Econ 202 week 3
Econ 202 week 3 ECON 202
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Andrew Notetaker on Tuesday February 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ECON 202 at Western Kentucky University taught by Dr. Locke in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Principles of Economics: Microeconomics in Economcs at Western Kentucky University.
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Date Created: 02/16/16
Econ 202 – Professor Stephen Locke Chapter 2 – Thinking like an economist Feb 2 and 4 2016 nd Feb 2 Tuesday The Economist as Scientist Good Economic analysis will be objective o Economic thinking is scientific thinking You don’t hire someone on the far right of the political spectrum to discover the effects of the affordable care act o Develop and test theories with real-world data We make assumptions to simplify the complex world and make it easier to understand o Most common assumption – Ceteris Paribus (holding all else constant) Compare two people of the same race, age, income, etc. The only difference should be what is being compared. o Even the best models have assumptions that seem very unrealistic o A model is judged on its ability to predict, not its assumptions Question: If you wanted to predict your grade on the ﬁrst exam in this class, what variables would you put in your model? What variables would you leave out? o Attendance o Homework grades o Study time Some variables go in, some stay out First Model G & S = Goods and Services The government is missing from this model but that is because the government is not necessary. Along with the taxes but we still don’t need them Second Model The Production Possibilities Frontier - Maximum Combinations of output given the available resources (PPF) Guns Vs. Butter - PPF Points inside the PPF are inefficient Points on the PPF are efficient o Since the point is on the PPF the economy is getting all it can from is resources o Society decides where they land on the PPF Points outside the PPF are unattainable o Trade makes the unattainable possible What do we learn from this simple model? Scarcity – We can’t have all of everything Trade-offs – Must give up one good to get more of another Opportunity cost – more guns means less butter Increasing Marginal opportunity cost – if the resources are similar the PPF will be straight but if the resources are different then the PPF will be bowed Feb 4 Thursday Positive vs. Normative Statements Positive statements – Claims that attempt to describe the world as it is, was, or will be. o These can be tested “It will be 48 degrees’ tomorrow” – can be tested Normative statement – Claims that attempt to describe how the world should be o Opinions and non-verifiable statements “I think…” or “We should…” are how these statements begin. Normative statements influence positive statements because the normative statements influence how the world is viewed and bias puts a lens on what we believe the world can be like. Reason for disagreement among Economist There are two main reasons economists disagree Validity of alternative positive theories o Disagree about assumptions Difference in values o Economists are all human and have a broad range of beliefs and values A few things to keep in mind Correlation is not causation o The more storks there is does not mean the storks are causing more births Look out for omitted variables o The more tornadoes identified does not mean the weather is getting worse, over time the technology to identify the tornadoes has gotten better. Look for reverse causation o More cops do not mean more crime. The reverse is actually the case. We then worked on plotting points on graphs that were handed out in class
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