Introductory Economics

Module Code

ECNU111

Semester

Autumn

Prerequisite

Mathematics at Standard grade 3 or GCSE grade C or permission of the Director of Undergraduate Programmes.

Level

8

Credit value

20

Module Co-ordinator

Dr David Comerford

Assessment

40% coursework – two class tests, 60% examination

Module Description

The module introduces students to the fundamental principles of economics. It defines some important economic concepts, demonstrates some applications of these concepts, and guides students through the tools that economists use to explain the world.

Module Objectives

The module uses Mankiw and Taylor Economics third edition as its core text and covers the following:

  • the laws of demand and supply
  • how prices are determined by supply and demand
  • the concept of market equilibrium
  • the causes and effects of changes in supply and demand
  • the elasticities of supply and demand
  • factors affecting the elasticity of demand and supply
  • ways of allocating resources
  • consumer surplus and producer surplus
  • the invisible hand
  • deadweight loss
  • fairness and the market
  • price ceilings, price floors and taxes
  • consumption possibilities and the budget line
  • preferences and indifference curves
  • the marginal rate of substitution
  • predicting consumer behaviour
  • the different categories of costs
  • the importance of marginal valuations
  • the short-run pricing and output decisions of firms
  • how monopoly compares with competition
  • externalities
  • markets for factors of production

Learning Outcomes

knowledge and understanding of:

  • what is meant by microeconomics and macroeconomics
  • the economic problem of scarcity
  • the concept of opportunity cost
  • the importance of incentives
  • the factors of production
  • self-interest and social interest
  • choices and trade-offs
  • choosing at the margin
  • common fallacies
  • the production possibility frontier
  • using resources efficiently
  • the gains from trade
  • circular flows through markets
  • the laws of demand and supply
  • how prices are determined by supply and demand
  • the concept of market equilibrium
  • the causes and effects of changes in supply and demand
  • the elasticities of supply and demand
  • factors affecting the elasticity of demand and supply
  • ways of allocating resources
  • consumer surplus and producer surplus
  • the invisible hand
  • deadweight loss
  • fairness and the market
  • price ceilings, price floors and taxes
  • consumption possibilities and the budget line
  • preferences and indifference curves
  • the marginal rate of substitution
  • predicting consumer behaviour
  • the different categories of costs
  • the importance of marginal valuations
  • the short-run pricing and output decisions of firms
  • how monopoly compares with competition.

Preparatory Work

N. Gregory Mankiw and Mark P. Taylor "Economics" 3rd edition, 2014, published by CENGAGE


This module information is representative of what is included in the module in a given year. Details of actual reading, lectures and coursework may vary year to year and will be available at the beginning of the semester.

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