Economics Textbooks Free and Online
Free Online Introductory Economics Textbooks - Clean list
Virtually every list of "Free Economics Textbooks" on the internet forces you to filter through long lists of partial books, course notes, and various other supplemental materials as you search for texbooks. This section provides a "clean" list of free college-level Introductory Microeconomics and Macroconomics textbooks. The goal is to help Econ instructors find quality online textbooks for their classes. Clean means only full Introductory level textbooks that are closely substitutable for a traditional text. Other materials have their own sections below - but they will be added to only as a by-product of the search for complete textbooks. The descriptions are intentionally short for ease of use. However discussion on the merits of the materials is encouraged in the discussion link at the top of the page (for which you must first register with Wikieducator).
- Macroeconomics by Peter Jochumzen through Bookboon.com. Free PDF (with ads, no registration). Exercises PDF also available. Standard Copyright - No ability to edit text.
- Microeconomics by Krister Ahlersten through Bookboon.com. Free PDF (with ads, no registration). Exercises PDF also available. Standard Copyright - No ability to edit text.
- Quantum Microeconomics by Yoram Bauman (the world's first stand up economist - see him here). Free PDF (no ads, no registration). He asks that you notify him if you use it and also to send suggestions for improvement. License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial. (Text comes with or without calculus).
- Basic Microeconomics by R. Larry Reynolds of Boise State University. Free PDF (no ads, no registration). Free supplementary resources also available. Standard copyright - no ability to edit text.
- Introduction to Macroeconomics by David A. Dilts (Purdue University). Free PDF (no add, no registration). Note that the first 50 pages are lecture notes... the text begins on page 51 (the PDF has 206 pages).
- Macro Mechanics by David Ashby (Western Oregon University). Free PDF lectures (no ads, no registration). Does not cover Introductory concepts (PPF, Supply and Demand, etc.). Non-traditional approach. Standard copyright - no ability to edit text.
The Not Ready for Primetime List of Partial Economics Textbooks
Not necessarily lower quality - just less perfect substitutes for a traditional text.
Flatworld Knowledge books. They have a growing library of Econ textbooks available online for $19.95 (no ads). Paperbacks are around $39.95. So while not free they are relatively cheap and of high quality. License: CC Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike (by-nc-sa). You may delete and re-arrange sections. The books by Rittenberg and Tregarthen, and the books by Cooper and John are the most likely candidates for a standard Econ Principles class. The book by McAfee and Lewis is a more advanced and uses calculus.
Microeconomics Version 2.0 by Tim Taylor available through Textbookmedia.com. $9.95 online with ads (registration required)... actual book is around $30 with shipping. As it is not free perhaps it should not be here at all... but it is quite cheap so I have listed it. Standard Copyright - No ability to edit text.
Macroeconomics Version 2.0 by Tim Taylor available through Textbookmedia.com. $9.95 online with ads (registration required)... actual book is around $30 with shipping. As it is not free perhaps it should not be here at all... but it is quite cheap so I have listed it. Standard Copyright - No ability to edit text.
Principles of Economics II - Microeconomics by John Petroff available through the Professional Educational Organization International (PEOI). License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0. From the webiste: "The course is written for a rapid review of material that was previously studied. The text is short, but every word counts. The content is not designed for approaching the subject matter for the first time: it can be used only as a study guide for an introductory course in economics which must otherwise have a complete text."
Principles of Economics I - Macroeconomics by John Petroff available through the Professional Educational Organization International (PEOI). License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 From the website: "The course is written for a rapid review of material that was previously studied. The text is short, but every word counts. The content is not designed for approaching the subject matter for the first time: it can be used only as a study guide for an introductory course in economics which must otherwise have a complete text."
Essential Principles of Economics: A Hypermedia Text by Roger A. McCain (Drexel University). Freely viewable online with no ads. Limited PDFs. Arguably a full text... but it is confusing to click through with no easy way to go back to Chapter level. Standard copyright - free to use but not to edit or sell.
Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative Economics has some microeconomic modules based on classroom experiments. Cumbersome to follow. Not a traditional textbook.
Online Macroeconomics Textbook by (or collected by) Mike Moffat at About.com. Though it is called a textbook it is too inconvenient and scattered to make the top section.
Online Microeconomics Textbook by (or collected by) Mike Moffat at About.com. Though it is called a textbook it is too inconvenient and scattered to make the top section.
