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The essay can be written on any economic concept you see in the picture. The following reference materials guide you to books on general economic thinking and Web sites on economic issues regarding energy, petroleum and the environment.

Recent Book and Web Site Discoveries

Baumol, William J., and Blinder, Alan S. Economics: Principles and Policy. 6th ed. Harcourt Brace & Company. New York, 1994, pp. 294-295.
Note: This textbook explains the formation and market influence of cartels, such as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Heyne, Paul. The Economic Way of Thinking. 8th ed. Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1997.
Note: OPEC and the oil crisis of the early 1970s are mentioned throughout the book. Look up OPEC in the index; you will find some very good economic analysis.

McConnell, Campbell R., and Brue, Stanley L. Economics: Principles, Problems, and Policies. 11th ed. McGraw-Hill. New York, 1990, pp. 629-632. Note: This textbook uses the oil crisis of the early 1970s as an example to discuss market relationships in a general equilibrium framework.

American Petroleum Institute provides an overview of current news in the energy sector.

On CNNFN, read about the degree to which recent increases in energy costs have affected the CPI.

OPEC offers history and current events information.

WTRG Economics includes a history of oil prices and analysis on fluctuations in oil prices. The site provides a broad view of the energy sector.


Buchholz, Todd G. New Ideas from Dead Economists. Penguin Books USA. New York, 1989. (Chapter Two pp. 10-41)

Friedman, Milton and Friedman, Rose. Free to Choose, A Personal Statement. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. New York, 1980. (Chapter One pp. 9-37)

Kuttner, Robert. The End of Laissez-Faire. University of Pennsylvania Press. Pennsylvania, 1991.

Mankiw, Gregory N. Principles of Economics. Harcourt Brace College Publishers. Philadelphia, 1997.

Web Resources

World Bank

Australian Institute of Petroleum—including Pricing of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products—a discussion of the factors that have influenced the price of oil.

Beige Book Archive—reports on economic conditions from 1970 to the present.

Energy Information Administration—energy data from 1970s, summary of oil prices and production history, analysis on shortages during the 1970s, 25th anniversary of the 1973 oil crisis

United States Department of Energy—current and historical information about energy in the U.S. You may find the page about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve interesting.

United States Environmental Protection Agency