Public University of Navarre

Academic year: 2018/2019 | Previous academic years:  2017/2018  |  2014/2015 
International Double Bachelor's degree in Economics, Management and Business Administration at the Universidad Pública de Navarra
Course code: 176102 Subject title: INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS
Credits: 6 Type of subject: Basic Year: 1 Period: 1º S
Department: Economía

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This introductory course to Economics presents the main economic notions related to the functioning of the economic system in a complex society. After beginning with the definition of Economics due to Lionel Robins (namely, "Economics is the science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means that have alternative uses"), we go on to examine individual (including persons and firms) and social decisions in various economic contexts, and from micro and macroeconomic perspectives.



This course aims to encourage the acquisition of general scientific skills relating to Economic Thought and Analysis. To this end, the course aims to offer the student a fresh and stimulating approach to Economics, which would revolve around three principles: optimization, equilibrium and empiricism. The course would cover economic methods, concepts, and tools used to examine economic decisions whether they are undertaken by individuals, firms or governments. The course would also be oriented to examine the intended and unintended consequences of these decisions on the well-being of all the others. The teaching methods used in this course are characterized by being student-centred and enquiry-based learning.


General proficiencies

This course aims to encourage students for the understanding and expression of central ideas related to the functioning of the economic system in a complex society. The final aim is that this course enables students to: (i) READ news and reports on economic issues of growing interest in the social, economic and political environments; (ii) WRITE on these topics, using the economic method (including terminology, mathematical models and analysis); (iii) EXPRESS interpretation and opinion on economic issues by speaking in front of an audience.


Specific proficiencies

The specific proficiencies to be working throughout Introduction to Economics are the ability to:

  • Express fluently by speaking and writing in social and economic contexts, and participate in team work.
  • Make use of information and communication technologies in their future professional careers.
  • Understand economic institutions as the medium and the outcome of agents¿ interactions and economic processes, using theoretical or formal models.
  • Analyze economic problems and professional criteria, using technical instruments.
  • Identify and be ahead of relevant economic problems in relation with the allocation of scarce resources, in public and private environments.
  • Contribute to the diffusion and reach of rationality in the analysis and description of any aspect related to the economic environment.
  • Evaluate the consequences of alternative actions and behaviours, helping in the choice of aims.


Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:

LO1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the concepts used in economics such as scarcity and source allocation, the money system, competitive equilibria, non-competitive markets, economic efficiency, and frameworks such as the decision theory (consumption and production) and the theory of well-being.

LO2. Achieve an understanding of macroeconomic models for examining concepts such as wealth, money, inflation, unemployment, and that allow predictions on the impact of implementing a wide range of political economy instruments.

LO3. Achieve an understanding of the theoretical foundations of decision making.  

These learning outcomes are interdependent. Students should aim to apply knowledge gained in one aspect of the course to other parts of it. Questions and discussion are strongly encouraged during the lectures. Emphasis would be given in topics 1 to 7 to secure the learning outcome LO1, in topics 8 to 12 to secure LO2, and in topics 1 to 12 to attain the learning outcome LO3.



The learning and teaching methodology is based on student-centred and enquiry-based techniques that would combine lecturing on students with the creation of small and cooperative learning environments. We would exploit showcase empirical questions (called ¿evidence-based economics features¿), data analysis, experiments, poster sessions and model design. The contents would be structured around a single textbook.

Learning activities Hours (classroom) Hours (out of classroom)
A-1 Lecture 20  
A-2 Seminar 04  
A-3 Practical Classes and Workshops 16  
A-4 Team work 14  
A-5 Advanced reading for lectures   40
A-6 Studying   48
A-7 Exams 06  
A-8 Office hours (individual)   02
Total 60 90






The summative assessment methods are detailed below:

Learning outcomes Evaluation Weight (%) Reassessment
LO1, LO2, LO3+ general proficiency of Read Lab based exams 47.5% Yes*
LO1, LO2, LO3+ general proficiency of Written Written exam 47.5% Yes*
L01, L02, L03 + general proficiency of Express Participation 5% No

 *Reassessment opportunities: A person that fails to demonstrate a good attainment of the learning outcomes on the basis of the above summative assessments would have the opportunity to demonstrate the attainment of the learning outcomes LO1, LO2 and LO3 and the reassessment would consist on a resist written exam only. 



Topic 1: The principles and practice of Economics

Topic 2: Economic methods and economic questions

Topic 3: Optimization: Doing the best you can

Topic 4: Demand, supply and equilibrium

Topic 5: Consumers and incentives

Topic 6: Perfect competition and the invisible hand

Topic 7: Externalities and public goods

Topic 8: The Government in the Economy: taxation and regulation

Topic 9: The wealth of nations: defining and measuring macroeconomic aggregates

Topic 10: Long-run growth and development

Topic 11: Employment and unemployment

Topic 12: The monetary system and the monetary economic policy



Access the bibliography that your professor has requested from the Library.

Acemoglu D., D. Laibson and J. A. List. 2017. Economics 2nd Ed. Pearson.



Campus de Arrosadia.