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180140 SE Analysis of Economic Concepts (2021S)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


max. 30 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Digital, until Easter at least.

Tuesday 02.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 09.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 16.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 23.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 13.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 20.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 27.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 04.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 11.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 18.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 08.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 15.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 22.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 29.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course


Philosophy of Science (M2.P1 Central Topics and Texts in Theoretical Philosophy - or equivalent); Intermediate Microeconomics (M2.E1 Foundational Microeconomics - or equivalent); Basic game theory (Weeks 1 and 2 of the Coursera lecture from the University of British Columbia: Jackson et al, "Game Theory" - or equivalent).

Course Outline:

Of all occurring social phenomena, only a small fraction catches the attention of economists. How is that fraction determined?

To some extent, economists focus their attention on those phenomena which they know how to conceptualize. In this seminar, we hold example-based discussions on economists’ contemporary conceptual schemes. We take it that economic concepts are defined by actual practice. As a consequence, a concept’s content varies with (1) the collection of models or formal structures which it brings to mind, (2) the interpretation of these structures (in particular, their empirical content), and (3) the use to which these structures are put.

At the end of the seminar, a successful student is sensible to a significant danger that comes with the discussion of economic theories. Namely, that of conflating two economic concepts with one another or of conflating an economic concept with a false friend in ordinary, social scientific, or philosophical language. Despite our focus on specific examples, general lessons will emerge: a successful student has developed skills to differentiate any economic concept from potential false friends.

Assessment and permitted materials

Weekly homeworks will enable students to earn up to 20 points. The student earns a full grade on homeworks by submitting all but two homeworks. A submission of all homeworks will earn the student 4 bonus points (total grade: 24). A submission of all but one homework will earn the student 2 bonus points (total grade 22).

The elaboration of a video presentation will enable the student to earn up to 20 points out of a 100.

The term paper will enable the student to earn up to 60 points out of a 100.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The grading will then be as follows:

85-100 points, 1
70-85 points, 2
60-70 points , 3
50-60 points, 4
less than 50 points, 5.

A positive evaluation requires students to achieve a pass grade (4) and to actively attend the seminar. Two unauthorized absences will be excused.

Examination topics

Topic 1: Individual Decision-Making and Welfare

Topic 2: Information, Markets, and Efficiency

Topic 3: Group Decision-Making

Reading list

Readings will be made available on MOODLE in due time. All assigned readings will be in English.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: We 05.05.2021 14:08