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CCOG for EC 200 Winter 2022

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

Course Description

Covers six topic areas: basic economic concepts, microeconomics, macroeconomics, the history of economic ideas, international trade and a variety of economic issues. Recommend: MTH 95. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

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

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Discuss basic concepts and theories in economics.
  2. Formulate independent conclusions about economic issues and policies.
  3. Explain economic processes utilizing an understanding of the historical evolution of economic systems, institutions, and ideologies.
  4. Make decisions based on rudimentary marginal analysis.

Social Inquiry and Analysis

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to apply methods of inquiry and analysis to examine social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience.

General education philosophy statement

This course examines economic theory, method, and policy. It requires students to reason, both qualitatively and quantitatively, about contemporary economic institutions and processes. These institutions and processes include, inter alia, work, production, and employment; consumption and the life process; property, entrepreneurship, and profit; government spending, regulation, subsidy, and taxation; technological change and the natural environment. With this reasoning, and an appreciation of the historical origins of contemporary economic systems, students gain the ability to conceptually organize their experience of economic processes and discern its meaning. Furthermore, the course fosters an understanding of contemporary economic policy and politics with an aim to promote a sense of social responsibility and possibility.

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.