Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

POLS1122 - Economics I


Credits : 5

Lecturer :
Teaching assistant :
Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , first term, 30 hours of theory and 15 hours of exercises.

Timetable :
First term
Tuesday from 13:30 to 15:30 at 43 Botanique 3

Language of instruction :

Learning outcomes :
The Economics I and Economics II courses present an introduction to the (neoclassical) economic analysis of the functioning of a market economy. The Economics I course focuses on microeconomic issues (see the paragraph below) while the Economics II course focuses on topics of a macroeconomic nature (growth, unemployment, inflation ...).

The course enables students to acquire the following skills:

Master the basic concepts of economic analysis;
Appropriate the basic explanatory mechanisms of economic analysis;
Use these concepts and explanatory mechanisms to
• understand a number of economic phenomena;
• study the implications of certain (recommendations of) economic policies;
• identify some of the virtues and limits of free trade;
• take a critical look at and on certain conventional wisdom about how the markets work.

Prerequisites :

Co-requisites :

Course contents :
After examining the origin of exchange gains, Economics I examines the economic determinants of demand and supply behaviour for a good or service. It then analyses the functioning of competitive markets by examining issues such as the determination of prices and the level of activity in these markets, the impact of price controls or indirect taxation on the functioning of these markets.

It then examines how and under what conditions free trade can be an "effective" way of organizing the economic life of a human society composed of a very large number of agents. From a certain point of view, perfect competition on the markets will appear as a kind of operating ideal. In reality, however, the conditions of validity of this idealized representation are not necessarily verified in many markets and the course will then address the cases of market failures as well as cases of imperfections of competition.

The question of the role of the state in the functioning of a market economy will be dealt with throughout the course.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
Lecture (30 h) accompanied by practical work (15 h) led by the assistant. Students are invited to take an active part in the teaching process.

Regular personal work is essential for good mastery of the subject and essential for practical work sessions to be useful. Personal work should not be memorized by heart. What will be assessed on the exam is the student's understanding of the concepts and explanatory mechanisms and his ability to use them.

Assessment methods and criteria :
3 hours written exam.

Recommended or required reading :
Mankiw, Gregory et Mark Taylor (2015), Principes de l'Economie, de Boeck, collection Ouvertures économiques, 4ième édition.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd edition of the book may also be suitable.

Other information :