EC1P1      Half Unit

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Ricardo Reis 32L.1.27


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics and BSc in Economics. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.

Course content

In this course, we discuss fundamental economic concepts and apply them to current events. The goal is to learn to think like economists by using economic theory to produce compelling arguments and economic data to distinguish and quantify them. Some examples are the measurement of economic well-being and inequality, the impact of immigration, the role of central banks and how it is threatened by new digital currencies, competition in the age of technology giants and the strengths and weaknesses of market economies, or how to rationally make sense of irrational behaviour. Students will learn how to characterize the relevant aspects (measurement), how to use economic analysis to shed light on any social phenomenon (models), how to use data to measure the causes of these phenomena (empirics) and how to estimate the impact of policies that improve human wellbeing.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT.

This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 30 hours across Michaelmas Term. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of virtual classes, live streamed (recorded) lectures, and some flipped content delivered as short online videos.

Formative coursework

There are weekly assignments and feedback will be given on two.

Indicative reading

There is no set textbook for this course. Students are expected to engage with supplementary reading that will be provided for each topic as the course unfolds.

Students can complement their study of the course material by consulting, among others, the following books (though this is not a requirement and students need not purchase any books).

  • Economics for the Common Good, Jean Tirole.
  • The Armchair Economist, Steven E. Landsburg.
  • Poor Economics, Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo.


Exam (90%, duration: 2 hours) in the January exam period.
Group project (10%) in the MT.

In the group project, student will produce a short video or poster on an economics topic.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Economics

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Capped 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness