4th Edition

Consumer Economics Issues and Behaviors

By Elizabeth B. Goldsmith Copyright 2021

    From artificial intelligence to identity theft, from what we once thought of as unshakeable institutions to increasing concerns about privacy and sustainability, consumer issues are an integral part of daily life. This updated fourth edition of Consumer Economics offers students an accessible and thorough guide to the concerns surrounding the modern consumer and brings to light the repercussions of making uninformed decisions in today’s global economy.

    This definitive textbook introduces students to these potential issues and covers other key topics including consumer behavior, the history of the consumer movement, personal finance, legal rights and responsibilities, and marketing and advertising. Combining theory and practice, students are introduced to both the fundamentals of consumer economics and how to become better-informed consumers themselves.

    Highlights in this new edition include the following:

    • New case studies and critical thinking projects to encourage students to develop their critical thinking skills through analyzing consumer issues.
    • Expanded coverage of social media and the impact of social influence on consumers.
    • Revised consumer alerts: practical advice and guidance to help students make smart consumer decisions.
    • A companion website with PowerPoint slides for each chapter.

    Fully updated, this textbook is suitable for students studying consumer sciences—what works, what does not, and how consumers are changing.

    Part 1 Consumer perspectives

    1 Consumers in a changing world

    2 The consumer movement

    3 Consumer theories and models

    Part 2 Consumer protection

    4 Consumer protection and law

    5 Government protection, consumer groups, and the media

    Part 3 Consumers in the marketplace

    6 Brands, buying process, and product development

    7 Decision-making and advertising

    8 Food and water issues

    9 Health and wellness issues

    10 Sustainability and safety

    11 The Internet, technology, and identity theft

    12 Being a better consumer of housing and vehicles

    Part 4 Consumers in the financial marketplace

    13 Banking, debt, and credit issues

    14 Insurance and investment issues

    Part 5 Emerging consumer issues and the global perspective

    15 Issues, ethics, and globalization


    Elizabeth B. Goldsmith is Professor Emerita in the College of Human Sciences at Florida State University and Research Affiliated Faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech University, USA. She is a Fulbright Scholar, awarded grants from Stanford University, the Smithsonian, and Duke University, and has served as Domestic Policy Advisor for the White House and as advisor on bankruptcy education for the US Department of Justice.

    Consumer Economics presents rich and updated information about important consumer economics topics based on solid research, demonstrating the focus of consumer economics, to improve consumer wellbeing.
    Jing Jian Xiao, Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at University of Rhode Island

    This remarkable book is extremely relevant to people today both personally and professionally. Over the years we used the first three editions and are looking forward to using the 4th edition.

    Candy Sebert, Professor Emeritus, Career Tech & Workforce Development Program Coordinator, Adjunct Professor, Adult Education and Safety Sciences, University of Central Oklahoma

    Praise for the 3rd edition:

    ‘I have used Professor Goldsmith’s Consumer Economics: Issues and Behaviors text for several years and am delighted to add her newest version to my Consumer Economics class. The book is written in such a user-friendly way that the reader may forget that s/he is reading a textbook. The information in this newest version is up-to-date and relevant to consumers of every age. The content will likely inspire a new generation of consumer advocates.’ Dr. Diann Moorman, Associate Professor at the University of Georgia, USA

    Consumer Economics: Issues and Behaviors by Elizabeth B. Goldsmith provides an all-encompassing introduction and overview to the study of consumerism. The detailed examples, discussion questions and resources serve to engage students from varying disciplines in the exploration of their rights and responsibilities as a consumer.’
    Linda A. Bradley, Ph.D., Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, California State University, Northridge, USA

    ‘Dr. Goldsmith’s latest edition of Consumer Economics: Issues and Behaviors contains all the elements of an excellent text. As an instructor, I use the quotes from each chapter as an introduction to each class session. The students connect with the practical nature of the case studies that reflect chapter content. The real life examples and high interest topics connect easily with students and lead to lively discussion. I look forward to utilizing this updated text to enhance my classes.’
    Susan A. Reichelt, Ph.D., Chair and Associate Professor, Sam Houston State University, USA