An introduction to the modes of thought of economics. Use of simple standard tools of economics to analyze important problems that arise frequently in public policy, the news media, and in daily life. An emphasis on how economists predict what choices societies make and how economists analyze whether those are good choices. Practical application of a variety of economic tools leading to a focus on the essential unity underlying these analytical tools, viewing economics as a discipline that applies a core methodology in different ways in different situations.
Institutions are the sets of rules that constrain the decisions and interactions of economic agents. The course uses economic analysis to understand both formal institutions (e.g. laws) and informal institutions (e.g. cultural norms). Practical examples are drawn from economics, law, and politics, and reflect the experience of many different countries.