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Unformatted text preview: Econ 1 UCLA Dr. Narag Lecture 1 -- Course Overview The first class session is a review of the course objectives, outline, requirements, and assignments and an introduction to chapter 1. The syllabus was distributed. Please read it thoroughly. The syllabus may be obtained at the ClassWeb site for our course at: http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/08W/econ1-1/ I will be putting lecture notes/slides, practice problems, and homework assignments on the class website under the list of links. These materials will greatly increase your comprehension of the course content and improve your test-taking abilities. Students are advised to check the ClassWeb site routinely for announcements, lecture notes, and assignments. In addition, the text website at: http://www.worthpublishers.com/krugmanwells The textbook, Krugman and Wells: Microeconomics is required. Students should read at the pace indicated in the course syllabus and as covered in the lectures. Students should also note what will be covered on each exam with respect to text readings as indicated in the syllabus. The best strategy for comprehension of the material in the course is to stay current with the text reading assignments and corresponding problem sets and quizzes. Thorough preparation is the best strategy in achieving high grades. Students who cut classes, and/or skip reading assignments, corresponding problem sets, homework and on-line textbook quizzes typically get much lower grades. You will find the course to be straightforward with respect to precisely what to do and when. Always read the assignment in the text prior to class and try to do the corresponding study guide and text website questions. After the lecture, reread the assignment and complete all the problem sets on the ClassWeb site that correspond to the material covered in lecture. This "before and after" preparation will really help in comprehending the material. Tests and grading are described in the syllabus. The exams are a combination of multiple-choice and short answer/problem solving. My policy on missed exams is stated in the syllabus and should be taken seriously. Exam dates are listed in the course syllabus and they are firm. The homework assignments will be posted on the ClassWeb site and are not graded. Note, however, that doing your problem sets is invaluable practice for the course exams. Econ 1, Winter 2008 Lecture 1 Dr. Narag The TAs will review these in the weekly TA sections along with other problem sets and handout questions that are posted on the ClassWeb site. If you are unable to attend the discussion section you are enrolled for, you may attend another discussion section with permission from the TA you want to transfer to. Exam Dates: Midterm: February 07, 2008 (Thursday) (Dodd 147) Final: March 21, 2008 (Friday) 8:00 am 11:00 am The syllabus indicates how the final course grades will be determined. I will be curving the final course grades. A curve is used rather than absolute scoring as it safeguards you against material/instructors which are too easy or too difficult: with a curve, that does not matter as long as it is too easy/too difficult for everyone. I recommend that students "take their pulse" throughout each week by doing the on-line self-graded quizzes provided at the text website. This is a good way to get immediate feedback on reading and learning comprehension of the course material. The on-line quizzes are similar, but not identical, to the multiple-choice questions that will be on the exams. Exam questions will seem harder due to test circumstances. Practicing with the on-line questions until you get 100%, and knowing why each question is correct, is excellent practice. Students will notice that there are suggestions for being successful in the course noted in the syllabus. Read these carefully. Always review what you are required to do for each week in the course outline. I would suggest printing out the course website materials for each week particularly the "Additional Problems", "Handouts", and "Homeworks". All of these problem sets are former test questions and will assist you in preparing for the short answer/problem solving portions of the exams. If you would like to receive E-Mail from me, you must give URSA the E-Mail address that you wish to be contacted at. I cannot add you to that list. Please provide URSA with a working E-Mail address that you intend to read. Students who have any questions about class organization should seek my advice ASAP. If my office hours are problematic for you, please consult me to set up an appointment. Note that your TA also holds office hours and will announce them in section. Please do not hesitate to contact either your TA or myself, regarding any questions you have concerning the class. We are happy to help you. The Economics Department does not give out PTE numbers to the faculty. Consequently, the faculty have no power to enroll students in their classes. The Department does not automatically let the students on the waitlist enroll. Students on the waitlist move into the course if students drop the class. From past experience, I am 2 Econ 1, Winter 2008 Lecture 1 Dr. Narag certain that students will drop at the beginning of the quarter, but I have no idea how many will drop and when. Please make sure to download the partial Lecture Notes that are listed for each class. It is always a good idea to bring the set of notes that are listed for each class as well as the next set just in case we move on more quickly than expected. These notes are incomplete and are filled in during lecture. If you miss class, you may copy what you have missed from my class overheads during my office hours. I expect to post the Lecture Notes in batches rather than all at once. Some advice for success in the class: First of all, this class is supposed to teach you most of the basic concepts we use in economics. Some of these concepts come at you as graphs or models, but you should always remember that there is an idea behind every graph. If you understand the concepts you are dealing with, you can solve any problem you will encounter in this class, be it in a problem set or exam. This also means that if you find yourself learning most of the material by heart, you are in trouble. Seek help from your peers, your TA, the additional resources mentioned below, or me. That said, practice in solving problems will be almost as helpful as understanding the concepts when you are taking exams. Do your problem sets; you might also try the additional practice problems in the study guide as well as the ones I will be posting on the class website. 3 Econ 1, Winter 2008 Lecture 1 Dr. Narag Lecture 1: Introduction What is Economics? Here are several definitions. It is a social science concerned with the efficient use of limited, or scarce, resources to achieve maximum satisfaction of human material wants. It is the study of how people and society end up choosing, with or without the use of money, to employ scarce productive resources that could have alternative uses, to produce various commodities and distribute them for consumption, now or in the future among various persons and groups in society. An analysis of choice making. Economics is the study of choices made in the face of scarce resources. 1. Resources (also known as factors of production): a. Land any natural endowments (includes land, flora, fauna, minerals, water, etc.) b. Labor physical human resources c. Physical Capital manufactured aids to production (tools, machinery, buildings, etc.) d. Human Capital mental human resources (also manufactured through training, learning-by-doing, education, etc.) 2. Scarcity: in relation to human wants (needs) existing resources are inadequate. 3. Choice: something must be given up or done without. This means there are costs associated with every choice. Fundamental Economic Problem
Unlimited Wants vs. Limited Resources Scarcities Demands > Supplies Consumer Decision maximizing satisfaction given their limited income, or budget. Producer Decision maximizing profit given their limited resources. 4 Econ 1, Winter 2008 Lecture 1 Dr. Narag Government Decision maximizing net benefits to society given limited budgets. Microeconomics vs. Macroeconomics
Microeconomics analyses the behavior of specific economic units, i.e. how does an individual consumer decide how to spend his/her income, how does a business firm determine what to produce. Macroeconomics analyzes the behavior of an entire economic system, i.e. aggregate economic analysis, study of U.S. economy as a whole. Key Macroeconomic Issues
A. Stable Prices low inflation B. Full Employment low unemployment C. Sustainable Economic Growth that is consistent with low inflation and low unemployment 5 ...
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This note was uploaded on 03/20/2008 for the course ECON 1 taught by Professor Nagata during the Fall '08 term at UCLA.
- Fall '08