The Best Economics Textbooks of 2019

By July 31, 2019 October 16th, 2019 Textbook Reviews
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If you’re going to be studying economics you definitely want to have the right economic theory books to help you along, right? You want to make sure that you’re going to be fully prepared when your professor asks you a question or when it comes time to take those exams throughout the semester. In this post, we’ll go over the best economics textbooks.

With any of these textbooks, you should definitely have an edge, and you should have no problem getting where you need to be. Whether you’re looking for something that’s really going to help you when you’re struggling or something that will work as a bit of a supplement to your regular class, you’ll find something here.

We’ve got a few of our absolute favorites, as well as several runner up options that are going to give you some great benefits but not quite as good. Plus, there are some budget picks. After all, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice the information you want just because you don’t want to break the bank, right?

Take a look at each of these best economics textbooks, and you’ll find several good books in economics for beginners. It’s not going to be as tricky getting those principles of economics as you might think.

Our Favorites for the Best Economics Textbooks

If you want the best book on economics, then you’re going to want one of these three options. These are our favorites, and you’re definitely going to see why when you start taking a closer look at each of them. They have a lot of features to offer, and they’re also going to delve deep into the topic, but the price isn’t going to be a factor when it comes to these ones, so take a look and see what works for you.

Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy by Thomas Sowell

With Sowell’s Basic Economics, you’re going to get a whole lot of information in a relatively small package. It provides you with not just the history of economics, but also how it functions in corporations and government as well as big business. On top of that, you’re still going to get all of the facts and principles that you need in order to really understand where you’re going throughout the class. But, Sowell’s Basic Economics seeks to give you all of that information without making it too complicated, which is excellent for those who aren’t economics students.

This isn’t one of those super technical textbooks that you’ll find in most courses. Instead, you’re going to have no problem getting even the most complex ideas down because it’s done in a transparent way. Basic Economics may not look like very much, but it’s definitely going to give you the information that you need in order to be successful throughout your courses and beyond.

What Makes it Unique:

  • There is no jargon, graphs or equations in Sowell’s Basic Economics
  • Complex ideas are presented simply
  • Real life examples are used throughout the book to showcase economic principles

Why Choose This Book:

  • Sowell doesn’t believe that content needs to be difficult to get the point across and he shows that by making his book easy to read.
  • You’ll be able to learn how to think like an economist through reading this book


Principles of Economics by N. Gregory Mankiw

Principles of Economics is a more traditional textbook, that’s actually been used as one of the best economics textbooks for college students by many different professors and courses. But it’s also one of the best selling economics textbooks for an entirely different reason; it’s a great book. You’ll get a whole lot of information in this one, and it’s designed to be interesting. That’s definitely going to be an essential point for anything that you’re studying. You want to be able to enjoy it, and Principles of Economics definitely makes that possible by pointing out interesting sectors of the economy.

You’ll be presented with real-world scenarios and facts that are actually useful, rather than just getting all of the technical information in a very detached way. You’ll learn how economics plays a role in your life and in the things that you do and the choices you make. This book offers in-depth explanations, graphs and more to help you understand each area that it touches on. By applying these principles to your own life, it makes it a whole lot easier to grasp the different concepts and to make sure you can comprehend and utilize the information later on when you’re working on your tests.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Information is revisited throughout the book to make sure that you understand and can apply it.
  • Principles of Economics presents the language you need in this subject in a way that you can grasp the overall dynamics
  • You’ll get a user friendly guide that makes sure you can find the information that you want, when you need it.

Why Choose This Book:

  • Ideas are presented with graphs that illustrate and explain them and then paragraphs that fully explain the entire thing.
  • The rationale behind each point is fully explained so there’s no need for guesswork in trying to understand.


Economics Today: The Micro View by Roger LeRoy Miller

If you want a way to study as well as get some practice in this is a great way to do it. Economics Today: The Micro View actually gives you the physical copy as well as access to tutorials, assessments, and homework online. That way, you’re going to have an even more in-depth resource, and you’re going to have no problem really understanding what you’re learning. If you’re studying in class and using The Micro View as a supplement, you’re going to have more than just the necessary foundation. You’re going to learn all of the details that you’ll need to know.

