Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Exploring Microeconomics, 5th Edition

  • Robert L. Sexton
  • Peter N. Fortura
  • Colin C. Kovacs
  • ISBN-10: 0176877037
  • ISBN-13: 9780176877033
  • 0 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2016, 2013, 2010
  • COPYRIGHT: 2020 Published
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About the Product

Exploring Microeconomics, fifth Canadian edition, offers students a lively, back-to-the basics approach designed to take the intimidation out of economics. With its short, self-contained learning units and its carefully chosen pedagogy, graphs, and photos, this text helps students master and retain the principles of economics. In addition, the current-events focus and modular format of presenting information makes Exploring Microeconomics a very student-accessible and user-friendly text. Driven by more than 70 years of combined experience teaching the economic principles course, the dedication and enthusiasm of Bob Sexton, Peter Fortura, and Colin Kovacs shine through in Exploring Microeconomics. As with previous editions of Exploring Microeconomics, attention has been paid to the structure and layout of each chapter to ensure that the material is presented in as clear and consistent a manner as possible. In addition, special attention has been given to the numerous examples and illustrations presented in each chapter to ensure that they are meaningful and relevant to today’s student. The end-of-chapter For Your Review questions and problems have been continued in this edition. Blueprint Problems, the review feature introduced in the previous edition, have been retained and have undergone revision to ensure they continue to provide relevant and meaningful insight into the methodologies surrounding key economic concepts. As in the previous edition, all Blueprint Problems are accompanied by full and annotated solutions. Also returning in this fifth Canadian edition are the Debate and Business Connection features. Both have undergone revision and updating. While their content has been revised, the purpose of each remains the same—Debate features are designed to promote in-class discussion and self-exploration, and Business Connection features are designed to highlight the link between economic theory and business principles.


  • The Section-by-Section Approach Exploring Microeconomics uses a section-by-section approach in which economic ideas and concepts are presented in short, self-contained units rather than in large blocks of text. Each chapter is composed of approximately six to eight bite-sized sections, typically presented in two to eight pages, that include all of the relevant graphs, tables, applications, boxes, photos, and definitions for the topic at hand. Our enthusiasm for and dedication to this approach stems from studying research on learning theory, which indicates that students retain information much better when it is broken down into short, intense, and exciting bursts of “digestible” information. In short, students will be more successful in mastering and retaining economic principles using this approach, which is distinctly more compatible with modern communication styles.

  • Key Questions - Each section begins with key questions designed to preview ideas and to pique students’ interest in the material to come. These same questions are then used to structure the section material that follows, each question being prominently displayed as a section heading, with additional subheadings provided as needed. In addition to ensuring a clear instructional layout of each section and chapter, these key questions can also be used by students as a review resource. After reading the section material, if students are able to answer the key questions, they can go forward with confidence.

  • Section Checks - A Section Check appears at the end of each section and is designed to summarize the answers to the key questions posed at the beginning of the section. The summaries provided by the Section Check give students an opportunity to evaluate their understanding of major ideas before proceeding.

  • Debate Features - Debate features are designed to provide students with an opportunity to develop and express their opinions about a variety of economic issues. The “For” and “Against” arguments that accompany each debate topic make it easy to use these features to initiate in-class discussions. By engaging in informal debate regarding current economic policy, students will be able to link course content to current events as well as to their own personal lives. Questions have been added to encourage critical thinking.

  • Business Connection Features - Business Connection features are designed to help students see the link between economic theory and business fundamentals. They help students better understand the reasoning behind the empirical validity of economic theory, and they also aid in the grounding of abstract economic theory in more “modern” business principles. Accompanying each Business Connection feature are questions that can be used to either evaluate student understanding or initiate in-class discussion.

  • Photos - Exploring Microeconomics contains a large number of colourful photos, which are an integral part of the book for both learning and motivation. The photos are carefully placed where they reinforce important concepts, and they are accompanied by captions designed to extend students’ understanding of particular ideas.

  • For Your Review - Provided at the end of each chapter, these problems allow students to test their understanding of chapter concepts. The For Your Review questions are organized into sections to match the corresponding sections in the text so that students and instructors can easily identify particular topics. To assist in the learning process, solutions to all odd-numbered questions are provided at the back of the book. With a variety of both problems and application-style questions to choose from, this section can also be used by instructors to assign homework questions directly from the text.

