Interactive graphs and explanations
about key economic concepts
for use in teaching and exploring
Elasticity, constrained and unconstrained optimization, rules of logs, univariate and multivariate calculus
25 Graphs | 10 Explanations
The Production Possibilities Frontier, autarky, general equilibrium, comparative advantage
Demand functions and curves, supply functions and curves, consumer and producer surplus, taxes, price controls
Preferences and utility, budget constraints, utility maximization, demand, income and substitution effects, compensating and equivalent variation
96 Graphs | 26 Explanations
Technology and production functions, cost minimization and cost curves, profit maximization, comparative statics of output supply and input demands
Profit maximization with market power, price discrimination, monopoly, oligopoly, antitrust
18 Graphs | 2 Explanations
Intertemporal Choice, Uncertainty and Risk, Portfolio Diversification, CAPM
31 Graphs | 9 Explanations
Looking for the old index page? Find it here.
My name is Chris Makler. I’ve been a lecturer at Stanford University since 2015, and before that worked as the Senior Economist for Aplia, back when all Aplia did was econ. :) I hold a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in Humanities from Yale University.
I’ve created this site as an open source project to provide econ teachers with a standard set of interactive graphs they can use in classes. It’s heavily tilted toward the graphs I use in my own classes, which are intermediate micro classes with calculus; but I’m pretty much done with the main graphs for those topics, and am starting to branch out into both principles-level econ and (shudder) macro. Requests for new graphs are always welcome, so if there’s something you’d like to see, please let me know!
In addition to creating standalone graphs, for the past several years I’ve been working on developing an interactive textbook which invites the reader to manipulate graphs as they read. This is still very much in development and will change often!
However, although I use the textbook from beginning to end, I also recognized in writing it that “one-pagers” on economic concepts would be useful on their own, without the overarching narrative of the textbook. Therefore, I’ve begun the process of adapting the textbook in to “explanations” of core concepts. Look for more and more explanations to be added in the months ahead.
Comments and suggestions on all of the above are very much appreciated; send me a note at chris dot makler at gmail dot com. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter, and EconTwitter.net.
Note that I develop and test using Google Chrome; while the site works on any modern browser, Chrome will provide the most predictable results.
I’m excited to be working with Simon Halliday, Doug McKee, and Anastasia Papadopoulou on research using the graphs and technology I developed for this site. Look for upcoming presentations at econ teaching conferences in 2023!
I’m also interested in exploring how this technology could be used to produce “one-pagers” on new research. If you’re interested in creating a snappy version of your research paper or dissertation chapter, please drop me a line…
This project would not have been possible without the mentorship of an outstanding group of friends and colleagues over the years, including (but certainly not limited to!) David Murphy, Karl Lew, Wilson Cheung, Harrison Caudill, and Kyle Moore.
I’ve drawn inspiration and support from the community Nicky Case has built up around Explorable Explanations, including Amit Patel, Chris Walker, Hamish Todd, Andy Matuschak, and many others.
The EconGraphs logo was generously contributed by Jørgen Veisdal.
Finally, and most importantly, I’d like to thank all of my students and TA’s, who have provided amazing feedback as I’ve developed and used these graphs in different ways in my classes over the years. Your patience and support is very much appreciated!
I use slides.com to present graphs in my lectures. Unlike most presentation software, this allows you to add iframes to your presentations and interact with them. See this page for some of the decks I use in my teaching.
However, for most applications I recommend Desmos. It’s an amazing web site that’s getting better all the time, and where I do most of my sketching out of ideas before coding them in KGJS.
I consider the graphs and explanations on this web site to be academic content like any other, and as such retain copyright to all work presented here. You are welcome to link to any of the graphs on this site for any purpose; in particular, graphs may be embedded within iframes without any need for a login. You’ll notice an inobtrusive copyright is included in the bottom-right corner of each graph, with a link back to this page. Of course any more prominent acknowledgement is also appreciated! :)