Economic Analysis and Policy

Module code: ECN130

The module explores both microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Microeconomics is concerned with the choices of economic agents, such as individuals, households and firms, and how these agents interact in the market to determine prices and the allocation of resources in an economy.

Macroeconomics is concerned with the aggregate level of output, employment and prices, the interaction between these variables, and the role of public policy in influencing unemployment, inflation and growth.

This is a core economics module for all single and dual honours Economics students.

Aims of the module

The module aims first to introduce the foundations of economic analysis, providing students with a basic knowledge of both microeconomics and macroeconomics, and then to build on these to enable students to develop a good understanding of the methods of analysis used in micro and macroeconomics, and the ability to apply these methods of analysis to contemporary economic problems.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module students will be expected to demonstrate:

  • an understanding of the basic elements of microeconomic theories of choice, as applied to individuals, households and firms
  • an understanding of basic macroeconomic models and their applications
  • an understanding of, and an ability to apply, relevant methods of economic analysis to contemporary micro and macroeconomic problems
  • a basic background knowledge of recent economic policy issues
  • development of both analytical and essay writing skills

Syllabus

Microeconomics: thinking like an economist; the basis for exchange (comparative advantage); demand, supply and market equilibrium; the individual as a consumer: rational choice decision, demand and supply curve; the concept of elasticity; government intervention in the market; indifference curve analysis; the individual as a supplier of labour; production and cost (including isoquant/isocost analysis); market structure; the labour market and other factor markets; risk, information and insurance; welfare economics and government intervention

Macroeconomics: national income accounting; consumption function and the income-expenditure model; investment and the rate of interest; the demand for money and the supply of money; the IS-LM model; fiscal and monetary policies; short run and long run, inflation and unemployment; the Phillips curve; open economies and currency areas, case studies – recent events in the UK and other significant economies

Teaching methods

Forty lectures (two per week – usually one microeconomics and one macroeconomics) plus sixteen tutorials tutorials (four micro and four macro). In addition there will be 20 hours of workshops, spread over the academic year.

Assessment

Final examination (75%); within-course assessment (25%) including two pieces of coursework and a mid-module examination (which takes place at the end of semester one)

Basic reading

We advise you not to buy books before the module begins, as the reading list may change. If you wish to read in advance, look for these texts in the University library

Prerequisites Grade B in GCSE mathematics or equivalent. Cannot be taken with ECN101

Module leader Jesse Matheson

Please note that the leader may change before the module begins

Semester Academic Year, ie two semesters

Credits 40