• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Policy and Governance
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Shiro Armstrong
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

Economic way of thinking examines how people make choices under conditions of scarcity and systems of production, consumption, and distribution. It also examines the effects of government policy and actions on market outcomes. The economic way of thinking provides a decision-making framework for individuals, firms and policy-makers. This course aims to provide students with a solid understanding of basic (micro)economic principles and the ability to apply those tools and ideas. Topics include comparative advantage, consumer and firm decision-making, supply and demand, market structure, international trade, and market failure.



Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On successful completion of this unit you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a solid understanding of "the economic way of thinking".
  • Demonstrate a solid understanding of the principles of supply and demand, including consumer and firm behaviour.
  • Demonstrate a solid understanding of market structure, performance and failure.
  • Be able to explain the effects of different government interventions in markets.
  • Present in written form arguments using both economic reasoning and actual evidence.

Other Information

Delivery mode:

on campus, weekly based.  

Indicative Assessment

1. Examinable Tutorial Tests (10%)

2. Short Essay (25%)

3. Mid-Semester Exam (25% - redeemable)

4. Final Exam - (40% or 65%)

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The course will be delivered over 12 weeks, involving a 2-hour lecture and a 1.5-hour tutorial each week. Students will also be expected to spend a minimum of six hours per week reading the textbook, revising lecture notes and preparing for tutorials.

Prescribed Texts

Principles of Economics - Joshua Gans, Stephen King, Robin Ellen Stonecash, Jan Libich, Martin Byford, N. Gregory Mankiw

Preliminary Reading

Topics and Readings:
Week 1 Thinking like an Economist: Chapters 1 and 2.
Week 2 The demand side - consumer problem; utility; rational choice: Chapter 4.
Week 3 The supply side - producer problem, cost, profit maximisation: Chapter 13.
Week 4 Opportunity Cost, Comparative Advantage and Specialization: Chapter 3. 
Week 5  Supply and Demand: Chapter 7. 
Week 6 Elasticity: Chapter 5.
Week 7 Market distortions - tariffs, subsidies, floors, ceilings, regulation: Chapter 6
Week 8 International Trade and Trade Policy: Chapter 9.
Week 9 Firms in competitive markets: Chapter 14.
Week 10 Monopoly: Chapter 15.
Week 11 Thinking Strategically: Game Theory and Oligopoly: Chapter 17
Week 12 Competition Policy: Chapter 18


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4500
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $6000
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2462 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

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