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Exploring Economics

Exploring Economics

Eighth Edition

April 2019 | SAGE Publications, Inc
The excitement of learning economics for the first time.
The experience of a lifetime of teaching it.

The Eighth Edition of Exploring Economics captures the excitement of learning economics for the first time through a lively and encouraging narrative that connects economics to the world in a way that is familiar to students. Author Robert L. Sexton draws on over 25 years of teaching experience to capture students’ attention, focusing on core concepts and expertly weaving in examples from current events and popular culture to make even classic economic principles modern and relatable. The text sticks to the basics and applies a thoughtful learning design, segmenting its presentation into brief, visually appealing, self-contained sections that are easier for students to digest and retain compared to sprawling text.

Thoughtfully placed section quizzes, interactive summaries, and problem sets help students check their comprehension at regular intervals and develop the critical thinking skills that will allow them to “think like economists.” Combined with a complete teaching and learning package including online homework and flexible teaching options, Exploring Economics is sure to help you ignite your students’ passion for the field and reveal its practical application in the world around them.

A Complete Teaching & Learning Package

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Part I: Introduction
Chapter 1: The Role and Method of Economics
1.1 Economics: A Brief Introduction  
1.2 Economic Behavior  
1.3 Economic Theories and Models  
1.4 Pitfalls to Avoid in Scientific Thinking  
1.5 Positive Statements and Normative Statements  
Chapter 2: Economics: Eight Powerful Ideas
2.1 Idea 1: People Face Scarcity and Costly Trade-Offs  
2.2 Idea 2: People Engage in Rational Decision Making and Marginal Thinking  
2.3 Idea 3: People Respond Predictably to Changes in Incentives  
2.4 Idea 4: Specialization and Trade Can Make People Better Off  
2.5 Idea 5: Markets Can Improve Economic Efficiency  
2.6 Idea 6: Appropriate Government Policies Can Improve Market Outcomes  
2.7 Idea 7: Government Policies May Help Stabilize the Economy  
2.8 Idea 8: Increasing Productivity Leads to Economic Growth  
Chapter 3: Scarcity, Trade-Offs, and Production Possibilities
3.1 The Three Economic Questions Every Society Faces  
3.2 The Circular Flow Model  
3.3 The Production Possibilities Curve  
3.4 Economic Growth and the Production Possibilities Curve  
Part II: Supply and Demand
Chapter 4: Demand, Supply, and Market Equilibrium
4.1 Markets  
4.2 Demand  
4.3 Shifts in the Demand Curve  
4.4 Supply  
4.5 Shifts in the Supply Curve  
4.6 Market Equilibrium Price and Quantity  
Chapter 5: Markets in Motion and Price Controls
5.1 Changes in Market Equilibrium  
5.2 Price Controls  
Chapter 6: Elasticities
6.1 Price Elasticity of Demand  
6.2 Total Revenue and the Price Elasticity of Demand  
6.3 Other Types of Demand Elasticities  
6.4 Price Elasticity of Supply  
Part III: Market Efficiency, Market Failure, and the Public System
Chapter 7: Market Efficiency and Welfare
7.1 Consumer Surplus and Producer Surplus  
7.2 The Welfare Effects of Taxes, Subsidies, and Price Controls  
Chapter 8: Market Failure
8.1 Externalities  
8.2 Public Policy and the Environment  
8.3 Property Rights and the Environment  
8.4 Public Goods  
8.5 Asymmetric Information  
Chapter 9: Public Finance and Public Choice
9.1 Public Finance: Government Spending and Taxation  
9.2 Public Choice  
Part IV: Households and Market Structure
Chapter 10: Consumer Choice Theory
10.1 Consumer Behavior  
10.2 The Consumer's Choice  
10.3 Behavioral Economics  
Chapter 11: The Firm: Production and Costs
11.1 Firms and Profits: Total Revenues Minus Total Costs  
11.2 Production in the Short Run  
11.3 Costs in the Short Run  
11.4 The Shape of the Short-Run Cost Curves  
11.5 Cost Curves: Short Run versus Long Run  
Chapter 12: Firms in Perfectly Competitive Markets
12.1 A Perfectly Competitive Market  
12.2 An Individual Price Taker's Demand Curve  
12.3 Profit Maximization  
12.4 Short-Run Profits and Losses  
