Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Microeconomics: Private and Public Choice, 16th Edition

  • James D. Gwartney
  • Richard L. Stroup
  • Russell S. Sobel
  • David A. Macpherson
  • ISBN-10: 1305506898
  • ISBN-13: 9781305506893
  • 504 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2015, 2013, 2011
  • COPYRIGHT: 2018 Published
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About the Product

Prepare students to apply microeconomic concepts to the world around them as MICROECONOMICS: PRIVATE AND PUBLIC CHOICE, 16E reflects current economic conditions. This readable book integrates public choice analysis and explains the operation of markets and the political process as well as market failure and government failure. The book emphasizes why it is vital to understand both the market and political processes since approximately 40 percent of national income is allocated through the political process. This book dispels common economic myths and uses the "invisible hand" metaphor to explain economic theory, demonstrating how it works to stimulate the economy. This edition includes Aplia online learning solutions with revised questions, accessibility on mobile devices, improved graphing, and a new interactive eReader with videos and graphing tutorials.


  • APPLICATION BOXES HELP STUDENTS DRAW PARALLELS BETWEEN MICROECONOMICS AND PERTINENT TOPICS. Students see the relevance of what they are learning as they examine the relationships within key economic topics, such as supply, demand, financial bailouts, capital markets, and poverty.

  • SECTION HIGHLIGHTS MICROECONOMIC THINKING ABOUT GOVERNMENT. Students view today’s government involvement and decisions from a unique economic perspective using the latest information as well as historic data on the Great Recession and lessons learned from the Great Depression.

  • COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE EXAMINES ITS IMPACT. Students carefully review the influence of international trade on growth and the prosperity of nations today.

  • PRACTICAL APPROACH APPLIES MICROECONOMIC THEORY TO CURRENT ISSUES AND CONTROVERSIES. Students see the relevance of the theories they are learning as they apply what they learn directly to pertinent topics in the world around them.

  • CONTENT DISPELS COMMON MYTHS OF MICROECONOMIC REASONING. Readers examine commonly held economic myths and how these myths can impede a nation's economic progress.

  • HISTORICAL VIGNETTES HIGHLIGHT THE LIVES OF NOTABLE ECONOMISTS. This meaningful feature provides an opportunity to weave economic history into your classroom.

About the Author

James D. Gwartney

James D. Gwartney holds the Gus A. Stavros Eminent Scholar Chair at Florida State University. His writings have been widely published in both professional journals and popular media. He is a co-author of COMMON SENSE ECONOMICS: WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WEALTH AND PROSPERITY, a primer on economics and personal finance. Dr. Gwartney’s current research focuses on the measurement and determination of factors that influence cross-country differences in income levels and growth rates. Using this research, he is the co-author (with Robert Lawson, Joshua Hall, and Ryan Murphy) of the annual report, Economic Freedom of the World, which provides information on the institutions and policies of 162 countries. This data set, published by a worldwide network of institutes in 90 countries, is widely used by scholars investigating topics ranging from economic growth to peaceful relations among nations. Dr. Gwartney served as chief economist of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress during 1999-2000. In 2004, he received the Adam Smith Award of the Association of Private Enterprise Education for his contributions to the advancement of free market ideals. He is a past president of both the Southern Economic Association and the Association for Private Enterprise Education. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington.

Richard L. Stroup

Richard L. Stroup is professor emeritus of economics at Montana State University and professor emeritus of economics at North Carolina State University. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington. From 1982 to 1984, Dr. Stroup served as director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the U.S. Department of the Interior. He has published and lectured on topics such as global warming, land use regulation, archaeology and environmental policy improvements. His research has helped to develop the approach known as free market environmentalism. Dr. Stroup co-authored COMMON SENSE ECONOMICS: WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WEALTH AND PROSPERITY with Dr. Gwartney. In addition, he has published ECONOMICS: WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ECONOMICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT, which was sponsored by the Property and Environment Research Center, which he co-founded.

Russell S. Sobel

Russell S. Sobel is professor of economics and entrepreneurship in the Baker School of Business at The Citadel in Dr. Sobel's hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Sobel received his Ph.D. in economics from Florida State University in 1994. He serves as co-editor of the Southern Economic Journal and is a member of the editorial boards for the peer-reviewed journal Public Choice and the Journal of Entrepreneurship & Public Policy. Dr. Sobel has received numerous awards for both his teaching and research, including the Kenneth G. Elzinga Distinguished Teaching Award from the Southern Economic Association, the Georgescu-Roegen Prize for Best Article of the Year in the Southern Economic Journal and the Association of Private Enterprise Education Distinguished Scholar Award. In addition, he received the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award for his book UNLEASHING CAPITALISM. He is the author or co-author of more than 250 academic journal articles and books. His publications have appeared in a wide variety of academic journals including the Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Law and Economics, Public Choice, Journal of Business Venturing, Small Business Economics and Economic Inquiry. His current recent research focuses on the intersection of entrepreneurship and economic policy.

David A. Macpherson

David A. Macpherson is the E.M. Stevens Distinguished Professor of Economics and economics department chair at Trinity University. Previously, he served as director of the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy and was the Rod and Hope Brim Eminent Scholar of Economics at Florida State University, where he received two university-wide awards for teaching excellence. He has taught courses on the principles of microeconomics, money and banking, econometrics and labor economics. Dr. Macpherson is an applied economist whose research focuses on real estate, pensions, discrimination, industry deregulation, labor unions and the minimum wage. He has published more than 60 articles in leading economics and real estate journals, including Review of Economic and Statistics, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Human Resources, Industrial and Labor Relations Review and Journal of Real Estate Economics and Finance. His research has been funded by a variety of entities, including the National Science Foundation, Florida Legislature and the National Association of Realtors. He is co-author of the undergraduate labor economics text, CONTEMPORARY LABOR ECONOMICS. Dr. Macpherson is included in WHO’S WHO IN ECONOMICS, which features the 1,200 most frequently cited economists. Dr. Macpherson received his undergraduate degree and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.

