Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary
The book is quite idea-oriented and suitable for entry-level undergrad to read to get a first picture of how macroeconomics looks like, a vast variety of real-world examples are provided. So in that aspect, the book is quite comprehensive. However, if viewing it as a serious theory text, the book has some missing pieces. It emphasize a lot on labour market and monetary market, but doesn’t talk much about business cycle and growth theory in general.
Comprehensiveness Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased
Yes, this aspect of the book is great. The charts and tables in the book drawn from very recent data from official resources, which is the most error-free data most economists could possibly get. On the other hand, when it comes to a macroeconomics text, it’s hard to judge “unbiasedness” since different stories could be told to explain a certain phenomena. This text attempts to explain economic stories in a classical way, assuming no frictions in market decentralization. It’s still a standard approach in the industry though some supplements could be added.
Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement
Yes. Especially the reader could replicate the charts and tables from official data resources using public data. Most of the data in this text is up to year 2010, which is an unavoidable time constraints on the text. But provided the source of the data, the reader could extract charts later by themselves to verify the correctness of the text. Theories will always at the end of the day be outdated, but not in a short period of time provided the classical framework of this text.
Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used
As an undergrad macroeconomics book, this book is very intuitive and easy to understand using quite plain language. Just like what the author says, “application ahead of theory” is a main feature of the book. In each chapter, plenty of real-world macroeconomic examples are given before jargons and formal theories are stated, so that the readers could understand clearly what’s going on in the technical part.
Clarity Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework
In general, the text is quite consistent within itself. It’s a standard undergrad version of treatment of education in neo-classical economics where market clearing and flexible prices are assumed in most part of the text, so the reader could understand the logical statement within the neo-classical framework. On the other hand, the author also supplements in the later part of the text what it means when sticky price and wages comes in, and its potential alternative policy implication in terms of the Fed, but didn’t go too far into the Keyesian framework. Therefore, it’s quite inner-consistent.
Consistency Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
Yes. There’re plenty of subheadings ahead of each paragraph, almost no enormous blocks. And the author tries to avoid mathematical notations in economic models so that the equations are described mostly in words, which helps to replicate into other contexts. As a matter a fact, I think there could probably be more detailed explanation for each concept in a paragraph to give readers much deeper understanding of the concept, and some notations could be given to avoid repeated words.
Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion
Yes, this part of the text is very good. In each chapter, the author separates it into small subsections, where learning objective is first stated, then comes with some motivating examples. After citing concepts and provides more examples to support the argument, a “check your understanding” part is given to help reader verify they have got what they are supposed to learn. Moreover, there’s links to different part of the book and citations when needed, which makes the text very clear in general.
Organization Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader
The text doesn’t have major interface problem. Most links are navigated correctly, though I think in some part, the display could be reorganized to make the text more beautiful. For example, the font size of the links could be smaller since compared with the title of the link, it’s less important in the book itself. Also, some tables could be organized in the middle instead of left to give a unified display.
Interface Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text contains no grammatical errors
No, the English gramma in the text is great. The author’s writing language is also easy to understand, and I think it’s for international students whose English is not first language, this text doesn’t cause barrier to read.
Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds
Just like any other economics textbook, more US examples are provided than examples from other countries, which is unavoidable provided that most modern economic theory are aimed at explaining developed countries’ issue. However, the author also considers examples from developed countries when he talks about poverty and international spillover issues, which is enough coverage.
Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?
Yes. Though the book provides many examples on how global economy are interconnected both during normal times and crisis times, the emphasis could be drawn more on the interconnectedness between US and Canada. For example, in the “Understanding the Fed” or “Interconnected economy” chapter, the book could use exchange rate and interest rate equilibrium model to tell how Bank of Canada should respond to decreasing interest rate in US, its consequence in terms of net export, especially because Canada is an export-oriented economy which relies largely on the demand from US economy. Same could be discussed when it comes to labor market. In the context of Canada and US, labour is pretty mobile compared with other country pairs, thus examples could be provided in the “labour market” chapter comparing unemployment consequence when labour are either mobile or not. Lastly, if possible, the author could extend the series of data to more recent one, since after final publishing, data up to 2010 would be pretty outdated.