Economics is the social science of satisfying unlimited wants with scarce resources. Principles of Economics refers to the basic methods and concepts economists use when doing economics, hence to economic analysis. In this view the term “economics” refers to the discipline, not to the economy. We will discuss consumer and producer behavior, markets, business cycles, economic growth, money and the financial system. We will also discuss fiscal and monetary policy and policy issues such as unemployment, inflation, and balance of payments surpluses and deficits. In this course, the student will gain a thorough acquaintance with the principles of economics. He will understand the economic motives of consumers and producers, the market processes and macroeconomic developments, as well as the interdependencies between economic processes and the main features of public economic policy.
Objectives of the course
In this course we will present the principles of economic theory and we will discuss the implications thereof for economic policy. The objectives of this course are: To learn the student the essentials of economics; the economic motives of consumers and producers, the market processes and macro-economic developments, as well as the interdependencies between economic processes and the main features of public economic policy;
To help the student master the principles essential for understanding the economic problem, specific economic issues, and policy alternatives;
To help the student understand and apply the economic perspective and reason accurately and objectively about economic matters; and
To promote a lasting student interest in the economic environment in which business operates.
The following achievement levels apply to this course: 1. You are able to explain the major features of microeconomics: demand and supply, market mechanism, market failures, competition; 2. You are able to explain the major features of macroeconomics: national income, economic growth, unemployment, inflation, money and banking, public sector; 3. You are able to explain the major features of international economics: international trade, exchange rates, balance of payments; and 4. You are able to relate the economic principles to practical policies of business (micro-economics) and government (macro-economics).
Mode of instruction
Number of lectures: 7
Names of lecturers: dr. B.L. Terpstra
Required preparation by students: reading material.
Number of seminars: 7
Names of instructors: G. Boffi
Required preparation by students: Reading material, assignments. Students are expected to engage actively in discussions with regard to the assignments.
Seven weeks course. Each week consists of one lecture and one seminar:
During the lecture, the main issues in the required reading will be identified and discussed. Based on an interactive setting, the focus will be on understanding the concepts and theories in micro and macroeconomics.
In the weekly seminars, students will actively engage in presenting their knowledge. They need to prepare and present study problems from the textbook and additional assignments that will be made available through Brightspace. Applying the concepts and theories, and explaining this to each other increases the knowledge and understanding of economics. Furthermore, it also provides a good preparation for the final exam. Students may miss up to one seminar.
The assessment of this course is based on three elements:
Paper assignment (10%). A failure to submit the paper before the deadline. In this paper, the theory from the textbook will be used to analyze a topical issue.
Class presentation (10%). Each student is assigned to prepare one brief oral presentation. In the presentation, the student explains a topic from the material. The presentation should be no longer than 10 minutes. During the presentation, the student must relate the course content to at least one real-world event and encourage participation from the audience. A failure to present will result in a zero score.
Final written exam (80%). The final exam consists of open questions. The questions will be based on the literature and the material which is discussed in class.
The paper assignment (10%) and the class presentation (10%) cannot be retaken. The grades obtained for these elements will remain valid for the re-sit.
If a student has not passed the course by the end of the academic year, partial grades for mc-test, additional assignment and written exam are no longer valid.
Areas to be tested within the exam
The Course information guide consists of the required reading (literature) for the course, the course information guide and the subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.
Regulation retake passed exams
In this course it is possible to retake an exam that has been passed (cf. art. 188.8.131.52 and further of the Course and Examination Regulations). Students who have passed the exam may retake the final written assessment (test) of the course if they meet certain requirements. To retake a passed exam, students need to ask the Student Administration Office (OIC) for permission. For more information, go to 'course and exam enrollment' > 'permission for retaking a passed exam' on the student website.
Obligatory course materials
- The Core Team (2017), The Economy. Economics for a Changing World. Oxford, Oxford University Press. This book is open source and is available on-line at: https://www.core-econ.org/the-economy/
Course information guide:
Additional information in the workbook to be posted at Brightspace.
Recommended course materials
- Lecture material to be posted at Brightspace
Check the website under “course and exam enrollment” for information on how to register for the course.
A block of seats will be reserved for exchange students and will be registered through the international office.
Co-ordinator: Dr. B.L. Terpstra
Work address: Steenschuur 25, Leiden
Telephone number: ++31 71 527 7756/ 1571
Institute: Department of Tax Law and Economics
Room number secretary: B2.07
Opening hours: 9-13 hrs
Telephone number secretariat: ++31 71 527 7756/ 1571
In case of (corona)restrictions imposed by the government, this course description is subject to change.