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 SSC 160 - Introduction to Economics


The course starts with introducing some basic economic concepts: circular flow diagram, supply & demand, equilibrium, opportunity cost etc. After that we focus largely on macroeconomics.

Macroeconomics is the branch of economics that studies the economy as a whole. Macroeconomists’ principal task is to try to figure out why overall economic activity rises or falls. Why are measures like the total value of all production, the total income of workers, or the unemployment rate higher in some years than in others? Macroeconomists also attempt to understand what determines the level and rate of change of overall prices. Along the way macroeconomists study other variables – such as interest rates, stock market values, and exchange rates – that play a major role in determining the overall levels of production, income, employment, and prices.

This course will provide an integrated view of macroeconomics. It is built on one underlying model (IS/LM – AS/AD plus Solow growth model), a model that draws the implications of equilibrium conditions in three sets of markets: the goods market, the financial markets, and the labour market. This way the students will see macroeconomics as a coherent whole, not a collection of models. To promote deeper understanding each part of the model will be built using three different tools: algebra, graphs & Excel.

This course will make close contact with current macroeconomic events. What makes macroeconomics exciting is the light it sheds on what is happening around the world, from the current financial crisis, to the large U.S. current account deficits, to the economic rise of China. These events – and many more – will be studied in this course. Next to listening to macroeconomic news & reading other economists’ reports the students will learn how to collect & analyse real macroeconomic data themselves.

Dr. Alexei Karas



Required for

This course is required in order to take the following courses:

  • SSC 263 Microeconomics & Behavior
  • SSC 266 International Macroeconomics
  • SSC 363 Money, Banking and Finance
  • SSC 366 Econometrics
  • SSC 367 Industrial Organization
  • SSC 232 The Development Encounter: Anthropological Perspectives