We live in a world of limited resources, but our wants and needs are unlimited. Amid scarcity, choices are made. In this course, you will explore the value of a college education and plan your financial future using principles of economics and personal finance, statistics, and probability. You will read case studies and visit financial institutions to learn how economists apply models to solve real-world problems from the financial crisis to poverty reduction.
How do you determine value?
In this unit, you’ll consider how you make decisions, especially when you’re comparing things that seem different. You will develop an understanding of utility as a way of modeling choices, and investigate the economic and mathematical concepts that allow models to be useful. You’ll explore the unintended consequences of decisions and examine what happens when the constraints you’re working under change. Then, putting it all together, you’ll determine the economic value of your college education based on myriad factors, included those that seem un-quantifiable.
Below are the Unit guiding questions:
- Why can’t you have it all? or, What is utility and how is it used to negotiate trade-offs?
- How do you know if you make a good decision? or, How do changing constraints affect choices?
- What is the value of your college education? or, How do economics assist decision making, including major life choices?
How does wealth accumulate, and how is it distributed?
In this unit you will study major economic systems, and investigate the distribution of wealth and tensions between the market and government. Starting with the basic foundations of the free market system, as articulated by Adam Smith, you will follow the system through the decades of changes and critiques. Your action project will reflect your understanding of the free market as indicated by the building of personal investment portfolio. Specifically, you will create a portfolio that reflects your financial ambitions, risk tolerance, moral compass, and assessment of how your investment choices impact global financial sustainability.
Here are the unit sub guiding questions you will pursue:
- Why do the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?
- How free is the free market?
- When should government intervene?