Teaching Guide

Teaching Guide

January 28, 2023

If you’ve ever endured Econ 101 and then spent some time in the real world, you know how little the two are related.  Our course and its companion guide give you something different—an economics primer based on (and for) the world we live in. Not stale archaic formulas, but real life.

Welcome to “Economics: Society, Markets, and (In)Equality,” a reality-based tour of contemporary capitalist economics—the system’s core dynamics, relationships, and societal impacts. Why this book and this course? You might think of this as, “Economics as if the World Matters.” For too long, standard Econ 101 has saturated minds with the dangerous and false notion that economics is just a bunch of numbers and equations and rigid axioms, textbook abstractions that are profoundly divorced from the real world. Mainstream economics pretends—and sometimes even purports—that the human and environmental effects of policies and trends are irrelevant or somehow separate from the field of economics. This book and course offer a reality check and invite a marriage between theories and practice, between numbers and real people’s lives.


A Note on Structure

This is a companion guide to a free Coursera course that contains five chapters. Each chapter contains 3-5 sections, and the course includes another 6-12 minutes of lecture and video for each section (see Coursera for the full course and our website for the videos). At the end of each section, you’ll find a brief list of “further questions for inquiry,” along with additional resources. For students of the course, each chapter has one graded assessment, offering plenty of practice assessment opportunities. A practice opportunity can be a quiz question or an in-video question. Each reading includes a practice question so the student knows that they are obtaining mastery of that reading or video. For those who wish to use our course to supplement their High School economics teachings, this resource is an overview of the AP curricula with links to individual lessons from Economics: Society, Markets, and [In]Equality.

Whether you’re simply reading this book for further enlightenment, or taking the companion course, welcome to the journey!


  1. Why a Worldly Philosophy? | Professors dos Santos, Ghilarducci, and Milberg
  2. Common Good, Private Purposes | Paulo dos Santos
  3. Power at Work | Teresa Ghilarducci
  4. The Promise and Disappointments of Globalization | Will Milberg
  5. Building a Thriving Society, Planet, and Individuals | Professors dos Santos, Ghilarducci, and Milberg