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AECO 13A00 - Introduction to Economic reasoning: principles of Economics

Type d'enseignement : Lecture and tutorials

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 60

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The Economics course at the undergraduate level is an introduction to the main contemporaneous issues in economics. Its objectives are: to introduce the core concepts and the debates (both theoretical and empirical) that structure the discipline; to introduce quantitative methods for students who want to deepen their knowledge of economics; and to allow for a first specialization in some topics. This course enables every student; even those who do not want to pursue economic studies, to have a good understanding and intuition of economic mechanisms and a good knowledge of historical facts, political-economy debates, and economic institutions. We will show that economic reasoning enables to better understand the current debates and challenges facing our societies, including in their political and social dimension (e.g., globalization, development, inequalities, unemployment, crises, finance...). The economics course also offers a rigorous theoretical toolbox for the analysis of recent empirical research. The lectures and tutorials are consistent with the ๠๠Core Economics'' teaching project. Students are invited to register on the eBook platform that displays all the pedagogical material in an interactive form. The Moodle website of this course contains all the material, pedagogical tools and problem sets of the tutorials. The goal is to provide students with the empirical and conceptual knowledge that is necessary to understand the economy. We focus in particular on six important questions: 1. What are the main issues in economics? How can we explain the wealth and poverty of nations and individuals? What are the sources of economic growth and innovation? How can we explain the persistence of unemployment, inflation, recessions and financial crises? 2. What are the foundations of individual choices and social interactions? 3. How can public policies foster social progress? Why does unemployment persist and why do inflation and deflation matter? What are the best policies to stimulate growth? Which policies enable to fight poverty and inequalities? Can fiscal and monetary policies stabilize the economy? What should be the ethical criteria in public policy decisions? 4. Who are the main economic agents? Individuals: how do selfish, altruistic and ethical aspects of human behavior affect the economy? How does this affect their decisions as workers, wage earners, consumers and savers? Firms: what shapes the organization and behavior of firms? What is the role of competition? Institutions: how do institutions work? How do they contribute to economic development? 5. What can markets do? (and what are they not able to do?) How do societies coordinate their economic activities? How do markets work, what are the sources of market failures? What is the role of the government in regulating markets and redistributing resources? Why are labor and credit markets different from other markets of goods and services? What are the costs and benefits of the global circulation of goods, capital and 
individuals)? 6. How do economists produce knowledge? Is economics a science, and what does that mean? History of economic thought: what are the main debates, why do some 
disagreements persist? How are economic theories assessed?


NAPOLETANO, Mauro (Chargé d'études)

Course validation

The final exam accounts for 1/3 of the final grade; a continuous assessment accounts for the remaining 2/3. The continuous assessment is computed as follows: 1/3 of the grade for the midterm exam (mid-semester exam common to all students) and the remaining 2/3 will be decided by the teaching assistant of the tutorial using 3 different evaluations (for instance: grading of the discussions of the problem sets, small quiz and MCQ, debates in class, reading notes). One of the 3 grades may be a tutorial participation grade.

Required reading

EBook CORE The Economy / L'Economie accessible