Table of Contents

1. The Economic Approach.
2. Some Tools of the Economist.
3. Demand, Supply, and the Market Process.
4. Supply and Demand: Applications and Extensions.
5. Difficult Cases for the Market, and the Role of Government.
6. The Economics of Political Action.
7. Consumer Choice and Elasticity.
8. Costs and the Supply of Goods.
9. Price Takers and the Competitive Process.
10. Price-Searcher Markets with Low Entry Barriers.
11. Price-Searcher Markets with High Entry Barriers.
12. The Supply of and Demand for Productive Resources.
13. Earnings, Productivity, and the Job Market.
14. Investment, the Capital Market, and the Wealth of Nations.
15. Income Inequality and Poverty.
16. Gaining from International Trade.
Special Topic 1. Government Spending and Taxation.
Special Topic 2. The Economics of Social Security.
Special Topic 3. The Stock Market: Its Function, Performance, and Potential as an Investment Opportunity.
Special Topic 4. Great Debates in Economics: Keynes versus Hayek.
Special Topic 5. The Crisis of 2008: Causes and Lessons for the Future.
Special Topic 6. Lessons from the Great Depression.
Special Topic 7. The Federal Budget and the National Debt.
Special Topic 8. Earnings Differences Between Men and Women.
Special Topic 9. Do Labor Unions Increase the Wages of Workers?
Special Topic 10. The Question of Resource Exhaustion.
Special Topic 11. Difficult Environmental Cases and the Role of Government.
Appendix A: General Business and Economics Indicators for the United States.
Appendix B: Answers to Selected Critical Analysis Questions.

New to this edition

  • NEW "KEYS TO ECONOMIC PROSPERITY" FEATURES DIRECT READER FOCUS TO CRITICAL MICROECONOMIC FACTORS. This feature helps students fully appreciate the organizational and institutional factors that form the foundations for economic progress. These "Keys to Economic Prosperity" features highlight the importance of factors, such as gains from trade, secure property rights, competition, and free trade, as sources of economic prosperity.
  • NEW "APPLICATIONS IN ECONOMICS" APPLY MICROECONOMIC THEORY TO REAL-WORLD ISSUES AND CONTROVERSIES. These features illustrate the importance and power of the microeconomic principles addressed in the book.
  • NEW "MEASURES OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITY" BOXES EXAMINE SIGNIFICANT MICROECONOMIC INDICATORS. These boxes detail how important economic indicators, such as the unemployment rate and the index of leading indicators, are assembled and what they mean.
  • NEW "OUTSTANDING ECONOMISTS" BOXES INTRODUCE LEADERS WHO HAVE SHAPED MICROECONOMICS TODAY. These features integrated throughout this edition highlight the lives of major economists and focus on how their work has contributed to the development of economics and microeconomics.
  • NEW "MYTHS OF ECONOMICS" ARTICLES CORRECT COMMON ECONOMIC FALLACIES. These boxed articles dispel commonly held fallacies of economic and microeconomic reasoning. Because students are tomorrow’s leaders, it is imperative that they are aware of common economic misperceptions that can hamper a nation’s economic progress.
  • CHAPTER FOCUS QUESTIONS AND CLOSING KEY POINT SUMMARIES. Each chapter begins with four or five questions that summarize the focus of the chapter. At the end of each chapter, the Key Points section provides students with a concise overview of the material covered in the chapter and revisits the chapter learning objectives. These two features help students better integrate the material into a broader macroeconomic picture.
  • NEW CRITICAL ANALYSIS QUESTIONS CHALLENGE STUDENTS TO APPLY WHAT THEY’VE LEARNED. Each chapter concludes with a set of discussion questions and problems designed to test the student’s ability to analyze macroeconomic issues and to apply macroeconomic theory to real-world events. Appendix B at the end of the text contains suggested answers for approximately half of these questions.
  • UPDATED TABLES, GRAPHS, AND ECONOMIC APPLICATION BOXED FEATURES REFLECT THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN THE FIELD. These visual reinforcements and opportunities for practical application throughout the book have been thoroughly updated to ensure your students are working with the latest information.
  • EXPANDED COVERAGE HIGHLIGHTS THE ROLE OF POLITICAL ACTION IN MICROECONOMICS TODAY. With approximately 40 percent of national income allocated through the political process, this book now clearly demonstrates the significant impact today’s political decisions have on current and future macroeconomic developments.
  • NEW COVERAGE EXAMINES OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING. Students study this government regulation in detail and review its impact on earnings.
  • UP-TO-DATE COVERAGE SCRUTINIZES THE ECONOMICS OF HEALTH CARE. Students review this timely topic from a unique microeconomic perspective.
  • REVISED MATERIAL ANALYZES MINIMUM WAGE. Readers review the impact of minimum wage, including increases at the city level.
  • UP-TO-DATE COVERAGE ADDRESSES INCOME INEQUALITY AND POVERTY. This edition delves into the details of these pressing economic issues and recent developments that have affected them.


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

Instructor Supplements

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Student Supplements

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