The Ethical Economics
Study Center



Below are Links to 26 course modules covering a one-semester principles of microeconomics course. The unique features of this course are listed below. Each module contains readings, powerpoint presentations, video lectures and links to related internet sites and news articles. The textbook with problem sets and interactive exercises will soon be available for course adoption at Tophat. All materials posted at the site are free to use in your courses with attribution. 

  1. Introductory Issues in Microeconomics
  2. Models - The Economic Method
  3. The Pure Exchange Model
  4. The Ethics of Market Exchange
  5. Production and Comparative Advantage - Part 1
  6. Production and Comparative Advantage - Part 2
  7. Theory of Consumer Demand
  8. Demand Elasticity and Consumer Surplus
  9. Theory of Firms - Production Costs
  10. Monopoly Market Theory
  11. Oligopoly Market Theory
  12. Perfect Competition Theory - Part 1
  13. Perfect Competition Theory - Part 2
  14. Theory of Market Supply
  15. Long-Run Adjustments, Supply Elasticity and Producer Surplus
  16. Ethics of Market Competition
  17. Government Policies - Taxes and Subsidies
  18. Government Policies - International Trade and Tariffs
  19. Government Policies - Price Ceilings / Price Gouging
  20. Government Policies - Price Floors / Minimum Wages
  21. Government Policies - Price Supports / Political Economy
  22. Market Imperfections - Public Goods / Role of Government
  23. Market Imperfections - Common Resources
  24. Market Imperfections - Negative Externalities
  25. Market Imperfections - Positive Externalities
  26. Ethics In Economics Recap


Key Features of this Textbook

  • Includes an 80% orthodox approach similar to traditional economics textbooks
  • Demonstrates the critical role ethical behavior plays in assuring economically efficient outcomes (this is missing in traditional economics texts)
  • Emphasizes that the economic method of model building is a simplification of the real world rather than a literal depiction. Models are useful guides, not reality.
  • Provides numerous examples of assumption relaxation as a way of illustrating the importance of key assumptions in models, including implicit ethical assumptions.
  • Incorporates an additive approach to economic models, beginning with the simplest and continually adding more features. For example, supply and demand is not introduced until after perfect competition which in turn is not introduced until after monopoly and oligopoly is covered.
  • Includes greater emphasis on distributional welfare impacts of government policies (who are the winners and losers?)
  • Emphasizes how outcomes change in the presence of market imperfections, a.k.a. market failure.
  • Highlights both public and private methods to correct for market imperfections
  • Includes coverage of political economy issues and the failure of government in democratic societies.
  • Highlights how unethical behavior represents an example of market imperfections.
  • Highlights why economic efficiency requires specific kinds of ethical behavior
  • Highlights the theoretical support for economic ideologies on both the right and the left. This is done by comparing ideas expressed by Joesph Stiglitz and Milton Friedman, among others.
  • Notes that economic disagreements are often based on whether one believes more in market failure or more in government failure.
  • Showcases the contributions of famous thinkers in economics from Adam Smith to Elinor Ostrom.
  • Provides students a foundation upon which to determine their own political and economic ideology. (the text's bias is centrist and emphasizes the both pros and cons on the right and the left)



Turning Conflict into Understanding: Ethics in Economics - 14 minutes

Brief Intro to the Unique Features of this Course - 12 minutes