HS101 - Economics
Prof. K. Narayanan (Microeconomics), Prof. Aditi Chaubal (Macroeconomics)
Default allotment by the institute
Moderately difficult course. Reason for the categorisation: the content is very fresh for many students and considering the amount of content which has to be covered, students can’t expect the professor to be taking things slow and nice. No home-work, microeconomics is logical and can be grasped with a decent attention level in class.
Microeconomics has some sizable content and students may have to spend some time learning concepts before the examination. Slides may not be sufficient, referring to class notes or reference books will help students.
Time Commitment Required
The course demands time before examinations. Microeconomics is more relaxed compared to its counterpart, Macroeconomics demands sincere study hours before examinations. End-semester exam covers 100% of the course, the course takes up a significant amount of revision time during the end-semester week, students may find it difficult to cover all of the course content right before the exam.
Grading was relative and was done leniently.
Institute attendance policy was enforced in the first half of course: microeconomics
Evaluation Scheme and Weightages
The course was split into Macro and Microeconomics with equal weightage to both. A typical evaluation structure was adopted as mentioned below.
Quiz-1 (before mid-semester) - 10 Marks
Mid-Semester Exam - 30 Marks
End-Semester Exam - 10 Marks
Mid-Semester - None
Quiz-2 (post mid-semester) - 10 Marks
End-Semester - 40 Marks
Topics Covered in the Course
- Three basic questions of economics
- Ten principles of economics
- Economic models: circular flow diagram, production possibility frontier
- Positive vs normative analysis
- Market, trade and government
- Total Revenue and price elasticity of demand
- Other elasticities of demand
- Elasticity of supply
- Control on prices
- Tax incidence
- Demand, Supply and their equilibrium
- Consumer and producer surplus, market efficiency
- Consumer Behaviour
- Production and cost functions and curves
- Behaviour of firms
- Imperfect Competitions
- Measuring economic activity
- Consumption, saving, investment
- Business Cycles, theory of Aggregate Demand, multiplier model
- Monetary policy and the economy
- Money, financial and monetary systems
- Impact of monetary and fiscal policy on aggregate demand
- Open economy macroeconomics
- Inflation and unemployment
Quality of Lectures
Microeconomics, prof. K. Narayanan Professor uses slides with content from Paul A Samuelson’s: Economics. The teaching style was interesting and includes real life examples to ease understanding. The pace of teaching in the class is fast but discussions were always welcomed. Professor keeps up his promise of restricting the examination questions to the topics covered in class which means students will have to be attentive in class to keep track of the topics from the reference book which is covered in class. The topics covered in class may be slightly deviated from the contents in slides.
Macroeconomics, prof. Aditi Chaubal Professor uses slides with content from Paul A Samuelson’s: Economics and N. Gregory Mankiw’s: Principle of Macroeconomics. The professor comes well prepared in the class and includes most of the teaching content in the slides, slides can be used as pointers for the topics which can be asked in the exam. The pace of teaching is fast owing to the huge amount of content covered in class. The slide is not self explanatory and you may have to take help from class notes or reference books.
Note that the reference books are written in American context whereas the course entails macroeconomics in Indian context making it difficult to understand few concepts like international trade from the reference book.
Assignments and projects in the Course
Difficulty of Exams
- Quiz 1 - Easy
- Mid-semester - Easy to moderate
- Quiz 2 - Easy
- End-semester - Moderate
- Paul A Samuelson’s: Economics
- N. Gregory Makiw’s: Principle of Macroeconomics
Students can also refer to the Economics NCERT textbook for classes 11th and 12th and TR Jain and VK Ohri’s: Introductory Macroeconomics. Please note that none of these books are refered by the professors. I personally found it useful with concepts of macroeconomics (12th grade NCERT textbook and Introductory Macroeconomics), everything was explained in Indian context and was fairly easy to understand.
Importance of Course
The course covers the basics of economics which I believe is vital for every engineer/person who is bounding towards the industry. It forms a good foundation to almost all concepts of finance and management also helps understand how our nation is built and run. The course is a gateway to all the involved research happening in the field of economics pursued by professors in our institute and almost all of the biz schools in our country and overseas. On a philosophical note, economics helps understand the purpose of one’s effort, optimise it and gauge its returns on matters beyond the conventional economic subjects.