Principles of Economics


Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences



The central idea of economics is that people make choices with scarce resources, and they interact with other people when they make these choices. In Principles of Economics, you will be exposed to all of economics at a basic level. You will be introduced to microeconomics, learning how producers and consumers interact in markets, and learn about concepts important in economic decision making, such as opportunity cost. You will learn about types of market failure and how these lead to inefficient markets. You will also learn the basics of macroeconomics, where you will cover economic growth of countries, the role of government, and international trade. Whether you plan to pursue the study of economics or wish to gain foundational knowledge in a discipline that profoundly impacts everyday life, you will benefit from this introduction to economic thinking.

What you will learn

  • Supply and demand model and understand market outcomes
  • Monopolies, taxes, and market externalities
  • National productivity and the driving forces behind economic fluctuations
  • Monetary and fiscal policy and the driving forces behind inflation and unemployment
  • The gains from international trade and effects of tariffs