Hoover senior fellow and renowned economist John Taylor is teaching a free online introductory economics course entitled Econ-1: Principles of Economics through Stanford Online, an EdX platform. The course, which is open to the public and will run for eight weeks, from June 24 to September 2, is designed to mirror the introductory economics course that Taylor teaches at Stanford. Like the traditional Stanford course, the first part of the curriculum focuses on microeconomic analysis, including the behavior of consumers, firms, and markets. The second part moves on to macroeconomics, exploring concepts such as national production, employment, inflation, and interest rates.
“I have been teaching economics here at Stanford for many years, and Economics 1 is one of my favorites,” says Taylor in an introductory video. “The course covers all of economics at a basic level. It stresses the key idea that economics is about making purposeful choice with limited resources and it’s about people interacting with other people as they make these choices. Most of those interactions occur in markets, and this course is mainly about markets, including the market for bikes on campus, or labor markets, or even capital markets. We will show why free competitive markets work well to improve people’s lives. . . . We will also show how interference with free competitive markets due to monopolies or environmental spillovers can cause market failures, and we will look at how to remedy these failures, including through the use of government. And we will study economic policy, in theory and in practice, and also explain why government failure is a problem in economics.”
If you are interested in taking the course or would like to learn more, visit the Stanford Online course page. No text book is required. Taylor also wrote a post for his blog Economics One about the creation of and his philosophy behind the course, which you can find here.