Welcome to the ninth edition of Microeconomics, North America's best-selling economics textbook. More than 7 million Canadian and U. S. students have now used this book. It has been adapted into Australian, Italian, Russian, and Chinese editions, and translated into French, Spanish, and other languages.
What's New and Improved?
We thoroughly revised, polished, and updated this edition. To use a software analogy, this is version 9.0, not 8.1 or 8.2. The comments of reviewers and survey correspondents provided encouragement, motivated improvements, and sparked innovation.
A major revision goal was to streamline presentations, where possible, without compromising the thoroughness of our explanations. Our efforts resulted in a more efficient organization and greater clarity. An example is Chapter 4, "An Overview of the Market System and the Canadian Economy," which is both shorter and better organized than before. You will find similar kinds of improvements throughout the ninth edition. Where needed, of course, the "extra sentence of explanation" remains a distinguishing characteristic of Microeconomics. Brevity at the expense of clarity is a false economy.
The Ten Key Concepts, which appeared in the eighth edition, have been reinforced with margin icons when they are discussed later in the text. This serves to integrate the key concepts throughout the text. We have made a number of micro discussions less daunting and more interesting by changing abstract, axiomatic examples (such as X and Y) to concrete examples familiar to students. Also, in keeping with our goal of streamlining discussions, we have consolidated and deleted selected content that was either peripheral to the discussion or was covered in further detail in later chapters.
Instructors rarely assign all five micro application chapters (regulation and anticombines, agriculture, income inequality and poverty, and labour market issues), but they appreciate the option to select two or three. We gave these chapters particular attention, revising and updating throughout. For example, Chapter 1 on competition and government regulation is consolidated and now ends with a new Last Word on the Microsoft case. Chapter 20 on agriculture reflects the recent decline in the prices of some farm products. The discussion of income inequality in Chapter 17 is reorganized for greater clarity and smoother flow.
Other New Topics and Revised Discussions
Along with the improvements just discussed, there are many other revisions. Here are some examples.
• Part 1. Cha ter 1: Changed terminology from material wants to economic wants; revised discussion of economic methodology, focusing on the scientific method. Cha ter 2: Reorganized section on applications; greatly consolidated section on economic systems. Cha ter 3: Several new examples including increased demand for coffee drinks, soy-enhanced hamburger as an inferior good, increased supply of Internet service provision. Cha ter 4: New chapter title and introduction; revised section on competition to generalize beyond pure competition; consolidation of the Five Fundamental Questions to Four, with discussion explicitly organized around each; briefer chapter. Cha ter 5: New Figure 5- showing the types of international flows (trade flows, resource flows, information and technology flows, and money flows); new discussion of the euro; expanded discussion of the WTO.
• Part 2. Cha ter 6: Title changed to reflect chapter content; added application section on cross elasticity of demand; revamped section on government-controlled prices. Cha ter 7: Updated applications and extension section; changed language from budget restraint to budget constraint. Cha ter 8: Improved explanation of explicit and implicit costs; added "learning-by-doing" to the list of sources of economies of scale; new applications of economies of scale (startup firms and newspapers). Cha ter 9: Deleted the section on "Qualifications" to shorten the chapter and because we discuss each in detail in later chapters. Cha ter 10: New, updated examples throughout; substantially revised section "Assessment and Policy Options." Cha ter 11: greatly shortened the discussion of cartels by focusing on only recent, rather than historical, OPEC actions; changed the identities of firms in the discussion of kinked demand from A, B, C to hypothetically named firms. Cha ter 12: Edited down some long lists of examples and added new examples; added a new section on consumer surplus and producer surplus. Cha ter 13: Pared the chapter by eliminating the discussion of industrial concentration and industrial policy; updated examples on anti-combines, including the Microsoft case; revised section on industrial regulation for clarity and relevance to today's regulatory and deregulatory climate; reorganized the discussion of social regulation.
• Part 3. Cha ter 15: Transposed the graphs in Figure 15- ; revised discussion of the minimum wage; new Figure 15-9 shows how wage differentials can arise on either the demand or supply side of labour markets, and added a section on immigration. Cha ter 16: Made the discussion of the single-tax proposal an application of the idea of economic rent. Cha ter 17: Reorganized discussion of income inequality and trends in income inequality; new discussion of the inequality of wealth.
• Part 4. Cha ter 18: Revised Table 18-2 on cost-benefit analysis; integrated the discussion of specific antipollution policies within the analysis of negative externalities; added a brief section on global warming; New Global Perspective 18-1 on carbon dioxide emissions. Cha ter 19: Added recent Canadian tax revenue data and a section on the 2000 federal tax reform. Cha ter 20: Refo-cused Table 20-1 from farm population to farm employment.
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