Classroom Resources

These essays form an informal economics textbook.

Feel free to read them, share with students, or link to them. If you want to use an excerpt, please credit me and link to the full file.

When I taught price theory or micro, I taught various versions of this material. As I got older (and maybe wiser), I stopped teaching the theory of the consumer and the whole concept of efficiency. But those who still use teach those ideas may find the relevant essays useful.

All of this material pushes the idea of equilibrium as a way of capturing market forces. Of course markets are never really in equilibrium, but as I point out here, supply and demand is one way of organizing one’s thinking about competition and market forces. They are a primitive but often powerful way of getting at the idea of emergent order, the deepest and subtlest idea in economics.

How Markets Use Knowledge” is my way of making Hayek’s “The Use of Knowledge in Society” a little more vivid to the student by putting it in a supply and demand framework. Not sure if Hayek would have approved but my attempt really helped me understand the power of prices as signals and organizers of knowledge.

If you are a teacher, please encourage your students to use these. If you’re a student these may help you understand micro. There is no charge other than your time.

More intuitive material that serves as background for the economic way of thinking can be found at Ten Key Ideas.

Essays for the Classroom