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Competition, Conflict, and Coordination

Samuel Bowles and Simon D. Halliday

July 2022

ISBN: 9780198843207

1,072 pages

In Stock

Price: £49.99

Uncompromising on rigour and pedagogically rich, the authors present a vibrant exploration of the microeconomics that researchers and policy makers use today.



The authors bring into the classroom the ideas that today's researchers and policy-makers use - including behavioral economics, game theory, and incomplete contracts. Modern microeconomics is applied to pressing issues that students care about - inequality, climate change, and innovation - and illustrated with empirical case studies.

  • The authors bring new microeconomics to life for students: exploring the enduring challenge of how best to organize the way we make our living initially raised by the classical economists, addressed with modern-day analytical techniques that researchers and policymakers use
  • Beautifully written and enriched with a problem-based and student-centered pedagogy, the authors reach out to students by anticipating the content that they are likely to find most challenging
  • The material places emphasis on real applications to matters of public policy, to help students appreciate the strengths and limitations of economic models, and elucidate the topics that they care about - such as inequality, the environment, and modern monopoly
  • Empirically-based examples feature throughout, motivating the models and concepts
  • An actor-based approach drawing on behavioral economics, game theory, mechanism design, and incomplete contracts to understand strategic interactions between buyers and sellers, banks and borrowers, employers, and workers
  • Provides the microeconomics of such basic macroeconomic essentials as equilibrium unemployment, credit constraints and the Keynesian multiplier, and the effect of monetary policy on investment
  • Innovative interactive graphing features and walkthrough videos illuminate core concepts, allowing students to reaffirm and deepen their understanding

About the Author(s)

Samuel Bowles, Research Professor and Director of the Behavioral Sciences Program, Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico, and Simon D. Halliday, Associate Professor, Economics Department, University of Bristol

Samuel Bowles is Research Professor and Director of the Behavioral Sciences Program at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. He has taught microeconomic theory to undergraduates and PhD candidates at Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of Siena. He is part of the global CORE team, writers of The Economy and Economy, Society, and Public Policy. Political leaders including President Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Senator Robert Kennedy have sought his advice on economic policy.

Simon D. Halliday is an Associate Professor in the Economics Department at the University of Bristol. He has also taught microeconomics, game theory, and industrial organization to graduate and undergraduate students at Smith College in the U.S., the University of Cape Town, and Royal Holloway, University of London. In addition to these fields he is a specialist in behavioral economics and economics education.

Table of Contents

    PART I: People, Economy, and Society
    1: Society: coordination problems and economic institutions
    2: People: preferences, beliefs, and constraints
    3: Doing the best you can: constrained optimization
    4: Property, power, and exchange: mutual gains and conflicts
    5: Coordination failures and institutional responses
    PART II: Markets for Goods and Services
    6: Production: technology and specialization
    7: Demand: Willingness to pay and prices
    8: Supply: firms' costs, output, and profit
    9: Competition, rent-seeking, and market equilibration
    PART III: Markets with Incomplete Contracting
    10: Information: contracts, norms, and power
    11: Work, wages, and unemployment
    12: Interest, credit, and wealth constraints
    PART IV: Economic Systems and Policy
    13: A risky and unequal world
    14: Perfect competition and the invisible hand
    15: Capitalism: innovation and inequality
    16: Public policy and mechanism design


"Ambitious and exciting! The authors propose a completely new problem-centred approach to teaching microeconomics which gives space to discussion of issues often ignored by undergraduate microeconomics textbooks." - Dr Marco Pelliccia, Associate Professor in Economics, Heriot-Watt University

"The key strength of the content is the refreshing, big-picture way in which the concepts are presented, as well as the care in carrying out the real-world examples used to illustrate the arguments. " - Dr Daniele Tavani, Associate Professor, Colorado State University

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources

This textbook is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats, and is supported by online resources.

The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access to the book: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks

Drawing on the authors' decades of teaching the new microeconomics, this title is supported by a range of online resources for students and lecturers including multiple-choice-questions with instant feedback, further mathematical and discussion-based questions, a fully customizable test bank for lecturer use, PowerPoint slides to accompany each chapter, worksheets that can be assigned to the class, and answers to the problems set in the book.