Introduction to Economics

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or see this version of the syllabus

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Students are expected to be competent in basic algebra and calculus and be able to plot and manipulate simple functions.


Introduction to Economics is a two-semester course for second-year undergraduate students. The goal of this course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of economic analysis and reasoning, which will help them to understand and approach more specialized/applied courses, projects or tasks related to economics.

To put it briefly, economics is the study of how society uses its scarce resources. Therefore, its aim is to provide insight into the processes governing the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services in a market economy.

One of the key features of economics as opposed to other social sciences is that the principles of economic analysis are (i) simple and (ii) relatively well defined, so they can be used to analyze human behaviour in many different areas of life. Economics is, therefore, much more of a “way of thinking”. And although the course provides some information that is descriptive (e.g., how the banking system works or how one calculates the value of economic output of a country) its main focus is on introducing concepts and models which are used as tools of economic analysis. Concepts such as opportunity cost and approaches such as marginal analysis can be applied widely and prove useful in understanding various aspects of society and people’s lives. Pre-requisites: Students are expected to be competent in basic algebra and calculus and be able to plot and manipulate simple functions.

Lecturers and Teachers

Lecturer Y.Avtonomov
Teacher A.Vekilyan

Grading System

All quizzes and tests in the course are in written form, and involve choosing and applying relevant economic concepts and models to answer a specific question. Good answers to larger free response questions are often expected to combine economic intuition (verbal reasoning), graphical analysis and algebra. The latter two, if not accompanied by a clear and unambiguous verbal comments, are usually insufficient for a full credit. Winter and spring exams imitate the format of the external UoL examination for this course, i.e., include a multiple-choice test section and a free-response section.

2nd Module

G(rade)= 0.29 * 1st Module Midterm Test + 0.2 * 1st semester Quizzes + 0.51 * Winter Exam

4th Module

G(rade)= 0.4*(mean (Spring Test+University of London Exam))+ 0.25*3rd Module Midterm Test+ 0.2*2nd semester Quizzes+ 0.15*Home Assignments

Students that miss winter or spring exam for an objective, documentally verified reason, will be given a make-up exam, but there will be no make-ups for in-class quizzes or midterm tests.



- Begg, D., G. Vernasca, S. Fischer and R. Dornbusch Economics. (London: McGraw Hill, 2014) 11th edition [BVFD]. - Introduction to economics EC1002, Subject Guide. O. Birchall with D. Verry and M. Bray. University of London, 2018. Available online via


- Lipsey, R.G. and K.A. Chrystal Economics. (Oxford University Press).

Somewhat more advanced books:

- Varian H.R., Intermediate Microeconomics. A modern approach. 11th edition. W.W. Norton and Company, 2014.
in Russian translation:
Х.Р.Вэриан. Микроэкономика. Промежуточный уровень. Современный подход. Пер. с англ. 4- ого изд. - М.: “ЮНИТИ”, 1997.)
- Blanchard O., Giavazzi F., Amighini A. Macroeconomics: A European Perspective. Financial Times Press, 2010.
- Mankiw, N.G., Macroeconomics, 7ed. Worth Publishers. 2010.

Internet resources

Some Internet resources for the macro part of the course:

Russian Federation statistic agency:
Central Bank of Russian Federation statistic agency:

Key macroeconomic indicators for different economies: