Business Economics Course Online | learndirect

Business Economics

Overview

Economics is the study of scarcity and the consequences of scarcity. Individuals, households, businesses and nations all experience some level of scarcity, in that they do not possess all the resources to satisfy all their wants and needs. Decisions have to be made to balance those scarce resources in order to improve what can be achieved with them.

Individuals have to decide how to spend their income, household budgets have to be managed, business need to deploy their resources in order to ensure their profitability and governments need to consider the best possible balance of spending to meet the needs of competing groups within society.

Economics is concerned with how these decision are made, with how the resources of a nation or a business are allocated and utilised in the production of goods and services, and with how the rewards of these activities are distributed.

Unit 1: An Introduction to Economics

Introduction

Objectives

Section 1: The Content of Economics

Introduction

1.1 Defining economics

1.2 The fundamental economic problem: scarcity

1.3 The implications of scarcity

1.4 Types of economy

1.5 The general economic questions

1.6 The distinction between microeconomics and macroeconomics

1.7 Positive and normative statements

Summary

Section 2: The Production Possibility Boundary and its Implications

Introduction

2.1 The Production Possibility Boundary (PPB)

Summary

Unit Summary

Recommended reading

Unit 2: The Elementary Theory of Allocation

Introduction

Objectives

Section 1: The Market and the Market Economy

Introduction

1.1 Demand

1.2 Supply

1.3 Price

Summary

Section 2 Elasticity

Introduction

2.1 Price elasticity of demand (PED)

2.2 The income elasticity of demand (YED)

2.3 Cross-elasticity of demand (CED)

2.4 Price-elasticity of supply (PES)

Summary

Section 3: Market Failure

Introduction

3.1 Types of market failure

3.2 Types of government intervention

3.3 Price-regulation (floors and ceilings)

3.4. Taxes and subsidies

3.5 A final note

Summary

Review Activity for Units 1 and 2

Unit summary

Recommended reading

Answer to Unit Review Activity for Units 1 and 2

Unit 3: The Theory of Production

Introduction

Objectives

Section 1: The Production Function

Introduction

1.1 A simple production function

1.2 Short-run and long-run production functions

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: The Short Run

Introduction

2.1 Output and factor inputs

2.2 The relationship between marginal and average product

2.3 The law of diminishing returns

2.4 The relationship between total, average and marginal product

Review Activity

Summary

Section 3: Costs of production

Introduction

3.1 Total cost of production

3.2 Average total cost of production

3.3 Marginal cost of production

Review Activity

Summary

Section 4: Short-run Cost Curves

Introduction

4.1 Converting output data into cost data

4.2 Total cost and total fixed cost

4.3 Average variable cost and average product of labour

4.4 Combining average variable cost and average fixed cost to calculate average total cost

4.5 The marginal product of labour and marginal cost

4.6 Average total cost and marginal cost

Review Activity

Summary

Section 5: Long-run Cost Curves

Introduction

5.1 Marginal and average cost in the long run

Review Activity

Summary

Unit Review Activity

Unit Summary

Recommended Reading

Answers to Review Activities

Unit 4: Market Structures

Introduction

Objectives

Section 1: The Model of Perfect Competition

Introduction

1.1 Assumptions about the model of perfect competition

1.2 The perfectly competitive firm as a price taker

1.3 What output will the individual firm produce?

1.4 How much profit is made?

1.5 Short-run equilibrium for the perfectly competitive firm

1.6 Long-run equilibrium for the perfectly competitive firm

1.7 The marginal cost curve, short-run supply and the shut-down condition

1.8 The market supply curve and perfect competition

1.9 Perfect competition and efficiency

1.10 Reconsidering long-run equilibrium

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: Monopoly

Introduction

2.1 Monopoly and revenue curves

2.2 Output and price under monopoly

2.3 How much profit does the monopolist make?

2.4 Sources of monopoly power

2.5 An evaluation of monopoly and perfect competition

2.6 Monopoly and price discrimination

Review Activity

Summary

Section 3: Imperfect Competition

Introduction

3.1 Oligopoly and collusion

3.2 The breakdown of collusion: "to cheat or not to cheat"

Review Activity

Summary

Section 4: Privatisation

Introduction

4.1 The three forms of privatisation

4.2 The objectives of privatisation

Review Activity

Summary

Unit review Activity

Unit Summary

References

Recommended Reading

Answers to Review Activities

Unit 5: The Theory of Distribution

Introduction

Objectives

Section 1: The income factors of production

Introduction

1.1 Distribution of income in perfect markets

1.2 Distribution of income in imperfect markets

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: Wage determination in perfectly competitive labour markets

