Social Science Education


Economics 100.003 Basic Economics

Section 3 11:00-11:50 MWF HH 103 Robert C. Guell

256 Holmstedt Hall

Office Hours 9-11 MWF

And by appt. Ph. 237-2169 (office) Ph. 466-4606 (home )

Email: ecguell@isugw

Web: 003

Book: Issues in Economics Today, Robert C. Guell

The Big Picture- The Course

This class serves as foundation course in the Social and Behavioral Sciences part of GE2000 (and remains a B3 course GE89) and as such must meet certain objectives. Broadly speaking these objectives require that the course expose you to the methods and uses of social sciences in a way that gives you an understanding of the way the world works. Because this is an economics course you will acquire that understanding through that particular lens. We will discuss how the economic ideas of opportunity cost and marginality can be used to analyze decision making in your daily life as well as to analyze current policy issues. We will focus our attention on how free markets distribute goods and services in a capitalist economy where government intervention exists but is usually not dominant.

We will make certain assumptions about people (that they are rational and self-interested) and show, under those assumptions, how a market works. We will use the economic

methodology of modeling market activities to come to our conclusions about how well they serve our general interests and, where relevant, discuss the limitations of that economic methodology so as to place economics in a context with the other social science disciplines.

We will show how a market serves as a communication system by which consumers

"tell" producers what goods and services they want and what they are willing to pay to get them and producers "tell" consumers what they will be willing to accept to furnish those goods and services. We will discuss how the evolution of markets (from barter) significantly improves this process of communication while simultaneously making societies more interdependent as the gains from the division of labor cause individuals and nations to specialize their production in order to maximize their standard of living.

We critically analyze whether an unfettered market serves well in this capacity and cite several circumstances and conditions where it is unrealistic to expect such a market to succeed. It is then that we can talk extensively about how political and social institutions evolve to influence markets and how those institutions influence people.

By seeing how markets work, and sometimes fail to work, you will gain anew

perspective on your role as a citizen in helping craft the political and social boundaries for markets.

Web: I will also be making many new and helpful hints available over the web. Http:// 00_003 Check often for news.

Grades: Mid-teffil Exams, 3 @ 15% each

Syllabus Preparation Participation 1 %.

Reading Quizzes best 15 of 19 @ 1% each Content Quizzes, best 8 of 11 @ 3% each Final Exam 15%

Scale: 100-80% A

75'-80% B+ 60-75% B

55-60% C+ 50-55% C

45-50% D+ 40-45% D

Attendance: Your attendance in class is desired and requested, if you look at the schedule of events there are more days with graded activities than without but your grade in class will be deteffilined solely on the criteria outlined above.

This course assumes that you have had no economics but that you have an adequate understanding ofjunior high and high school algebra and high school geometry. This course is intended to teach you how to think as an economist. Simply put, you will be expected to be able to understand common everyday economic issues presented in newspapers. These issues include markets, prices, unemployment, inflation, the budget deficit and national debt, health care, welfare, taxes, saving,... in short lots of stuff.

There will be 3 mid-teffil exams and a noncumulative final each with 10 multiple choice questions, 5 short verbal questions and 4 to 5 longer questions that require either graphical or verbal answers. There will be 11 content quizzes from which the best 9 will figur~ into your grade at 3 percent each. You will have 10 minutes to complete each content quiz. There will be 19 reading quizzes from which the best 15 will figure into your grade at 1 percent each that will simply test whether you have read the text. These will typically be three Multiple Choice questions and will not require that you understand how to draw or interpret a graph that is new. You will have to be able to interpret graphs that, though they are an application of the same

graph to anew topic, are not new themselves. These quizzes will be in the first 5 minutes of class. As a result, showing up to class on time will be important. At the end of each quiz or exam period I will say "You now have 1 minute to hand it in. It will be one point off for every second that it is late."

As long as you are not disturbing the learning process of your colleagues I do not care what you wear, eat, or drink in class. My only specific rules are :

1) What ever goes in your mouth stays there for the duration of class. This includes tobacco spit.

2) If you have a tongue stud please don't let me it or you may see my breakfast.

Sleeping in my class is only punishable by me picking quiz and exam questions on material that coincides with your eyes being shut.

Accommodation for excused absences will be made on an ad hoc basis. All attempts should be made to contact me prior to your exam time where I will instruct you as to how I wish you to document your problem. You may not makeup a content or a reading quiz after it has been given but you may request to take it ahead of time (there are 3 dropable quizzes of each variety to insure ample flexibility.)


Month Mon Topic Wed Fri Topic

Aug 21 Syllabus 23 Economics and Opportunity Cost

26 Economics and 28 Supplyand 30 Supply and Demand, Opportunity Cost; Demand, RQl CQl Syllabus Prep

Sept 2 Supply and Demand 4 Supplyand 6 Elasticity, Consumer Demand, CQ2 and Producer Surplus,


9 Elasticity, Consumer 11 Elasticity, 13 Interest and Present and Producer Consumer and Value, RQ3 Surplus, Producer Surplus, CQ3

16 Interest and Present 18 Exam I 20 HB Exam I, Firm Costs, Value RQ4

23 Firm Costs, 25 Firm Costs, CQ4 27 Perfect Competition and Monopoly,RQ5

30 Perfect Competition and Monopoly, CQ5

Oct 2 Macroeconomic 4 Macroeconomic Vocabulary, RQ6 Vocabulary, CQ6

7 Aggregate Supply 9 Aggregate Supply 11 Exam II and Aggregate and Aggregate Demand RQ7, Demand, CQ7

14 HB Exam II 16 Minimum Wage 18 Fall Break Minimum Wage, RQ8

21 Unions, RQ9 23 Unions 25 Issue #1, RQ10 28 Issue #1 CQ8 30 Issue #2, RQ12

Nov 1 Issue #2 4 Issue #3, RQ13 6 Issue #3 CQ9 8 Exam ill

11 HB Exam ill Issue 13 Issue #4 15 Issue #5, RQ16 #4, RQ15

18 Issue #5 20 Issue #6, RQ17 22 Issue #6 CQ10 25 Issue #7, RQ 18 27 Thanksgiving 29 Thanksgiving

Dec 2 Issue #7 4 Issue #8, RQ19 6 Issue #8 CQll


Issue Vote for 8 by marking an X in the box. You may record multiple votes for an issue. For instance is you want 3 of your votes in one box mark

XXX Federal S endin

Federal Deficits, Surpluses and the National Debt Fiscal Polic

Mone Polic

Overstatement of the Cost of Living by the Consumer Price Index International Trade

International Moneta Fund

NAFT A, GA TT , and the WTO Dm s and Prostitution Tobacco and Alcohol Environment Health Care Medicaid Medicare

The Economics ofPrescri tion Dm s Personal Income Taxes

Taxin the Return on Ca ital The Economics of Crime Education

Pove and Welfare Social Securi Head Start

Race and AffIrmative Action Gender

The Economics of Children Farm Polic

Minimum Wa e Alread on the schedule Rent Control

Ticket Brokers and Ticket Scal in Anti- Tmst Oil Prices

If We Build it Will They Come and Other Sorts uestions

The Stock Market and Crashes

Unions Alread on the schedule The Economic Im act ofSe t 11 *

What Happened to Enron and Why it Matters*

* These chapters are not in text but will be in the next edition.


back to top