New intermediate microeconomics textbook by Goolsbee, Levitt, and Syverson

by on November 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm in Books, Economics, Education | Permalink

It is by Austan Goolsbee, Steve Levitt, and Chad Syverson.  I have only browsed it, but it looks very good.  There is information about the book here (note that we share a publisher; they do great books!).

Something Cleverish November 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm

We used Varian’s intermediate in undergrad and I referred to it plenty in grad school. This one by Goolsbee et al. can only be good.

David J November 16, 2012 at 8:39 am

I wonder if this will replace Varian in undergrad Econ at UChicago. It seems likely given the authors.

Steve Sailer November 15, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I’ve always liked Professor Goolsbee’s timely March 29, 2007 New York Times Op-Ed on the virtues of subprime and other innovative mortgages:

“‘Irresponsible’ Mortgages Have Opened Doors to Many of the Excluded”

“And this study shows that measured this way, the mortgage market has become more perfect, not more irresponsible. …

“The traditional causes of foreclosure, even before there was subprime lending, were job loss, divorce and major medical expenses. And the national foreclosure data seem to suggest that these issues remain paramount. The latest numbers show that foreclosures have been concentrated not in places where real estate bubbles have supposedly been popping, but rather in places whose economies have stagnated — the hurricane-torn communities on the Gulf of Mexico and the industrial Midwest states like Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, where the domestic auto industry has suffered. These do not automatically point to subprime lending as the leading cause of foreclosure problems.

“Also, the historical evidence suggests that cracking down on new mortgages may hit exactly the wrong people. As Professor Rosen explains, “The main thing that innovations in the mortgage market have done over the past 30 years is to let in the excluded: the young, the discriminated against, the people without a lot of money in the bank to use for a down payment.” It has allowed them access to mortgages whereas lenders would have once just turned them away.

“The Center for Responsible Lending estimated that in 2005, a majority of home loans to African-Americans and 40 percent of home loans to Hispanics were subprime loans. The existence and spread of subprime lending helps explain the drastic growth of homeownership for these same groups. Since 1995, for example, the number of African-American households has risen by about 20 percent, but the number of African-American homeowners has risen almost twice that rate, by about 35 percent. For Hispanics, the number of households is up about 45 percent and the number of homeowning households is up by almost 70 percent.”

Kaganovich November 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm

So now that we know the cause of most of our problems (including the re-election of Obama), what can we do about it?

Ranjit Suresh November 16, 2012 at 12:03 am

Support seasteading. Incredibly enough, secession is more impractical than creating new islands of civilization in the Pacific.

Unfortunately, like anti-aging regenerative medicine, even people in favor of the concept in principle would rather wait by the sidelines for others to act.

Mark Thorson November 16, 2012 at 9:45 pm
Matt November 16, 2012 at 12:52 am

Many people said things about the Bush-era financial boom that were embarrassing. But the timing of this Goolsbee article, March 31 2007, makes it particularly hilarious.

Rahul November 16, 2012 at 1:08 am

Nice find Steve!

Steve Sailer November 16, 2012 at 4:30 am

Well, it was hidden on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times, so it took a lot of digging on my part, let me tell you …

Steve Sailer November 16, 2012 at 4:58 am

Here’s what the late Tanta at Calculated Risk wrote in response to Goolsbee’s NYT op-ed on March 30, 2007:

“The first time I read this I was, actually, so speechless that I could only respond with a quotation from our wise commenter mp: toad bones. Also, dog balls.”


ricardo November 16, 2012 at 9:50 am

>”…Also, dog balls.”

In England that would mean it’s really good.

T. Shaw November 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Ghoulsbee: “economic advisor to Barack Obama.” That is all I need to know. I wouldn’t urinate on the book if it was on fire.

Professor Jake November 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I’m using the prelim edition this semester. It looks good but it is, in fact, kind of bad.

flipthatburger November 16, 2012 at 1:26 am

Love that the dude who recommends eating in strip malls is hyping this ghostwritten celebrity chef cookbook

Steve Sailer November 16, 2012 at 5:10 am

Now that I’ve looked it up on Google, I see that Tyler posted Goolsbee’s disastrous NYT column on 3/29/07 under the presumably approving title “Austan Goolsbee is not a credit snob:”

I commented on the posting at the time:

“There was a huge push by the government over the last 12-14 years to get banks to make more home loans to minorities. As Malcolm X would have said if he was an economist, today, the chickens are coming home to roost.”

My comment appears to have been deleted over the last couple of years, however, although another comment referring by name to my comment remains in the thread.


Sam November 16, 2012 at 8:35 am

Doesn’t the Sumner Critique make this all a crisis of “ceteris paribus”. All else being equal (including stable ngdp growth) maybe the housing bubble skeptics were right (or at least much less hellishly wrong).

Dan in Euroland November 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I clicked on the sample chapters and did not see any calculus. WTF kind of ‘intermediate’ text is this? How unprepared are college students these days?

An intermediate text is supposed to bridge principles and MGW. This does no such thing. People should stick with McAfee, Cowell, or Nicholson for intermediate books. The last thing students need is even lower expectations.

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