This course provides an introduction to current economic issues and to basic economic
principles and methods. The economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that "the ideas of
economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong,
are more powerful than is commonly understood." Economics is not primarily a set of
answers, but rather a method of reasoning. By the end of the semester, you will be able to
use the analysis practiced in the course to form your own judgments about many of the
major economic problems faced by the United States and other countries.
In particular, we will focus this semester on "microeconomics," which is the study of the
interaction of people and firms in markets. Since we live in a market economy, this study
will help you to understand how American society organizes its economic affairs. We
will examine how the forces of supply and demand operate in the markets for goods,
labor and capital. Theories concerning firm behavior will be examined—how companies
decide how much to produce, and how to produce it. Once we have mastered some basic
techniques for thinking about economic problems, we will apply those techniques to such
important social issues as pollution, poverty, income distribution, and international trade.
There will be three multiple choice exams given in the course—two midterms and a final.
The dates of the exams are:
First Midterm: Fri., Oct. 5
(covering the material from Fri. Sept 7 through Fri., Sept 28)
Second Midterm: Fri., Nov. 9
(covering the material from Tues, Oct. 9 through Fri., Nov. 2)
Section CC (10:10 – 11:00) Mon. Dec. 17 9 – 11
Section BB (12:20 – 1:10) Thurs., Dec. 20 12:30 – 2:30
(cumulative, but slightly weighted toward material covered after the
After the midterms and final, your score will be available on the course Blackboard site
as soon as possible. You will be able to log in and see only your score.