  • Blueprint Problems - Integrated into the end-of chapter For Your Review sections, these fully annotated problems and their solutions are intended to provide additional insight into key economic topics and issues. Intentionally designed to mirror the accompanying For Your Review problems, each Blueprint Problem allows students to “walk through” a completed solution, seeing the essential steps necessary to successfully complete a key economic question.

  • Chapter in Review Cards - Located at the back of the textbook, these detachable Chapter in Review cards are designed to give students a summary overview of key chapter concepts at a glance. Each Chapter in Review card contains the following information: • Chapter Summary: A point-form summary response to the section’s key questions, highlighting the most important concepts of each section, is provided. • Key Terms: A list of key terms allows students to test their mastery of new concepts. Both the definition and page number are included so that students can easily find a key term in a chapter. • Key Exhibits/Graphs: Given the importance and explanatory ability of exhibits and graphical representations in economics, a list of key figures is provided for each chapter. • Key Equations: A list of key equations enables students to quickly refer to important formulas.

  • The challenging and interactive activities within Aplia guide students through assignments, moving them from basic knowledge and understanding to application and practice. Look for the Aplia logo in the MindTap app dock to explore all that Aplia has to offer. With Aplia instructors can: • easily set their course with pre-built, flexible homework assignments; • author questions (single choice, multiple choice, true/false, essay and numeric entry); • create custom assignments and populate them with self-authored—and Aplia-authored—questions; and • inspire students to learn from their mistakes and reward them for effort with the Grade It Now feature that enables three attempts at different versions of a question.

About the Author

Robert L. Sexton

Robert L. Sexton is Distinguished Professor of Economics at Pepperdine University. Professor Sexton has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of California at Los Angeles in the Anderson Graduate School of Management and the Department of Economics. Professor Sexton’s research ranges across many fields of economics: economics education, labour economics, environmental economics, law and economics, and economic history. He has written several books and has published numerous reference articles, many in top economic journals such as the American Economic Review, the Southern Economic Journal, the Economics Letters, the Journal of Urban Economics, and the Journal of Economic Education. Professor Sexton has also written more than 100 other articles that have appeared in books, magazines, and newspapers. He received the Pepperdine Professor of the Year Award in 1991, the Harriet and Charles Luckman Teaching Fellow in 1994, the Tyles Professor of the Year in 1997, and the Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence in 2011.

Peter N. Fortura

Peter N. Fortura earned his undergraduate degree from Brock University, where he was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Medal for academic achievement, and his Master of Arts from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. He has taught economics at Algonquin College in Ottawa for over 20 years. Prior to that, he was an economist in the International Department of the Bank of Canada in Ottawa. Professor Fortura has published articles on Canadian housing prices, Canada’s automotive industry, and Canada’s international competitiveness. As well, he is the author of the Study Guide to Accompany Principles of Macroeconomics, by Mankiw, Kneebone, and McKenzie (Nelson Education, 7th edition), and co-author of the statistics textbook Contemporary Business Statistics with Canadian Applications (Pearson, 3rd edition). He lives in Ottawa with his wife, Cynthia, and their children, Laura and Nicholas.

Colin C. Kovacs

Colin C. Kovacs received his Master of Arts degree from Queen’s University after completing his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Western Ontario. He has taught economics, statistics, and finance for nearly 25 years at both the DeVry College of Technology in Toronto and Algonquin College in Ottawa. His research papers have included Determinants of Labour Force Participation Among Older Males in Canada and Minimum Wage—The Past and Future for Ontario. Professor Kovacs lives in Ottawa with his wife, Lindsay, and their children, Rowan, Seth, and Myles.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Role and Method of Economics
Chapter 2: Scarcity, Trade-Offs, and Production Possibilities
Chapter 3: Supply and Demand
Chapter 4: Bringing Supply and Demand Together
Chapter 5: Elasticity
Chapter 6: Consumer Choice and Market Efficiency
Chapter 7: Production and Costs
Chapter 8: Perfect Competition
Chapter 9: Monopoly
Chapter 10: Monopolistic Competition and Oligopoly
Chapter 11: Labour Markets and the Distribution of Income
Chapter 12: Market Failure and the Environment

