EC4006 - Principles of Economics (2017/18)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2017/18|
|Module title||Principles of Economics|
|Module level||Certificate (04)|
|Credit rating for module||30|
|School||Guildhall School of Business and Law|
|Total study hours||300|
|Running in 2017/18||
This module introduces and develops the principles of micro- and macroeconomics providing a secure foundation for students pursuing specialist degrees in Economics and Business Economics. The microeconomics element of the module will examine supply and demand analysis, theories of consumer behaviour and theories of the firm. It will also introduce the distribution of income, market efficiency, market failure, and international trade.
The macroeconomics element of the module will consider long run economic growth and short-run business cycles. Students will be introduced to key variables and concepts in macroeconomics, national income accounting, simple macroeconomic models and policy issues. They will consider the main determinants of economic growth, short-run fluctuations in economic activity, inflation, unemployment, the balance of payments and exchange rates.
The module aims to provide students with:
- a systematic knowledge and understanding of economic principles, including a critical awareness of economic reasoning;
- an ability to apply economic principles and analysis in a variety of contexts;
- a range of transferable and subject-specific skills that will assist future study and personal development;
- an appreciation of the economic dimension of wider social, regional and political issues.
The module also aims to develop students' skills, in particular: academic study skills; IT; literacy; applied analysis; entrepreneurship, critical thinking; interpersonal and team-working; communication, including oral presentation; and problem solving.
HE Learning Development
Skills and personal development. Academic reading, writing, critical thinking and analysis. Referencing and avoidance of plagiarism. Information search - software and techniques useful in research, use of library and online resources
Note-taking - how to get the most out of lectures. Writing economics essays and reports.
Skills development : Teamwork and Leadership: Games and simulations.
IT skills development. Intermediate knowledge of current word processing software, including essay and report presentation, embedding tables and graphs, and the use of equation editors
contents pages and reports.
Introduction to Microeconomics
Key concepts in economics and an introduction to economic models
Supply and demand analysis, elasticity
Theories of consumer behaviour – economic rationality and its critics
Costs, revenues and profit maximisation
Theories of the firm: Perfect competition and monopoly
Introduction to imperfect competition
The distribution of income
Market efficiency and market failure
Introduction to international trade.
Introduction to Macroeconomics
Key macroeconomic variables. Measurement in macroeconomics
Economic growth and the long-run
Short-run economic fluctuations: aggregate demand and aggregate supply
Money and prices
Inflation and unemployment
Monetary, fiscal and supply side policies
Balance of payments and exchange rates
Learning and teaching
Formal teaching and learning sessions will consist of weekly lectures and seminars. There will be a two-hour lecture which will be used to set out and explain the key topics of the module and will emphasise what students need to do to undertand the material fully. There will also be workshop activity in the lecture time in which students will solve problems in groups and will engage in a dialogue with the lecturer.
There will be two kinds of hour-long seminar on the module. One hour per week will be spent discussing class problems contained in the student handbook. Students will present solutions to problems in groups and these sessions will be student-centred.
In the first semester the second seminar hour will be dedicated to skills development. There will be strong emphasis on academic reading and writing, especially early on. Students will be required to undertake some writing activities in one or two of these seminars and they will be introduced to personal development planning.
In the second semester the second hour of seminar will be used to develop HE skills development including engaging in ‘live’games and experiments.
All workshop-activity and seminars will be highly interactive and will involve problem-solving, team work and learning games both online and away from the computer. Students will be expected to present solutions to problems individually and in groups. Seminars will also include ‘live’ economics games and simulations. These activities will embed economic concepts, and support the development of student’s teamworking, leadership, and strategic skills.
Students will be required to complement their 'formal' learning activity with further reading of the material suggested in the teaching sessions, by interacting with Web-based learning materials and by working on class problems both individually and in groups. These problems will be discussed subsequently in seminars.
Student contact time will be 4 hours per week. Seminars will be designed to provide swift formative feedback and to encourage active learning.
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
- apply knowledge of basic microeconomic concepts such as opportunity cost, elasticity, economic profit and marginal analysis in coursework and examination problems and be able to explain these concepts from first principles;
- write clearly to demonstrate a broad knowledge and a systematic understanding of introductory macroeconomics covering theory, policy and application;
- analyse and evaluate policy responses to various kinds of economic problem, recognising the existence of different theoretical approaches to policy questions;
- demonstrate learning strategies and methods which provide independent learning capabilities required for continuing professional development;
- research and write concise, well-structured essays on a range of economic topics;
- work effectively in groups and demonstrate good communication, self-management, time-management and self-presentation skills.
During the first term students will work in groups to solve a set of applied microeconomic problems, which will be submitted as a group portfolio in week 13. They will engage in reflective learning tasks in weeks 4 and 7 to help them engage fully with the learning materials. Groups will be required to present their work-in-progress in class and will receive feedback on it from their tutor and fellow students. The purpose of the development of the group coursework portfolio is to help students get to know one another at the beginning of their course and to develop their teamwork and leadership skills. The coursework will encourage students to apply simple economic concepts and models to possible real-world scenarios.
There will be a series of 30-minute tests in the second semester so that students can monitor their progress with macroeconomics and identify any weaknesses. Students will be awarded the average % mark from their best three tests.
There will be a final unseen exam lasting two hours, which will be a mixture of short answer and essay-type questions and will test students understanding of core economic principles and the way they can be applied to economic problems.
Mankiw, N.G. and Taylor, M.P. (2011) Economics, 2nd Edition, South-Western Cengage Learning
Sloman, J. , Wride, A and Garratt, D. (2012), Economics, 8th edition, Prentice Hall
Begg D., Fischer S, Dornbusch R., (2008), Economics, 9th ed., McGraw Hill
Frank, R.H.(2008), The Economic Naturalist: Why Economics Explains Almost Everything, Virgin
Akerlof, G.A. and Shiller, R.J.,(2009) Animal Spirits, Princeton
http://veconlab.econ.virginia.edu games / experiments
www.projects.exeter.ac.uk/feele games / experiments
www.dirkmateer.com film clips
Other online resources at www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk