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As you begin your university course in economics

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As you begin your university course in economics, you’re probably wondering just how your studies will intersect with the world outside the classroom. In the following adapted excerpt from Foundations of Economics, author Andrew Gillespie highlights the importance of studying economics and provides visual walk-throughs of the some of the core concepts you’ll need to grasp to excel in your studies and to develop a full understanding of the economic landscape in which we live and work.

If you have ever wondered why the cost of a ticket to your favourite band’s last concert was so expensive, why you are paid so little in your part-time job, why your petrol is taxed so heavily, or why it is more expensive to get into a nightclub at weekends than during the week, or if you have ever wondered what influences the rate at which you change your currency into another when you go on holiday, why some people seem to be so much richer than others, or why some firms make more profits than others, then studying economics will be of interest to you! In fact, whether you know it or not, you are already an important part of the economic system. You are a consumer of products: every day, you are out there buying and consuming goods and services, and influencing the demand for them. You may also have a job, and so help to generate goods and services. If you are working, you are also paying taxes that are used to finance the provision of other products. However, simply being part of an economy is one thing; studying it is another.

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By studying economics, you can develop an analytical approach that helps you to understand a wide range of issues from what determines the price of different products, to the causes, and consequences of unemployment, to the benefits of different forms of competition. By the end of this book, you should understand a whole range of economic issues, such as why some people earn more than others, why some economies grow faster than others, and why, if you set up in business, you might want to dominate a market.

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