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Introduction to Economic Policy

Module Code: EC104B

Module Name: Introduction to Economic Policy

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Michaelmas Term
  • Contact Hours: 22 hours of lectures and 10 hours of tutorials
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer – Gaia Narciso

Module Learning Aims

This module aims to provide students with a comprehensive outline of some of the core elements of micro economics and their applications. By the end of the first half of the module it is hoped that students will be able to use their knowledge of economic theory and policy so as to have a better understanding of the drivers of demand and supply and of the decision making processes of individuals and businesses. Students will have an understanding of market systems. Students should also have an understanding of how governments can sometimes improve market outcomes.

Module Content

A. Introduction to economics: how markets work

  1. Introduction to the subject of Economics
  2. The characteristics of different demand and supply curves, equilibrium
  3. Elasticity, price ceilings and price floors

B. Market failure

  1. Externalities
  2. Public goods
  3. Information asymmetry

C. Income inequality and poverty

  1. Poverty and income distribution
  2. Global development and inequality

D. Market structures

  1. Perfect competition
  2. Monopoly
  3. Oligopoly & monopolistic competition

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Explain in detail the concepts of demand, supply, prices and equilibrium and illustrate shifts and movements in demand and supply curves
  • Discuss the concepts of price floors, price ceilings and elasticity
  • Explain the causes of market failure and understand the role for government
  • Understand how income inequality and poverty are defined, measured and addressed in an economic context
  • Evaluate market structures including monopoly, oligopoly and monopolistic competition Outline the role of competition policy and regulation

Recommended Reading List

The core textbook is Gregory Mankiw and Mark P. Taylor's Economics 3rd Edition (South-western: Cengage learning).

Assessment Details

The assessment for this module comprises a group work project and an essay style assignment each of which account for 50% of the marks for this module.

Module Website

Michaelmas Term: Blackboard