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Alternative texts

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Here are some references which are designed either as alternative stand-alone textbooks, or companion readers containing critical discussions of established economics texts. Clicking on the title of each text will bring up further details. If you have suggestions for additions to this list, please email me, Stuart Birks, at


Bowles, S., Edwards, R., & Roosevelt, F. (2017). Understanding capitalism: competition, command, and change(4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. 

Cohn, S. M. 2007. Reintroducing macroeconomics: a critical approach, London, M E Sharp. 

Dorman, P. (2014). Microeconomics: a fresh start. Heidelberg: Springer. 

Dorman, P. (2014). Macroeconomics: a fresh start. Heidelberg: Springer

Earl, P. E. (1995). Microeconomics for business and marketing: lectures, cases, and worked essays. Aldershot, Hants, England: E. Elgar. 

Earl, P. E., & Wakeley, T. (2005). Business economics: a contemporary approach. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education. 

Elsner, W., Heinrich, T., & Schwardt, H. (2015). The microeconomics of complex economies : evolutionary, institutional, neoclassical, and complexity perspectives. Amsterdam; Boston: Academic Press (intermediate level textbook)

Goodwin, N. R., Harris, J., Nelson, J. A., Roach, B., & Torras, M. (2018). Macroeconomics in context(3rd ed.). Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe.

Goodwin, N. R., Harris J. M., Nelson, J. A., Roach B., Torras M. (2018). Microeconomics in context(4th ed.). Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe 

Goodwin, N. R., Harris J. M., Nelson, J. A., Roach B., Torras M. (2019).Principles of Economics in Context, Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe  (2ndedition published early 2019)

Komlos, J. (2019) Foundations of Real-World Economics (2nd ed.), London: Routledge.

Prasch, R. E. (2008). How markets work: supply, demand and the ‘real world’. Cheltenham, UK ; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar. 

Staveren, I. van (2015) Economics after the crisis: an introduction to economics from a pluralist and global perspective, Routledge 

Stilwell, F. J. B. (2012). Political economy: the contest of economic ideas (3rd ed.). Australia: Oxford University Press. 

Stretton, H. (2000). Economics: a new introduction. Sydney, N.S.W: UNSW Press. 

Companion Readers (can be used as a set text alongside a textbook, or also as the set textbook in some circumstances)

Argyrous G. and Stilwell F. (eds) (2011) Readings in Political Economy: Economics as a Social Science, Tilde University Press, Melbourne 

Birks S (2015) 40 Critical pointers for Students of Economics, WEA Press 

Birks S (2015) Rethinking Economics: From analogies to the real world, Singapore: Springer 

Bougrine, H., & Seccareccia, M. (Eds.). (2010). Introducing macroeconomic analysis : issues, questions, and competing views. Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications. 

Bougrine, H., Parker, I. C., & Seccareccia, M. (Eds.). (2010). Introducing microeconomic analysis : issues, questions, and competing views. Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications. 

Chang, H.-J. (2014). Economics: the user’s guide. London: Pelican. 

Hare, P. (2012). Vodka and pickled cabbage: Eastern European travels of a professional economist Twickenham: Athena Press.

Hill, Rod, and Tony Myatt (2022) The Microeconomics Anti-Textbook: A Critical Thinker’s Guide, second edition, London: Bloomsbury

Keen, S. (2011) Debunking economics: the naked emperor dethroned? London; New York: Zed Books.

Kurien, C. T. (1970). A theoretical approach to the Indian economy. London: Asia Publishing House. 

Kurien, C. T. (1996). Rethinking economics: reflections based on a study of the Indian economy. New Delhi ; Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications. 

Kurien, C. T. (2012). Wealth and illfare: An expedition into real life economics. Bangalore: Books for Change. 

Linder, M. (1977a). The Anti-Samuelson Volume 1 Macroeconomics: Basic problems of the capitalist economy. New York: Urizen Books. 

Linder, M. (1977b). The Anti-Samuelson Volume 2 Microeconomics: Basic problems of the capitalist economy. New York: Urizen Books. 

McCloskey, D. N. (1998). The rhetoric of economics. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press. 

McCloskey, D. N. (2006). The bourgeois virtues: ethics for an age of commerce. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 

McCloskey, D. N. (2010). Bourgeois dignity: why economics can’t explain the modern world. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.)

Myatt, T (2022) The Macroeconomics Anti-Textbook: A Critical Thinker’s Guide, London: Bloomsbury

Reardon, Jack, Maria Alejandra Caporale Madi and Molly Scott Cato (2017), Introducing a New Economics: Pluralist, Sustainable and Progressive, Pluto Press

Swann, G. M. P. (2009). The economics of innovation: an introduction. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. (includes brief descriptions of alternative appraoches to consumer behaviour, etc., 

Varoufakis, Y. (1998). Foundations of economics: a beginner’s companion. London: Routledge. 

Vonnegut, A. (2017). Inside the Global Economy: A Practical Guide. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield. 

Wolff, R. D., & Resnick, S. A. (2012). Contending economic theories: neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.