Welcome to AP® Macroeconomics, an OpenStax resource. This textbook was written to increase student access to high-quality learning materials, maintaining highest standards of academic rigor at little to no cost.

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About AP® Macroeconomics

AP® Macroeconomics is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of a typical one-semester Macroeconomics course. The text provides comprehensive coverage of economic principles, research, and impacts. AP® Macroeconomics has been designed to meet and exceed the requirements of the College Board’s AP® Macroeconomics Framework, while allowing significant flexibility for instructors. Each section of the book also includes sections and assessments that aid in AP® test preparation.

Content requirements for AP® Macroeconomics are prescribed by the College Board Publication: Advanced Placement Course in Macroeconomics (

Coverage and Scope

AP® Macroeconomics was developed through a strong collaboration among expert high school faculty, experienced editors, and higher education instructors and researchers in economics. Specifically, high school faculty and curriculum experts interpreted and applied the College Board’s AP® Macroeconomics framework while content accuracy and pedagogy was verified by expert high school teachers and reviewers in higher education. The outcome is a balanced approach to macroeconomics, from both Keynesian and classical views, and to the theory and application of economics concepts.

This book covers a breadth of economics topics at a depth that ensures the course is manageable for instructors and students alike. In addition, many current topics have been incorporated to make the content applicable to modern times, such as 2016 data on the average U.S. household consumption (Chapter 2). We hope students will be interested in cutting-edge research evaluating just how far-reaching the 2007–08 “Great Recession” was. In addition, the textbook covers important topics such as the housing bubble and housing crisis, Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation, global unemployment, and the appointment of the United States’ first female Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen. Current events are treated in a politically-balanced way throughout the book.

The book is organized into seven main parts:

  • What is Economics? The first two chapters introduce students to the study of economics with a focus on making choices in a world of scarce resources.
  • Supply and Demand, Chapters 3 and 4, introduces and explains the first analytical model in economics: supply, demand, and equilibrium, before showing applications in the markets for labor and finance.
  • Elasticity and Price, Chapter 5, introduces and explains elasticity and price, two key concepts in economics.
  • The Macroeconomic Perspective and Goals, Chapters 6 through 10, introduces a number of key concepts in macro: economic growth, unemployment and inflation, and international trade and capital flows.
  • A Framework for Macroeconomic Analysis, Chapters 11 through 13, introduces the Aggregate Demand/Aggregate Supply Model, the principal economic model in Macroeconomics. The model is then applied to the Keynesian and Neoclassical perspectives. The Expenditure/Output model is fully explained in a stand-alone appendix.
  • Monetary and Fiscal Policy, Chapters 14 through 18, explains the role of money and the banking system, as well as monetary policy and financial regulation. Then the discussion switches to government deficits and fiscal policy.
  • International Economics, Chapters 19 through 21, the final part of the text, introduces the international dimensions of economics, including international trade and protectionism.

Pedagogical Foundation

Throughout AP® Macroeconomics, you will find new features that engage the students in economic inquiry and take selected topics a step further beyond their traditional textbook explanation. Our features include the following:

  • Bring It Home: This added feature is a brief case study, specific to each chapter, which connects the chapter’s main topic to the real word. It is broken up into two parts: the first at the beginning of the chapter (in the Intro module) and the second at chapter’s end, when students have learned what’s necessary to fully understand the case. In this way, these features “bring home” the chapter’s core concepts.
  • Work It Out: This added feature asks students to work through a generally analytical or computational problem and guides them step-by-step to find out how its solution is derived.
  • Clear It Up: This boxed feature addresses common student misconceptions about the content. Clear It Ups are usually deeper explanations of something in the main body of the text. Each CIU starts with a question. The rest of the feature explains the answer.

Link It Up: This added feature is a very brief introduction to a website that is pertinent to students’ understanding and enjoyment of the topic at hand.

Questions For Each Level of Learning

AP® Macroeconomics offers four types of end-of-module questions for students:

  • Review Questions: Designed for students to check their understanding, these are mostly recall or moderately rigorous analysis questions. The answers are included in the text.
  • Self-Checks: Self-Check questions push the student to think a bit beyond what is said in the text. However, Self-Check questions are designed for formative (rather than summative) assessments, as the answers walk students through the approach and solution to the problem.
  • Critical Thinking Questions: These higher-level, conceptual questions ask students to demonstrate their understanding by applying what they have learned in different contexts. They require reasoning about the concepts using outside-the-box thinking.

Problems: These exercises give students additional practice working with the analytic and computational concepts in the module.

Student and Instructor Resources

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About the Authors

Scott Harris, Ronald Reagan High School, Northeast ISD

Scott Harris earned a Bachelor of Arts from Texas State University in 1990 and an M.Ed. from Lamar University. Mr. Harris has been nominated for the Trinity Distinguished Educator Award and for the Disney American Teacher Award. He has received the Mirabeau B. Lamar Award for Teaching Excellence and is the first in Texas and the third in the Nation to receive the Quality School Teacher award.

Charles Brownson, Austin High School, Fort Bend ISD

Charles Brownson teaches AP® Macroeconomics and AP® Microeconomics. He began teaching at Austin High School in 2004, and has been teaching in Fort Bend ISD since 1998. He has a Master's Degree in Education from Lamar University and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Houston.

Matthew Cline, Tascosa High School

Matt Cline is an AP Economics teacher at Tascosa High School in Amarillo, Texas. Matt believes economics provides students a perspective for successful problem solving. He is a College Board trained teacher and AP Reader. Matt holds a Bachelor's of Science in Social Sciences from West Texas A&M University.

Rebecca Campbell, Spring Woods High School, Spring Branch ISD

Rebecca Campbell graduated from University of Mary Hardin Baylor with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Religion. She has been teaching for eight years, and her courses include Economics and AP® Macroeconomics. Rebecca also coaches volleyball for the Spring Woods Tigers.


This textbook may include links to news organizations or other websites that, in addition to the targeted article, also contain articles on a variety of topics, such as politics, medicine, entertainment, or religion.  Examples include Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Science Daily.  The sites are reputable and are widely used in educational settings.   The direct references and suggested readings are valuable to the educational goals of the course material.  However, some instructors, students, and parents/guardians may find such additional content objectionable; use of the materials is at the discretion of the instructor or district.