12.5 Long-Run Equilibrium  
12.6 Long-Run Supply  
Chapter 13: Monopoly and Antitrust
13.1 Monopoly: The Price Maker  
13.2 Demand and Marginal Revenue in Monopoly  
13.3 The Monopolist's Equilibrium  
13.4 Monopoly and Welfare Loss  
13.5 Monopoly Policy  
13.6 Price Discrimination and Peak Load Pricing  
Chapter 14: Monopolistic Competition and Product Differentiation
14.1 Monopolistic Competition  
14.2 Price and Output Determination in Monopolistic Competition  
14.3 Monopolistic Competition versus Perfect Competition  
14.4 Advertising  
Chapter 15: Oligopoly and Strategic Behavior
15.1 Oligopoly  
15.2 Collusion and Cartels  
15.3 Other Oligopoly Models  
15.4 Game Theory and Strategic Behavior  
Part V: Input Markets and Microeconomic Policy Issues
Chapter 16: The Markets for Labor, Capital, and Land
16.1 Input Markets  
16.2 Supply and Demand in the Labor Market  
16.3 Labor Market Equilibrium  
16.4 Labor Unions  
16.5 The Markets for Land and Capital  
Chapter 17: Income, Poverty, and Health Care
17.1 Income Distribution  
17.2 Income Redistribution  
17.3 The Economics of Discrimination  
17.4 Poverty  
17.5 Health Care  
Part VI: Macroeconomic Foundations
Chapter 18: Introduction to Macroeconomics: Unemployment, Inflation, and Economic Fluctuations
18.1 Macroeconomic Goals  
18.2 Employment and Unemployment  
18.3 Types of Unemployment  
18.4 Reasons for Unemployment  
18.5 Inflation  
18.6 Economic Fluctuations  
Chapter 19: Measuring Economic Performance
19.1 National Income Accounting: A Standardized Way to Measure Economic Performance  
19.2 Measuring Total Production  
19.3 Other Measure of Total Production and Total Income  
19.4 Problems in Calculating an Accurate GDP  
19.5 Problems with GDP as a Measure of Economic Welfare  
Chapter 20: Economic Growth in the Global Economy
20.1 Economic Growth  
20.2 Determinants of Economic Growth  
20.3 Public Policy and Economic Growth  
20.4 Population and Economic Growth  
Chapter 21: Financial Markets, Saving, and Investment
21.1 Financial Institutions and Intermediaries  
21.2 Saving, Investment, and the Financial System  
21.3 The Financial Crisis of 2008  
Part VII: The Macroeconomic Models
Chapter 22: Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply
22.1 The Determinants of Aggregate Demand  
22.2 The Aggregate Demand Curve  
22.3 Shifts in the Aggregate Demand Curve  
22.4 The Aggregate Supply Curve  
22.5 Shifts in the Aggregate Supply Curve  
22.6 Macroeconomic Equilibrium: The Short Run and the Long Run  
Chapter 23: The Aggregate Expenditure Model
23.1 The Simple Aggregate Expenditure Model  
23.2 Finding Equilibrium in the Aggregate Expenditure Model  
23.3 Adding Investment, Government Purchases, and Net Exports  
23.4 Shifts in Aggregate Expenditure and the Multiplier  
23.5 From Aggregate Expenditures to Aggregate Demand  
Part VIII: Macroeconomic Policy
Chapter 24: Fiscal Policy
24.1 Fiscal Policy  
24.2 Fiscal Policy and the AD/AS Model  
24.3 The Multiplier Effect  
24.4 Supply-Side Effects of Tax Cuts  
24.5 Possible Obstacles to Effective Fiscal Policy  
24.6 Automatic Stabilizers  
24.7 The National Debt  
Chapter 25: Money, Banking, and the Federal Reserve System
25.1 What is Money?  
25.2 Measuring Money  
25.3 How Banks Create Money  
25.4 The Money Multiplier  
25.5 The Federal Reserve System  
25.6 How Does the Federal Reserve Change the Money Supply?  
25.7 Bank Failures  
Chapter 26: Monetary Policy
26.1 Money, Interest Rates, and Aggregate Demand  
26.2 Expansionary and Contractionary Monetary Policy  
26.3 Money and Inflation--The Long Run  
26.4 Problems in Implementing Monetary and Fiscal Policy  
Chapter 27: Issues in Macroeconomic Theory and Policy
27.1 The Phillips Curve  
27.2 The Phillips Curve over Time  
27.3 Rational Expectations  
27.4 Controversies in Macroeconomic Policy  
Part IX: The Global Economy
Chapter 28: International Trade
28.1 The Growth in World Trade  
28.2 Comparative Advantage and Gains from Trade  
28.3 Supply and Demand in International Trade  
28.4 Tariffs, Import Quotas, and Subsidies  
Chapter 29: International Finance
29.1 The Balance of Payments  
29.2 Exchange Rates  
29.3 Equilibrium Changes in the Foreign Exchange Market  
29.4 Flexible Exchange Rates  
Key features


