ECONS102-18B (HAM)

Economics and Society

15 Points

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Waikato Management School
Te Raupapa
School of Accounting, Finance and Economics

Staff

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Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

: denise.martin@waikato.ac.nz

Placement Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

: annie.j.newell@gmail.com
: kjbrooker96@gmail.com

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)

Librarian(s)

: clive.wilkinson@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5 or 9 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
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Paper Description

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Economics and Society will introduce you to the analysis of policy and social issues from an economics perspective. We will explore the use of economic concepts and models to explain real-world phenomena, especially applying economics to issues in everyday life. Along the way we will also cover a broad range of policy-relevant topics including education, health, social security, labour markets, sustainable environmental policy, trade and globalisation, property rights (including intellectual property rights), the media, and the role of government more generally.

This paper will prepare you to make thoughtful comments on economic and policy issues, and to be active and informed participants in policy debates.

ECONS102 Economics and Society complements ECONS101 for economics majors, as well as providing a solid grounding in microeconomic principles for other students. No previous background in economics prior to the paper is necessary or assumed.

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Paper Structure

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The paper involves a series of lectures and tutorials. Students will also be expected to engage in a significant amount of reading outside of class time.

Lectures

Lectures set up much of the theory, and develop the economic models, that will be applied during the paper. Attendance at lectures is a key factor in the success of students in this paper. In addition, there are opportunities for extra assessment credit that will only occur during lectures. Lectures are recorded and available via Panopto for you to refer to later.

Tutorials

Students are expected to attend one tutorial each week. Tutorials will cover practical aspects of the topics, and provide an opportunity for students to receive feedback on assessments, and to ask questions about lecture material. Attendance at tutorials is not compulsory - however, tutorial attendance forms part of the assessment for this paper. Tutorials will commence in the first week of teaching.

Online support

The paper is supported online through Moodle, and the class has its own Facebook group, which you are encouraged to join and make use of.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Recognise and describe how the economic approach can be applied to issues in everyday life and to public policy issues
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  • Describe and apply some simple economic tools and models to public policy issues and other real-world problems
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  • Recognise, present and discuss the main economic concepts present in mainstream media discourse on public policy issues and other real-world problems
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  • Construct and deconstruct economic arguments on public policy issues and other real-world problems using basic economic theory and models
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Mid-semester Test
7 Sep 2018
3:00 PM
30
  • Other: At test venue
2. Tutorial Attendance
4
  • In Class: In Tutorial
3. Weekly Assignments Total - Best 8 out of 11
Average of Best ( 8 )
36
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
4. Weekly Assignment 1
16 Jul 2018
12:00 PM
-
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
5. Weekly Assignment 2
23 Jul 2018
12:00 PM
-
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
6. Weekly Assignment 3
30 Jul 2018
12:00 PM
-
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
7. Weekly Assignment 4
6 Aug 2018
12:00 PM
-
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
8. Weekly Assignment 5
13 Aug 2018
12:00 PM
-
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
9. Weekly Assignment 6
3 Sep 2018
12:00 PM
-
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
10. Weekly Assignment 7
10 Sep 2018
12:00 PM
-
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
11. Weekly Assignment 8
17 Sep 2018
12:00 PM
-
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
12. Weekly Assignment 9
24 Sep 2018
12:00 PM
-
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
13. Weekly Assignment 10
1 Oct 2018
12:00 PM
-
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
14. Weekly Assignment 11
8 Oct 2018
12:00 PM
-
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
15. Final Test
23 Oct 2018
6:30 PM
30
  • Other: At test venue
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Miller, R.L., Benjamin, D.K., and North, D.C. (2018). The Economics of Public Issues (20th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. (also available on course reserve at the library). Second-hand copies of earlier editions include different material and will not be suitable.

Gans, J., King, S., Byford, M., and Mankiw, G. (2015). Principles of Microeconomics (6th ed.). Melbourne: Cengage Learning. (also available on course reserve at the library). Second-hand copies of the 4th or 5th editions will also be suitable. This book is available as an e-book from the University of Waikato Library, so you should not need to purchase it unless you want to have immediate access to a hard copy.

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Recommended Readings

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Harford, T. (2008). The Logic of Life. London: Random House. (selected chapters are also available online from the ECONS102 Reading List).

Hansen, P., and King, A. (2004). Keeping Economics Real: New Zealand Economic Issues. Auckland: Pearson. (selected chapters are also
available online from the ECONS102 Reading List).


