EC 200-B01

*** SYLLABUS ***

grade based on 3 multiple choice exams with writing assignment, 20% of grade is writing assignment
2 papers — option to rewrite paper #1, no option for paper #2

What is economics? (formal def) the study of the allocation of scarce resources…to satisfy unlimited wants/needs
(to what use do we put resources)

Two broad categories:

  • microeconomics (individual entities)
  • macroeconomics (gov’ts & societies)
  • economics is about Choice/life

    Key concept: opportunity costs

  • the bundle of next best opportunities that you would have pursued had you chosen differently
  • the true cost of anything you do is what you must give up in order to perform a given action
  • what would you have used your resources for instead of X, if you had made a different choice?
  • What motivates people?

  • to maximize personal satisfaction, subject to limited resources
  • maximize their utility (in Millsian sense)
  • behave rationally
  • Economic man: rational utility maximizers

  • Positive economics: Look at world in scientific way to make predictions about human behavior (describe things as they are or will be)
  • morality/normative: things as they should be
  • Don’t confuse an “is” with an “ought”

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