Start FlashCards Download PDF Flashcards Series Learn

Get the best Microeconomics course in your pocket!

Do you use facebook?

Photo of a smartphone with the Facebook application open
Economics is greatly impacted by how well information travels through society. Today, social media giants Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are major forces on the information super highway. (Credit: Johan Larsson/Flickr)

Decisions ... decisions in the social media age

To post or not to post? Every day we are faced with a myriad of decisions, from what to have for breakfast, to which route to take to class, to the more complex—“Should I double major and add possibly another semester of study to my education?” Our response to these choices depends on the information we have available at any given moment; information economists call “imperfect” because we rarely have all the data we need to make perfect decisions. Despite the lack of perfect information, we still make hundreds of decisions a day.

And now, we have another avenue in which to gather information—social media. Outlets like Facebook and Twitter are altering the process by which we make choices, how we spend our time, which movies we see, which products we buy, and more. How many of you chose a university without checking out its Facebook page or Twitter stream first for information and feedback?

As you will see in this course, what happens in economics is affected by how well and how fast information is disseminated through a society, such as how quickly information travels through Facebook. “Economists love nothing better than when deep and liquid markets operate under conditions of perfect information,” says Jessica Irvine, National Economics Editor for News Corp Australia.

This leads us to the topic of this chapter, an introduction to the world of making decisions, processing information, and understanding behavior in markets —the world of economics. Each chapter in this book will start with a discussion about current (or sometimes past) events and revisit it at chapter’s end—to “bring home” the concepts in play.

Introduction

In this chapter, you will learn about:

  • What Is Economics, and Why Is It Important?
  • Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
  • How Economists Use Theories and Models to Understand Economic Issues
  • How Economies Can Be Organized: An Overview of Economic Systems

What is economics and why should you spend your time learning it? After all, there are other disciplines you could be studying, and other ways you could be spending your time. As the Bring it Home feature just mentioned, making choices is at the heart of what economists study, and your decision to take this course is as much as economic decision as anything else.

Economics is probably not what you think. It is not primarily about money or finance. It is not primarily about business. It is not mathematics. What is it then? It is both a subject area and a way of viewing the world.

Chapter1: Welcome to Economics! Essay objective questions quiz / Critical thinking questions

1.1 What Is Economics, and Why Is It Important?

1.2 Microeconomics and Macroeconomics

1.3 How Economists Use Theories and Models to Understand Economic Issues

1.4 How Economies Can Be Organized: An Overview of Economic Systems

Flashcards PDF eBook: 
Microeconomics 01 What Is Economics?
Download Microeconomics Ch 01 Flashcards PDF eBook
9 Pages
2015
English US
Educational Materials



Sample Questions from the Microeconomics 01 What Is Economics? Flashcards

Question: Why might Belgium, France, Italy, and Sweden have a higher export to GDP ratio than the United States?

Choices:

The United States is a large country economically speaking, so it has less need to trade internationally than the other countries mentioned. (This is the same reason that France and Italy have lower ratios than Belgium or Sweden.) One additional reason is that each of the other countries is a member of the European Union, where trade between members occurs without barriers to trade, like tariffs and quotas.

Question: A computer systems engineer could paint his house, but it makes more sense for him to hire a painter to do it. Explain why.

Choices:

The engineer is better at computer science than at painting. Thus, his time is better spent working for pay at his job and paying a painter to paint his house. Of course, this assumes he does not paint his house for fun!

Question: What would be another example of a "system" in the real world that could serve as a metaphor for micro and macroeconomics?

Choices:

There are many physical systems that would work, for example, the study of planets (micro) in the solar system (macro), or solar systems (micro) in the galaxy (macro).

Question: What is an example of a problem in the world today, not mentioned in the chapter, that has an economic dimension?

Choices:

There are many such problems. Consider the AIDS epidemic. Why are so few AIDS patients in Africa and Southeast Asia treated with the same drugs that are effective in the United States and Europe? It is because neither those patients nor the countries in which they live have the resources to purchase the same drugs.

Question: What is scarcity? Can you think of two causes of scarcity?

Choices:

Scarcity means human wants for goods and services exceed the available supply. Supply is limited because resources are limited. Demand, however, is virtually unlimited. Whatever the supply, it seems human nature to want more.

Question: Suppose we extend the circular flow model to add imports and exports. Copy the circular flow diagram onto a sheet of paper and then add a foreign country as a third agent. Draw a rough sketch of the flows of imports, exports, and the payments for each on your diagram.

Choices:

Draw a box outside the original circular flow to represent the foreign country. Draw an arrow from the foreign country to firms, to represents imports. Draw an arrow in the reverse direction representing payments for imports. Draw an arrow from firms to the foreign country to represent exports. Draw an arrow in the reverse direction to represent payments for imports.

Question: Residents of the town of Smithfield like to consume hams, but each ham requires 10 people to produce it and takes a month. If the town has a total of 100 people, what is the maximum amount of ham the residents can consume in a month?

Choices:

100 people / 10 people per ham = a maximum of 10 hams per month if all residents produce ham. Since consumption is limited by production, the maximum number of hams residents could consume per month is 10.

Question: A consultant works for $200 per hour. She likes to eat vegetables, but is not very good at growing them. Why does it make more economic sense for her to spend her time at the consulting job and shop for her vegetables?

Choices:

She is very productive at her consulting job, but not very productive growing vegetables. Time spent consulting would produce far more income than it what she could save growing her vegetables using the same amount of time. So on purely economic grounds, it makes more sense for her to maximize her income by applying her labor to what she does best (i.e. specialization of labor).

Question: The chapter defines private enterprise as a characteristic of market-oriented economies. What would public enterprise be? Hint: It is a characteristic of command economies.

Choices:

Public enterprise means the factors of production (resources and businesses) are owned and operated by the government.

Start FlashCards Download PDF Flashcards Series Learn
Source:  Microeconomics, OpenStax-CNX Web site. Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11613/latest
Copy and paste the following HTML code into your website or blog.
<iframe src="https://www.jobilize.com/embed/microeconomics-01-what-is-economics-ch-01-flashcards-by-openstax" width="600" height="600" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="yes" style="border:1px solid #CCC; border-width:1px 1px 0; margin-bottom:5px" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen> </iframe>