Welcome to Econ

Through international trade in goods and services, the economies of different countries are more closely linked to one another now than ever before. At the same time, the world economy is more turbulent now than it has been in decades. Keeping up with the shifting international environment has become a central concern in business strategy and national economic policy. This course uses the same fundamental methods of analysis deployed in other branches of economics, as the motives and behavior of individuals and firms remain the same whether they are in the context of international trade or domestic transactions. You will learn, however, that international trade introduces an entirely new and different set of concerns as well.

This course will cover a broad array of relevant topics. We will explore both theoretical models and empirical studies as we seek to determine a model that best fits "real world" data. This course will frequently compare and contrast competing theories concerning the nature of international trade and the gains or losses thereof. We will work to understand the economic intuition behind technically demanding models and define the assumptions behind various theories before evaluating how well those models fit actual trading economies. We will also explore the relevance and policy implications of various theories/models, especially in terms of growth, income distribution, and development.

Economists divide their discipline into two areas of study: microeconomics and macroeconomics. In this course we introduce you to the principles of macroeconomics: the study of how a country's economy works, while trying to discern among good, better, and best choices for improving and maintaining a nation's standard of living and level of economic and societal well-being. Historical and contemporary perspectives on the role of government policy surrounds questions of who gains and loses within a small set of key interdependent players. These beneficiaries include households, consumers, savers, firm owners, investors, government officials, and global trading partners.

Consider how microeconomists and macroeconomists analyze price fluctuations. In microeconomics we focus on how supply and demand determine prices in a given market. In macroeconomics we focus on changes in the price level across all markets. Microeconomics studies firm profit maximization, output optimization, consumer utility maximization, and consumption optimization. Macroeconomics studies economic growth, price stability, and full employment.

Macroeconomic performance relies on measures of economic activity, such as variables and data at the national level, within a specific period of time. Macroeconomics analyzes aggregate measures, such as national income, national output, unemployment and inflation rates, and business cycle fluctuations. In this course we prompt you to think about the national and global issues we face, consider competing views, and draw conclusions from various perspectives, tools, and alternatives.

Basics of Economics.  Supplement to a reading and writing course

Review Course for AP Microeconomics