Introduction to Economics

SAM1 Introduction to Economics

Spring 2024

  • Topics

    The course has two parts. The first is a short introduction to microeconomics - demand and supply, equilibrium in a perfectly competitive market, economic efficiency and the efficiency property of perfect markets, market failure and economic policy. The second part illustrates applications of economics at the macro and micro level. E.g., why some countries succeed while others don´t, why the world faces a climate problem and how it can be solved, why drug dealers in Chicago and MBAs from Harvard work long hours for a low wage, why seemingly nice and rational paople are caring in one moment and selfish in the next.

  • Learning outcome

    The course gives a first, short introduction to economics. The goals are (1) to teach the students basic elements of economic theory, (2) to give them an understanding of the economic approach to issues and problems, and (3) to illustrate, through micro and macro examples, applications of economics.

    Upon completion of the course, the students can:


    • explain how economics is about allocation of scare resources, and based on this be able to think systematically in terms of alternatives
    • explain how prices and quantities are determined in perfectly competitive markets
    • explain where supply and demand curves come from and how they reveal firms´ marginal costs and consumers´ marginal willingness to pay
    • explain economic efficiency,
    • explain why perfect markets result in an efficient allocation of resources, and know about different sources of market failure
    • explain how economic policy may correct a market failure  
    • describe and explain examples of modern empirical analyses in economics
    • discuss how the economic toolbox can be used to define, explain, and contribute to a more sustainable development of the economy and society.


    • illustrate a market equilibrium and how it is reached   
    • illustrate consumer and producer surplus
    • illustrate market failure and how policy may correct a market failure
    • illustrate relatively elastic and inelastic demand and supply and the consequences for whether consumers or producers are carrying the burden of a tax
    • apply economics to at least one specific case

    General competence

    • master core economics terminology
    • describe key themes in economics
    • describe popular scientific literature in economics
    • write texts about important topics in economics


ECTS Credits

Course responsible

Assistant Professor Heidi Thysen, Department of Economics