Introduction

2.1 The supply of labour

2.2 Elasticity of labour supply

2.3 Economic rent and transfer earnings

2.4 The demand for labour

2.5 Will any workers be employed?

2.6 The determinants of the demand for labour

Review Activity

Summary

Section 3: Wage determination in imperfect labour markets

Introduction

3.1 Monopoly demand for labour

3.2 Monopoly supply of labour

Review Activity

Summary

Section 4: The price of capital

Introduction

4.1 The demand for capital

4.2 Internal rate of return

4.3 Supply of capital

Review activity

Summary

Section 5: The price of land

Introduction

Recommended Reading

Answers to Review Activities

Unit 6: Introduction to the Macroeconomy

Introduction

Unit Objectives

Section 1: National income accounts and measurement of national income

Introduction

1.1 National income accounts

1.2 Measurement of national income

1.3 National income statistics and economic welfare

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: National income determination and the circular flow of income

Introduction

2.1 Circular flow of income

2.2 Equilibrium national income

Review Activity

Summary

Section 3: Macroeconomic issues and controversies

Introduction

3.1 Macroeconomic issues

3.2 Objectives of government economic policy

3.3 Macroeconomic debate

Review Activity

Summary

Unit Review Activity

Unit Summary

References

Answers to Review Activities

Unit 7: National Income Determination

Introduction

Unit Objectives

Section 1: Basic Keynesian model of national income determination

Introduction

1.1 Components of aggregate demand

1.2 Aggregate demand and equilibrium national income

1.3 The multiplier

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: Consumption and investment demand

Introduction

2.1 Consumption demand

2.2 Investment demand

Review Activity

Summary

Section 3: Keynesian model and fiscal policy

Introduction

3.1 Keynesian model and unemployment

3.2 Government budget

3.3 Fiscal policy debate

Review Activity

Summary

Section 4: Imports and exports in the Keynesian model

Introduction

4.1 Imports, exports and aggregate demand

Review Activity

Summary

Unit Review Activity

Unit Summary

Recommended Reading

Answers to Review Activities

Unit 8: The Role of Money and the Financial System

Introduction

Objectives

Section 1: Money and the Financial System

Introduction

1.1 Money and the functions of money

1.2 Outline of a financial system

1.3 A model of credit creation

1.4 The financial system

1.5 The London money market

1.6 The money supply

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: Money Demand, Aggregate Demand and Money Market Equilibrium

Introduction

2.1 Theories of the demand for money

2.2 Money market equilibrium and aggregate demand

2.3 Theories of inflation

Review Activity

Summary

Section 3: Monetary Policy

Introduction

3.1 Monetary control techniques

3.2 Interest rate control

3.3 Problems of monetary control

3.4 The monetarist experiment

Review Activity

Summary

Unit Review Activity

Unit Summary

References

Recommended Reading

Answers to Review Activities

Unit 9: National Income Determination and Aggregate Supply

Introduction

Unit Objectives

Section 1: Theories of aggregate supply

Introduction

1.1 Classical theory of aggregate supply

1.2 Keynesian theory of aggregate supply

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: Short-run and long-run aggregate supply

Introduction

2.1 Short-run aggregate supply

2.2 Long-run aggregate supply

2.3 Shifts in aggregate supply

2.4 Macroeconomic equilibrium 537

Review Activity

Summary

Section 3: The Phillips curve

Introduction

3.1 The Keynesians and the Phillips curve

3.2 Monetarists and the Phillips curve

3.3 Supply side policy

Review Activity

Summary

Unit Review Activity

Unit Summary

References

Answers to Review Activities

Unit 10: International Trade

Introduction

Objectives

Section 1: Why do Countries Trade?

