The Ethical Economics
Study Center



Below are Links to 26 FREE course modules covering a one-semester principles of microeconomics course. Each module covers one class meeting.  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. An interactive textbook with problem sets is available for adoption in an Introductory Microeconomics course is available at Tophat.

  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)



This text is also available for adoption at Tophat. This pay-version includes interactive questions and problem sets. It can also be supplemented with your own materials. Matched with the website, an instructor has everything to teach an innovative new approach to economics for college and high schol students. Click HERE to find out more.  


Microeconomics with Ethics is an introductory college-level textbook that will enable students to understand current controversies about how to best organize an economic system. The approach emphasizes economic model development and how to interpret their results. The textbook first introduces an Edgeworth box to explain the gains from trade and comparative advantage. We then introduce market complexity, stepwise, by introducing monopoly, oligopoly, and finally perfect competition with supply and demand. Government policy is analyzed under perfect competition and in the presence of market imperfections such as externalities, public goods and common resources. Students will learn why some economic models support limited government while others support a much larger role for government. The textbook diverges only slightly from traditional neoclassical textbooks by demonstrating why individual self-interest must be constrained by ethical behavior to achieve economically efficient outcomes. For example, the acceptance of theft, equivalent to a violation of property rights, may more readily satisfy someone’s self-interest, but would nonetheless undermine the development of markets involving mutually voluntary exchange. Other unethical behaviors examined include deceptive business practices, efforts to undermine free competition, the unwillingness to consider community well-being, and economic disloyalties. Lastly, the text highlights how both private institutions, such as religions, and public institutions, such as criminal justice systems, can constrain unethical behaviors and thereby promote economic efficiency. Students will come away from this course with a rich understanding of the modern economic system and a clearer perspective on the different opinions across the economic and political spectrum about how to best organize an economy.


Turning Conflict into Understanding: Ethics in Economics - 14 minutes

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