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Introduction to Economic Thought

Course Code: ECON 1125
Faculty: Commerce & Business Administration
Department: Economics
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 Weeks X 4 Hours per Week = 60 Hours
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

The course provides the student with a preliminary approach to exploring fundamental issues of economic analysis, with a focus on understanding the nature of capitalism. Presentation of the ideas of prominent economists, such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx and J.M. Keynes, who have shaped and challenged our understanding of the laws that regulate economic society, will be a prelude to discussing contemporary issues in economic thought.

Course Content

  1. Scarcity, choice and opportunity cost
  2. Pre-capitalist Europe
  3. Adam Smith and the Industrial Revolution
  4. Malthus and Ricardo
  5. The Socialists
  6. Marx's critique of capitalism
  7. Marshall and the Neoclassics - The development of microeconomics
  8. Walrus
  9. Veblen and Galbraith
  10. The great depression and the Keynesian revolution - the emergence of guided capitalism.
  11. Schumpeter
  12. Friedman
  13. Free trade
  14. Perestroika - restructuring the Marxist legacy

Methods of Instruction

Lectures and seminars.

Means of Assessment

Term Tests 30% - 65%
Written Assignments     0%-35%
Final Examination 30% - 40%
Class participation - instructor evaluation    05% - 10%
Total         100%


Learning Outcomes

To provide students with a preliminary understanding of alternative approaches to the study of fundamental economic issues, theory and analysis.  At the end of the course, the student will be able to:


  1. demonstrate an understanding of the interaction between the process of economic development and the development of economic ideas;
  2. will demonstrate an understanding of the major differences, both theoretical and ideological, between Classical, Neo-Classical, Marxist and Keynesian economics;
  3. employ the basic tools of economics, such as supply and demand, to analyze the economic problems confronting modern economics.  Selected topics may include free-trade, the relationship between unemployment and inflation and the economic restructuring of Marxist economies.

course prerequisites

BC Principles of Math 11

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.