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Tag Archives: textbooks

If the Only Way You Can Get Your Great Idea Implemented…

Notice the pattern. Step 1: Economics textbooks offer a clever-and-appealing policy proposal: Let’s tax carbon emissions to curtail the serious negative externalities of fossil fuels.  It’s cheap, it’s effective, it provides great static and dynamic incentives.  Public choice problems?  Don’t listen to those naysayers. Step 2: Argh, Pigovian taxes are going nowhere. Step 3: Let’s have a trendy-but-awful populist infrastructure program to get the masses on board. So what?  For starters, any...

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Are economics textbooks too expensive?

Greg Mankiw has an interesting article that discusses the teaching of basic economics. This caught my eye: A common argument used to explain the high price of textbooks involves the principal agent problem between student and instructor. The instructor chooses the book, often oblivious to its price. The student has little choice but to buy the book. As a result, the publisher has substantial market power and sets the price much above cost, resulting in exorbitant...

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