Course Contents at a Glance

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The following list shows the module-level topics for the course. To see all of the course pages, visit theĀ Table of Contents.

Module 1: Economic Thinking

  • Understanding Economics and Scarcity
  • The Concept of Opportunity Cost
  • Labor, Markets, and Trade
  • Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
  • Economic Models
  • Purpose of Functions
  • Solving Simple Equations
  • Creating and Interpreting Graphs
  • Interpreting Slope
  • Types of Graphs

Module 2: Choice in a World of Scarcity

  • Budget Constraints and Choices
  • Calculating Opportunity Cost
  • The Production Possibilities Frontier
  • Productive Efficiency and Allocative Efficiency
  • Rationality and Self-Interest
  • Marginal Analysis
  • Positive and Normative Statements

Module 3: Supply and Demand

  • Economic Systems
  • What Is Demand?
  • Factors Affecting Demand
  • What is Supply?
  • Factors Affecting Supply
  • Equilibrium, Surplus, and Shortage
  • Changes in Equilibrium
  • Finding Equilibrium
  • Changes in Supply and Demand

Module 4: Applications of Supply and Demand

  • Price Ceilings
  • Price Floors
  • A Closer Look at Price Controls
  • Trade and Efficiency
  • Consumer & Producer Surplus
  • Inefficiency of Price Floors and Price Ceilings
  • Labor and Financial Markets

Module 5: Elasticity

  • Elasticity of Demand
  • Examples of Elastic and Inelastic Demand
  • Calculating Elasticity and Percentage Changes
  • Calculating Price Elasticities Using the Midpoint Formula
  • Categories of Elasticity
  • Price Elasticity of Supply
  • Income Elasticity, Cross-Price Elasticity & Other Types of Elasticities
  • Elasticity and Total Revenue
  • Elasticity, Costs, and Customers
  • Tax Incidence

Module 6: Utility

  • Consumer Choice and Utility
  • Marginal Utility versus Total Utility
  • Rules for Maximizing Utility
  • Income Changes and Consumption Choices
  • The Foundations of the Demand Curve
  • Indifference Curve Analysis
  • Behavioral Economics: An Alternative Viewpoint

Module 7: Production and Costs

  • What is Production?
  • The Production Function
  • Costs and Profit
  • Costs in the Short Run
  • Average Costs and Curves
  • Lessons From Alternative Measures of Cost
  • Production in the Long Run
  • Long Run Costs and Production Technology
  • Economies of Scale
  • The Size and Number of Firms in an Industry

Module 8: Perfect Competition

  • Perfect Competition
  • Profit Maximization in a Perfectly Competitive Market
  • Calculating Profits and Losses
  • The Shutdown Point
  • Entry and Exit Decisions in the Long Run
  • Efficiency in Perfectly Competitive Markets

Module 9: Monopoly

  • Monopolies
  • How Monopolies Form: Barriers to Entry
  • Profit Maximization for a Monopoly
  • Computing Monopoly Profits
  • The Inefficiency of Monopoly
  • Price Discrimination and Efficiency
  • Corporate Mergers
  • Regulating Anticompetitive Behavior
  • Regulating Natural Monopolies
  • The Great Deregulation Experiment

Module 10: Monopolistic Competition and Oligopoly

  • Monopolistic Competition
  • Profit Maximization under Monopolistic Competition
  • Entry, Exit and Profits in the Long Run
  • Monopolistic Competition and Efficiency
  • Product Differentiation and Advertising
  • Why do Oligopolies Exist?
  • Collusion or Competition?
  • Prisoner’s Dilemma

Module 11: Public Goods and Externalities

  • Externalities
  • Public Goods
  • Free Riders
  • Positive Externalities and Technology
  • Negative Externalities: Pollution
  • Command-and-Control Regulation
  • U.S. Environmental Laws
  • How Governments Can Encourage Innovation
  • Market-Oriented Environmental Tools

Module 12: Labor Markets

  • Labor Markets
  • The Demand for Labor
  • Labor Market Power by Employers
  • Labor Market Power by Employees
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Immigration

Module 13: Income Distribution

  • How is Poverty Defined and How Widespread is it?
  • The Poverty Trap
  • The Safety Net
  • Measuring Income Inequality
  • Causes of Growing Inequality
  • Government Policies to Reduce Income Inequality

Module 14: Globalization and Trade

  • Absolute and Comparative Advantage
  • Comparative Advantage and the Gains from Trade
  • Intra-Industry Trade
  • Demand and Supply Analysis of International Trade
  • Protectionism
  • The Tradeoffs of International Trade
  • The Role of the GATT in Reducing Barriers to Trade
  • Trade Policy: Organizations and Agreements

Module 15: Exchange Rates and International Finance

  • The Foreign Exchange Market
  • Strengthening and Weakening Currency
  • Demand and Supply Shifts in Foreign Exchange Markets
  • Macroeconomic Effects of Exchange Rates
  • Exchange-Rate Policies