Economics (South-Western)

by J. Holton Wilson and J.R. Clark
Cincinnati: South-Western Educational Publishing, 1997
748 pp.

Rating: C

The chief drawback of this book is that it gives too much space to description and too little to analysis to show students how economists think. For example, the book includes biographies on people as diverse as Alan Greenspan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donna Shalala. Interesting as these may be, the information does nothing to help the student develop the ability to think like an economist. While the book often gives the student "both sides" where there is minor disagreement on issues, on some major issues, balance is missing. For example, the authors state that "the public sector can redistribute income more efficiently than the private sector." One would be hard pressed to come up with a more disputed notion among economists—yet the statement is stated as truth in this textbook for students. Government redistribution programs are riddled with unintended consequences—and students ought to think about results more than intentions.

A more detailed critique is available.