  • SAGE amp, a dynamic courseware solution that integrates SAGE textbook content with auto-graded algorithmic assignments, exclusive video content, and other learning tools and resources is available as a stand-alone eAccess version of this text or as a bundle.
  • Economic Content Standards (ECS) from the National Council of Economic Education are provided in the margin where particular pieces of content are introduced, establishing clear learning objectives and connecting the text to these objectives.
  • Over 100 Figure it Out narrative video graphs, created and narrated by the author, provide additional review for complex graphing topics; videos are available on the free SAGE edge Student Study Site.
  • New animated Concepts Clips, available with SAGE amp, present important economic concepts and reinforce key ideas in a unique, engaging way.
  • New Business Watch applications are strategically scattered throughout the text to demonstrate how the economic way of thinking can be applied to a wide range of issues.
  • New Policy Watch features focus on news stories that involve government policy decisions based on economic concepts, inviting students to see the relevance of economics in action.
  • SAGE coursepacks allows you to import the text’s quality content into your learning management system (LMS) with no access codes. Learn more.
  • SAGE edge companion site for students provides includes helpful tools, including eFlashcards, practice quizzes, a customizable action plan, and more.


  • The content is built on well-known principles of learning and memory segmenting each chapter into four to seven self-contained sections of three to six pages, making it easier for students to read, comprehend, and retain the material.
  • The author’s dynamic writing style brings economic principles to life through the text's concise, easy-to-read sections, frequent use of real-life and pop culture examples, and interactive summaries.
  • A highly visual and modern design encourages student engagement as supportive graphs, tables, photos, and charts illustrate, clarify, and reinforce key economic principles.
  • Every chapter highlights the important connection between economics and modern, everyday issues by examining intriguing topics such as such as teen smoking, crime, gift-giving, and more.
  • Each chapter offers hands-on practice with assignable graphing and plotting questions, helping students learn the vital skill of appropriately reading and interpreting graphs.
  • In the News synopses present relevant and thought-provoking news stories and are placed strategically throughout the text to solidify specific concept discussed in the chapter.
  • Global Watch sections help students understand the magnitude, character, and implications of current economic changes occurring around the world.
  • Using What You've Learned exercises check students’ comprehension of important or difficult concepts, challenging them to apply key concepts from the text to real-world situations.
  • Section Quizzes encourage students to self-manage their retention of the material, providing confidence in proceeding to the next topic.

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