ECO 150 Economic Essentials Theory and Application
ECO 150 Economic Essentials Theory an ..
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ECO 150 Economic Essentials Theory and Application

ECO 150 Economic Essentials Theory and Application

Course Title:  ECO 150: Economic Essentials: Theory and Application

Course Description

Presents a broad overview of microeconomic and macroeconomic theory with application to current economic situations. Introduces concepts, policies, and theories in addition to models of domestic and global economies.  Lecture 3 hours per week.  3 credits.

General Course Purpose

The purpose of this transfer level course is to provide students with an introduction to economic principles to increase understanding of domestic and global economic issues.  This course serves as a lower division major requirement for programs requiring a basic understanding of economics.  This course is not intended for students majoring in Business or Economics at a four-year university.

Course Prerequisites/Corequisites 


Course Objectives

Upon completing the course, the student will be able to:


  • Demonstrate college-level communication skills.

Data Literacy

  • Identify economic similarities and differences among nations using statistical information.


  • Retrieve relevant economic data from web-based sources and databases. 

Critical Thinking Skills

  • Assess the credibility of given economic theories and economic data to determine whether certain conclusions or consequences are supported by the information provided.

Definition and Scope of Economics

Topics: Economic Behavior, Categories of Resources, Scarcity, Choice, Opportunity Cost

  • Explain the social, historical and economic impact of scarcity and choice on the individual as well as the domestic and global economy using economic models and current applications.

Market Interactions  

Topics: Competitive Markets, Demand, Supply, Market Equilibrium; Price Elasticity of Demand; Government Price Controls; Labor Market 

  • Recognize differences in Market Supply and Demand. Identify the impact of changing prices versus changing determinants of supply and demand in theory and in practice.

  • Identify types of price controls, critical shortages or examples of surpluses in global markets.

  • Interpret the relationship between today’s labor market and the demand and supply model.

  • Define and graph demand and supply of labor curves and include changes in the equilibrium wage rate and quantity of labor employed.

  • Interpret price elasticity of demand coefficient values and determine the direction of price changes to increase total revenue. 

  • Determine the equilibrium price and quantity when given either data or a graph of Supply and Demand.

Gross Domestic Product

Topics: Expenditure Approach to Measuring GDP; Real and Nominal GDP; Causes of Economic Growth

  • Distinguish between Real and Nominal GDP; calculate GDP Per Capita.

  • Compare and explain differences in the real GDP Growth Rate in different nations and situations.

Inflation, Unemployment, and the Business Cycle

Topics: types and causes of unemployment and inflation; measuring inflation, the four parts of the business cycle.

  • Connect short term fluctuations in the GDP growth rate with types of inflation and unemployment. 

  • Retrieve data and explain differences in unemployment rates and inflation rates among nations.

  • Identify business cycle positions in theory and the current economy.

  • Calculate inflation and unemployment rates.

Fiscal Policy and Monetary Policy

Topics: Fiscal and Monetary Policy Tools, National Debt, Government spending, and tax multipliers; Federal Reserve; money creation and deposit multiplier

  • Identify tools of fiscal and monetary policy in the macroeconomy. 

  • Identify fiscal and monetary policymakers and their limitations.

  • Identify how expansionary or contractionary fiscal and monetary policies are used in various economies to address a specific economic problem.

  • Identify and calculate appropriate multipliers.

Production and Costs 

Topics: Short Run Cost Curves and Long-Run Cost Curves; Categories of Profit 

  • Define and graph types of short-run and long-run costs. 

  • Explain with specific examples, how firms move between the short and long run in economics.

Market Structure

Topics: Perfect Competition, Pure, and Natural Monopoly 

  • Identify differences between perfectly competitive natural monopoly and pure monopoly market structures.

  • Graph and explain how firms in each market determine price, output, and profit.

  • Identify economic profit, normal profit or loss from a graph.

International Trade 

Topics: Comparative Advantage, Production Possibilities Frontier and Gains from Trade; Free trade and Protectionism 

  • Calculate comparative advantage between two nations and be able to identify goods imported and exported in the context of the Production Possibilities Model.

  • Compare economies using protectionism versus free trade illustrating the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Major Topics to be Included

Definition and Scope of Economics

Market Interactions

Gross Domestic Product

Inflation, Unemployment, and the Business Cycle

Fiscal Policy and Monetary Policy

Production and Costs

Market Structure

International Trade

Applicable School(s)
All Virginia Community Colleges
Course Content Summaries