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    • 1. Chapter 1 The Nature of Economics
    • 2. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-2 Introduction Nearly half of the babies born in Hong Kong Hospitals today have mothers who are classified as tourists visiting from the Chinese mainland. How can fundamental principles of economics explain patterns of social behavior such as this? You will explore this question in Chapter One.
    • 3. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-3 Learning Objectives • Discuss the difference between microeconomics and macroeconomics • Evaluate the role that rational self-interest plays in economic analysis • Explain why economics is a science • Distinguish between positive and normative economics
    • 4. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-4 Chapter Outline • The Power of Economic Analysis • Defining Economics • The Three Basic Economic Questions and Two Opposing Answers • The Economic Approach: Systematic Decisions • Economics as a Science • Positive versus Normative Economics
    • 5. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-5 Did You Know That ... – Economics is a rapidly growing college major? – During the past 10 years, the number of students majoring in economics at U.S. colleges has increased by 40%? – Economics majors typically earn more than students who major in management, chemistry, or psychology?
    • 6. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-6 The Power of Economic Analysis • Incentives – Rewards for engaging in a particular activity – The nature of self-interested responses to incentives is the starting point for economic analysis
    • 7. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-7 The Power of Economic Analysis (cont'd) • The economic way of thinking is a framework to analyze solutions to economic problems – How much time to study – Choosing which courses to take – Whether the U.S. government should encourage or discourage immigration
    • 8. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-8 The Power of Economic Analysis (cont'd) • The economic way of thinking gives you the power to reach informed conclusions about what is happening in the world • Economic analysis helps you make better decisions, and increases your understanding when watching or reading the news on the Web
    • 9. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-9 The Power of Economic Analysis (cont'd) • Economic analysis is a way of thinking about all decisions • These decisions could be about: – Your education, career, or financing your home – Your involvement in the business world – How you cast your ballot as a voter
    • 10. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-10 Defining Economics • Economics – The study of how people allocate their limited resources to satisfy their unlimited wants – The study of how people make choices
    • 11. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-11 Defining Economics (cont'd) • Resources – Things used to produce other things to satisfy people’s wants • Wants – What people would buy if their incomes were unlimited
    • 12. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-12 Defining Economics (cont'd) • With limited income (resources), people must make choices to satisfy their wants • We never have enough of everything, including time, to satisfy our every desire
    • 13. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-13 Defining Economics (cont'd) • Individuals, businesses, and nations face alternatives, and choices must be made • Economics studies how these choices are made
    • 14. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-14 Microeconomics versus Macroeconomics • Microeconomics – The study of decision making undertaken by individuals (or households) and by firms – Like looking though a microscope to focus on the smaller parts of the economy • The effects of changes in gasoline prices • A family’s choice of having a baby • An individual firm’s decision to advertise
    • 15. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-15 Microeconomics versus Macroeconomics (cont'd) • Macroeconomics – The study of the behavior of the economy as a whole – Deals with economywide phenomena • The national unemployment rate • The rate of inflation • The yearly output of goods and services in a nation
    • 16. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-16 Microeconomics versus Macroeconomics (cont'd) • Macroeconomics deals with aggregates, or totals—such as total output in an economy • Modern economic theory blends micro and macro concepts
    • 17. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-17 The Three Basic Economic Questions and Two Opposing Answers • Economic System – The institutional mechanism through which resources are utilized to satisfy human wants
    • 18. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-18 The Three Basic Economic Questions and Two Opposing Answers (cont’d) • Three economic questions: 1. What and how much will be produced? 2. How will items be produced? 3. For whom will items be produced?
    • 19. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-19 The Three Basic Economic Questions and Two Opposing Answers (cont’d) • Two opposing answers in the form of economic systems: – Centralized command and control (central planning): Authority that makes all economic decisions – Price system (market system): Decentralized decision making process in which prices are terms (signals) under which people agree to make exchanges
    • 20. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-20 Policy Example: The Federal Government Directs New California Train Tracks • Centralized command and control was used to make decisions regarding a high-speed rail project in California. • Railway construction began in the least- populated areas, in order to provide service immediately for areas that were considered to be “underserved”.
    • 21. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-21 The Three Basic Economic Questions and Two Opposing Answers (cont’d) • Economic systems of the world’s nations (e.g., U.S.) are mixed systems that incorporate aspects of both centralized command and control and a decentralized price system
    • 22. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-22 International Policy Example: Cuba Experiments with Mixing It Up • Cuba is undergoing a transition in which 600,000 former employees of the public sector will now be employed in the private sector. • These workers will be paid wages determined by the price system.
    • 23. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-23 The Economic Approach: Systematic Decisions • Economists assume that individuals act as if motivated by self-interest and respond predictably to opportunities for gain
    • 24. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-24 The Economic Approach: Systematic Decisions (cont’d) “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” —Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 1776
    • 25. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-25 The Economic Approach: Systematic Decisions (cont’d) • Rationality Assumption – The assumption that people do not intentionally make decisions that would leave themselves worse off
    • 26. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-26 The Economic Approach: Systematic Decisions (cont’d) • Questions – Does the fact that some people make apparently irrational choices invalidate the rationality assumption in economics? – Can economic models be applied to situations in which behavior is at odds with what we expect from rational people?
    • 27. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-27 Example: Hello, Bank Robber, I’ll Remember You • How can the rationality assumption help prevent bank robberies? – Some banks now follow a policy of having a teller, guard, or branch manager greet every person entering the bank. – A high probability of being recognized and remembered should deter potential bank robbers.
    • 28. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-28 The Economic Approach: Systematic Decisions (cont’d) • Responding to incentives – Rationality and the use of incentives • Positive incentives • Negative incentives – Making choices • Balancing cost and benefits
    • 29. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-29 The Economic Approach: Systematic Decisions (cont’d) • Some examples of incentives – Responding to positive incentives • Schoolchildren getting gold stars, working to have a “better life” for yourself – Responding to negative incentives • Penalties, punishments, using credit cards to avoid check overdrafts
    • 30. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-30 The Economic Approach: Systematic Decisions (cont’d) • Defining self-interest – The pursuit of one’s goals, does not always mean increasing one’s wealth • Prestige • Friendship • Love
    • 31. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-31 Example: The Perceived Value of Gifts • Often the recipient of the gift places a value on it far less than the market value. • Should we substitute gift certificates for physical gifts?
    • 32. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-32 Economics as a Science (cont’d) • Economics is a social science that employs the same kinds of methods used in other sciences, such as biology • Economics uses models to explain economic phenomena in the real world
    • 33. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-33 Economics as a Science (cont'd) • Models or Theories – Simplified representations of the real world used as the basis for predictions or explanations – Should capture only the essential relationships that are sufficient to analyze a problem – Cannot be faulted as unrealistic simply because they do not capture all details of the real world • A map is the quintessential model
    • 34. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-34 Economics as a Science (cont'd) • Assumptions – The set of circumstances in which a model is applicable – Every model, or theory, must be based on a set of assumptions
    • 35. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-35 Example: Getting Directions • A map is a simplifying model of reality. • The degree of simplification varies across maps; some contain more detail than others. • Economic models attempt to focus on what is relevant to the problem at hand and omit what is not.
    • 36. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-36 Economics as a Science (cont'd) • Ceteris Paribus Assumption [KAY-ter-us PEAR-uh-bus] – Nothing changes except the factor or factors being studied. – “Other things constant” – “Other things equal”
    • 37. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-37 Economics as a Science (cont'd) • Economics is an empirical science – Real-world data is used to evaluate the usefulness of a model – Models are useful if they predict economic phenomena – Economic models predict how people react, not how they think
    • 38. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-38 What if economic theories were based on what people say they would do, rather than on what they actually do? • Economists seek to predict what people will do when faced with certain incentives – When surveyed for a poll, many people will say that tax breaks have no effect on their charitable donations – Yet, we find that charitable giving does respond to tax incentives – In this instance, an accurate prediction would need to be based on what people actually do
    • 39. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-39 Economics as a Science (cont'd) • Behavioral Economics – Approach to the study of consumer behavior • Emphasizes psychological limitations and complications which may interfere with rational decision making – Proponents believe that it is “unrealistic” to assume: • Unbounded selfishness • Unbounded willpower • Unbounded rationality
    • 40. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-40 Economics as a Science (cont'd) • Bounded Rationality – Hypothesis that people are nearly, not fully, rational • They cannot examine every choice available to them • They appear to use rules of thumb to sort alternatives
    • 41. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-41 Positive versus Normative Economics • Positive Economics – Purely descriptive statements or scientific predictions, such as: “If A, then B.” – A statement of what is • Normative Economics – Analysis involving value judgments; relates to whether things are good or bad. – A statement of what ought to be
    • 42. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-42 You Are There: Why So Many Firms Are Incorporating Outside the United States • In recent years, an increasing number of U.S. family-owned companies or partnerships have chosen to incorporate in other countries. • The fact that the U.S. corporate tax rate is the second highest in the world has given firms an incentive to establish their corporate identity outside U.S. borders.
