The Economics Anti-Textbook

A Critical Thinker’s Guide to Microeconomics

By Rod Hill and Tony Myatt  

Paperback $39.95

Mainstream textbooks present economics as an objective science free from value judgments. The Anti-Textbook argues that this is a myth-one that is not only dangerously misleading but also bland and boring. Challenging the mainstream textbooks’ assumptions, arguments, models and evidence, this book 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. Paralleling a typical textbook, each chapter provides a brief synopsis of the topic at hand 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 by demonstrating the hidden value judgments and lack of evidence, as well as the silencing of contrary evidence and alternative theories.

  • Economics
  • ISBN: 9781552663608
  • May 2010
  • 305 Pages
  • For sale in Canada

Request Exam Copy


  • Preface: Why an ‘anti-textbook’?
  • Economics: where you start influences where you go
  • Building models and testing them-officially and unofficially
  • How markets work (in an imaginary world)
  • People as consumers-while ignoring power and social context
  • The firm, production and costs: theory versus reality
  • Market structure and efficiency-or why perfect competition is not so perfect after all
  • Externalities and public goods: the ubiquity of market failure
  • The marginal productivity theory of income distribution-or you’re worth what you can get
  • Government, taxation and the redistribution of income: is a just society just too expensive?
  • Free trade and globalization without the rose-tinted glasses
  • Self-defence against textbook ideology: a summing up


  • Rod Hill

    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

    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.

Subscribe to our newsletter and take 10% off your first purchase.