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Lecture 1 Econ 1000.docx

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York University
ECON 1000

Econ 1000 – Lecture 1 Definition of Economics  No one way to define it; as long as it covers the purpose of economics  Why scarcity? If there was no scarcity, no economics – means that resources we have are not unlimited, so we can produce only so much within a limited amount of time  Choices based on scarcity – make choices based on incentives; if food is more rewarding, spend more resources on food  Both types of economics under the umbrella of scarcity and choice  Microeconomics: deals with the study of individual economic units/agents that make decisions about consuming or producing certain goods; a person can be an economic unit/agent because you make decisions based on incentives and use resources doing so (households, university). On a production side, a firm decides to make tables; the study of how they do so is the study of microeconomics  Macroeconomics: combine all economic activities together (aggregate government activities, consumers as a nation, total investment, total expenditures, total production); deals with issues that apply to the whole economy (ex: national or global unemployment; national or global inflation. However, the unemployment of only one corporation is microeconomics; if the price of only one commodity goes up and down, it is microeconomics) o Microeconomic foundation for macroeconomics Two Big Economic Questions  If you want to consume something, does it still promote social interest? What? What to produce depends on what to consume What determines patterns of production? Availability and what the consumers need How?  Land – land itself as well as anything that comes from land (minerals, oil, coal, copper, zinc, lumber, etc)  Labour – people who work with natural resources; least skilled to most sophisticated  Capital – often refer to the base of capital (money); human capital  Entrepr
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