Economics 110

Economic Principles

Course at a Glance

  • Credits: 3 hrs
  • Expected weekly time outside of class: 6-8 hrs
  • Prerequisites: None, though basic algebra skills are assumed
  • Grades determined by:
    • 4 Exams (60%)
    • 8 Short Essays (20%)
    • Online Assignments (about 2/week) (20%)
  • Topics:
    • Behavior of Competitive Markets (Supply and Demand)
    • Imperfect Competition (Monopoly, Information problems)
    • Macroeconomic definitions (GDP, inflation, unemployment)
    • Monetary Systems (the Federal Reserve)
    • Macro Policy (taxation, spending, and interest rates)

Course Objectives

The principles course is meant to introduce students to the key terminology, core concepts, and fundamental tools of economics.  While Econ 110 is a prerequisite for application to the business school, it provides students with skills that are useful for far more than business saavy.  The ultimate goal is for students to be able to understand the workings of a market economy, enabling them to understand changing market conditions, to make informed choices about their economic future, and to evaluate economic proposals of politicians.

We will do this by developing simple yet powerful tools of analysis.  About two-thirds of the class focuses on microeconomics, examining the behavior of an individual consumer, firm, or market.  The remainder is spent on macroeconomics, which considers the sum of all these individual choices (thus building on the micro concepts).

From their experience in this class, students should become able to:

  1. Understand the interaction of basic market forces in determining what is produced and the prices at which it is sold.
  2. Appreciate the remarkable power of markets and their potential shortcomings.
  3. Interpret basic macroeconomic statistics (such as GDP, unemployment, and inflation).
  4. Predict the general effect of various economic policies (such as minimum wage laws or tax "stimulus" rebates).

 Course Policies

  • All assignments are completed online via Aplia.  See syllabus for details.
  • Grades are recorded on Blackboard; also, essays will be submitted there.
  • The required textbook is Principles of Economics, by Mankiw.  Registration for Aplia automatically provides access to an online version of this text, but a hard copy can also be purchased if this is easier for you to read.
  • The required supplemental reading is The Armchair Economist, by Landsburg.  This reading will be the basis of writing assignments.
  • A sample syllabus may be downloaded here.​


     Publication & Working Papers


     Econ 110
     Econ 382


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