Introduction

1.1 Gains from trade

1.2 The UK pattern of trade

1.3 Trade restrictions

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: The Exchange Rate

Introduction

2.1 What is the exchange rate?

2.2 Exchange rate quotes

2.3 Alternative exchange rate regimes

2.4 The real exchange rate

2.5 The effective exchange rate

2.6 The demand for exports and imports

2.7 Foreign trade and income determination

Review Activities

Summary

Section 3: The Balance of Payments

Introduction

3.1 What is the balance of payments?

3.2 The current account

3.3 The capital account

3.4 Change in reserves

3.5 General principles of correcting balance of payments problems

3.6 Deficit problems

3.7 The problem of a balance of payments surplus

3.8 Surplus problems

Review Activity

Summary

Section 4: Recent Exchange Rate History

Introduction

4.1 The Bretton Woods system

4.2 The oil price shock

4.3 The rise of sterling: 1976-81

4.4 Reagonomics': 1981-5

4.5 The shadowing of the DM

4.6 The European Monetary System

4.7 The exchange rate debate

Review Activity

Summary

Unit Review Activity

Unit Summary

Recommended Reading

Answer to Review Activities

Resources

1.1 Some reflections on morality and capitalism

8.1 The Demand for Money: Problems and Issues

8.2 Monetary targets - a short history

8.3 Macroeconomic Policy since 1979

9.1 Schools brief: A Cruise around the Phillips curve

For a more detailed syllabus on this course, click here

Modules

Assessment Method

After each lesson there will be a question paper, which needs to be completed and submitted to your personal tutor for marking. This method of continual assessment ensures that your personal tutor can consistently monitor your progress and provide you with assistance throughout the duration of the course.

What's Included

  • All study materials
  • Study Guide
  • Full Tutor and Admin support
  • The course fee includes the awarding body registration and certification fee (valued at up to £30.00).

What is NCFE

NCFE is the UK's longest established awarding body, recognised as a highly professional and responsive organisation, committed to maintaining excellent customer service and a friendly approach.

NCFE is recognised as an awarding body by the qualification regulators ('regulators') for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The regulators are the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) in England, the Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DCELLS) in Wales and the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland.

Accreditation by NCFE is a guarantee of quality. It means that the college has been inspected and approved by an independent and experienced education professional and is quality audited biannually by NCFE. The centre delivering the programmes has been licensed by NCFE on the basis of its own quality systems. At the end of an accredited course, successful learners will also receive an NCFE Award certificate of achievement.

For more information on this award, click here

Requirements

There is no experience or previous qualifications required for enrolment on this course. It is available to all students, of all academic backgrounds.

Qualifications

On successful completion of the course you will be issued with the Endorsed Award from ABC Awards:

Level 4 Business Economics Certificate of Achievement

At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement by ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units you have completed as part of your course).

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards' Quality Licence Scheme. This means that learndirect have undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future. The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 4 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of difficulty involved in successful completion by the learner.

The course itself has been designed by learndirect to meet specific learners' or employers' requirements. ABC Awards' endorsement involves a robust and rigorous quality audit by external inspectors to ensure quality is consistently met. A regular review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

To view a sample of the ABC Certificate of Achievement, please click here

To view a sample of the ABC Learner Unit Summary, please click here

Economics is the study of scarcity and the consequences of scarcity. Individuals, households, businesses and nations all experience some level of scarcity, in that they do not possess all the resources to satisfy all their wants and needs. Decisions have to be made to balance those scarce resources in order to improve what can be achieved with them.

Individuals have to decide how to spend their income, household budgets have to be managed, business need to deploy their resources in order to ensure their profitability and governments need to consider the best possible balance of spending to meet the needs of competing groups within society.

Economics is concerned with how these decision are made, with how the resources of a nation or a business are allocated and utilised in the production of goods and services, and with how the rewards of these activities are distributed.

