Course Description

Course Name

Principles of Economics 1

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Introduces the analysis of predominantly market economies and how they work, both as a whole and in individual markets. The overall emphasis is on learning to think like an economist, that is, a person who can apply basic economic principles to understand and explain what is observed in the real world around them. Topics covered include comparative advantage and trade, demand and supply and the ?invisible hand?, strategic thinking, money, inflation and monetary policy, unemployment, and currency and financial markets.

This paper introduces economic concepts and models to explain how individual markets and the market system operate. Markets exist to facilitate trade in goods and services. Why are there gains from trade? How does the ?invisible hand' of the market operate? Is the market allocation of resources efficient? What kinds of factors inhibit the efficiency of markets? Why do economies sometimes experience bouts of high unemployment and/or inflation? How is it that the government and Reserve Bank can take steps to stabilise the economy? How do changes in other countries affect the New Zealand economy? These are just some of the interesting, thought-provoking and pertinent questions considered in this paper.

Teaching Arrangements
3 lectures per week, weekly tutorials and online study group competition

Course Structure
This paper first introduces basic principles of microeconomics and then the principles of macroeconomics.

Learning Outcomes
The aim of this course is to give you an introductory understanding of how our mixed market economy operates, and how to apply that understanding to help you make better business and personal decisions.
At the end of this course, you should be able to:
- Explain in concept, with the aid of appropriate diagrams, how a competitive market and the market system allocate scarce resources, how they respond to changing conditions and how well a competitive market and the market system perform
- Identify factors that, in practice, inhibit the functioning of individual markets and the market system and describe and evaluate the effects of these inhibitors and the rationales for and effects of various government interventions in the market economy
- Describe measures of macroeconomic performance and evaluate the short-run macroeconomic consequences of fiscal and monetary stabilisation policies in open and closed economies
- Present, with the aid of appropriate diagrams, cogent economic reasoning in concise written statements

GANS, KING, STONECASH, BYFORD, LIBICH AND MANKIW, 2015. Principles of Economics: Australia and New Zealand Edition, 6th edition. Melbourne: Cengage Learning.

*Course content subject to change