Intended primarily for principles of economics, public policy, and social issues courses, this text also provides practical content to current and aspiring industry professionals.
Brief, relevant readings that spark independent thinking and classroom discussions.
The Economics of Public Issues is a collection of brief, relevant readings that spark independent thinking and classroom discussions in Principles of Economics and Social Issues courses. This text encourages readers to apply theoretical discussions to today’s important issues and to gain a deeper understanding of current economic policy concerns.
Table of Contents
Part One: The Foundations of Economic Analysis
1 Death by Bureaucrat
(when bureaucratic choices mean life for some people–and death for others)
2 Supersize It
(the economics of obesity)
3 Flying the Friendly Skies?
(how safe is commercial air travel? How safe should it be?)
4 The Mystery of Wealth
(why some nations are rich and others are poor)
5 Surf Gangs
(lessons from surfers on property rights and economic efficiency)
Part Two: Supply and Demand
6 Sex, Booze, and Drugs
(the unintended–and often harmful–consequences of prohibiting voluntary exchange)
7 All Fracked Up
(how a boom in natural gas exploration is making us richer and greener)
8 Kidneys for Sale
(does a market for human organs make sense?)
9 Are We Running Out of Water?
(on a planet that’s two-thirds water, how can we be running out of the stuff?)
10 Bankrupt Landlords, from Sea to Shining Sea
(when governments lower rents, tenants can suffer)
Part Three: Labor Markets
11 (Why) Are Women Paid Less?
(why are women paid less, while men are working less?)
12 Over $1 Trillion in College Debt, and Rising
(but for many young people, borrowing to go to college is still the right thing to do)
13 The Effects of the Minimum Wage
(how a “living wage” can ruin the lives of minority youngsters)
14 Immigration, Superstars, and Poverty
(are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer?)
15 The (Dis)incentives of High Taxes
(how high taxes illustrate the old adage, “there is no free lunch”)
Part Four: Market Structures
16 Patent Trolls and Seed Monopolies
(do patents make us better off?)
17 Contracts, Combinations, and Conspiracies
(why the NCAA and OPEC have more in common than four-letter names)
18 Coffee, Tea, or Tuition-Free?
(who wins and who loses from price discrimination)
19 Keeping the Competition Out
(when the government steps in, the competition steps out)
Part Five: Political Economy
20 The Deception of Green Energy
(the unsustainability of wind farms, solar panels, and electric cars)
21 Save a Turtle, Kill a Person
(why bans on plastic bags waste resources, harm the environment, and threaten human lives)
22 Raising Less Corn and More Hell
(how your tax dollars end up in farmers’ pockets)
23 The Pension Crisis
(our promises are coming home to roost)
24 The Graying of America
(America is getting older, and you will foot the bill)
Part Six: Property Rights and the Environment
25 Save that Species
(saving a species is easy–with a little bit of economics)
26 Greenhouse Economics
(the economics of global climate change)
27 Ethanol Madness
(environmental policy gone bad)
28 The Trashman Cometh
(the costs and benefits of recycling)
Part Seven: Globalization and Economic Prosperity
29 The Economics of the Big Mac
(lessons we can learn from the ultimate burger)
30 Globalization and the Wealth of America
(is globalization all bad?)
31 The $750,000 Steelworker
(the economic consequences of restricting international trade)
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Roger LeRoy Miller, Daniel K. Benjamin
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