The Economics of Social Issues

University of Queensland

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The Economics of Social Issues

  • Host University

    University of Queensland

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Economics, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description
    Introductory economic concepts: nature of the market system; alternative measures of living standards; role & size of government sector. Specific topics may vary from year to year & may include: education, health, income distribution & social security, migration, crime & political instability, ethics, ageing, the environment, discrimination.
    Learning Objectives
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1. Explain some of the basic concepts and theory of economics.
    2. Analyse social issues from the perspective of economics.
    3. Assess or critique public policy alternatives in relation to social issues.
    4. Consider interdisciplinary criticisms of the economics approach to social issues
    Class Contact
    2 Lecture hours, 1 Tutorial hour
    Type: Essay
    Learning Objectives Assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4
    Weight: 25%
    Task Description: Mainstream economics tends to emphasise market solutions to social issues, while allowing that there are reasons for accepting that some markets fail. Institutionalist economists accept selective government interventions rather more willingly, seeking to highlight both the efficiency and the equity consequences of such interventions. Efficiency/equity trade-offs are commonly important, albeit they may sometimes be concealed in public debate. A good essay should show a command of how such issues play a role in effective argument about the case for or against various proposed policy measures impinging upon (say) equality of opportunity in the education or health sectors or within the welfare state more generally.
    Essays are to be submitted both electronically (Blackboard) and in hardcopy.
    Mid-semester test on Weeks 1-7
    Type: Exam - Mid Semester During Class
    Learning Objectives Assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4
    Due Date: Mid-Semester
    Weight: 25%
    Reading: 5 minutes
    Duration: 90 minutes
    Format: Multiple-choice
    Task Description: This mid-semester test will be held during lecture time in week 9 (6 May). It will cover material treated in Lectures 1-7. The format will be multiple-choice. The exact format will be made clear in lectures as well as being posted on Blackboard. It will be based on lecture and tutorial material (including practice MCQ) as well as on specified readings.
    Final Exam
    Type: Exam - during Exam Period (Central)
    Learning Objectives Assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4
    Due Date: Examination Period
    Weight: 50%
    Reading: 10 minutes
    Duration: 120 minutes
    Format: Multiple-choice, Short answer, Short essay, Extended essay
    Task Description:The final exam will cover all material in the course, with some possible emphasis on weeks 8 and later. The final exam will consist of a mix of essay questions and MCQ. More precise details will be explained later on Blackboard.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.