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HARVARD ECON 10 - Economics 10a

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1Principles of Economics Harvard UniversityEconomics 10a Fall 2016 Professor N. Gregory Mankiw and Anne Le Brun Section Leaders: Alejandro Bascoy, Steven Chen, Bentley Clinton, Alfonso de la Torre, Dan Egan, Tian Feng, Tommy Flint, Jon Garrity, Stacey Gelsheimer, Nicole Gilmore, Benjamin Goh, Diana Goldemberg, Tyler Hartmann, Jin Kim, Michael Kinkaid, Anne Le Brun, Jetson Leder-Luis, Jessica Liu, Leslie Logan, Wei Luo, Mehak Malik, Andrew Paik, Carol Rodrigues, Benjamin Sacks, John Scianimanico, Bala Sekaran, Ningzhou Shen, Joseph Sullivan, William Tadros, Alexey Tuzikov, Rachel Deyette Werkema, Daniel West, Steve White, Isabel Yang, Michael Zheng Course Office: 107 Littauer Center, 495-2167, Paul Kelso. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Our email address is: [email protected] Our website address is: SYLLABUS The economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that "the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood." In Ec 10a and Ec 10b, we hope to teach you these economic ideas and help you understand why they can be so very powerful. Economics is not primarily a set of answers, but rather a method of reasoning, and it is valuable both for eventual economics concentrators and for those who plan no further work in the field (Ec 10a is a prereq for Ec 10b). In the Fall semester (Ec 10a), we focus on microeconomics, which is the study of the interaction of people (consumers) and firms in markets. Since you likely live in a market economy, this study will help you to understand how your society organizes its economic affairs. We will look at the historic beginnings of economic thought, and examine how the forces of supply and demand operate in the markets for goods, labor and capital. Once we have mastered some basic techniques for thinking about economic problems, we will apply the techniques to such important social issues as health care reform, poverty, education, regulation, global warming, and international trade. The only way to earn General Education credit for Ec 10 is to take both Ec 10a and Ec 10b. Course Requirements 1. Lecture and Section Attendance The course is taught in a mixture of lectures and sections, meeting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the term. Sections do not meet on days with lectures. In other words, on any particular Monday, Wednesday or Friday, you will either attend a lecture OR a section. The calendar at the end of this syllabus lists lecture and section dates. Sections are important because they teach the principal tools of economics in an environment in which you can ask questions freely. All sections will cover the same material and take the same2exams. The lectures (which meet in Sanders Theatre at noon) will focus on current economic problems and policy issues. The lectures are not always in lockstep with the sections, nor are they necessarily intended to be. The goal of the lectures is to provide you with perspectives on the applicability of economics, and to introduce you to some of the fascinating fields that some of the Harvard faculty are exploring. In some ways, you can think of the lectures as a sneak peak into the department and into the many, many fields of economics. 2. Exams During the first semester, there will be ninety-minute mid-term exams on the EVENINGS of October 5th and November 9th, and a final exam on December 16 at 9am. The exams cover material from lectures, sections, and the readings. They are written by a rotating committee of section leaders chaired by Anne Le Brun. We post exam information and preparation materials on our course website near the time of exams. No communication is permitted between students during an exam. Calculators, books, notes and papers are not permitted. Violation of the examination rules or dishonesty in an examination will result in disciplinary action. Ec10 has a zero tolerance policy on cheating. All instances of suspected cheating will be immediately deferred to the Administrative Board. As you will notice later in this document, we have reserved a two-hour block (7:40 – 9:40 p.m.) for each of the mid-terms, although the actual exam will be ninety minutes in length. Therefore, we will have ample time both before and after the exam for the inevitable shepherding issues that always arise in a course this large. This policy affords a much more relaxed exam atmosphere, enabling us to gauge student learning more accurately and efficiently and enabling you (more importantly) to be at your best without having to worry about being late to our exam from your Stats exam before ours and being late to your Math exam after ours! We do our very best in Ec 10 to coordinate exam dates with other large courses, but we cannot guarantee that you will never have multiple semester exams on the same day. IMPORTANT: If you CANNOT make our evening exam times this semester, we STRONGLY encourage you to reconsider enrolling in Ec10a. We do NOT give make-up exams, and while we certainly welcome all interested students, our exam policy will not allow us to accommodate those with evening commitments on those exam days. 3. Quizzes For each unit, we will post a quiz, which will be available to you on MindTap, when you log into your Cengage account. (for more on MindTap, see our Required Text section, and our section on online resources). More basic in nature than the Problem Sets, quizzes are designed to act as a quick first gauge of how well you understand basic and central concepts in a particular unit, and to provide written explanations of areas where you might have gaps in understanding. Each quiz covers one unit, and must be taken by the night of the last deadline for the corresponding Unit Review cycle (it should take 20 minutes to complete or so). What is so cool about the quizzes is this: they are self-grading, using a “do no harm” policy. So what? If you do not ace a question on first try, you can read the explanation of your mistake, and then attempt a different version of the question! If your second-round score is higher, your score for that question will be an average of the first- and3second-round scores. If your second-round score is lower, your first-round score prevails. You can answer up to three versions of a particular question. Furthermore, you don’t have to finish a


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