EC1P1      Half Unit

This information is for the 2022/23 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, what is a central bank and why it is mandated with controlling inflation, the design of auctions, competition in the age of technology giants, the strengths and weaknesses of market economies, and 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.  

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, reading time: 15 minutes) 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.

Key facts

Department: Economics

Total students 2021/22: 202

Average class size 2021/22: 14

Capped 2021/22: No

Lecture capture used 2021/22: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

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