01.01.introduction

01.01.introduction - BUEC280Lecture1 Introduction Prof....

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Prof. Simon Woodcock BUEC 280 Lecture 1 Introduction
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  Prof. Simon Woodcock How do economists think? We try to think like scientists Why do I say “try”?  Economics is a social science Scientific reasoning has 3 key features: 1. Observing and collecting  facts 2. Explaining  facts 3. Predicting  future events
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  Prof. Simon Woodcock So what are facts anyway? Facts are things that are demonstrably and  repeatedly true However, they are contextual Example: “The unemployment rate is lower today  than it was in 1994” Given  some  measure of unemployment, this is true What the definition of the unemployment rate? Does it correspond to what we want to know?
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  Prof. Simon Woodcock How do we explain facts? We use  theory  (hypotheses) Theories tell “stories” about the way things are e.g., the unemployment rate is lower because  productivity is higher than it was in 1994 Theories are not immutable They can always be refuted The scientific method tells us we need to discard  theories that are proven wrong
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This note was uploaded on 10/12/2009 for the course BUEC 280 taught by Professor Simonwoodcock during the Spring '07 term at Simon Fraser.

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01.01.introduction - BUEC280Lecture1 Introduction Prof....

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