New to this edition

  • Chapter 4: Bringing Supply and Demand Together In this chapter, readers will find an expanded discussion of price controls in the Canadian economy. An investigation of Canadian dairy production and the pricing of dairy products in Canada provides the reader with a more in-depth understanding of this key topic and how it impacts the efficiency of market forces in Canada.
  • Chapter 7: Production and Costs Greater insight has been added to the discussion of short-run production with the inclusion of average product as a means by which firm production can be evaluated and understood. The integration of average product into the existing total product and marginal product discussion will enhance the reader’s understanding of how and why firm production behaves the way it does from an economic perspective. This integration is accomplished both in tabular form and graphically.
  • Chapter 9: Monopoly Does price discrimination lead to higher profits for the price-discriminating monopolist? This important question is investigated as part of the newly expanded discussion of what price discrimination is and why it exists.
  • Chapter 11: Labour Markets and the Distribution of Income With the federal governments’ announcement of Opportunity for All—Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy, an official measure of poverty was defined for the first time in Canada’s history: Canada’s Official Poverty Line. Detailing the methodology, measure, coverage, and related statistics, the section on poverty has undergone complete revision to reflect these historic developments.
  • MindTap is the digital platform that propels students from memorization to mastery, helping to challenge them, build their confidence, and empower them to be unstoppable. ApliaTM is an application in the MindTap platform that has proven to significantly improve outcomes and elevate thinking by increasing student effort and engagement. Aplia makes it easy to assign frequent online homework assignments and assessments, ensuring students master important concepts. Developed by teachers, Aplia assignments connect concepts to the real world and focus on the unique course challenges faced by students.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

eBook: Exploring Microeconomics  (ISBN-10: 0176877177 | ISBN-13: 9780176877170)
MindTap Printed Access Card (12 Months/Multi Term) for Sexton's Exploring Microeconomics  (ISBN-10: 0176887849 | ISBN-13: 9780176887841)
MindTap Instant Access (12 Months/Multi Term) for Sexton's Exploring Microeconomics  (ISBN-10: 0176887822 | ISBN-13: 9780176887827)
VitalSource eBook: Exploring Microeconomics  (ISBN-10: 0176877193 | ISBN-13: 9780176877194)
Online Only Instructor’s Resources for Sexton's Exploring Microeconomics  (ISBN-10: 0176877053 | ISBN-13: 9780176877057)
Exploring Microeconomics, Loose-Leaf Version  (ISBN-10: 0176887784 | ISBN-13: 9780176887780)
Nelson Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access for Sexton's Exploring Microeconomics  (ISBN-10: 0176877150 | ISBN-13: 9780176877156)
Value Pack: Exploring Microeconomics, 5th Edition + MindTap Printed Access Card (12 Months/Multi Term)  (ISBN-10: 0176899995 | ISBN-13: 9780176899998)
Value Pack: Exploring Microeconomics, 5th Edition, Loose-Leaf Version + MindTap Printed Access Card (12 Months/Multi Term)  (ISBN-10: 0176900004 | ISBN-13: 9780176900007)

Student Supplements

eBook: Exploring Microeconomics  (ISBN-10: 0176877177 | ISBN-13: 9780176877170)
MindTap Printed Access Card (12 Months/Multi Term) for Sexton's Exploring Microeconomics  (ISBN-10: 0176887849 | ISBN-13: 9780176887841)
MindTap Instant Access (12 Months/Multi Term) for Sexton's Exploring Microeconomics  (ISBN-10: 0176887822 | ISBN-13: 9780176887827)
Exploring Microeconomics, Loose-Leaf Version  (ISBN-10: 0176887784 | ISBN-13: 9780176887780)
Value Pack: Exploring Microeconomics, 5th Edition + MindTap Printed Access Card (12 Months/Multi Term)  (ISBN-10: 0176899995 | ISBN-13: 9780176899998)
Value Pack: Exploring Microeconomics, 5th Edition, Loose-Leaf Version + MindTap Printed Access Card (12 Months/Multi Term)  (ISBN-10: 0176900004 | ISBN-13: 9780176900007)