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Principles of Economics (Block 1)



[BSc], GED, ID, PSc, Ec

Admission requirements


Course description

All of us “think economically,” but we use economics in different ways. In this course, we will use economics to understand patterns in human interactions inside and outside the classroom. The economics are simple in some cases (e.g., markets) but harder in others (e.g., within families). In all cases, we will see how tastes, beliefs and incentives lead to actions and outcomes. None of these insights are unique to economics, but the economic emphasis on choices, constraints and competition makes it easy to examine and compare different or related behaviors.

We will build on these micro-foundations to understand the macroeconomics of business cycles and gross domestic product; labor and unemployment; government spending, debt and deficits; inflation, banking and monetary policy; and trade and exchange rates. Class lectures and discussions will be complemented by outside reading, individual homework and group activities.

Learning objectives

You need not know anything about “economics” before taking this course. This class will help you understand how we make decisions and how structural changes (e.g., laws, transport, human density, etc.) affect our choices.

Compulsory literature

Required: Hazlitt, Henry (1946), Economics in One Lesson (free PDF download)
Required: Landsburg, Steven E. (2012), The Armchair Economist: Economics and Everyday Life. NB: 2012 edition
Optional: Brue, Stanley L., Campbell R. McConnell and Sean M. Flynn (2013), Essentials of Economics, 3rd International Student Edition, Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin (ISBN 978-1-259-01-06040-3)