Living Economics created by K.K. Fung (U of Memphis) has several modules (Flash drives / articles) to illustrate Micro principles. Dr. Fung uses it in place of a textbook. There is lots of material that takes time to work through. Not a traditional textbook.
AmosWeb Economics lots of economic content but quite scattered and difficult to click through.
CyberEconomics by Robert E Schenk (Saint Joseph's College). "...an interactive supplement to a principles-of-economics course." Good content with quizzes, videos and other material.
The Best of Economics by Arnold Kling. Free PDFs. Some chapters are quite short - arguably it could be used as a full textbook.
Macroeconomics a Wikibook was begun but is far from complete.
Microeconomics a Wikibook was begun but is far from complete.
A List of Lists
To avoid confusion here are "Free Economics Textbook"-type lists you can find on the web and from which this page was developed. If you find a new list please a) add any full textbooks you find to our list, and b) add the list to THIS LIST OF LISTS with a note that it has been incorporated into this page. Thank you!!
The Economics Network All full Micro and Macro texts have been incorporated into this site (as of 6/09) - but there is a huge range of other material that is definitely worth browsing through.
Wikibooks - this list has been incorporated (as of 5/09)
Textbookrevolution - all Introductory Micro and Macro textbooks from Textbook Revolution have been incorporated onto this page (as of 5/09). The list does contain other Econ-related materials that have not been added below.
Free Business Textbooks has been incorporated (6/09)
Community College Consortium for OER - I have incorporated all relevent books from this list onto this web page (as of 6/09).
Online Economics Textbooks list maintained by John Kane (Oswego University). Incorporated into this list (6/09).
Economics Textbooks for high school and college includes supplemental material such as The Economic Report of the President.
Economics Internet Library list has been incorporated (6/09)
Complimentary resources for Introductory Economics Courses
The Economics Network has lots of supplemental material. Here are some resources you might find helpful and which are not necessarily on The Economics Network site.
The Khan Academy provides lots of short (roughly 10 minute) lectures on specific topics.
Reffonomics Steven Reff has created a phenomenal interactive page for all basic concepts... a great resource for all introductory classes.
Journeyman Pictures provides some amazing videos. Search Economics.... among others you will find: The Global Trade Debate; Global Resources; Global Capital; Gliding Off Welfare - USA; US Meltdown USA; The Price of Labor - Thailand; Economic Development; and more.
Economics U$A Video Series at Learner.org funded by the Annenberg Foundation. There are 28 30-minute videos - many updated in the early 2000s. Also check out the Inside the Global Economy Videos (13 1-hour videos). Great for online classes in particular.
EconTalk Podcasts Russ Roberts (George Mason University). Great interviews with fascinating guests.
Paul Solmon's Making Sense Hub is attempting to become a hub for economic educators. This could well be a good resource for all of us over time.
US Monetary Policy by the Federal Reserve Bank of SF. Looks like a nice explanation of monetary policy issues. 24 pages.
The Joy of Economics by Robert J. Stonebraker of Winthrop University. Wonderful essays written with humor and insight to illustrate economic principles. Doesn't (yet) cover enough topics to be a textbook. Standard copyright - free to use with attribution.
USA Economy in Brief by the US State Dept. Free PDF. Not a textbook.
Economic Perspectives by the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank. A quarterly publication.
New Rules of the Game by Kevin Kelly - book on how technology is changing the world. Free online (no PDF).
Economics I and II Course Notes has economic notes on most topics. Many ads.
Dr. Econ from the SF Federal Reserve Bank attempts to demystify challenging questions.
Outline of the US Economy prepared for the U.S. Department of State by Christopher Conte and Albert R. Karr. May be interesting supplemental material for an Intro Econ course.
Budget Deficits: America's Great Consumption Binge by Paul Courant and Edward Gramlich - published in 1986.
Global Economics - Global Exchange: Free Trade & Protection - a 30 minute YouTube Video that goes over the fundamentals of trade with some nice old footage. 2006 production.
Econ books for other courses
Industrial Organization, a Contract Based approach (aka IOCB), Nicolas Boccard (2010). This is Open Source (by-nc-sa) textbook is not an introductory level but advanced undergraduate.
Price Theory: An Intermediate Text by David D. Friedman.
Econometrics by Bruce Hanson of U of Wisconsin (192 p)
Bookboon.com, in addition to the Intro books above has Basics of International Economics + Exercises, Econometrics, and a few others on particular subjects.
Economic Development being created at the Professional Educational Organization International (PEOI)
A History of Economic Thought by William J. Barber is available online.