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Mainstream textbooks present economics as an objective science free from value judgements; that settles disputes by testing hypotheses; that applies a pre-determined body of principles; and contains policy prescriptions supported by a consensus of professional opinion. The Economics Anti-Textbook argues that this is a myth - one which is not only dangerously misleading but also bland and boring. It challenges the mainstream textbooks' assumptions, arguments, models and evidence. It puts the controversy and excitement back into economics to reveal a fascinating and a vibrant field of study - one which is more an 'art of persuasion' than it is a science.
The Economics Anti-Textbook's chapters parallel the major topics in the typical text, beginning with a boiled-down account of them before presenting an analysis and critique. Drawing on the work of leading economists, the Anti-Textbook lays bare the blind spots in the texts and their sins of omission and commission. It shows where hidden value judgements are made and when contrary evidence is ignored. It shows the claims made without any evidence and the alternative theories that aren't mentioned. It shows the importance of power, social context and legal framework.
The Economics Anti-Textbook is the students' guide to decoding the textbooks and shows how real economics is much more interesting than most economists are willing to let on.
Rod Hill grew up in Ontario, was educated at the University of Toronto, University of Stockholm and the University of Western Ontario where he obtained a PhD in Economics. He has taught at the University of Windsor, University of Regina and the University of New Brunswick, where he has been a Professor of Economics since 2003. His research interests have included international trade policy, taxation and the underground economy, and (as a result of growing dissatisfaction) the content of the introductory textbooks. He's a member of Economists for Peace and Security and the Progressive Economics Forum. Tony Myatt received his PhD from McMaster University with distinction in theory. He has taught at McMaster University, Western University, Nipissing University College, the University of Toronto, and the University of New Brunswick, where he has been Professor of Economics since 1992. His research interests have included the supply-side effects of interest rates, labour market discrimination, unemployment rate disparities, and the methods and content of economic education. His interest in textbooks stems from re-evaluating what is typically taught at the introductory level. As a result, he has developed several different introductory courses as vehicles for teaching principles of economics, including Economics of Everyday Life, Economics in the Real World, and Economics Through Film. Professor Myatt was the recipient of UNB's Arts Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008.