision Making: Public Choice
Incentives
Knowledge in Society
Public Choice
Rational Ignorance
Methods of Choosing Alternatives
Interest Groups
Regulation
The Law of Unintended Consequences
The News Media
Chapter 3 Value Creation Through Production

The Production Process
Technology
Production Possibilities Frontier
Income and Wealth Determinants
Chapter 4 Value Creation Through Trade

Trade Based on Tastes
Trade Based on The Division of Labor/Extent of the Market
Trade Based on Abilities
Summing Up Trade
Trade and Money
Chapter 5 Socialism and Capitalism
Socialism
Capitalism
Chapter 6 Money and Prices
A Current Definition of Money: M1
The Fed and The Money Creation Process
Prices and Inflation Definition
Chapter 7 Causes and Effects of Inflation
Where Inflation Comes From
Effects of Inflation on the Economy
Historical Inflation
Chapter 8 Credit Markets
Direct and Indirect Finance
Supply and Demand for Loanable Funds
Value in Credit Markets
The 2008 Crisis and the Proposed Remedy
Aftermath of the 2008 Crisis
Chapter 9 Output, Income, and Economic Growth
Gross Domestic Product
Economic Growth
Per Capita GDP
Bureau of Economic Analysis Data
Chapter 10 Labor Markets
Free Markets
Spontaneous Order, Planning and Make-Work Fallacy
Labor Market Statistics
Types of Unemployment/Full Employment
Chapter 11 Macroeconomic Adjustment
Say’s Law
The Link Between the Labor Market and the Output Market
Keyne’s View of Labor Markets
Keynes’s Remedy and Its Problems
The Great Depression
Supply Side Economics
Chapter 12 The Federal Budget
Definitions and Recent History
Historical Spending, Debt and Deficits

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