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Resource Economics 102:
Introduction to Resource Economics

Knowledge of economics is essential to anyone who wants to have a better understanding of the world in which we live. Economics is, however, a broad discipline. It covers an extremely wide range of topics and borders on many other fields of study. In this course we focus on one branch of economics---microeconomics.

In microeconomics we study the formation of markets and prices. We examine how economic decisions are made by consumers and producers. We seek to understand how economic markets work. What do they do well? What do they do poorly? What can be done to correct market failures?

In the first part of this course we will study microeconomic theories and models, which describe and explain the behavior of consumers, producers, and markets. In the second part of the course we will examine some of the shortcomings and weaknesses of economic markets. This brings us to a discussion of economic policy in which we will use economic concepts to examine some of the problems facing today's society; for example, how much government regulation of business is "best" and how much should we spend on pollution control?

This course bears the Social and Behavioral Science designation of the General Education Program. It aims to help students to become proficient in the theories and methods of the social sciences, and to develop critical thinking skills as they apply theories and methods to concrete social situations, and to demonstrate these proficiencies and critical thinking skills in writing.