Few people can learn how to ride a bicycle by reading a manual or listening to an explanation, and few can carry out effective economic thinking without participating in the process. We regret any oversights that may have occurred and will rectify them in future printings of this work. And typically, fulfilling a purpose is done through a sequence of arguments. Remember, this is a conversation. Does the frame of reference allow you to examine the issue from more than one relevant perspective or is your frame of reference so narrow that you fail to assess important aspects of the issue? In short, it is an aid to the process of thinking critically. Follow up by asking why it is an important concept in economics.

An example of a free, online version that is available in a number of formats is Mill Shopping decisions are affected by a variety of cultural influences. Such communication is typically used not to report final thoughts and arguments, but to keep track of things while you are working things out. Still, her parents had offered her a deal. But the four-year-old is unlikely to understand or share this motivation. Whenever the economic issue has a historical dimension or has occurred in the past, a historical perspective can be a valuable complement to standard economic thinking.

But the definition of economics is far from fixed, and over time different economists have characterized it differently.

critical thinking in economics dennis patrick leyden

But it is not as good a judgment as one that takes account of your ability to actually earn that graduate degree, your professional goals, and the time and monetary cost of getting the degree. See all condition definitions – opens in a new window or tab.

Critical Thinking in Economics Second Edition by Dennis Patrick Leyden | eBay

Eventually, the statement will be proven to be either true or false. Write down a description of how you divided up the material along with a brief explanation for why you did it that way.


In simple terms, liberty can be thought of as an absence of coercion. Is it a factual statement, a statement of taste, or a reasoned judgment?

critical thinking in economics dennis patrick leyden

Believing that everyone who works has a right to some minimum level of food, clothing, and shelter is an example of an outcome based notion of fairness. In Chapter 1, we learned that the purpose of critical economic writing is to communicate the results of your thinking to others, and that to communicate clearly and effectively it is important for your writing to have a well-defined and separate introduction, body, and conclusion. As a result, never use more words than is needed to communicate your thoughts.

Sketch out the answer that you finally decide is the best and note the implications and consequences of that answer were it true. Skip to main content. Critical reading is essentially ecknomics form of critical discussion with whoever wrote the material.

Critical Thinking in Economics

Try to participate even if you do not feel what you have to say meets the criteria of a good contribution. It could be you missed something.

Should I expand my business overseas?

In years past, some economists observed that hemlines tended to rise during booms and fall during recessions. To see that patricl is a reasoned judgment, notice that there are other possible reasoned judgments. Fairness can be thought of as either a process or an outcome. In noting that, be sure to justify your answer with reasoning that involves the definitions of what facts are and what reasoned judgments are. Then in Book Thinkinv, find Chapter 1 with the short title: The task for students is to analyze the situation, determine what the issue or issues is, and argue how to address the issue.


This exercise gives you the opportunity to practice participating in a relatively simple case discussion. Nonetheless, there is a truth about global warming: And typically, fulfilling a purpose is done through a sequence of arguments.

Understanding the difference between positive and normative issues is crucial to economcs in economics.

Critical Thinking in Economics

In either case, by sharing your thinking, flaws and all, with the class, everyone in the class can benefit. Ecomomics may also know people who went to graduate school. In part, this tthinking because many people make taste statements in the form of a fact. But no sense of desirability, no sense of good or bad, is contained in the statement. Of course, the critical discussions that you have had are not likely to have centered on economic issues.

critical thinking in economics dennis patrick leyden

Search the internet, talk to people you trust, and use the library and established publishers they still act as information police.

A society incapable of exploring the roots of its own thought and action is not a free society. And, of course, an easier argument is a more understandable and therefore a more persuasive argument.

However, professors often use more formal methods to incorporate critical discussion into the classroom. If the question is efonomics the US has a capitalist or socialist economy, then it is a positive issue.

For each of the issues listed below, think critically about each issue by answering the following questions Special note:

And unlike statements of taste, reasoned judgments are not all equally valid. Should the action be taken? Sometimes the difference between the two is obvious: It differs from The Economist in not necessarily adhering to 19th century liberal views. When Mary got home, she was still troubled though not sure why.

Most Americans believe government is too big. If, for example, you start thinking about whether to go to graduate school, you begin with a set of values. Instead, everything the author has to say is already in front of you, and so it is up to you to carry the conversation. What is it, and why is it best? Every effort has been made to contact the copyright holders for permission to reprint borrowed material. In economics much of that process takes place through reading.

The task for students is to analyze the situation, determine what the issue or issues tninking, and argue how to address the issue. Is it from a reputable institution? What type of degree? In other words, you and your friend had a disagreement about the appropriate breadth of the issue. Having said that, it is also true that the truth of something may or may not be known.

Your job is to determine what production possibilities this firm has and how much of each fabric the company should produce. And if you are criticxl a presentation, do that in a manner that is appropriate for the audience and the circumstances.

Critical Thinking in Economics

Explain why understanding the purpose of a question is important to defining and answering an economic question. That point A is a normative judgment! Lyeden may have the key that helps a fellow student, or you may be the one having problems thinking the issue out. Then in Book I, find Chapter 1 with the short title: Interestingly, however, there are a surprising number of norms that most people share. All of the above goes a long way to making sure that your reader understands your main point.


Perhaps the simplest way is through casual conversation among students or between economcis student and a professor.

Critical Thinking in Economics

Economic thinking is all about making difficult choices, and critical economic thinking is all about being aware of how one thinks about economic issues so that one can make the best decisions possible. Indicate for each statement below whether it is a: The Language of Mathematics: See David Patgick b. If you Buy It Now, you’ll only be purchasing this item.

critical thinking in economics dennis patrick leyden

We could, of course, try to list every possibility in the table, but as a general matter that is often unworkable because there are too many possibilities to list. All of us engage in economic thinking whether it is shopping for ourselves, making business decisions that affect our fellow workers, or deciding on government policies that affect the entire nation.

Your participation resulted in only one- or two-word answers to questions without elaboration, in making remarks that were irrelevant, that showed insensitivity to others, or that rambled incoherently. Unfortunately, not all of the past, not all of the present, and certainly none of the future, can be known with certainty.

Critical Thinking in Economics Second Edition by Dennis Patrick Leyden | eBay

Individualism … is the most powerful instrument to better the future. The difference between microeconomics and the business sciences is in part one of emphasis.


If you are using this book as part of a course, your professor may want efonomics restrict your attention of those topics that are relevant to your course or to give you other issues to work consider.

critical thinking in economics dennis patrick leyden

Add to collection kn Add to saved. This exercise gives you a chance to reflect on the distinction between positive and normative thinking when it comes to questions involving economic data.

Finally, note on the diagram the combination of pizzas and soft drinks that your neighbor would be best to choose, state whether you used positive or normative thinking, and justify your answer.

Moreover, you may have noticed that all the norms that Edward Zajac found to be commonly held by most people in the US are all outcome notions of fairness.

So what happens if you and a friend use different frames of reference?

So how do you separate the trash from the treasure? Sometimes the parts are easy to see because they are divided by headings that introduce each part. Finally, it should be noted that it is possible, and indeed often desirable, to use more than one frame of reference. If it is an organization, what is the name of the organization? This is a positive statement because it describes a factual situation that is either true or false.