“Economics is what economists do” says Jacob Viner. But what do economists do? And, how do they do it? This seminar will be concerned with these two questions. Our main objective will be develop an understanding of economics as a field of study and to explore how economics is applied to understand everyday issues that affect our material wellbeing. We will look at big issues, such as recession, unemployment, poverty and environmental degradations, as well as smaller issues, such as how to avoid paying too much money in a retail store, how rents of your apartment are determined, why online commercial websites can survive competition, and how automobile manufacturing companies can function profitably. In examining these large and small issue, we will explore how economists view the world and how economics has evolved as an intellectual discipline.
This is an introductory course and it has no prerequisites.