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AbstractThis syllabus was submitted to the Rhodes College Office of Academic Affairs by the course instructor.
Welcome to Economics 101. This is the introductory course in microeconomics, which studies the behavior of individuals, firms, and governments in response to different incentives. The Rhodes College Catalog describes the introductory economics sequence as follows: A survey of economic analysis and institutions combining economic theory with a discussion of applications to the U.S. economic system for majors and non-majors. First semester (microeconomics): Study of the behavior of consumers and firms in competitive and noncompetitive markets, and the consequences of this behavior for resource allocation and income distribution. Consideration of government’s role in competitive and noncompetitive markets.2 Economic analysis provides us with a way of thinking about the world that examines how people respond to incentives. Mastering the “economic way of thinking” will open up a whole new world of ideas, approaches, and perspectives. In this course, you will learn how to apply the economic way of thinking to a variety of issues. This course has several key topics: incentives, basic models of consumer and producer behavior (as well as their applications), the workings of “supply and demand,” the causes and consequences of government intervention, the social role of profit and loss, and the consequences of each for human well-being. The Rhodes Vision states that “Rhodes College aspires to graduate students with a life-long passion for learning, a compassion for others, and the ability to translate academic study and personal concern into effective leadership and action in their communities and the world.” Understanding economics is integral to the Rhodes Vision in that economics equips you with a unique critical perspective. While economic analysis as such does not produce value judgments, careful economic reasoning can inform “effective leadership and action” in that what you learn in this course will help you carefully evaluate and act on policy proposals, whether it be in the boardroom or at the ballot box. This syllabus provides a tentative guide to the course. The assignments and course outline are subject to change.