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Principles of Economics (LAW)


Admission requirements



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.

Course objectives

In this course we will present the principles of economic theory and we will discuss the implications thereof for economic policy. The objectives of this course are:

  • To learn the student the essentials of economics; the economic motives of consumers and producers, the market processes and macro-economic developments, as well as the interdependencies between economic processes and the main features of public economic policy;

  • To help the student master the principles essential for understanding the economic problem, specific economic issues, and policy alternatives;

  • To help the student understand and apply the economic perspective and reason accurately and objectively about economic matters; and

  • To promote a lasting student interest in the economic environment in which business operates.

After completing the course you will be able to:

  • Explain the major features of microeconomics: demand and supply, market mechanism, market failures, competition;

  • Explain in the major features of macroeconomics: national income, economic growth, unemployment, inflation, money and banking, public sector;

  • Explain the major features of international economics: international trade, exchange rates, balance of payments; and

  • Relate the economic principles to practical policies of business (micro-economics) and government (macro-economics).


Zie MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of lectures: 7

  • Names of lecturers: dr. B.L. Terpstra

  • Required preparation by students: reading material.


  • Number of seminars: 7

  • Names of instructors: dr. G. Boffi, dr. S. Cicognani

  • Required preparation by students: Reading material, assignments. Students are expected to engage actively in discussions with regard to the assignments.

Seven weeks course. Each week consists of one lecture and one seminar:

  • During the lecture, the main issues in the required reading will be identified and discussed. Based on an interactive setting, the focus will be on understanding the concepts and theories in micro and macroeconomics.

  • In the weekly seminars, students will actively engage in presenting their knowledge. They need to prepare and present study problems from the textbook and additional assignments that will be made available through Brightspace. Applying the concepts and theories, and explaining this to each other increases the knowledge and understanding of economics. Furthermore, it also provides a good preparation for the final exam. Students may miss up to one seminar.

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Multiple-choice tests (10%);

  • Paper assignment and presentation (10%);

  • Final written exam (80%).

The multiple-choice tests consist of 7 tests that have to be made during the course. Of the 7 tests, the average of the best 6 tests is taken. This part counts for 10% of the final grade. Non-submission of a test results in a zero score for that test, by which the student does not receive credit for this test.

The paper assignment and presentation count for 10% of the final grade. A failure to submit the paper before the deadline and/or a failure to present the paper will result in a zero score. In this paper, the theory from the textbook will be used to analyze a topical issue.

The final written exam consists of open questions and counts for 80% of the final grade. The questions will be based on the literature and the material which is discussed in class.

Participation in the multiple-choice tests and the paper assignment and presentation is mandatory for participation in the final written exam. The multiple choice-test and the paper assignment and presentation cannot be retaken. The grades obtained for those elements will remain valid for the re-sit. However, if a student has not passed the course by the end of the academic year, partial grades for mc-test, additional assignment and written exam are no longer valid.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The Course information guide consists of the required reading (literature) for the course, the course information guide and the subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.

  • Written exam

  • Online multiple-choice test

  • Paper assignment

  • Class presentation

Regulation retake passed exams
In this course it is possible to retake an exam that has been passed (cf. art. 4.1.8 and further of the Course and Examination Regulations). Students who have passed the exam may retake the final written assessment (test) of the course if they meet certain requirements. For more information, go to the website > ‘Law’ tab > ‘Retake a passed exam’.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials


  • The Core Team (2017), The Economy. Economics for a Changing World. Oxford, Oxford University Press. This book is open source and is available on-line at:

Course information guide:
Additional information in the workbook to be posted at Brightspace.

Recommended course materials

  • Lecture material to be posted at Brightspace


Registration for courses and exams takes place via MyStudymap. If you do not have access to MyStudymap (guest students), look here (under the Law-tab) for more information on the registration procedure in your situation.

A block of seats will be reserved for exchange students and will be registered through the international office.



  • Institute: Department of Tax Law and Economics

  • Department: Economics

  • Room number secretary: B2.07

  • Opening hours: 9-13 hrs

  • Telephone number secretariat: ++31 71 527 7756/ 1571

  • Email: