• Class Number 4146
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic Online
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Tom Westland
    • Tom Westland
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
    • Patrick Xue
SELT Survey Results

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:

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

Examination Material or equipment

Both mid-term and final exams will be open book. Students are permitted to use all of their notes and their textbook.

Required Resources

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

Topics and Readings:

Week 1: Introduction (Chapters 1 & 2)

Week 2: Gains from trade and specialisation (Chapter 3)

Week 3: Demand (Chapter 4)

Week 4: Supply (Chapter 13)

Week 5: The market (Chapter 4, Chapter 7)

Week 6: Elasticity (Chapter 5)

Week 7: Taxes and subsidies (Chapter 8)

Week 8: International trade (Chapter 9)

Week 9: Firms in competitive markets (Chapter 14)

Week 10: Monopoly (Chapter 15)

Week 11: Oligopoly and strategic thinking (Chapter 16 and Chapter 17)

Week 12: Market failures and externalities (Chapter 10 and Chapter 11)

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction What is economics? What is the economic way of thinking? How to study, prepare and answer questions in this course Thinking geometrically: an introduction to economic diagrams Decision making
2 The gains from trade and specialisation Why do markets exist? Opportunity cost Absolute advantage Comparative advantage and Robinson Crusoe
3 Demand The utility function Preferences Opportunity cost The budget constraint The consumer’s problem Demand curve of a single consumer The market demand curve Consumer surplus Price discrimination Tutorial test #1
4 Supply Profit The production function Labour and capital Cost curves The producer’s problem Supply curve of a single firm Market supply Producer surplus
5 The market Market clearing conditions Demand and supply shocks The price mechanism Rationality and behavioural economics Tutorial test #2
6 Elasticity Elasticity of demand and its determinants Elasticity of supply and its determinants Elastic and inelastic supply and demand in comparative statics
7 Taxes and subsidies Price floors Price ceilings Taxes Subsidies Moral Hazard Mid-semester essay due (after teaching break)
8 International trade Determinants of trade Welfare effects of international trade Effect of an import tariff Effect of an import quota Trade policy
9 Firms in competitive markets The meaning of competitive marketss Profit maximisation and the competitive firm's supply curve The supply curve in a competitive market
10 Monopoly The monopolist's decision Welfare cost of monopoly Price discrimination Tutorial test #3
11 Oligopoly and strategic thinking: introduction to game theory Monopolistic competition Oligopoly and the prisoner's dilemma
12 Market failures and externalities What is an externality Private solutions and the Coase theorem Regulation, corrective taxes and subsidies Public goods and common resources Final exam

Tutorial Registration

Tutorial sign-up will take place via Wattle

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Examinable Tutorial Tests (10%) 10 % * * 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
30% - Mid-semester exam 25 % 19/03/2022 03/05/2022 1,2,3,4,5
Short Essay (25%) 30 % 31/03/2022 14/04/2022 1,2,3,4,5
Final Exam 35 % * 30/06/2022 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Examinable Tutorial Tests (10%)

There will be three very short (one or two questions) tutorial tests administered in class (in person/online) throughout the semester. The best two will count for 5% each. They will be short-answer questions, usually asking you to study an economic diagram and write a brief written analysis of it. These are a chance to practice exam-style questions, and will be assessed based on the quality of the economic analysis as well as the directness and concision of responses.


Use of tools discussed in classQuality of economic analysisRelevance and concision of response




Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 19/03/2022
Return of Assessment: 03/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

30% - Mid-semester exam

The mid-term exam will (likely) be held in Week 6 before the teaching break at a time arranged by the examination office. It will not be conducted in class. The exam will be 2 hours long plus reading time and cover the material from weeks 1–6 of the course. It will comprise questions similar to those discussed in tutorials. Previous mid-term exam questions and answers will be available on Wattle from day 1 of the course. Students should prioritise practicing these and the tutorial questions in preparation.

The mid-semester exam is redeemable: if your grade on the final exam is higher than for the mid-semester then the weight of the final exam will be 55% and the weight of the mid-term will be 0%. Don’t freak out if you do badly mid-semester exam. It is a learning opportunity. But if you don’t do as well as you expect on the mid-semester exam, it is important that you take the time to work on the material from the first half of the course, as it will be difficult to understand the material in the second half without these foundational concepts. Both the lecturer and tutor will have office hours, and you can use these to ask questions about material you find difficult.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 31/03/2022
Return of Assessment: 14/04/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Short Essay (25%)

To give students an opportunity to go a little bit deeper on the concepts and apply their skills in real life, and to give students who do not excel in exam conditions an opportunity to stand out, students will be given a choice of four or five policy questions and will have to write a brief for the relevant government minister on the chosen question, using the concepts we have learned in class. This written assignment will be assessed primarily on the extent to which you have used the analytical techniques we have learned in class. Students are encouraged to use economic diagrams to illustrate their point.



Application of concepts from the course

Quality of economic analysis

Concision and relevance of answer

Assessment Task 4

Value: 35 %
Return of Assessment: 30/06/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Final Exam

The final exam will cover the second half of the course, specifically lectures 7–12, but these cannot be understood without competence in lectures 1–6, so it is imperative that if you struggled on the mid-semester exam that you make an effort to become more comfortable with the material in the first half of the course – otherwise the second half will make very little sense. The exam will be held during the university examination period after teaching finishes. The weighting of the mid-term and final exams will be automatically calculated to give you the highest possible grade. The exam will be 3 hours long plus reading time. The date, time, and location of the exam will be set by the University and announced when the information is available.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

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.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Tom Westland

Research Interests

International trade and investment, economic history of Asia and Africa, institutional economics, structural change

Tom Westland

By Appointment
By Appointment
Tom Westland

Research Interests

Tom Westland

By Appointment
By Appointment
Patrick Xue

Research Interests

Patrick Xue

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions