Chap001-1 - The Nature and Method of Economics CHAPTER ONE...

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The Nature and Method of Economics CHAPTER ONE THE NATURE AND METHOD OF ECONOMICS CHAPTER OVERVIEW This chapter begins with a discussion of the meaning and importance of economics. In this first chapter, however, we will not plunge into problems and issues; instead we consider some important preliminaries. We first look at the economic perspective—how economists think about problems. Next, we state some of the benefits of studying economics. Then, we examine the specific methods economists use to examine economic behavior and the economy, distinguishing between macroeconomics and microeconomics. Finally, the problems, limitations, and pitfalls that hinder sound economic reasoning are examined. The Appendix to Chapter 1 provides an important introduction to graphical analysis. While this will be review material for most students, for some this may be new. Instructors are strongly urged to confirm that their students understand this section before proceeding. The software supplement can provide effective remedial help for those students who are not familiar with graphical analysis. WHAT’S NEW The discussion of “rational behavior” has been expanded and now includes introduction of the term “utility” (introduced in chapter two of the 15 th edition). “Utility” appears in bold and is included in the end-of-chapter “terms and concepts” list The Origin of the Idea web-button on “utility” (2.1 from the previous edition) has been moved to the web material for this chapter and renumbered to 1.2. “Consider This” boxes have been added to the text. These provide students with analogies, anecdotes, and insights to facilitate connection with the material. This material was introduced in the previous edition as web-button “Analogies, Anecdotes, and Insights” (AAI). Other AAI pieces have been renamed in this edition as “Concept Illustrations” and appear only in the instructors’ manual as suggestions for approaching certain material and helping students overcome common stumbling blocks. Minor revisions include adding “happiness” to “pleasure” and “satisfaction” in the discussion of utility, and changing the heading “Pitfalls to Objective Thinking” to “Pitfalls to Sound Reasoning.” New study questions have been added both for the chapter and the appendix. A new Interactive Graph web-button (1.1) on curves and slopes has been added to the appendix. INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES After completing this chapter, students should be able to 1. Define economics. 2. Describe the “economic way of thinking,” including definitions of rational behavior, utility, marginal costs, marginal benefits and how these concepts may be used in decision-making. 3.
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This note was uploaded on 07/22/2009 for the course ECON 203 taught by Professor Nelson during the Fall '08 term at Texas A&M.

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Chap001-1 - The Nature and Method of Economics CHAPTER ONE...

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