About This Course

Waymaker Microeconomics

Updated in Summer 2018, this course provides a strong foundation in microeconomic theory, whether preparing for further study in economics, the social sciences, business, or other disciplines. Designed to help students think like economists, course materials use engaging, real-world examples to explore how individuals and firms make economic choices. Key topics include supply and demand, elasticity, utility, production and costs, and an analysis of types of markets: perfect competition, monopoly, monopolistic competition, and oligopoly. Content coverage also includes public goods and externalities, labor markets, income distribution, globalization and trade, and exchange rates and international finance. An orientation module helps students refresh skills around modeling, graphing, and algebra for economic problem-solving.

Course Improvements

We believe in making continuous improvements to our courses in order to enhance and facilitate student learning. This newest version of the course includes a vast number of data-driven improvements to assessment questions and text content in order to better illustrate, clarify, and evaluate concepts.

This new edition of Waymaker Microeconomics includes significant improvements and enhancements:

Data-Driven Improvements

Several topics proved to be consistently difficult for the thousands of students who took a Waymaker Economics course during Fall 2017. We have made specific improvements to address these difficult topics, several of which are explained below:

General Improvements

  • Improved course organization 
    • Modules are more consistent in size and depth
    • Content is organized around specific, granular, learning outcomes, which are listed at the top of each page
    • Practice questions, try it questions, and quiz questions all align with learning outcomes
  • “Try It” embedded practice questions for every learning outcome (for example, on this page, Factors Affecting Demand, students learn about concepts and then immediately check their understanding with applied practice)
    • Some quantitative “Try It” questions are intentionally designed for unlimited practice using different number sets (example at the bottom of this page on Price Floors)
  • “Learn By Doing” pages for even more practice
    • Similar to the “Try It” questions, some “Learn By Doing” pages consist of quantitative practice questions that serve as another checkpoint for students to assess their own understanding (see Learn By Doing: Graphing Demand)
    • Other “Learn By Doing” pages are simulations which allow students to manipulate variables and assess the impact of decisions (see Learn By Doing: Demand for Food Trucks)
  • “Watch It” embedded videos that explain and reiterate key concepts throughout the course
  • Interactive graphs (as seen in the salmon fishing example on this page: Changes in Equilibrium)
    • Complicated graphs are explained in a step-by-step process to help students see and understand how the graph changes
  • Discussions and Assignments for every module (available here with instructor log-in)
  • Problem Sets for every module (available here with instruction log-in)


This course, based on OpenStax Principles of Economics, includes additional noteworthy contributions by the Lumen Learning team and:

Primary Content Authors
Steve Greenlaw, University of Mary Washington
Sophie Haci, Houston Community College
Melissa Walker, Nashville State Community College
Veronika Dolar, SUNY Old Westbury
Michael Fusillo, Tufts University
Shawn Kilpatrick, Northeastern University
Jennifer Pakula, Saddleback College
Clark Aldrich, Contributor

This book has benefited from the contributions of many people, including David Alexander, Trisha Anne, Karen Arnesen, Shanna Babbitt, Steven Ballou, Tomi Barker, Liz Carrera, Maria Cristina, Amy Cutts, Naomi Davidson, Jacob Dehart, Paul Dorman, Eleah Flockhart, Therese Grijalva, Ryan Halagan, Debbie Huber, Nicholas Looper, Ericastilla Lopez, Matthew Lorne, Bilal Parise, Anthony Ramirez, Chanae M. Smith, Olivia Smaldone, Pamela Stuart, Amanda Swenson, Eva Tyannikov, Allyn Underwood, Brooke Walker, Heather Walker, Riley Weppner, Darrick WhitmerJacob Williams, and Emily Witko.

About Lumen

Lumen Learning courseware is based on open educational resources (OER). When we can find well designed, effective OER that are appropriately licensed, we use them in our courseware. When we can’t find pre-existing OER, we create original content and license it as OER (under a Creative Commons Attribution license).

Lumen’s authoring process doesn’t end when our courseware is released. Our choice to adopt open educational resources means that we have the copyright permissions necessary to engage in continuous improvement of our learning content. Consequently, our courses are continually being revised and updated. Errata reported for our courseware are fixed in a matter of days, as opposed to the traditional model in which errors persist until the next “edition” is printed (often a year or more). Students and faculty can suggest improvements to our courses directly from within the courseware as they use it. And we conduct regular analyses to determine where students are struggling the most in our courseware, and make improvements that specifically target these areas.

Given our unique approach, our list of authors and other contributors may look different than the lists you are used to seeing. We provide both a list of the primary content authors (the people involved in the initial creation of the course) and a list of everyone who has contributed suggestions and other improvements to the course since it was first released. We invite you to join us as we create courseware that supports student learning more effectively each semester.

If you’d like to connect with us to learn more about adopting this course, please Contact Us.

You can also make an appointment for OER Office Hours to connect virtually with a live Lumen expert about any question you may have.