Introduction to Economics
- General information
Introduction to Economics - What is Economics?
How do individuals and society decide the use they will give to their resources, scarce and with alternative uses, in order to staisfy their needs? What is the cost of these decisions?
Economics can be understood as the science of choice, the science that studies how resources are used by humans to satisfy their needs, in an environment where they are scarce and within the context of the society they live in.
Basically, Economics is a social science that uses models to explain the process of decision-making by the economic agents and how the economic system works in different aspects.
The importance of the Introduction to Economics course
Studying the economy provides the necessary tools to make decisions on how to optimize the use of the available, yet scarce, resources in a certain environment. Therefore, understanding its foundations is the first step towards improving the quality of life of the population.
Moreover, the Economy is present in several aspects of our daily live. As a consequence, any person needs to know its basic features and understand the vocabulary to be able to analyze economic factors.
What does this course offer?
The contents of Introduction to Economics have a theoretical and introductory nature. Their objective is to provide the students with an amount of basic knowledge that allows them to achive a triple goal...
First, to properly use the the basic language of Economics; to know the most relevant concepts and theories; to understand how market economy works; to assess the main economic issues, and to achieve a better understanding of society.
In second place, to acquire a set of knowledge and skills that will become the basic foundation to successfully complete their formation.
Lastly, to acquire the habit of economic thinking by discovering the potentiality of the economic theory as an irreplaceable tool to make decisions that will be highly useful in any field in the future, both in personal and professional life.
What are the course contents?
According to the most widespread pedagogical tradition the subject contents, apart from an introductory topic, are divided into two clearly different parts: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics.
Microeconomics studies how individual agents make consuption and production decisions. It also analyzes how the different market structures work.
Macroeconomics deals with the determination of aggregate production, employment and prices in an economy, as well as with its economics relationships with the rest of the world and the effects of economic policy.
What is available in OCW?
Just some contents from four topics corresponding to Macroeconomics are offered on OCW. These topics include "measuring aggregate production and income", "an aggregate supply-aggregate demand model", "financing the economy" and "economic policy".