ESPO1173 - Economie 1 (NL)

Table of Contents

Mode of delivery

  • Face-to-face,
  • First term,
  • 45 hours of theory
  • 15 hours of exercises.

Language of instruction

The class, syllabus and the reference book are in Dutch.

Learning outcomes

The aim of this course is to provide the students with a first approach to a rigorous analysis of the micro-economic mechanisms of a market economy. More specifically, the objectives are:

  • Familiarize the students with the basic concepts and the fundamental mechanisms of the micro-economic analysis;

  • Get the students to use those mechanisms and concepts to carry out a rigorous analysis of several “real-life” economic problems and economic policy recommendations;

  • Introduce students to information literacy in order to help students to deal efficiently with information and carry out effective research. Train the students to read critically and synthetize the contents of economic articles/texts.

The chosen methodology is a qualitative and graphical presentation of economic models, so as to draw the students' attention to the explanative power as well as the limits of the modelling approach.

Course content

The Economics 1 course consists of 3 parts. In part 1, we will start with a presentation of the economic problem as a coordination problem, and explore for a first time the functioning of markets and public interventions in markets. Part 2 focusses on the supply side of the market. We explore the theory of the firm, the production and cost functions, and the behavior of producers in the context of market in perfect competition, monopoly and imperfect competition. In part 2, we focus on an evalution of the functioning of markets from the point of view of social welfare. We study several market failures and and analyze a series of potential solutions to such market failures.

Course materials

  • Reference book: André Decoster and Erwin Ooghe (eds). Economie. Een inleiding, 2017 edition. ISBN 9789462701090. Available at the service de reprographie
  • Syllabus: Tom Truyts, “Economie 1”. Available at the service de reprographie

Learning activities

a) Plenary lectures During the plenary lectures, the professor presents the concepts and mechanisms associated to the different models. Those lectures will follow the course outline presented above. From a methodological point of view, numerous press articles will be used as bibliographical support beyond the reference book. The objective is twofold: train the students to a careful reading and synthesis of economic texts, as well as draw the students' attention to the omnipresence of economic questions in the public debate.

b) Exercise sessions (TA sessions) The exercise sessions are carried out in small groups, and aim at checking knowledge acquisition as well as applying the theoretical concepts presented in class to solve exercises and case studies. So as to benefit from those sessions, the students should have reviewed the corresponding lectures. Those exercise sessions will also be partly devoted to critical reading of economic articles.

c) Personal work Regular personal work is critical for success. As the course goes on, each student is expected to devote sufficient time so as to make sure he/she understands the subjects being treated. The revision period at the end of the semester should not be the occasion to discover the course contents, but rather to strengthen the comprehension of a course that is already known by the student. Personal meetings with the course assistants and the professor can be arranged for the students who specifically ask it.

d) Paper assignment Each student will hand in a short paper in which concepts of the course are applied to a press article, chosen by the student from a list of press articles made available on the course website.