Terp Young Scholars

July 7-26, 2019


ECON111: Thinking Like an Economist

The philosophy underlying this course is that non-specialists can gain a facility in thinking like an economist without the need to learn elaborate economic theories or complicated mathematical techniques. The course's goal is to equip students with no prior training in economics with the skills that will enable them to think like an economist about issues that arise in the media and in everyday life. To do so requires applying a combination of rigorous logic, simple analytical tools that economists regularly use, and an understanding of which tool applies in which context.

Economics analyzes and predicts the outcomes generated by groups of interacting individuals, whether it is several friends deciding between restaurants or a whole society trying to reduce unemployment. How do economists predict what will happen as individuals make their own decisions and interact with one another? How do economists analyze whether the results are good or bad for the individuals? These are two fundamental questions that the course answers.

The course introduces the student to how economists think by focusing on case studies. By deliberating on issues of fundamental interest, students will become acquainted with the methodological tools of economics and see the power that these tools have to produce insightful answers. By applying a variety of tools in practical contexts, students will learn which characteristics of a problem dictate the choice and use of a particular analytical tool. Course Prerequisite: Students must complete high school algebra before enrolling in this course.

Click here for course meeting times. Course Syllabus available here. Enrollment Limit: 20.

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