Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives for Economics Majors

The Department of Economics has a separate set of learning objectives, in addition to the school's Assurance of Learning objectives. These objectives also help keep students focused on the "big picture" of what the study of economics is all about.

 

Microeconomics

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of scarcity and opportunity cost and the use of marginal analysis to evaluate trade-offs and make decisions.
  • Explain how voluntary exchange is mutually beneficial and demonstrate how specialization and trade based on comparative advantage can increase social welfare.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how markets work to allocate resources and the optimal individual decision-making that underlies market outcomes.
  • Identify various market structures and discuss their implications for resource allocation
  • Explain the advantages and potential shortcomings of markets, discuss the conditions under which markets do and do not work well, and describe the role of public policy intervention in cases where markets fail to perform optimally.
  • Describe the significance of incentives in the decision-making process.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply optimization techniques to decisions made by households, firms, and government.

 

Methodology / History of Thought

  • Describe the contributions of the main economic thinkers and their connections to current methodological developments.
  • Describe the development of methodology in economics.

 

Macroeconomics

  • Recognize the difference between real and nominal economic data.
  • Explain the structure, scope, and relative performance of the American economy as measured by national income and product accounts, price indices, and unemployment rates.
  • Describe the circular flow of income through the sectors of the economy and the process of income multipliers that influence these flows.
  • Analyze aggregate demand and aggregate supply, including derivation of aggregate supply and aggregate demand as well as short- and long-run comparisons.
  • Discuss the objectives and tools of macroeconomic policy.
  • Explain the economics of the current account and the foreign exchange market.
  • Use the IS/LM model to explain economic fluctuations and the impact of monetary and fiscal policy (PPE majors are not required to use the IS/LM model).

 

Statistics and Econometrics

(Not required for Politics/Philosophy/Economics majors)
  • Use sample statistics to estimate the population parameters and to make judgments about the population.
  • Use and evaluate a regression model between the response variable and a set of explanatory variables, and predict the response variable using the model.
  • Apply econometric methods to differentiate between competing theories.

 

Additional Objectives Related to Individual Majors

Economics / Accounting

  • Explain basic financial and managerial accounting principles.
  • Use accounting as an analytical and decision making tool including calculating ratios from financial statements.
  • Explain the effect of economic events on measured financial performance and financial statements.

 

Economics / Environmental Studies

  • Evaluate problems caused by divergences between private and social costs and benefits of environmental amenities.
  • Describe policy responses to environmental problems.
  • Describe the interaction between the ecosystem and human activity.

 

Economics / Mathematics

  • Apply probability theory and statistical analysis.
  • Use advanced techniques in linear algebra, calculus, and differential equations.

 

Economics / Social Studies

  • Use classroom strategies to teach economics in the public schools.

 

Economics / Political Science

  • Evaluate trade-offs between equity and efficiency in the design of taxation policy.
  • Evaluate the costs and benefits of public expenditures.
  • Describe the public policy process in the United States and the system of international political relations.

 

Financial Economics

  • Explain basic financial and managerial accounting principles.
  • Use accounting as an analytical and decision making tool including calculating ratios from financial statements.
  • Explain the effect of economic events on measured financial performance and financial statements.
  • Value bonds and stocks.

 

Politics / Philosophy / Economics

  • Describe and apply the arguments of moral, ethical, and political philosophy and the philosophy of knowledge.
  • Apply the tools of logic.
  • Describe the public policy process in the United States and the system of international political relations.