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Course Objectives and Syllabus
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In our quest
to figure out the confusing world of economics we start with scarcity
Trade Offs and Opportunity Costs
Because of scarcity, people
must make choices about how they
will use their resources.
Choices are explained in terms
of trade-offs or alternatives that are available whenever a decision is
made. The cost of every decision is measured in terms of its opportunity
cost, which is the cost of the next best alternative use of money, time,
or resources when one choice is made rather than another.
We'll also keep discussing something very dear to
all of you--money!
Marginal Analysis and Decision Trees: Thinking like an economist
What does it mean to think at the margin? It means to think about your
next step forward. The word "marginal" means "additional." The first
glass of lemonade on a hot day quenches your thirst, but the next glass,
maybe not so much. If you think at the margin, you are thinking about
what the next or additional action means for you.
Banks, Banking, and Compound Interest
Everyone is aware of banks and banking. A
bank is a financial establishment that invests money deposited by
customers, pays it out when required, makes loans at interest, and
exchanges currency. But wait! There's more...
One of the more mysterious areas of the economy is the role of the Fed.
Formally known as the Federal Reserve, the Fed is the
gatekeeper of the U.S. economy. It is the central
bank of the United
States -- it is the bank of banks and the bank of the U.S.
government. The Fed regulates financial institutions, manages the
nation's money and influences the economy. By raising and lowering
interest rates, creating money and using a few other tricks, the Fed can
either stimulate or slow down the economy. This manipulation helps
maintain low inflation, high employment rates, and manufacturing output.
Companies initially raise money by selling their stock. A share of stock
represents fractional ownership of a business. When you buy shares of
stock in a company, you are buying a small fraction of the business and
all the profits that go along with it. Our class will be participating
in a stock market simulation. We have six teams, $100,000, and three
months to invest and learn.
Popularized by movies
such as "A Beautiful Mind", game theory is the mathematical modeling of
strategic interaction among rational (and irrational) agents. Beyond
what we call 'games' in common language, such as chess, poker, soccer,
etc., it includes the modeling of conflict among nations, political
campaigns, competition among firms, and trading behavior in markets such
as the NYSE. That's where this class comes in...
Contact Mr. Y at:
Trust, but verify...
- Ronald Reagan
Opportunity is always knocking. The problem is that most people
have the self-doubt station in their head turned up way too loud to
- Brian Vaszily
Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor.
- Jackson Brown
People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does
bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.
- Zig Ziglar
Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how
well you bounce.
"Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite
exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some
- John Maynard Keynes