Course ObjectiveThis course provides an overview of the development of economic thought
as well as an insight into the relevance of economic theories for
important current economic issues. In addition, students receive a broad
introduction to the various fields of study of Economics and Business
After successfully completing this course, the student can:
- explain the economic way of thinking;
- identify fundamental questions in economics;
- place economics as a discipline in relation to other social sciences.
Bridging Theory and Practice - Knowledge:
- describe the most important economic concepts;
- explain the role of different institutions in the economic process;
- identify the main differences and similarities between various
- appoint the different fields of study of the program.
Bridging Theory and Practice - Application:
- understand various forms of market and government failure;
- analyze current policy proposals from an economic perspective.
Broadening Your Horizon:
- name the most important works of prominent thinkers in economic
- situate economic theories in a social, political and historical
Course ContentEconomic theories do not come out of thin air. Crucial for this course
is the insight that economists, both in the present and in the past,
respond to the social, political and economic circumstances of their
time. Their theories and policy proposals are not always in agreement
with each other, which gives rise to the emergence of different
paradigms and competing schools of thought. Studying the development of
economic thought in its historical context is an excellent way to
appreciate the richness of economics as a scientific tradition.
Each lecture starts with the discussion of an important period in
economic history, starting from classical antiquity up to modern times.
Each lecture ends with the discussion of a current 'economic challenge'.
The following topics will be discussed: climate change, markets and
morality, Brexit, limits on growth, aging, sweatshops, market failure,
influence of advertising, the Euro crisis, robotisation, nuclear threat
and big data. The relevance of the theory to the contemporary debate is
always demonstrated. Along the way, we introduce the most important
works of leading thinkers in economics such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx,
Alfred Marshall and John Maynard Keynes. The fact that their ideas about
the correct way of research and policy-making differed greatly from each
other underlines the philosophy of this course that tackling important
social questions from different angles promotes the understanding of
what economics is all about.
Teaching Methods4 hours of lectures per week + 2 hours of tutorials per week + Q&A
lecture at the end of the course
Method of AssessmentWritten exam (90%) and weekly tutorial assignments (10%)
Literature- Robert L. Heilbroner, The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times
And Ideas Of The Great Economic Thinkers, Touchstone 7th Revised edition
- Selection of original texts via Canvas
- Lecture slides via Canvas
- Glossary via Canvas
Recommended background knowledgeNone
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||School of Business and Economics|
|Course Coordinator||dr. R.I. Luttens|
|Examiner||dr. R.I. Luttens|
You need to register for this course yourself
|Teaching Methods||Lecture, Study Group|
This course is also available as: