Principles of economics

lbir1260  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Principles of economics
4.00 credits
30.0 h + 15.0 h

The prerequisite(s) for this Teaching Unit (Unité d’enseignement – UE) for the programmes/courses that offer this Teaching Unit are specified at the end of this sheet.
Main themes
After a short introduction to economics, this course examines:
- economic growth, inequality and poverty
- economics of (agricultural) production
- economics of (food) consumption
- economics of supply and demand, and implications of government interventions
- market failures (imperfect competition, public goods and externalities, efficiency versus equity)
- globalization and international (agri-food) trade
- transition towards more sustainable and inclusive (food) economies
Throughout this course, examples and applications are drawn from the agricultural sector, food policy and natural resource management.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 a. With respect to the learning outcomes of the bioengineering bachelor program, this course contributes to the following learning outcomes:
1.2-1.3: theoretical lectures
1.5: exercise sessions
2.1: theoretical lectures
3.2: theoretical lectures and exercise sessions
6.10: theoretical lectures
7.3 and 7.4: theoretical lectures
b. At the end of the course, students will be able :
- to know, understand and explain basic concepts of economics
- to analyse economic problems and evaluate welfare implications of market interventions by reasoning about mechanisms and predicting quantitative effects
- to critically assess market failures and how to design more sustainable and inclusive economic systems
During the theoretical lectures students are introduced to the various themes starting with a real-life example, followed by an explanation of the theory, models and graphs required to interpret the economic problem.
During the exercise sessions students practice how to solve the economic problems themselves.   
Teaching methods
Theoretical lectures and exercise sessions
Evaluation methods
Written exam during standard examination period; 5 open questions; 60% is graded on theory and 40% on exercises
Other information
The course is taught in English, but questions can be asked in French. Students can respond on their exam in French if they prefer to.
Online resources
- Slides on Moodle
- For additional background information, the student can use the handbook of Robert Pindyck and Daniel Rubinfeld, Microeconomics, 8th edition, Pearson Education, New Jersey, 2013. (version française disponible / other editions can be used as well)
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Master [120] in Environmental Science and Management

Minor in Development and Environment

Interdisciplinary Advanced Master in Science and Management of the Environment and Sustainable Development

Bachelor in Bioengineering