Economics is a social science involving the study of how people make choices to satisfy their
a. Wants are all the things that people would consume if they had unlimited income.
b. Because wants are unlimited and people cannot satisfy all their wants, individuals are forced
to make choices about how to spend their income and how to allocate their time.
Economics is broadly divided into microeconomics and macroeconomics.
a. Microeconomics studies decision making by individuals (or households) and by firms.
b. Macroeconomics studies the behavior of the economy taken as a whole. It deals with such
economy-wide phenomena as unemployment, the price level, and national income.
In every nation, there are three fundamental questions that must be addressed, and there are two
opposing answers.
a. The three questions concern the problem of how to allocate society’s scarce resources:
i. What and how much will be produced?
ii. How will items be produced?
iii. For whom will items be produced?
b. How a nation goes about answering these three questions depends on its economic system.
i. In an economic system of centralized command and control, an authority such as the
government decides how to answer the questions.
ii. In a price system, the answers to the questions are determined by private parties, and
prices signal to everyone which resources are relatively scarce and which resources are
relatively abundant.
Economists assume that individuals are motivated by self-interest and respond predictably to
opportunities for gain.
a. The rationality assumption is that individuals act as if they were rational.
b. Self-interest often means a desire for material well-being, but it can also be defined to
incorporate goals relating to love, friendship, prestige, power, and other human
c. By assuming that people act in a rational, self-interested way, economists can generate
testable theories concerning human behavior.
Economics is a social science.
a. Economists develop models, or theories, which are simplified representations of the real
b. Models help economists to understand, explain, and predict real-world economic
c. Like other social scientists, economists usually do not perform laboratory experiments. They
typically examine what has already occurred in order to test their theories.
d. Economic theories, like all scientific theories, are simplifications—and hence are
e. Economists, as do all scientists, employ assumptions. One important economic assumption is
“all other things being equal.”
f. Models are evaluated on their ability to predict and not on the realism of assumptions.
g. Economic models relate to behavior, not thought processes.
Some economists have proposed an approach known as behavioral economics.
a. Behavioral economics emphasizes psychological limitations and complications that inhibit
rational decision making by individuals.
b. Proponents of behavioral economics have proposed the bounded rationality hypothesis,
which suggests that near, but incomplete, rationality leads people to utilize basic rules of
thumb to choose among alternatives.
Because it is impossible to have all that we want, people are forced to make
Economics is a (natural, social) science.
Economics is the study of how people make ______________________________ to satisfy their
choices; wants
In a price system, _________ signal to everyone which resources are relatively scarce and which
resources are relatively abundant.
Microeconomics deals with (individual units, the whole economy).
individual units
A nation’s unemployment level is analyzed in (microeconomics, macroeconomics).
Macroeconomics, Microeconomics) studies the causes and effects of inflation.
Economists maintain that a member of a group usually attempts to make decisions that are in
(her own, the group’s) interest.
her own
The rationality assumption is that individuals (believe, act as if ) they are rational.
act as if
Economic models are (simplified, realistic) representations of the real world.
The ceteris paribus assumption permits us to consider (one thing at a time, everything at once).
one thing at a time
Ceteris paribus, payment of bonuses to physicians for pushing preventive health care gives
physicians an incentive to (treat only actual illnesses, suggest treatments to deter illnesses).
suggest treatments to deter illness
Economists maintain that incentives (are, are not) important to decision making.
Economists define self-interest (narrowly, broadly).
Economists take the (individual, group) as the unit of analysis.
Behavioral economics is an approach that assumes that individuals are (fully, nearly) rational.
Economic statements that are testable and are of an “if/then” nature are (positive, normative).
Economics is the study of how people think about economic phenomena.
Economists’ definition of self-interest includes only the pursuit of material goods.
Macroeconomics deals with aggregates, or totals, of economic variables.
The three fundamental economic questions are as follows: (a) Who should decide what
to produce, (b) what methods ought to be utilized in production, and (c) who should
receive the items that are produced?
When economists attempt to predict the number of Web servers that an Internet bank
will utilize, they are studying macroeconomics.
Economists maintain that people respond in a predictable way to economic incentives.
The rationality assumption is that individuals attempt, quite consciously, to make
rational economic decisions and will admit to it.
It is justifiable to criticize theories on the realism of the assumptions employed.
Households cannot be thought of as producers.
A statement of fact is an example of a positive statement.
Because economics is a science, economists do not make normative statements.
Economics is
a. a natural science.
b. nonscientific.
c. a social science.
d. usually studied through lab experiments.
Wants include desires for
a. material possessions.
b. love.
c. power.
d. All of the above
Which one of the following is NOT one of the three fundamental economic questions?
a. How will items be produced?
b. Who deserves produced items?
c. For whom will items be produced?
d. What and how much will be produced?
Which one of the following areas of study is concerned, primarily, with microeconomics?
a. the tablet device industry
b. inflation
c. the national unemployment rate
d. national income determination
Macroeconomic analysis deals with
a. the tablet device industry.
b. how individuals respond to an increase in the price of gasoline.
c. inflation.
d. how a change in the price of energy affects a family.
Economists maintain that Ms. Chung will usually make decisions that promote the interests of
a. her colleagues at work.
b. herself.
c. her class.
d. her race.
An economic model is justifiably criticized if
a. its assumptions are not realistic.
b. it cannot be tested in a controlled, laboratory experiment.
c. it fails to predict.
d. All of the above
Economic models
a. use unrealistic assumptions.
b. are seldom tested in laboratories.
c. are concerned with how people behave, not with how they think.
d. All of the above
According to the rationality assumption, people
a. do not intentionally make decisions that would leave them worse off.
b. do not ever take into account the interests or well-being of others.
c. can never consider each of the most relevant alternatives.
d. use rules of thumb to make choices.
a. is a natural science.
b. is concerned with how people respond to incentives.
c. is unconcerned with value judgments.
d. deals with assumptions and therefore is unrealistic.
As is true of a road map showing how a traveler can move about a geographic region, a model of
economic behavior typically
a omits trivial details and emphasizes factors most relevant to the problem under
b. makes no simplifying assumptions, so that every feature of a problem is taken into account.
c. must be rejected if it leaves out some information, even if it makes correct predictions.
d. includes each and every element of a problem confronting an individual or group.
Which one of the following is a normative economic statement?
a. If prices rise, people will buy less.
b. If prices rise, people will buy more.
c. If prices rise, the poor will be injured. Therefore, prices should not be permitted to rise.
d. If prices rise, people will buy less. Therefore, we ought to observe that quantity demanded
Which one of the following is a positive economic statement?
a. Full employment policies should be pursued.
b. If minimum-wage rates rise, then unemployment will rise.
c. We should take from the rich and give to the poor.
d. The government should help the homeless.
Normative economic statements
a. are testable hypotheses.
b. are value-free.
c. are subjective, value judgments.
d. can be scientifically established.
Which one of the following is a normative economic statement?
a. When more death-penalty sentences are reduced to life imprisonment, the homicide rate
b. An increase in the rate of executions is associated with a fall in homicides.
c. Improved prison conditions increase the disincentive effects of capital punishment.
d. Capital punishment is a morally wrong way to try to deter homicides.

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