Our book is built around economic topics. Examples of these topics include the decisions you make in your everyday life, auctions such as those you see on eBay, whether you can make money on Wall Street, where jobs come from, and health care. As we introduce and discuss these applications, we remain keenly aware of the key themes in microeconomics: individuals responding to incentives, markets as the basis for interactions among firms and households, and the role of government intervention.
Throughout this book, we emphasize the measurement and interpretation of economic data. Understanding how to read charts and tables of economic data is a critical skill for anyone who wants to be a sophisticated consumer of economic and political news.
Mastering microeconomics involves both understanding the tools that microeconomists use and knowing how and when those tools should be applied. In this book, you will learn about these tools by example; you will see them in use as we study different questions in economics. At the same time, you will learn about many topics that should interest you as engaged and aware citizens of the world. We hope that, after reading this book, you will both better understand what it is that economists do and be better informed about the world in which we all live.
There is a considerable amount of core material in microeconomics that we use repeatedly as we tackle different problems. We highlight these core elements in the chapters and also gather them together in the toolkit. You can read any and every chapter in the book without necessarily having to refer to the toolkit, but you may often find it to be a helpful reference.