Michael Parkin's Microeconomics offers an insightful and comprehensive guide to understanding the economic process. The book includes sections that cover the core issues and policies of economics, including an introduction, how markets work, household choices, firms and markets, resource markets, market failures and government, and the global economy. In addition, Parkin offers four distinct alternative approaches to the book using "Micro Sequences" that emphasize particular aspects of microeconomics. These sequences include a traditional theory and policy mix, challenging theory, public choice and policy emphasis. In this respect, Parkin offers students an opportunity to select the particular emphasis that is most beneficial to their career goals. This report will examine the major points presented in the book as well as compare opinions expressed by other economic sources. In addition, these issues will be considered in light of their practical application to personal career goals and functions within an organization. Finally, this report will offer a personal reaction to the book, including those areas that may provide the greatest career benefits. This examination will demonstrate that Parkin offers a beneficial introduction to microeconomics that enhances the practical understanding of economics and presents ideas for improving the economic process. At the same time, Parkin's characterizations of economic activity sometimes unsuccessfully attempt to simplify complex economic relationships.
Michael Parkin is a well-respected economist who received his training in England and was a professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Western Ontario in Canada at the time of the book's 2000 publication. This report will examine the fifth edition of Microeconomics, which retains the coverage from previous editions as well as revised and updated micro content, in-text review quizzes, and parallel end-of-chapter problems. The fifth edition also includes chapter conclusions that relate the information of each chapter to the larger view of economics and offer biographical sketches and interviews with leading economists.
Part one provides background information, discusses the making and use of graphs, and reviews several specific economic problems. Chapter one defines economics, introduces the major concepts of economics, and explains what economists do. Parkin begins by asserting that all economic questions and problems arise from scarcity, which force people to make choices among available alternatives. He defines economics as "the science of choice – the science that explains the choices we make and how those choices change as we cope with scarcity" . Furthermore, Parkin contends that all economic choices can be reduced to considerations regarding what goods and services are produced, how they are produced, when they are produced, where they are produced, and who actually consumes the goods and services that are produced. This simplified outline provide students with a means of understanding the scope of economics, but to understand the way it works Parkin refers to "eight big ideas" that define economic perspectives. These ideas include choice, tradeoff and opportunity cost; margins and incentives; voluntary exchange and efficient markets; market failure; expenditures, income and the value of production; living standards and productivity growth; inflation; and unemployment.