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Other Resources

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In addition to the required textbooks, significant additional readings may be made available, usually as links in the "Readings" file on MyWeb or as separate PDF files. Readings for tutorials (including article readings) must be read before class. Also, you are expected to read widely (particularly local and international newspapers and The Economist magazine).

Discussions and posts on Michael Cameron's Sex, Drugs and Economics blog (tagged ECON110 or ECONS102) may also be helpful and provide additional real-world context to the concepts and theory discussed in class.

Finally, if you are looking for additional reading material you might consider these books (all of which have been used to some extent in updating and improving this paper over the past several years):

Leeson (2017), "WTF?! An Economic Tour of the Weird"
Thaler (2016), "Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics"
Roth (2016), "Who Gets What ― and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design"
Wainwright (2016), "Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel"
Goldin and Mariathasan (2015), "The Butterfly Defect - How Globalization Creates Systemic Risks, and What to Do About It"
Atkinson (2015), "Inequality - What Can Be Done?"
Leigh (2015), "The Economics of Just About Everything"
Litan (2014), "Trillion Dollar Economists"
Whitman and Dow (2014), "Economics of the Undead : Zombies, Vampires, and the Dismal Science"
Mainelli and Harris (2014), "The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions"
Oyer (2014), "Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned From Online Dating"
Hall (2014), "Homer Economicus: The Simpsons and Economics"
Levitt and Dubner (2014), "Think Like a Freak"
Nordhaus (2013), "The Climate Casino : Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World"
Harford (2013), "The Undercover Economist Strikes Back"
Gneezy and List (2013), "The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life"
Rashbrooke (2013), "Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis"
Rodrik (2012), "The Globalization Paradox"
Taylor (2012), "The Instant Economist"
Raustiala and Sprigman (2012), "The Knockoff Economy"
McRaney (2012), "You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself"
Goodwin (2012), "Economix: How Our Economy Works (and Doesn't Work), in Words and Pictures"
Baumol (2012), "The Cost Disease: Why Computers Get Cheaper and Health Care Doesn't"
Klein and Bauman (2012), "The Cartoon Introduction to Economics Volume 2: Macroeconomics"
Levine (2012), "Is Behavioral Economics Doomed?"
Harford (2011), "Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure"
Derman (2011), "Models.Behaving.Badly"
Kahneman (2011), "Thinking, Fast and Slow"
Klein and Bauman (2010), "The Cartoon Introduction to Economics Volume 1: Microeconomics"

Mlodinow (2009), "The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives"
Harford (2009), "Dear Undercover Economist"
Frank (2009), "The Economic Naturalist’s Field Guide"

Leeson (2009), "The Invisible Hook – The Hidden Economics of Pirates"
Levitt and Dubner (2009), "Superfreakonomics"

Wilkinson and Pickett (2009), "The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better"
Brauer and van Tuyll (2008), "Castles, Battles, and Bombs: How Economics Explains Military History"
Ariely (2008), "Predictably Irrational"

Frank (2008), "The Economic Naturalist"
Thaler and Sunstein (2008), "Nudge"
Cowen (2007), "Discover Your Inner Economist"

Heilbroner and Milberg (2007), "The Making of Economic Society"
Schelling (2006), "Micromotives and Macrobehavior"
Taleb (2005), "
Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets"
Harford (2005), "The Undercover Economist"
Levitt and Dubner (2005), "Freakonomics"
Surowiecki (2005), "The Wisdom of Crowds"
Diamond (2005), "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed"
Coyle (2004), "Sex, Drugs and Economics"
Cameron and Neal (2002), "A Concise Economic History of the World"
Wheelan (2002), "Naked Economics"
Becker and Becker (1998), "The Economics of Life"
Diamond (1997), "Guns, Germs and Steel"
Landsburg (1993), "The Armchair Economist"

Hawke (1985), "The Making of New Zealand"
Maurice and Smithson (1984), "The Doomsday Myth: 10,000 Years of Economic Crises"

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Online Support

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The paper is supported online through MyWeb, and the class has its own Facebook group, which you are encouraged to join and make use of.
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Workload

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Students will be expected to spend four to eight hours per week additional to class contact hours as described above. This time should be spent on reading the textbook, reviewing the lecture notes and completing any computer based quiz questions. Students who have not studied Economics prior to this paper may find that they will need to spend a few extra hours on reading the textbook, or using one of the textbook-related computer packages or websites, compared to students who have studied up to NCEA Level 3 Economics or equivalent.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Note any linkages to other papers where the linkage is of importance.
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Prerequisite(s)

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: ECON110

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