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Macroeconomics in Context, Second Edition
by Neva Goodwin, Jonathan Harris, Julie Nelson, Brian Roach, & Mariano Torras

Education in macroeconomics should include critical issues such as macroeconomic stabilization, distributional equity, the quality of employment, environmental considerations, and the adequacy of living standards. Macroeconomics in Context, while including coverage of standard concepts and models, focuses on these crucial aspects of human well-being. Emphasizing writing that is compelling, clear, and attractive to students, it also includes serious investigation of the environmental impacts of economic growth and the role of unpaid work in economic life. It is the companion textbook to Microeconomics in Context.
Print: $65.95   eBook: $59.36

Preview the Third Edition
Preview the Table of Contents and sample chapters:

Supplementary Materials

Access chapter review questions and student self-tests for the Second Edition or First Edition.

Access a series of brief updates on current economic issues, including:

  • The Great Recession’s Impact on Wealth Inequality in the U.S.
  • The Impact of Austerity Policies in Europe

For a free exam copy, please contact Routledge, the publisher.
Contact us for instructor resources and access to test banks. You may also utilize Canvas, a learning management system, for automatic grading online; for more information about Canvas, read our user's guide and contact us at to request access to our demonstration sites. Please specify if you are teaching the First or Second Edition, and indicate where and what course you teach.

Preview the book
Preview the first 24 pages, Table of Contents, and sample chapters:
Chapter 15: The Financial Crisis and The Great Recession
Chapter 16: Deficits and Debt

Purchase the book
Hard copy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Routledge
iBook, Google, CourseSmart

Praise for Macroeconomics in Context

“After reviewing 14 macroeconomics textbooks, looking for an alternative to obsolete ideas of infinite GDP growth with little consideration of environment or social costs, I selected Macroeconomics in Context for my course this year. This was the only book I found which covers mainstream theory, while putting it into a social and environmental context; a much needed updated approach to macroeconomics.”
- Gary Flomenhoft, University of Vermont

Macroeconomics in Context excels at presenting macroeconomic theory in a way that students can understand. As a bonus, it exposes students to issues--such as the environmental costs of production and the wider determinants of well-being--that soon will be at the center of economic policy-making.”
- Eric Nilsson, California State University, San Bernardino

“I like this text very much. I like that environmental concerns are part of the discussion. I also like the no-frills presentation and the low price.”
- Tom White, Assumption College

Macroeconomics in Context is the best text I've seen for undergraduate teaching. By paying attention to the challenges we face today, such as environmental degradation and social issues, students readily see why and how economics is important to learn.”
- Valerie Luzadis, SUNY-ESF, Syracuse

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get the textbook and supplementary materials?

Instructors may request a free exam copy directly from Routledge, the publisher. Supplementary materials, available only to verified instructors, include an Instructor's Resource Manual and a comprehensive Test Bank. To obtain access to the instructor materials, please e-mail us at Please indicate where and what course you teach.

View the Table of Contents, as well as Sample Course Outlines that suggest how a course could be tailored to emphasize various concerns (such as neoclassical concepts, ecological issues, behavioral economics, and more).

Supplementary materials for students, including a Student Study Guide and PowerPoint slides containing the figures and tables printed in the textbook, are available for the Second Edition and First Edition.

Who are the authors?

The authors of Macroeconomics in Context, Second Edition are Neva Goodwin, Jonathan Harris, Julie A. Nelson, Brian Roach, and Mariano Torras, with contributions by James Devine.

How did this book come to be written?

We believe that a new approach to teaching economics is urgently needed. We call this approach "contextual economics" because it presents the economy as embedded in its physical and social contexts. A companion text, Microeconomics in Context, was written first. We then sponsored the "Rethinking Macroeconomics" conference in 2002 - our first step towards the creation of Macroeconomics in Context.

I'm not able to switch to another textbook. How can I incorporate social and environmental issues in my macroeconomics course?

Three chapters of the first edition of Macroeconomics in Context are also available as self-contained teaching modules, suitable for use in courses based on other texts.

How does the Second Edition differ from the First Edition?

The Second Edition has been thoroughly updated and corrected, and includes coverage of events such as the United States subprime mortgage crisis, the debt and deficits debate, and recent Federal Reserve actions. A summary of changes is available.

I teach in a low-income country and my students cannot afford to buy a printed textbook. What should I do?

We regret that we cannot offer free online access while also publishing the new edition. We will continue to seek out opportunities for licensing the book for low-cost publication in other regions. Please let us know if a publisher in your country may be interested in such an agreement.
Finally, we have published a free translation of Chapter 18 in French.

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