As a student in this course you will learn the following concepts:
• Scarcity and choice The fundamental problem in economics is that resources are scarce and wants are unlimited, so there is always a choice required between competing uses for the resources.
• The margin and change Decision-making by individuals, firms and governments is based on choices at the margin; that is, once behaviour has been optimised, any change will be detrimental as long as conditions remain the same.
• Equilibrium and efficiency Prices are set by markets, are always moving in to and out of equilibrium, and can be both efficient and inefficient in different ways and over different time periods.
• Regulation and equity There is a trade-off between, on the one hand, freedom for firms and individuals in unregulated markets and, on the other hand, greater social equality and equity through the government regulation of individuals and markets.
• Progress and development Economics studies how societies can progress in measurable money terms and develop in a wider more normative sense.