Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary
This textbook is far too large and covers far too many topics for a principles of microeconomics text book. I would recommend removing chapters 13, 15, 16, 17, 19 and 20. Chapter 18 could be optional.
Many sections are too long winded. For example, the discussion on the production possibilities frontier is amazingly long, yet still fails to cover some basic extensions of the model, such as what happens when some of the underlying assumptions are relaxed.
Otherwise, the text covers most key subject matter. I would have liked to have seen more of a discussion on welfare economics, deadweight loss of taxation/subsidies, price regulations, and externalities (weak discussion on p335 could be elaborated).
This textbook is lacking a table of contents, index and glossary making navigation exceedingly tedious.
Comprehensiveness Rating: 3 out of 5
Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased
The content is accurate although there is a strong bias towards the United States, as with so many texts. However, in some cases, it comes across a little strong. For example, the discussion on US agricultural subsidies points out how farmers' surpluses are sent abroad as part of a food aid program. The discussion go on to further mention how agricultural subsidies depress world food prices and contribute to the inability of poor developing nations to escape from the poverty trap.
There are some errors in formula (ex: p 236), but this is likely just a typo.
Content Accuracy Rating: 4 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
The microeconomic theory portion of the book is well done. It shouldn't be too difficult to insert updated case studies when the book is revised. A separate section on market failures and welfare economics might be of value however, as these are areas of increasing importance.
The final few chapters, those I recommend don't belong in this text in the first place, are more time sensitive due to their focus on policy rather than theory. These chapters are likely to become out dated the most frequently.
Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used
The entire book is extremely wordy and long winded. Aside from the excessive coverage of material in the later chapters (that I recommend removing) even some of the simplest topics are discussed in far too much length. I have never before seen a principles text of 1128 pages. As a first year textbook, I suspect this will be extremely challenging for most students to get through. Given the apparent attention of young students appears to be diminishing, I suspect this writing style could turn off many.
Most of the jargon is well defined, albeit repeatedly in some cases. At times, concepts seem to come out of nowhere. For example, Figure 6.10 demonstrates Supply is marginal cost and Demand is Marginal benefit. This an important concept that is not fully developed.
Clarity Rating: 2 out of 5
Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework
The text doesn't appear to have any problems in terms in internal consistency.
Consistency Rating: 5 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.
Each chapter is broken up into many sections and subsections. Without a table of contents, navigating these would prove daunting. I would prefer to see even broader sections, within which lies a group of chapters. For example, a section on Consumer Theory that develops the demand curve and discuses budget constraints and indifference curves. Another section on each of Theory of the firm, Industrial Organization, Welfare Economics, Market Failures etc. Some of these topics are broken up and spread amongst other chapters which would make studying them on their own quite difficult. The section on Oligopoly covers far too much material; everything from advertising, to price discrimination to game theory. In a first year text, these topics could be very briefly discussed. A second year text would have dedicated chapters to each of them.
Modularity Rating: 3 out of 5
Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion
For the most part, topics are present in a logical fashion. However, there are some exceptions. For example, a discussion of the application of Demand and Supply should follow the discussion on Elasticity. This would allow a more complete application of the demand and supply model.
Organization Rating: 4 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
Generally, yes. However, if the Equation and Figure references are to be highlighted in blue, I would expect that they are links directly to the relevant Equation or Figure. In my PDF, I found myself clicking on them without any response. If they are not hyperlinks, they should not be highlighted.
The blue highlighting of problems looks messy. I'm not sure the purpose of this, but would recommend eliminating it.
Some of the tables are quite unattractive. For example, Table 5.2 begins on page 272 and covers 4 pages. The text within it's cells make the table much longer than it needs to be and makes following its content quite difficult.
Interface Rating: 3 out of 5
Q: The text contains no grammatical errors
It seems as though there are many missing spaces and comma splices. Otherwise, the text appears to be clear of spelling errors.
Grammar Rating: 3 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
The text is primarily US focused in all of its examples and policy discussion. If international comparisons are ever made, they are the US compared against another country. I did not see any mention of Canada, Canadian examples, or Canadian contexts.
Cultural Relevance Rating: 2 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?
This text has some strengths. However, overall, I would not recommend it. It is far too long, it is missing discussion on topics of importance and has far too much discussion on issues of little value. It is laborious to read as it seems to go on and on and on about certain topics that are not deserving of such discussion neither in terms of importance to content nor in terms of difficulty of the topic. A well written and thorough principles of microeconomics text that covers all relevant material with appropriate focus on specific topics could be half of this textbook's length.
This text shows no sign of having any Canadian content. The theory portion of the text is somewhat universal. However, the examples, applications and policy discussions are sometimes not relevant to Canadians or may not be relateable by Canadian students.