Elements of Economics

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ECO 110

       Course Name: Elements of Economics

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course surveys economic systems with reference to the market system, capitalism, government policy, money and banking, and international trade.  Topics covered through examination of current economic and political issues.  (Not recommended for business or economics majors.)

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Define economics, macro and micro, and how economic questions are posed.
  2. Derive and graph the demand and supply curves.
  3. Compute GDP and GDP per capita.
  4. Critique the role of the government in markets and its impact on the markets.
  5. Identify financial institution and financial markets and how they work, including the Federal Reserve and its impact on our economic growth.
  6. Measure inflation and unemployment and explain how those statistics are calculated.
  7. Analyze the impact of international trade, international money supply and economic development on developed and underdeveloped countries

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Scarcity and the Economic System
    1. Definitions
      1. Theories
      2. Models
      3. Economics
    2. Resources
      1. Factors of production
      2. Economic payments
      3. Economic questions
      4. Choice
  2. Price Theory and Application
    1. Forms of Competition
      1. Free Market
        1. Supply
        2. Demand
      2. Monopolistic Competition
        1. Characteristics
        2. Evaluation
      3. Oligopoly and Monopoly
        1. Characteristics
        2. Evolution
        3. Effects
        4. Antitrust legislation
    2. Costs of Production
      1. Behind the supply curve
      2. Profit as a function of cost
      3. Determination of factor prices
        1. How wages, rent, interest are determined
        2. Importance of technology
  3. The Role of Government
    1. Taxation
      1. Historical perspective
      2. Forms
      3. Effects
    2. Spending
      1. Historical perspective
      2. Size and nature of government spending
      3. Influence upon the economy through regulation
    3. Recent government policy
      1. Overview
      2. Fiscal policy
        1. Goals
        2. Tools
      3. Monetary policy
        1. Goals
        2. Methods
  4. Money and Banking
    1. Money
      1. History
      2. Importance
      3. Functions
    2. Banks
      1. Functions
      2. Money creation
    3. The Federal Reserve System
      1. Historical development
      2. Purposes
      3. Organization
      4. Powers
      5. Weaknesses
  5. Current Economic Issues
    1. Inflation
      1. Causes
      2. Effects
      3. Policies
        1. Keynesian
        2. Monetarist
    2. Unemployment
      1. Kinds
      2. Effects
      3. Policies
        1. Fiscal
        2. Monetary
    3. Growth
      1. Importance and effects
      2. Recent criticisms of economic growth
    4. Energy
    5. Environment
  6. International Economics
    1. International Trade
      1. Benefits
      2. Politics of trade
      3. Current problems
      4. Free v. restricted trade
        1. Quotas
        2. Tariffs
      5. Balance of payment
    2. International Monetary System
      1. Functions
      2. Convertible currencies
      3. The dollar
        1. Past role
        2. Current difficulties
      4. The IMF
    3. Economic Development
      1. Underdeveloped economies
        1. Characteristics
        2. Classification
      2. Development needs
      3. Sources of development assistance
      4. Outlook and evaluation

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students are expected to attend each class, having read the assigned textbook material and having done homework sets before coming to class, bringing with them any questions they might have on the text or other related materials.  They are also expected to be actively engaged in the class sessions through such things as attentiveness to lectures, note‑ taking, asking questions, doing the assigned writing, and being involved in class discussions.

In addition, students are expected to be able to:

  1. understand and use charts and graphs.
  2. do graphical analysis
  3. write clearly and correctly at a college level.
  4. do mathematics at the level of high school algebra, such as solving linear equations.

Students will be required to write outside of class the equivalent of 12‑15 typed pages of material that will be graded.  This writing may take the form of a research or term paper, summaries of Journal articles, and/or a series of shorter analytical papers.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Following are examples of texts that have been used in recent semesters:
Mandel, Economics: The Basics, McGraw-Hill, 2012.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Grades are based on factors that include exams, quizzes, written assignments, problem solving sets, classroom participation, and class presentations.

XI.   Other Course Information

Support Services: Tutoring in economics is available at the Learning Center.

Important Dates: *

XX/XX:    Last day to withdraw and have course dropped from record
XX/XX:    Last day to change to Audit
XX/XX:    Last day for students to submit materials to make up incomplete from the previous semester
XX/XX:    Last day to withdraw from classes with a "W"

* These dates differ for each semester.  You'll find the correct dates on the Academic Calendar.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.