A Fresh Perspective on Economics

A slow-motion revolution has transformed economics. We’ve moved beyond the widget factory—the standardized set of business interactions involving inputs, outputs, and pricing decisions—toward a social science that can speak to the decisions we make in every aspect of our lives. Successive cohorts of economists have transformed the field so that it has greater relevance and a closer relationship to actual human behavior, making it more meaningful to more people. This is no longer your parents’ economics.

This transformation presents a once-in-a-generation teaching opportunity. More than ever before, we have the capacity to deliver a compelling introductory economics class that will deliver an extraordinary return on our students’ investment in the field.

This opportunity requires a textbook that works with instructors to showcase how economics has become broader, and we show that it is more relevant to a larger, more diverse population of students. It has to show that economics has become more useful for the ordinary business of life, and our students delight in seeing the relevance of economic tools to the real-world decisions they face. We believe that by focusing on intuition, we can reorient students to seeing themselves as economic actors poised to apply the lessons they’re learning throughout their lives.

Our fresh perspective gives us an opportunity to write in a voice that students actually want to read. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of reading one of those popular economics books that takes readers on a joyous romp through our field, you quickly understand why millions of people spend their weekends reading them. Podcast rankings and best-seller lists reveal a latent demand for an approach that supplies some of the same magic. We aim to bring that sense of delight and discovery to your introductory economics class.

Economics can provide students with a toolkit of extraordinary breadth, usefulness, and insight. It’s a toolkit they can use to better understand and navigate their world, empowering them to make better decisions in the many different roles they’ll play in the economy, their communities, and their careers—indeed, in every aspect of their lives.

For economics instructors, the opportunity is larger still, giving us the capacity to transform individual lives and entire communities. Our goal is for every single student who turns the page to do more than remember—to use(!)—what they’ve learned, every day, for the rest of their lives. We aim to show them the power and transformative potential in the lessons they’re about to absorb.

We each have that one class that we remember from college. It’s the class you look back on as having somehow caused your synapses to fire differently, that sparked new neural connections, and provided a clarity that felt like it allowed you to see beyond the horizon. It might have been the class that inspired you to study economics—or maybe it was an elective that, though it seemed tangential to your studies at the time, you’ve found yourself drawing on every day since. We want principles of economics to be that class for each of our students, and for each of yours.