ECN550 - Economics: An Overview

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-06-01 14:26:02.639
Last review date 2018-07-16 00:15:01.259

Subject Title
Economics: An Overview

Subject Description
This course introduces economic principles relating to Canada's mixed market economy and uses these principles to examine current economic issues including the nature of markets, employment, the level of economic activity, the structure of industry, international trade, and the appropriate role of government in the Canadian economy.

Credit Status
Economics 550 is a required credit subject in the Marketing Program. Where it is not a required subject, it may be taken as a General Education elective credit in the Sciences and Social Sciences category.

Students who must take either BUS400 of BUS401 are NOT permitted to take ECN550 for credit.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Describe the significance of economic concepts, understand the terminology used in economics, and apply economic procedures and methodology.

2. Understand the essence of the economizing problem, economic efficiency and economic growth.

3. Explain the laws of supply and demand, how they interact, and how equilibrium is achieved.

4. Discuss how markets function and how prices and output levels are determined.

5. Understand the features of institutions in a market economy, the use of economic resources, specialization and the use of money.

6. Discuss the twin problems of macroeconomics: unemployment and inflation and explain the main aspects of the business cycle.

7. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the ability to measure economic performance and outline the methods used to measure the level of domestic output, national income and prices.

8. Describe and understand how government fiscal policy is formulated and applied for the purpose of achieving macroeconomic stability.

9. Describe the functions of money, the Bank of Canada's definition of the money supply, and the tools and objectives of monetary policy.

10. Understand the significance of economic growth, and the policies used to achieve it.

11. Understand the meaning of debt and deficit and assess their impact on domestic investment and international trade.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

Topic Outline

  • The Nature and Method of Economics and Economic Problem 
  • Demand and Supply
  • Competitive Dynamics and Government
  • Costs of Production
  • Perfect Competition, Monopoly and Imperfect Competition
  • Economc Welfare and Income Distribution
  • Economic Stability: Measures of Economic Activity
  • Inflation and Unemployment
  • Economic Fluctuations, Fiscal Policy
  • Money and Monetary Policy
  • The Foreign Sector
  • Foreign Trade Pointers

Mode of Instruction

In-class: Students attend classes on campus each week. All instruction is delivered in a face to face environment.

Teaching and Learning Methods:
To ensure that students are engaged as much as possible in the learning process, instructors can use such teaching methods as class and small group discussions, essays and research, individual and group presentations, readings, lectures, workshops, in-class exercises, and/or web-based instruction. The mode of delivery will dictate the most appropriate teaching methods available to an instructor.

Prescribed Texts
Lovewell, Mark, Understanding Economics: A Contemporary Perspective w/Connect 7th Canadian EditionMcGraw- Hil Ryerson  ISBN 9781259104282.

Reference Material

Students are referred to the following website for the Seneca College Library APA Style Guide and Guide to Integrating Quotations (APA Style):

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

To be successful in this course, you must complete all course work as specified and achieve an overall grade of 50% or higher. For further information on evaluation and academic standing, see a copy of the Academic Policy available at Seneca registration offices.

Term work:
All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final exam or last class.  Students must contact faculty in advance of the assignment due date to discuss the possibility of an extension.  Late assignments may be subject to the awarding of a penalty resulting in a lower grade assigned. 
Make-up opportunities for assignments must also be made in advance of the scheduled due date.  If an assignment is missed due to class absence, official documentation must be submitted to the faculty member on or before the next scheduled class. Make-up opportunities may not apply to all graded assignments.


Quizzes (2) 30%
Group or Individual Assignment(s) 25%
Term Paper 20%
Final Exam 25%

Student Success:
Please come prepared to participate in class. Make sure you bring your course text to each class, participate in class discussions, hand in any assigned work on time and attend each and every class. Following these suggestions will increase your chances of success.


Students should keep all assignments (including drafts and outlines) and exercises until they receive their final grade. Students may appeal any final grade in a subject or any decision by the College, following the recommendation of a Promotion Committee, with respect to the student's academic standing, continuation or status in a program, School, Faculty or the College .  It is the policy of the College that a student who invokes this appeal  process will be given a fair  hearing.   For further information on appeals, please see Section 12 of the Academic Policy Handbook.


Approved by: Fiona Bain-greenwood