The textbooks you’ve been waiting for

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What is a RebelText?

First, a RebelText book is affordable. It costs as little as one-fifth the price of a normal textbook. Second, it’s concise. It covers what I can hope to get through in a quarter-long course (but wish I had a semester to do). Third, it’s compact. Being both affordable and compact, you can carry it around with you. Write in it. Don’t worry about keeping the pages clean, because at this price there’s no need to resell it after the class is through (or worry about whether there’s still a market for your edition).

The price of a RebelText goes mostly to cover the costs of printing, student assistance, and research to keep the series going. That’s why it’s so low. No mega-profits for presses, always pushing for a new edition to spoil the resale market. This RebelText will naturally evolve as needed to keep pace with the field, but there will never be a new edition just for profits’ sake.

Who Should Have these Books?

When I sat down to write Essentials of Econometrics, I wanted a compact book for an upper-division undergraduate econometrics class. That is primarily what it is. The undergraduate textbooks out there not only are very expensive; I have found them not to be particularly good at teaching econometrics, and every year students complain about this in their evaluations. The knowledge in this and other RebelText books should poise any undergraduate for further study or to venture out into the real world with the concepts and tools they need, and then some.

As the econometrics book took shape my vision for RebelText got bigger. I found myself wishing I’d had something like it while I was a graduate student, as a companion for my Ph.D textbooks and readings. Graduate econometrics texts are indispensable, but they are references more than learning tools. Journal articles take us to the frontiers of economic research, but putting them into perspective requires a grounding in economic ideas, theory, and modeling. I wanted to provide a fresh overview that could help grad students get a feel for the subject and put their tomes and journal articles into perspective.

When I found out I’d be teaching our undergraduate development economics course this fall, naturally I had to make a RebelText: Essentials of Development Economics for that, too. After all, I had a promise to keep. (See "You Can Blame My Kids for RebelText" at the end of this Web page.)

Contributing to RebelText

If you are teaching with RebelText, consider contributing your ideas about novel uses of our book and website, interesting data sets, programs, and projects. We want to make rebeltext.org a repository of data sets, programs, problem sets, and useful links. If you are interested in contributing to RebelText you can email us your ideas at books@rebeltext.org.

author J. Edward Taylor

J. Edward Taylor

Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics; Director, Rural Economies of the Americas Program; Co-Editor, American Journal of Agricultural Economics; University of California, Davis

You Can Blame My Kids for RebelText

It was Winter Quarter 2012. The imaginary scent of pepper spray still permeated the air around the Occupy tents on the UC Davis Quad. I gritted my teeth and told the campus bookstore to order up 125 copies of an undergraduate econometrics textbook at $150 a shot. (That’s a gross of $18,750 just from my class.)

Over dinner that night, my 20-year-old son, Sebastian, just back from occupying the Port of Oakland, said he spent $180 on a new edition calculus text required for his course. My 16-year-old son, Julian, exclaimed: “That’s obscene.” Sebastian responded, “You’re right. Basic calculus hasn’t changed in decades. You don’t need new editions to learn calculus.”

Before dinner was over, my two kids ambushed me and made me promise never, ever, to assign an expensive textbook to my students again.

“So, what do you want me to do then, write one?” I asked them.

“Exactly,” they answered in unison.

“And get a good title for it,” my wife, Peri, added.

The next day, RebelText was born.

 


© 2012, J. Edward Taylor, RebelText.org