    • 43. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-43 Issues & Applications: Why So Many Tourists Have Been Giving Birth in Hong Kong (cont’d) • The increase in “tourist births” is consistent with the rationality assumption. • Mothers from mainland China are responding to incentives: – The quality of care is better in Hong Kong. – A child born in Hong Kong receives the benefit of 12 years of publicly provided education and subsidized health care. – Mothers who give birth in Hong Kong are exempt from China’s one-child policy.
    • 44. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-44 Issues & Applications: Why So Many Tourists Have Been Giving Birth in Hong Kong (cont’d) • How does Hong Kong benefit from providing these benefits for tourist mothers? – There has been a decline in the birth rate among Hong Kong residents. – Without immigration, the population would begin to decline. – By allowing mothers to give birth and then to remain in Hong Kong, the government pursues a policy of rational self-interest.
    • 45. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-45 Summary Discussion of Learning Objectives • Microeconomics versus macroeconomics – Economics is the study of how individuals make choices to satisfy wants – Microeconomics is the study of decision making by individual households and individual firms – Macroeconomics is the study of nationwide phenomena, such as inflation and unemployment levels
    • 46. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-46 Summary Discussion of Learning Objectives (cont'd) • Self-interest in economic analysis – Rational self-interest is the assumption that individuals behave in a reasonable (rational) way in making choices to further their interests
    • 47. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-47 Summary Discussion of Learning Objectives (cont'd) • Economics as a science – Economists use models, or theories, that are simplified representations of the real world to analyze and make predictions about the real world
    • 48. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-48 Summary Discussion of Learning Objectives (cont'd) • The difference between positive and normative economics – Positive economics deals with what is, whereas normative economics deals with what ought to be – Positive statements are of the “if…then” variety, while normative ask what “should, or could” be
    • 49. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-49 Appendix A: Reading and Working with Graphs • Independent Variable – A variable whose value is determined independently of, or outside, the equation under study • Dependent Variable – A variable whose value changes according to changes in the value of one or more independent variable
    • 50. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-50 Appendix A: Direct and Inverse Relationship • Direct Relationship – A relationship between two variables that is positive, meaning that an increase in one variable is associated with an increase in the other and a decrease in one variable is associated with a decrease in the other • Inverse Relationship – A relationship between two variables that is negative, meaning that an increase in one variable is associated with a decrease in the other and a decrease in one variable is associated with an increase in the other
    • 51. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-51 Table A-1 Gas Mileage as a Function of Driving Speed
    • 52. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-52 Figure A-1 Direct and Inverse Relationships
    • 53. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-53 Appendix A: Constructing a Graph • Number Line – A line that can be divided into segments of equal length, each associated with a number • y Axis – The vertical axis in a graph • x Axis – The horizontal axis in a graph • Origin – The intersection of the y axis and the x axis in a graph
    • 54. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-54 Figure A-2 Horizontal Number Line
    • 55. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-55 Figure A-3 Vertical Number Line
    • 56. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-56 Figure A-4 A Set of Coordinate Axes
    • 57. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-57 Table A-2 T-Shirts Purchased
    • 58. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-58 Figure A-5 Graphing the Relationship Between T-Shirts Purchased and Price
    • 59. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-59 Figure A-6 Connecting the Observation Points
    • 60. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-60 Figure A-7 A Positively Sloped Curve
    • 61. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-61 Appendix A: The Slope of a Line (A Linear Curve) • Slope – The change in the y value divided by the corresponding change in the x value of a curve – The “incline” of the curve – “Rise” over “run”
    • 62. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-62 Figure A-8 Figuring Positive Slope
    • 63. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-63 Figure A-9 Figuring Negative Slope
    • 64. Copyright ©2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-64 Figure A-10 The Slope of a Nonlinear Curve