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Unit information: Economic Principles in 2015/16

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Unit name Economic Principles
Unit code EFIM10010
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Birdi
Open unit status Not open

A-level Mathematics (or equivalent)



School/department School of Economics
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The unit emphasises the role that economic analysis can play in understanding modern economies. It introduces a range of microeconomic and macroeconomic concepts and analytical tools.

It covers material such as trade-offs, marginal benefits and costs, intertemporal decision-making, the role played by prices in providing information and incentives, the role and limits of markets in allocating resources and an introduction to forms of industrial organisation.

At an aggregate economic level, the unit introduces basic concepts and analytical techniques used in macroeconomics, to enhance awareness of macroeconomic facts and to encourage ability to use macroeconomic theory to understand and interpret macroeconomic events.

The exposition is mainly diagrammatic but at times uses simple algebra and a certain amount of differential calculus.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

1. Make appropriate use of core microeconomic concepts such as opportunity cost; elasticities; and marginal/average relationships in analysing economic behaviour.

2. Explain the role and limits of markets and the public sector in the organisation of economic activity, showing an awareness of the relevance of imperfect competition, strategic behaviour, informational constraints, regulation and externalities in economic activity.

3. Analyse the behaviour of firms in a variety of forms of industrial organisation.

4. Explain the contributions that economic analysis can make to addressing some problems of current concern such as pollution and unemployment.

5. Explain important macroeconomic concepts such as Gross Domestic Product, money supply, inflation, natural rate of unemployment, aggregate supply and exchange rates.

6. Analyse the behaviour of major macroeconomic variables such as aggregate output and the interest rate using models of aggregate economic behaviour.

7. Recognise some of the causes of aggregate economic fluctuations using simple models.

8. Appraise the scope and limitations of both fiscal and monetary policy.

Teaching Information

27 lectures

8 exercise lectures

10 tutorials

Assessment Information

Summative Assessment:

3 hour examination in January worth 100%. This tests all the learning outcomes.

Formative Assessment:

Students will complete 4 pieces of formative assessment during the unit each consisting of a short (1000-word) essay and a few analytical questions. All the learning outcomes will be assessed.

Reading and References

There are a number of textbooks that are relevant at this level. Some examples are given below:

Nechyba, Thomas. Microeconomics: An intuitive approach with calculus

Varian, Hall. Intermediate Microeconomics, a Modern Approach

Perloff, Jeffrey. Microeconomics with calculus

Jones, Charles I. Macroeconomics, 2nd ed.

Mankiw, Gregory. Macroeconomics, 7th ed.

Blanchard, Amighini and Giavazzi. Macroeconomics: A European Perspective, 2nd ed.