ECON 1221
Introduction to Basic Economics

3.0 Credits


Students develop a basic understanding of economic principles in order to discuss issues at the level covered by the media. Topics include an introduction to microeconomics; the importance of government; an introduction to macroeconomics; macro policies and trade; industrial organization and products costs; and market structures, including perfect and imperfect competition.

Delivery Method





Students will not receive credit for ECON 1221 unless it has been completed prior to earning a grade of C- or better in either ECON 1901 or ECON 1951.


Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Explain the behaviour of buyers and sellers in the market using basic economic theories
  • Explain the role of government in influencing buyer and seller behaviour in the market
  • Describe basic economic theories that explain economic outcomes of the aggregate economy
  • State basic economic principles that influence global trading and the challenges relating to globalization
  • Recognize and analyze common economic issues which relate to individual markets and the aggregate economy
  • Explain economic events in individual markets and the aggregate economy using basic economic theory and tools
  • Outline the implications of various economic policies on individuals and on the economy
  • Demonstrate competence in using simple diagrams and graphs to explain economic principles and their applications.
  • Appreciate how your individual decisions and actions, as a member of society, affect the economy locally, nationally and internationally.

Course Outline

Module 1: Introduction to Microeconomics: Basic Concepts and the Role of Markets

  • Introductory Concepts
  • The Operation of a Market

Module 2: The Importance of Government

  • The Role of Government in a Market Economy
  • Government in Canada

Module 3: Introduction to Macroeconomics

  • Economic Indicators
  • Determination of National Income
  • Money and the Canadian Banking System

Module 4: Macro Policies and Trade

  • Stabilization Policy
  • International Economics

Module 5: Markets and Business Firms: Introductory Concepts

  • Industrial Organization in Canada
  • Production Costs

Module 6: Markets and Business Firms: Analyzing Market Structures

  • Perfect Competition - Theory and Practice
  • How Imperfect Competition Functions

Maximum Completion

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

  1. Hird, H. R. Working with Economics: A Canadian Framework. 8th Edition. Toronto, ON: Pearson Education Canada, 2008.
    Type: Textbook, ISBN: 978-0-13-236762-2
  1. Best, A. Study Guide for Working with Economics: A Canadian Framework. 8th Edition. With Student Resource CD - Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2008.
    Type: Textbook, ISBN: 978-0-13-236761-5

Additional Requirements

A computer with internet access is required.

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the Learning Environment's "Mail" tool or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information when starting the course.


In order to successfully complete this course, students must complete the mandatory coursework and achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the mandatory final exam.

Assignment 1: Module 1 10%
Assignment 2: Module 2 10%
Quiz 1: Modules 1, 2 and 3 10%
Assignment 3: Modules 3 and 4 10%
Assignment 4: Module 5 10%
Quiz 2: Modules 4, 5 and 6 10%
Final Exam* 40%
Total 100%

* Mandatory