First, a little background. My name is Jerry Wyant. I graduated from the University of Missouri in 1979
with a BSBA in Economics. That year, 1979, turned out to be the last year of my formal education.
Because that seems like eons ago, and because I have never actually used my economics degree in my
working career, I obviously became very rusty with what I had learned in my economics classes. I
never gave this much thought until around 2008. That is when I started answering questions in the
subject through the Yahoo!Answers forum. I quickly discovered that I had retained much more
knowledge in the subject than I had expected. To confirm that my memory was correct, and to re-learn
certain topics, I referred to a rather comprehensive textbook that I had picked up on the spur of the
moment at a garage sale a few years back. I now own several textbooks that I refer to from time to time.
Economics Online Tutor
For this site, I am the author, creator, webmaster, whatever you want to call it: This is a one-person
operation. I keep it this way because of the original premise that I keep all of it in terms of my personal
method of explanation. That is what my contacts have asked for. I had never attempted to build a
website before. This is a major undertaking on my part, and I am learning the process as I go along. The
amount of text and other information included is also quite vast. I have incorporated many topics
related to the study of economics; The intent is to cover the principles behind every concept taught in
an introductory economics class. Since different introductory classes cover a different combination of
concepts, the number of subjects included in this site is quite large. If I missed any topics, or if you
have any suggestions for changing the format, let me know through the feedback form provided on the
"Contact" page of this site.
I am thankful for all of the feedback I have received so far. I encourage everybody to use the feedback
form on the contact page in order to aid me in this process; also, don't hesitate to use this form to ask
specific questions about basic economics.
I have created a companion Facebook page for this site. The website originally is for the teaching of
economics concepts, one at a time as they are taught in school and in textbooks. I realize that this style
of teaching limits the ability to incorporate current events and political positions, as they relate to
economics, within the teaching itself - it really isn't possible to have informed opinions about those
things without first having an understanding of all of the different basic concepts of economics - the
textbook teaching is useful for the understanding of specific relationships, but these relationships are
isolated from everything else with the "ceteris paribus" assumption - an assumption that is very useful
in the teaching of the concepts but which doesn't hold true in the real world. I created the Facebook
page as a forum for discussions of current events and politics as they relate to economics. You can
find that page at
I have since added a section to this site that includes my own writing on issues dealing with economics,
including my own opinions and the rationale behind them. This section is intended to remain separate
from the rest of the site. I keep them separate so that the opinions don't get mixed up with the
"textbook"-style teachings. I have not included access to this section in the normal navigation bar:
instead, I have simply added a link within the text in a few places, including the home page and here:
From Textbook to the Real World.
I would like to acknowledge the following people for getting me to this point: My professors at the
University of Missouri, especially (I hope I remember the correct spelling of the names, it has been a
long time): Wayne Lehman, who was my final student advisor and who taught me more than anyone the
power of thoroughness; Kwan Choi, who encouraged me to be the best student I could be; and Walter
Johnson, who made Econ 101 fun for all the students of this required course - without him I never would
have dreamed of becoming an Economics major. An acknowledgement goes out to my teachers at
North Harrison High School, especially Duane Long, who taught me all the math I needed in my pursuits;
and Martha Woollums, who taught me the language skills needed for clear communication. Finally, I
want to thank the Yahoo!Answers community for the seeds of the idea that led directly to the creation of
I have used a number of written sources that have helped me along this journey. The textbook that I
referred to above, the one that got me back into remembering, and relearning, economics after so many
years of being away from the subject, is:
Ragan, James F, Jr and Thomas, Lloyd B, Jr. Principles of Economics, 2nd Edition. Fort Worth: The Dryden
As I progressed with the writing of this site, I also picked up a few used textbooks at a used book store,
as well as a few new books. I have used one of them extensively. It is similar to the first book listed, in
that it is also relatively comprehensive. It is a little different, in that it is a little more basic, and is
organized in a different fashion. I have gone through this book from cover to cover, to make sure that I
remember to include every topic that I want included here, and of course to also refresh my knowledge
of the subject matter:
Boyles, William, and Melvin, Michael. Economics, 6th Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005
This book has also been somewhat helpful:
Black, Hashimzade and Myles. Oxford Dictionary of Economics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009
I highly recommend the Oxford Dictionary as a useful reference. However, it does use some definitions
that are different from the definitions used in this site.
The other books that I have picked up have not been used so far for this site, but if I decide to include
more advanced topics at a later date I will probably refer to at least some of them.
Also, I could not get by without periodically referring to a standard use dictionary. The one that I use
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Incorporated,
I currently live in Creston, Iowa, with my wife Linda and my daughter Lillie.
Through the Yahoo!Answers forum, my
answers have generated a lot of positive
feedback from students. I developed a
rather lengthy list of contacts - students who
have looked specifically for me to help them.
This led to contacts through other forums,
such as email and online chat. Many
students have told me that I have been able
to explain the concepts to them in a way that
they can understand much better than they
could using their other resources, including
classroom instruction and textbooks.
I enjoy helping people out in this manner. It
has also become progressively more time
consuming on my part. Taking all of this into
consideration, I decided to launch this site
so that maybe I will be able to help more
Now, you can receive a FREE ebook version of this site
under the title
Basic Economics for Students and Non-
By Jerry Wyant
Or if you prefer, you may purchase a paperback version
from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple, and other
distributors. This makes a great handbook and
reference. Students: please help to make sure your
classmates and teachers are aware of this resource!
Click here to order a FREE ebook from smashwords.com
Click here to purchase a paperback version from amazon.