Unit 1: Introduction to Economics
Before we dive into the principles of microeconomics, we need to define some of the major ideas that lie at the heart of economics. What is the economic way of thinking? What do economists mean when they discuss market structure and the invisible hand? In this unit we identify and define these terms before addressing the driving principles behind microeconomics: the idea that individuals and firms (economic agents) make rational choices based on self-interest. These decisions are necessary, because resources are scarce. In other words, no good or item is infinitely available. We will also introduce a number of economic models, the assumptions and constraints associated with each, and the ways they help us better understand real-life situations.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 6 hours.
1.1: Individual Choice, Scarce Resources, Choices, and Opportunity Costs
1.2: Getting to Know Economics
1.3: Review of Data Representation and Mathematics for Economics
1.4: The Production Possibility Frontier
1.5: Comparative Advantage vs. Absolute Advantage