Five College Consortium

Introduction to Economics

Subject Name: 

Critical Social Inquiry

Course Number: 
Hampshire College
Is capitalism the best economic system for meeting human needs? Can microeconomic theory help us figure out what to do about climate change? Will macroeconomic theory get us out of the recession? In this course, we will use these questions to frame the study of our economic system and the theories most often used to explain its workings. In the first part of the class, we will assess the merits and problems of capitalism as a system for producing and distributing goods and services. To contextualize the study of capitalism, we will learn about economic systems that have preceded it and economic thinkers that have theorized about it. In the second part of the class, we will study neoclassical microeconomic theory and its contributions to our understanding of how goods are--and should be--produced and distributed. We will ask whether these theories can help us understand climate change, perhaps the greatest economic and environmental challenge of our time. In the third part of the class, we will study neoclassical and Keynesian macroeconomic theory, assessing its usefulness in understanding and alleviating the current economic crisis. Theory introduced in parts two and three correspond to that taught in introductory level courses in micro- and macroeconomics and will prepare students for intermediate level work in both fields.

Power, Community and Social Justice Quantitative Skills

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Schedule #: 

Course Sections

Introduction to Economics
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
1 4.0

Smita Ramnarain

02:00PM-03:20PM T,TH

Franklin Patterson Hall 102