Economics for Non-Economists - Not offered in AY 2022-23

Undergraduate Program Status

2nd year
Politics and Society
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Course Open to: 
Students on-site
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Course Description: 

This undergraduate class provides a gentle introduction to modern economics for students who are not following a major field of study in economics.  Economists rely heavily on models and quantitative methods in their analysis and most introductory courses provide a primer on the technical details of economic analysis. This course rather starts by identifying the most pressing policy issues of the day -- environmental sustainability, inequality, the future of work, financial instability, innovation -- and reviews what modern economics has contributed to the analysis of those issues.  While the course does equip students with some of the analytical tools that economists use, the focus is more on developing economic intuition and literacy, rather than technical mastery.  The primary goal of the course is to enable students to apply principles of economics to complex policy questions, analyze market scenarios and the distributional and efficiency aspects of government intervention. There will be some sessions dedicated to in-class lectures, but students will find a variety of other activities to supplement the lectures, including empirical exercises that orient students with some of the kinds of data that economists typically analyze, in-class policy debates on economic case-studies, and guest lectures by local economic policymakers.