Modern Principles, 4th ed!

by on January 16, 2018 at 7:25 am in Books, Economics, Education | Permalink

Tyler and I are thrilled to announce the release of the 4th edition of our principles of economics textbook, Modern Principles. In the new edition we have fully integrated the microeconomics and macroeconomics videos that we have been producing for MRUniversity. No other textbook has anything like this wealth of supplementary material–putting it all together makes Modern Principles a new kind of textbook. We have also added a lot of new questions, Ask FRED questions, that use data from the FRED database, more material on health and economic welfare, more material on financial crises and fires sales and much more.

No other textbook has our super simple Solow model which for the first time makes the Solow model accessible to principles students. Modern Principles also has a balanced treatment of Keynesian and Real Business Cycle models, lots of material on modern topics like price discrimination including bundling and tying, a chapter on managing incentives (piece rates, salaries, tournaments) that’s great for MBA students and of course the best guide to understanding the marvels of the price system.

Check out the video!

1 Dick the Butcher January 16, 2018 at 7:49 am

Does this mean students can’t use the Third Edition?

2 Alex Tabarrok January 16, 2018 at 8:39 am

Not at all. New edition has new features as indicated above and updates data which is important in macro especially but 3rd edition is excellent!

3 Ray Lopez January 16, 2018 at 1:16 pm

I’m not sure AlexT is on the same page as Dick the Butcher. The issue is whether students can bring an old textbook to class and still keep up with what the professor is teaching with the new textbook?

Bonus trivia: our volcano is erupting here in the Philippines. I knew this would happen, but could not get into the comments section when TC posted on the volcanoes most likely to erupt a few weeks ago. And there’s a small earthquake today from magma rising, which already has surfaced and there’s some cool internet photos out already…will it blow? Pompeii? This volcano is not like the one in Hawaii where tourists flock to see, but had pyroclastic flow as late as 1984. Staying low, Under the Volcano…

4 Mark Wylie January 16, 2018 at 3:56 pm

The question of whether a student can use an older edition of a text should really be directed to the instructor of a specific course, not to the textbook author. Different instructors will use texts in different ways.

5 clockwork_prior January 16, 2018 at 8:05 am

Such synergy – one wonders how the acknowledgments read, and whether proper credit is given to those at the forefront of bridging the gap between academic ideas and real world problems. After all, those MRU videos aren’t just the work of a couple of professors, youtube, and a $4 app.

6 Editors January 16, 2018 at 9:54 am

Sorry prior, but your contributions were not sufficient to rate acknowledgment. However, we appreciate your effort and will consider you in the future. Don’t contact us, we’ll contact you if we need any additional input.

7 clockwork_prior January 16, 2018 at 10:05 am

Thankfully, I put just enough time and effort in to make reasonably sure that it is not feasible to contact me, so no worries about that.

8 Editors January 16, 2018 at 11:43 am

You seem to miss the obvious. So we’ll spell this out in clear terms. We weren’t planning on contacting you. Ever. This was a request for you to stop contacting us.

9 Many other editors January 16, 2018 at 1:00 pm

We tried that approach too, in vain.

10 Anon. January 16, 2018 at 8:36 am

>Cloth Text
>Net: $257.51
>Retail: $321.99


11 Alan Goldhammer January 16, 2018 at 9:06 am

The authors could have published this as a free e-book and done the whole economics profession a big favor by shifting to a a more modern model and bypassing the publishing industry. Alas, it was not meant to be and it would be most interesting to see what the uptake of this is beyond the GMU introductory econ course.

12 Sybil January 16, 2018 at 9:14 am

Tyler and Alex create a huge video university with hundreds of superb economics videos for free to the entire world and still someone complains. What a whiner.

13 clockwork_prior January 16, 2018 at 9:18 am

Please – it was a much larger effort than just Prof. Cowen and Prof. Tabarrok. Lots of credit to be spread around in creating the product.

14 Alan Goldhammer January 16, 2018 at 10:22 am

Yes, they have created the video university but you are missing the key point. One other thing that I forgot to mention is whether it is an ethical conflict of interest to require GMU to use the C/T book as opposed to another one. Perhaps, the authors should figure out a way to either make the book free to GMU students or at a minimum rebate the royalties to the students.

15 JWatts January 16, 2018 at 11:19 am

” One other thing that I forgot to mention is whether it is an ethical conflict of interest to require GMU to use the C/T book as opposed to another one.”

It’s pretty routine across the American university system for professors to mandate their own text book. Of course, you are purchasing education from them, so it doesn’t seem un-ethical for a professor to include their own source material in that purchase.

16 JWatts January 16, 2018 at 11:22 am

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a student seeking a cheaper option. But it’s clear that purchasing the text book is part of the cost of purchasing the education.

17 Thor January 16, 2018 at 1:08 pm

When I was an undergraduate, I was occasionally perplexed and perturbed when instructors would assign their own texts to large undergrad classes. Then I thought about it.

1) they are assigning a text that they at the very least believe in (they wrote it) and know very well.

2) what would you say if your instructor shows up and says: “I wrote a history textbook too, but we are going to use Ms. Smith’s/Mr. Wong’s history textbook in this class.” Would that not be … weird?

18 CD January 16, 2018 at 2:12 pm

“It’s pretty routine across the American university system for professors to mandate their own text book”

Not really. I got through all of undergrad without this happening to me. I can’t think of any colleagues in my current unit doing this.

The one time I did take a class with an instructor-written book (which was not too expensive) was in grad school and it was deadly, because lectures were what was in the book.

I rarely use textbooks, but when I do I choose one written by someone who is smart and has a different take on the subject from me, so students get a range of approaches.

19 AD January 16, 2018 at 10:55 am

This is a good textbook, but don’t instructors feel a little guilty making their students pay these kinds of prices? And what percentage of students actually buy it?

20 CD January 16, 2018 at 2:19 pm

I don’t know what’s going on in this case!

But this little scam happens with *some* e-textbooks:

21 Clay January 16, 2018 at 8:40 am

*smirking at the placement of this post immediately above “The Case Against Education”

22 clockwork_prior January 16, 2018 at 9:20 am

Come now, education is apparently about status or signalling or both, and just imagine what will happen to your status by purchasing this book.

23 Thor January 16, 2018 at 1:12 pm

If you believe signalling requires carrying around a large Econ textbook a’la one of Gulliver’s acquaintances, then you might be living in your parents’ basement in Kiel.

24 rayward January 16, 2018 at 9:24 am

I assume Cowen and Tabarrok are ahead of their time, by which I mean reliance on not only videos and graphics, but text delivered in short segments (you have to watch the video to know what I mean). In a world of short attention spans, that makes a lot of sense. More importantly, the voice, who is the voice in the video?

25 clockwork_prior January 16, 2018 at 9:58 am

‘Cowen and Tabarrok are ahead of their time’

Absolutely. The domain name was first registered on 2001-03-07 –

Which interestingly is more than two years before the domain, with a first registration date of 2003-08-18.

26 Iskander January 16, 2018 at 10:21 am

As good as it is, I’d say this textbook will lose out to CORE econ’s online one.
It’s free and is more likely to fit in with the political trend.

You do mention that the demand curve slopes down right?

27 The Anti-Gnostic January 16, 2018 at 11:28 am


28 Todd K January 16, 2018 at 7:25 pm


29 Steven Kopits January 16, 2018 at 5:38 pm

My latest at The Hill

“There is a way to make illegal immigrants pay for Trump’s wall”

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