Poslední úprava: SCHNELLEROVA (25.10.2019)
Poslední úprava: SCHNELLEROVA (25.10.2019)
Please switch to the english version.
Poslední úprava: SCHNELLEROVA (25.10.2019)
Please switch to the english version.
Poslední úprava: doc. Petr Janský, M.Sc., Ph.D. (13.09.2021)
Principles of Economics I
Winter Semester 2021-22, Charles University,
This course introduces economic thinking and basic principles of microeconomics to both economics and non-economics students.
Principles of Economics I (JEB101) is an introductory economics course with lectures and seminars for students of Bachelor in Economics (mandatory, as an alternative to Ekonomie I), Bachelor in Economics and Finance (as a mandatory course), Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE, as a mandatory course, JPB362), International Economic and Political Studies (IEPS, mandatory as Principles of microeconomics, JEM163), and students of any other degree at Charles University with interest in economics.
Please sign up for the course and select one of the seminars in the Student Information System (SIS). The course begins with the first lecture on Tuesday 5th October at 2 pm in room no. 109, while the first seminars are taking place later that week. The location of all lecture and seminar rooms is the Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences at Opletalova 26, Praha. The lectures and at least one of the seminars will be streamed online through the MS Teams.
Lectures and seminars
At the lectures, students learn about the basic principles of economics in a way that prepares them for further study of economics as well as their future professional careers. Additionally, guest lecturers from research, business and other sectors are occasionally invited to contribute to the lectures and thus enrich the course. The main lecturer of the course is Petr Janský (web, email).
During the seminars, students use knowledge acquired during lectures and from reading textbooks in class discussions, problem sets, games and exercises and thus deepen their understanding of economics. Students sing up for one of the five seminars that they attend throughout the semester with the second seminar being for IEPS students in particular and the fourth seminar being for PPE students in particular. In each week, all four seminars are taught by one of the seminar tutors.
There are five teaching assistants for this course: Evgeniya Dubinina (email, web); Daniel Kolář (email, web); Natalia Li (email, web) is responsible for grading the essays of IEPS students; Valeria Secchini (email, web); Sophio Togonidze (email, web) is responsible for MindTap online assignments. Please do not hesitate to contact them in case you have questions related to these issues (by the way, if you email one of the teachers, please either contact only one of them or send one email to all intended recipients rather than a number of separate emails).
Requirements and assessment
Students attend lectures and seminars, which are organised for their benefit. Students are thus encouraged to provide feedback during the semester so that teaching in ongoing seminars and lectures can be improved. The exams are aimed at testing the knowledge and abilities learnt during the lectures, guest lectures, seminars, and from the textbooks. Experience shows that there is a strong positive correlation between attendance at lectures and seminars and good results in exams.
Students can choose between two main alternatives for final examination. Students can decide either to sit in for an exam at the end of the semester (100 % of the grade) or to combine the exam (70 %) with assignments mainly in an online MindTap system during the semester (30 %). The exam is a test that includes various questions such as problem sets and multiple choices (for which students can prepare at seminars). To pass the course, students are required to score at least 50 % from the exam. MindTap assignments are submitted on a weekly basis (more on MindTap and how to purchase it is at the end of this syllabus). In case MindTap would worsen the grade, only the exam’s result is taken into account. For both MindTap and the exam, the grading follows this simple rule: the total number of points received is divided by the maximum number of points that could have been received.
IEPS students share the lectures with other students, but they should primarily attend the fourth seminar on Wednesday and they have an additional requirement in the form of an essay. Therefore, IEPS students choose between the exam (75 %) or a combination of the exam (50 %) and MindTap results (25 %). In addition, their requirements include an essay (25 %), about which detailed requirements are provided at the end of the syllabus.
Additionally, it is possible for the instructors to award extra points for extraordinary activity of students during seminars (a maximum of 0.5 percentage point per session and 5 percentage points during the whole course) that count as percentage points towards the grade in addition to those outlined above. (Furthermore, if students agree with the seminar tutor, they can prepare a presentation for up to 5 extra points - we suggest making a presentation on one of the articles or topics we suggest at the end of the syllabus.)
The grading follows these rules. Students’ total values correspond to the grades A-F according to the following schedule of intervals: A: [100-90); B: [90-80); C: [80-70); D: [70-60); E: [60-50); F (Fail): 50 and less.
The course follows the material that is present in almost identical form in either of the following two textbooks: Mankiw, N.G., Taylor, M.P.: Economics (the chapter numbers in the weekly schedule below relate to this textbook’s 3rd version) or Mankiw, N.G..: Principles of Economics. In addition to attending lectures and seminars, students are encouraged to read one of these textbooks. There are a number of copies of these textbooks available in the IES library (and some in the CERGE-EI library). The supporting web pages of this course include the webpage of the textbook, which has useful student hand-outs and other student resources. Also, there is a Czech-English dictionary specially designed for you by one graduate of the Principles course, Michal Spišiak. It includes a translation of every key word from the Principles textbook and you can access it at http://dictionary.fsv.cuni.cz.
Please note that a number of other introductory economics texts provide almost equivalent service to the student as the above listed textbooks. In particular, please consider visiting the webpage of CORE with an excellent free online textbook.
For students, who decide to have MindTap assingments
MindTap is a part of one of the two options for final examination and it is up to the students to decide whether they want to make use of this option. MindTap is an online assignment system that provides students with the opportunity to fulfil their course requirements gradually during the semester on a weekly basis. Students choosing the MindTap examination option pay the MindTap supplier £55 (included VAT).
Instructions on how to register for this course in MindTap:
1. Access the below link from your computer or mobile device: https://login.cengagebrain.com/course/MTPQQQPQFX85
2. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the registration process.
