Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
EC 200
Course Title:
Introduction to Economics
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers six topic areas: basic economic concepts, microeconomics, macroeconomics, the history of economic ideas, international trade and a variety of economic issues. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Recommended for students who desire a one term survey course. Recommend: MTH 95.

Addendum to Course Description

Credits from this course qualify for general education purposes at Portland Community College and may be applied toward satisfying Associates Degrees at Portland Community College.  Texts and other materials are to be used at the individual instructor's discretion.  Prices for texts and/or other materials may be found at the Portland Community College bookstore. 

Intended Outcomes for the course

  1. Think critically and formulate independent and well-considered conclusions about economic issues and policies.
  2. Effectively participate in the political process and the economy by utilizing an understanding of the historical evolution of economic systems, institutions and ideologies.
  3. Make rational decisions based on rudimentary marginal analyses
  4. Be prepared to further their studies in Economics courses.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Traditional and nontraditional techniques will be used to assess student mastery of the content, competencies, and outcomes. These techniques can assess either student products or processes:

Products: multiple choice exams, essays, individual group projects, student demonstrations, research projects, other projects with specified rating criteria, and portfolios.

Processes: interviews, documented observations, web searches, journals, student self-evaluations.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  •    Basic economic concepts such as scarcity and choice, opportunity cost, and the basic economic problems.

  • The causes of industrialization and the development of the market system which would include the evolution of the market system, and the basis of supply and demand, market efficiency, and elasticity.

  • Some of the major economic philosophies that have influenced the U.S. political economy which may include: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Alfred Marshall, Thorstein Veblen, and John Maynard Keynes.

  • The Consumer sector; household demographics, income distribution, poverty, and Government anti-poverty programs.

  • The current structure of the American business sector.

  • A simple treatment of aggregate supply and aggregate demand.

  • The Government Sector: the evolution of Federal and State government, the current spending and taxation patterns, the benefits and problems of government intervention.

  • Current issues in the American economy, such as health care, social security, environmental protection, and budget and trade deficits.

  • International trade: comparative advantages, exchange rates, balance of payments, tariffs and quotas, international institutions, developing nations, and reform policies in former command economies.

Skills and competencies:

  • Build a vocabulary of economic terms that will enable the student to find the daily reading of papers and periodicals easier and more meaningful.

  • Develop the ability to summarize an economic argument, understand economic reports, and to discern between positive and normative statements.

  • Develop the ability to acquire and analyze quantitative data and make mathematical computations using formulas.

  • Develop the ability to use and apply theoretical models.

  • Develop the ability to conduct cost/benefit analyses.

  • Develop the  ability to think clearly about social and environmental problems in an orderly and objective way.