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Author of the Month: Wendy Reiboldt

Published: November 16, 2009

Consumer Economics: The Consumer in Our Society

Wendy Reiboldt, Chair, Family and Consumer Sciences

Published in 2009 by Holcomb Hathaway, this 360-page book from Reiboldt and co-author Mel Zelenak provides background that readers need to make important economic decisions in their daily lives. But it goes beyond the big picture to deal with the essential particulars of these decisions with full attention to substance as well as style. Consumer Economics identifies the social, economic and political forces that shape consumer demands and gives readers a better understanding of themselves as consumers. Readers learn how the marketplace works to serve consumers and how it can work to defraud. The book examines what the government can do and is doing in the field of consumer protection and it discusses how an individual may become a more mature, better-educated consumer citizen. The 15th edition of this classic has been updated to reflect changing times and recent events while maintaining focus on long-term trends and issues and includes new and updated consumer Web sites. Highlights of Consumer Economics include key concepts and learning objectives in each chapter to help readers evaluate whether the essence of the material has been understood, boldfaced key terms, marginal definitions and a book-end glossary for easy reference. Brief capsules of information called FYI, Tips and Q&A are set apart for consideration as well as a recurring feature titled “There Oughta Be a Law” that covers key consumer legislation. There are chapter-end summaries, review and discussion questions as well as projects called “Exploring Personal Values” to help readers review their chapter material. “If you want to see how the stock market is doing, go to this Web site,” said Reiboldt. “If you want to see the future return on your investment dollars, go to this Web site. If you want to know how much it will cost to retire, go to this Web site. There is also a budget for the basic consumer and a budget modified for college students.” Consumer Economics is the oldest textbook in the field of consumer affairs and

Book of the Month


Reiboldt was the first woman to be asked to co-author it. “This book is about basic consumerism,” she said. “How do you buy a car? Should you buy or lease? What should you consider when buying a house or insurance? What is supply and demand? How do you live on a budget?” She received her bachelor’s degree from Ohio’s Miami University in consumer sciences with a minor in family studies and went on to receive her master’s from Ohio State in 1989 and her Ph.D. in 1992.