INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS
The course provides a basic introduction to the study of Economics in a practical way, looking at the application of economic theory in the modern world, emphasising recent trends and developments and putting them in a historical perspective. Material is presented and discussed in seminar sessions, with one-to-one tutorials to develop ideas and understanding. Simulations are introduced as a way of developing awareness of economic issues. Background reading is required during the course, especially of economic articles and journals and students are set data response and essay assignments, as appropriate.
- Introduction to Economics; the Basic Economic Problem
- Economic Systems
- Opportunity Cost and the Production Possibility Frontier
- Demand and Supply; the Price mechanism; Elasticity
- Cost and Revenue; Economies of Scale
- Market Structure; Business Objectives and Strategy
- Market Failure and Government Intervention in Markets
- Introduction to Macroeconomics; Measures of Economic Performance and Macroeconomic Objectives
- Different approaches to Macroeconomic Policy; Keynesians and Monetarists
- National Income Statistics; their use and abuse
- Aggregate Supply and Demand
- Economic Growth and Economic Cycles
- Inflation and Deflation
- The Balance of Payments and the Exchange Rate
- Money and Monetary Policy
- Fiscal Policy
- Supply-side Policies
- International Trade
- Patterns in International Trade
- The European Economy; Issues and Trends; The Euro and Monetary Union
- A Global Market?
- To awaken and nurture an awareness, amongst the students, of the economic forces which shape their lives and the performance of economies.
- To familiarise students with the theoretical basis of modern economics
- To enable students to apply economic theory to real world situations.
- To nurture in the students the skills and methods used in economic analysis.
- To show an understanding of economic concepts and theory and this application to modern day economic policy.
- To show through individual and group research an understanding of the alternative choices that face economists in attempting to resolve economic issues.
- To have completed regular assignments on each area of the course and to deliver the acquired knowledge through a range of presentational skills.
Students will be expected to attend all classes and to be active participants. They will also be expected to complete regular assignments and tests.
- 50% Essays
- 20% Tests
- 20% Class Participation
- 10% Attendance
Example Homework Essays
- Discuss the extent to which governments should intervene in health-care markets.
- Why do economies periodically experience a recession?
- Discuss the extent to which it is possible for governments to reduce the severity of recessions which are experienced in the economy.
This class is normally delivered over one term, with 90 teaching hours or equivalent in Michaelmas term, and 60 teaching contact hours for Hilary and Trinity terms. For students requesting credit, we recommend the transfer of three college credits for Michaelmas and two college credits for Hilary and Trinity, on successful completion of the class and the final project.
The list below is for guidance and to supply some ideas for preliminary reading. We recommend that you do not purchase the books on this list before arrival and certainly not all of them; most should be available from a good library. Your tutor will recommend the most appropriate books for purchase at the first class of term.
- Economics, Alain Anderton,