Economics Today delves into how economics really applies in your life and what it’s doing to impact your life. It also shows you different vital concepts and makes sure that you understand behavioral economics as well. It’s a fully updated version that has new information, problems and more. You’re going to have no problem understanding even the more challenging aspects of this subject. Plus you can look through the section reviews, questions, and the answer key to make sure that you fully understand the issues that are being discussed in each chapter.

What Makes it Unique:

  • You’ll get an understanding of a broad range of different economics theories and concepts throughout Economics Today
  • Someone who’s just interested in learning economics without the educational necessity would be able to enjoy Economics Today
  • Econ labs, sample tests and an online version are all included

Why Choose This Book:

  • The author makes even more complex information much easier to understand even for non-economics majors
  • It’s a great reference manual for those who need to revisit information later on, after their studies


Runner Ups for the Best Economics Textbooks

If you’re not quite sure about our best of the best options, these are the other ones you should be looking at closer. We definitely have some great features in here as well. And these books are still going to give you plenty of the information that you need. You’re just not going to get quite as much here as you would with the top picks. So, if you’re looking for great economics books for beginners, you’re still not going to go wrong here.

The Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets by Frederic S. Miskin

For anyone who is looking into the way economics plays into the financial market, The Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets is the book to get. It’s all about economic policy and the latest updates to this. It looks at all aspects of the financial market including regulation and supervision and internationalization. All of these topics will help prepare you for a career within this market. But the book is also going to help you no matter what type of economics course you’re going through because it’s designed to fit nearly any syllabi. Not only that but it’s going to give you the necessary information you need and more real-world examples.

The Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets comes with an online system that you can use to get additional help, tutorials, assessments, and even homework and practice questions. That way, you’re going to have plenty of opportunities to evaluate your skills and more. Anyone who’s struggling to get through monetary policy is definitely not going to have a problem once they start using The Economics of Money. It’s going to walk you through everything that you need to know, the easy way. It’s an easy to read book that you can follow along with your class or move ahead at your own pace.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Makes sure you can comprehend everything before it moves on
  • Gets all the technical out of the way first and then moves on to associations and ways economics matters
  • There is an online portal included that provides you with additional readings, homework, news, quizzes and web links

Why Choose This Book:

  • You’ll get a great overview of the current topics that are affecting the economy and monetary policy
  • Easy to follow even for someone who has never studied economics before


Economics: Principles & Practices by McGraw-Hill

You’ve probably heard of this group before because they produce a whole lot of books on all different subjects. They’re good at what they do. Plus, Economics: Principles & Practices provides information about new economic policies and topics in one of the best economics books for high school students. It also uses current stats, news events and much more. You’ll get diagrams, charts, maps, illustrations and everything else you’ll need in order to understand this topic thoroughly, whether you’re going over it on your own or you’re using it as a supplement to your course.

One really great thing about Economics: Principles & Practices is that it’s actually designed to keep things simple and easy. Whether you have a foundation of economics or not you’re going to have no problem following along. Also, you can read it straight through to learn the different topics, or you can pick and choose different areas to make sure you’re getting a focus on the areas that are most important for you.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Even middle school age children may be able to understand what Economics by McGraw-Hill is talking about.
  • It includes images and graphs that help you to better understand what’s being talked about
  • A lot of supplements are included such as exams, worksheets and quizzes to help you master the material

Why Choose This Book:

  • You can use Economics: Principles & Practices as a reference or a guide later on when you need to revisit information
  • The sections are intentionally kept short so you can capture smaller bits of information at a time


Value Picks for the Best Economic Textbooks

Okay, you want the best book on economics, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money in order to get it, right? Well, you’re going to be really happy with each of these. These are our value options when it comes to getting the economics help that you need. You’ll still be able to get a lot of information, and you’re also going to get a book that’s inexpensive. That’s definitely going to be a bonus, and one you shouldn’t have to sacrifice for.

Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest & Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics by Henry Hazlitt

For anyone who’s looking to learn the basics of economics, Economics in One Lesson is going to be a great way to go about it. It’s a simple method of learning economics theory, which is excellent even if you’re not actually studying economics. For those who just have a general interest in the topic, even you can learn quite a bit with Economics in One Lesson, and you can retain that information too. That’s because of the way that it’s actually presented and how the author handles making connections to something the reader can understand.