3. Purchase access to MindTap by *Know Your Purchasing Options below.
*you have up to 14 days free access to your course from the 1st October through the 'Trial Access' button after then you will need to purchase access.
4. When making a purchase you will need to enter this discount code 891MANKI28 to get 30% discount.
More information is available here:
Essay requirements for IEPS students
What to write about: You should read and discuss the article of your choice. We suggest you choose one of the articles/topics below, they are the same as for presentations. You are also free to suggest your own topic for the essay if you have an interesting one.
Ask yourself what are the alternative views? How is this discussion relevant (or not) nowadays? What is your point of view on the topic? Discuss and justify your point of view with relevant references. The essay should represent a discussion, NOT summarise the article.
Do your research – read other relevant articles (see the guide on how to read) and reference all your sources to avoid plagiarism. Stick to the word count.
Guides to writing an essay. These are good resources to follow when writing an essay:
Format: Font, size, colour and format are up to you, but your work should contain some basic elements – title of the essay and your name. The file should be in pdf or word format.
Deadline for submission: 5 December 2021, Sunday, 23:59
Word count: min 1,000 - max 2,000 words
Suggested Articles and Topics
– Joseph Schumpeter & the creative destruction
– Oates, Wallace E., and Robert M. Schwab. 2015. “The Window Tax: A Case Study in Excess Burden.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 29 (1): 163–80.
– Slonim, Robert, Carmen Wang, and Ellen Garbarino. 2014. “The Market for Blood.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 28 (2): 177–96.
– Auerbach, Alan J., William G. Gale, and Benjamin H. Harris. 2010. “Activist Fiscal Policy.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 24 (4): 141–64.
– Moore, Tyler, Richard Clayton, and Ross Anderson. 2009. “The Economics of Online Crime.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 23 (3): 3–20.
– Leape, Jonathan. 2006. “The London Congestion Charge.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 20 (4): 157–76.
– Barry Schwartz – On the paradox of choice: is more every time better?
– Moscati, Ivan. 2016. “Retrospectives: How Economists Came to Accept Expected Utility Theory: The Case of Samuelson and Savage.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 30 (2): 219–36.
– Ludvigson, Sydney C. 2004. “Consumer Confidence and Consumer Spending.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 18 (2): 29–50.
– Coase, R. – The Institutional Structure of Production
– Coase theorem and its application for the Czech way of privatization
– Is foreign aid a dead end?
– Becker, Gary S., and Julio Jorge Elías. 2007. “Introducing Incentives in the Market for Live and Cadaveric Organ Donations.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 21 (3): 3–24.
– Graddy, Kathryn. 2006. “Markets: The Fulton Fish Market.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 20 (2): 207–20.
– Tullock, Gordon: The Welfare Costs of Tariffs, Monopolies, and Theft
– Kahn, Lawrence M. 2007. “Markets: Cartel Behavior and Amateurism in College Sports.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 21 (1): 209–26.
– Rysman, Marc. 2009. “The Economics of Two-Sided Markets.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 23 (3): 125–43.
– Paul Krugman: In praise of cheap labor
– Daly, Mary C., Bart Hobijn, Ayşegül Şahin, and Robert G. Valletta. 2012. “A Search and Matching Approach to Labor Markets: Did the Natural Rate of Unemployment Rise?” Journal of Economic Perspectives 26 (3): 3–26.
– Rich are richer and poor poorer – is this a problem?
– T. Piketty: Capital in the Twenty-First Century
– Prendergast, Canice. 2017. “How Food Banks Use Markets to Feed the Poor.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 31 (4): 145–62.
– Mankiw, N. Gregory. 2013. “Defending the One Percent.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 27 (3): 21–34.
– Abramitzky, Ran. 2011. “Lessons from the Kibbutz on the Equality-Incentives Trade-Off.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 25 (1): 185–208.
– Alan B. Krueger: The Rise and Consequences of Inequality in the United States
– D. Rodrik: The End of the World as We Know It
– N. Rubini: The Great Backlash
– Stiglitz, J.: Information and the Change in the Paradigm in Economics
– Hayek, F. A. – Research on the interrelations between economic, social and political processes.
– Dragusanu, Raluca, Daniele Giovannucci, and Nathan Nunn. 2014. “The Economics of Fair Trade.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 28 (3): 217–36.
– Bernanke, Ben S. 2013. “A Century of US Central Banking: Goals, Frameworks, Accountability.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 27 (4): 3–16.
– Sandel, Michael J. 2013. “Market Reasoning as Moral Reasoning: Why Economists Should Re-engage with Political Philosophy.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 27 (4): 121–40.
– Backhouse, Roger E., and Steven G. Medema. 2009. “Retrospectives: On the Definition of Economics.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 23 (1): 221–33.
– Einav, Liran, and Leeat Yariv. 2006. “What’s in a Surname? The Effects of Surname Initials on Academic Success.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 20 (1): 175–87.
– Siegel, Jeremy J., and Richard H. Thaler. 1997. “Anomalies: The Equity Premium Puzzle.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 11 (1): 191–200.
– Romer, David. 1993. “Do Students Go to Class? Should They?” Journal of Economic Perspectives 7 (3): 167–74.
– Waldfogel, Joel. 2017. “How Digitization Has Created a Golden Age of Music, Movies, Books, and Television.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 31 (3): 195–214.
– Gilbert, Richard J. 2015. “E-Books: A Tale of Digital Disruption.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 29 (3): 165–84.
– Manski, Charles F. 2000. “Economic Analysis of Social Interactions.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 14 (3): 115–36.
– Miron, Jeffrey A., and Jeffrey Zwiebel. 1995. “The Economic Case against Drug Prohibition.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 9 (4): 175–92.