nl en

Principles of Economics


Admission requirements

None, but please note that the groups offered by Dr. Joop de Kort in Block 2 and Block 3 are aimed at students without any background in Economics. The groups offered in Block 1, Block 3, and Block 4 by Jaroslaw Kantorowicz and Eduard Suari Andreu are aimed at students who have taken economics classes before at high school level. Assessment and examination will be the same across sections, but teaching methods may differ. Students may enroll in either group, but keep this in mind.


Economics is the social science of satisfying unlimited wants with scarce resources. Principles of Economics refers to the basic methods and concepts economists use when doing economics, hence to economic analysis. In this view the term “economics” refers to the discipline, not to the economy.

We will discuss consumer and producer behavior, markets, business cycles, economic growth, money and the financial system. We will also discuss fiscal and monetary policy and policy issues such as unemployment, inflation, and balance of payments surpluses and deficits.

In this course, the student will gain a thorough acquaintance with the principles of economics. He will understand the economic motives of consumers and producers, the market processes and macroeconomic developments, as well as the interdependencies between economic processes and the main features of public economic policy.

To accommodate the large variety of entry levels of students (some did take courses in economics before, others are completely new to the subject) we will offer this course in two varieties. One for novices to economics, the other for those that can and need to be challenged a bit further.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, the student can:

  • describe the main principles of economics,

  • describe the economic motives of consumers and producers, the market processes and macroeconomic developments,

  • explain the interdependencies between economic processes and the main features of public economic policy,

  • identify some (global) economic problems in every day news, relate them to economic concepts and discuss these problems based on economic theory.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2020-2021 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The course uses a variety of teaching methods: interactive lecturing, student presentations, class debate and online testing.

Assessment Method

Written tests (50%), open questions (Week 4 and 8)

  • Final written exam (35%). The final exam consists of open questions and is administered in week 8. The questions will be based on the literature and the materials that are discussed in class.

  • Midterm exam (15%). The setup is similar to the final exam. It is administered in week 4 and covers all the material of the first four weeks

Academic Blog Posts (30%)

  • Each student writes two blogposts (according to a schedule designed in week 1) in which he or she provides a discussion and economic analysis of real world event related to the topic of the week. (20%)

  • Each student responds to the blogposts of others (minimum of 5 responses required) (10%)
    Online (multiple choice) tests (10%)

  • There will be 6 online tests posted on blackboard during weeks 2 through 7. The average score on the 5 best tests will count into the final grade.

Class participations (10%)

  • Every week, students are expected to prepare the reading material and the study questions. Based on this preparation, students are able and expected to participate in class. This means that students are expected to discuss the concepts, theories, and the solutions for the study problems. Furthermore, given that this class is offered remotely (online), students are expected to lively participate in the Brightspace discussion forums for each week. In these forums you can start questions by starting a thread and/or engage in threads initiated by the instructor or by other students

Reading list

  • Stanley L. Brue, Campbell R. McConnell and Sean M. Flynn (2019), Essentials of Economics, 4rd International Student Edition, Boston etc.: McGraw-Hill/Irwin (ISBN 978-1-260—08466-5).

Additional information in the workbook to be posted on Brightspace. Lecture material to be posted at Brightspace.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Joop de Kort,