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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A great textbook that I wish was more student-friendly

On a lighter note from my previous post, I recently chose my Spring-semester textbook. I decided to stay with Robert Hall and Marc Lieberman's "Macroeconomics: Principles and Applications." I chose them a few semesters ago because they seem to be a lot more thoughtful about the depth of issues than say, Mankiw. And, it is a really well-written mainstream textbook.

But, I would chose this textbook, bar none, were it not for the cluttered writing, formatting, etc. Macroeconomics in Context is amazing in that it combines mainstream economic thinking and adds in significant (but still appropriately introductory) analysis of transitional economies, environmental economics, post-Keynesian economics, and the like. In other words, it does a great job of attempting to provide a more holistic approach to economics.

But everything about the look and the feel of the text is a failure. It's verbose, the graphs are few and amateurish. In a word, I'm concerned students would be turned off and just would never read it. I hope that the people at Tufts University recognize this and clean up the text for their next edition.

In the meantime, I will continue to use portions of it in a supplemental manner.

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