The important thing is that the information that’s being presented isn’t partisan, so it’s an objective overview of economics that can be read by anyone. It’s also all about the positives and negatives of the economy, especially in the current fashion. You’ll find support and facts throughout Economics in One Lesson, and you’ll be able to see how past economic decisions have influenced the world around us and as we know it. It’s primarily geared toward explaining the subject to those who haven’t studied it, but it can still be used by those who are in an economics program.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Stories and other information create real world examples so the reading is actually enjoyable
  • Uses three simple sections to sort through information on economics and how it’s applied
  • Explains concepts well for those who are looking to understand more of the political atmosphere of economics

Why Choose This Book:

  • It can teach you more about economics and finance than you’ll get just about anywhere else
  • You won’t have to dig through partisan or ideological claims to get the information you need


Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

When it comes to economics, there are some of the more essential things that you always study or see in your textbooks, and there are also the things that you never see. Freakonomics is more about the things that you don’t usually see. You’re going to get answers to all kinds of random and unique questions. But the great thing about them is that they actually make economics more fun for those who might otherwise find it a little boring. They’re going to help you see how economics applies throughout the rest of your normal life as well. After all, it’s actually all around you.

Economics does not have to be about incentives or about just monetary value. There are actually a number of different things that economics can refer to, which is where Freakonomics really excels. It’s going to teach you a great deal about the world around you, with a bit of an economic tilt. Though Freakonomics isn’t necessarily all the economic theories and ideas that you will learn in your classes, it’s definitely going to make the information that you’re learning more applicable to your life, and it’s going to help make those things even more interesting.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Shares interesting and unique applications of economics in life
  • The method of arguing different points and ways that economics apply will draw you in
  • Current events and hot topics are used as the primary source for learning

Why Choose This Book:

  • Fun approach to economics for those who aren’t necessarily studying the economy
  • Freakonomics is interesting for anyone to read, no matter their applications


Economics for Dummies by Sean Masaki Flynn

Don’t take the title too hard; this entire series is actually great for drilling down into the details of any topic. With Economics for Dummies, you’re no different. It’s designed to teach you all of the basics as well as some of the more advanced areas of economics in a way that anyone can understand. No, it’s not saying that you’re actually dumb, but it’s going to break down economic theories that are generally pretty complicated and make sure that they make sense. If you’re struggling in any area of the topic, you’re definitely going to want to pick up this best economics textbooks for beginners book to find out more about each of the areas.

What’s great about Economics for Dummies is that it’s continually being updated and you’ll be able to understand the latest theories and things going on in the current economy. You’re also going to get information without the jargon. That means slimming down equations, misconceptions, terms and a whole lot more. No matter if you’ve been studying economics or you’ve never picked up an economics book in your life, you’re going to be able to understand a whole lot more with Economics for Dummies. All you have to do is find the areas that are tripping you up.

What Makes it Unique:

  • There’s no need to read all of the chapters in Economics for Dummies in order
  • Starts from the basic foundation and builds up to more complex ideals
  • Pairs well with other books on economics or for use with a traditional course

Why Choose This Book:

  • You won’t need to worry about deciphering jargon while you read
  • Theories are presented logically, in a way that makes them easier to learn and understand


Summary of the Best Economics Textbooks

Putting everything together, in this guide we reviewed the following for the best economics textbooks:

ProductList PriceNumber Of Pages
Basic Economics, Fifth Edition $38.46 N/A
Principles of Economics $249.95 888
Economics Today: The Micro View (19th Edition) $259.99 544
Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets (12th Edition) $286.65 720
Economics: Principles and Practices, Student Works Plus DVD N/A N/A
Economics in One Lesson $17.00 218
Freakonomics $15.99 315
Economics For Dummies $22.99 432

Hopefully, at least one of these eight books is going to turn out to be your new favorite. There’s a reason these are the best economics textbooks for students. They’re going to walk you through the steps that you need, the calculations, the facts and figures and a whole lot more. By the time you’re done with your class and any of these textbooks, you’re not going to have any problems understanding what you’ve been studying and just what you’ve just learned.

If you found this post helpful, check out our other comprehensive textbook reviews.


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