Unit 1: An Introduction to Economics

Introduction

Objectives

Section 1: The Content of Economics

Introduction

1.1 Defining economics

1.2 The fundamental economic problem: scarcity

1.3 The implications of scarcity

1.4 Types of economy

1.5 The general economic questions

1.6 The distinction between microeconomics and macroeconomics

1.7 Positive and normative statements

Summary

Section 2: The Production Possibility Boundary and its Implications

Introduction

2.1 The Production Possibility Boundary (PPB)

Summary

Unit Summary

Recommended reading

Unit 2: The Elementary Theory of Allocation

Introduction

Objectives

Section 1: The Market and the Market Economy

Introduction

1.1 Demand

1.2 Supply

1.3 Price

Summary

Section 2 Elasticity

Introduction

2.1 Price elasticity of demand (PED)

2.2 The income elasticity of demand (YED)

2.3 Cross-elasticity of demand (CED)

2.4 Price-elasticity of supply (PES)

Summary

Section 3: Market Failure

Introduction

3.1 Types of market failure

3.2 Types of government intervention

3.3 Price-regulation (floors and ceilings)

3.4. Taxes and subsidies

3.5 A final note

Summary

Review Activity for Units 1 and 2

Unit summary

Recommended reading

Answer to Unit Review Activity for Units 1 and 2

Unit 3: The Theory of Production

Introduction

Objectives

Section 1: The Production Function

Introduction

1.1 A simple production function

1.2 Short-run and long-run production functions

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: The Short Run

Introduction

2.1 Output and factor inputs

2.2 The relationship between marginal and average product

2.3 The law of diminishing returns

2.4 The relationship between total, average and marginal product

Review Activity

Summary

Section 3: Costs of production

Introduction

3.1 Total cost of production

3.2 Average total cost of production

3.3 Marginal cost of production

Review Activity

Summary

Section 4: Short-run Cost Curves

Introduction

4.1 Converting output data into cost data

4.2 Total cost and total fixed cost

4.3 Average variable cost and average product of labour

4.4 Combining average variable cost and average fixed cost to calculate average total cost

4.5 The marginal product of labour and marginal cost

4.6 Average total cost and marginal cost

Review Activity

Summary

Section 5: Long-run Cost Curves

Introduction

5.1 Marginal and average cost in the long run

Review Activity

Summary

Unit Review Activity

Unit Summary

Recommended Reading

Answers to Review Activities

Unit 4: Market Structures

Introduction

Objectives

Section 1: The Model of Perfect Competition

Introduction

1.1 Assumptions about the model of perfect competition

1.2 The perfectly competitive firm as a price taker

1.3 What output will the individual firm produce?

1.4 How much profit is made?

1.5 Short-run equilibrium for the perfectly competitive firm

1.6 Long-run equilibrium for the perfectly competitive firm

1.7 The marginal cost curve, short-run supply and the shut-down condition

1.8 The market supply curve and perfect competition

1.9 Perfect competition and efficiency

1.10 Reconsidering long-run equilibrium

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: Monopoly

Introduction

2.1 Monopoly and revenue curves

2.2 Output and price under monopoly

2.3 How much profit does the monopolist make?

2.4 Sources of monopoly power

2.5 An evaluation of monopoly and perfect competition

2.6 Monopoly and price discrimination

Review Activity

Summary

Section 3: Imperfect Competition

Introduction

3.1 Oligopoly and collusion

3.2 The breakdown of collusion: "to cheat or not to cheat"

Review Activity

Summary

Section 4: Privatisation

Introduction

4.1 The three forms of privatisation

4.2 The objectives of privatisation

Review Activity

Summary

Unit review Activity

Unit Summary

References

Recommended Reading

Answers to Review Activities

Unit 5: The Theory of Distribution

Introduction

Objectives

Section 1: The income factors of production

Introduction

1.1 Distribution of income in perfect markets

1.2 Distribution of income in imperfect markets

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: Wage determination in perfectly competitive labour markets

Introduction

2.1 The supply of labour

2.2 Elasticity of labour supply

2.3 Economic rent and transfer earnings

2.4 The demand for labour

2.5 Will any workers be employed?

2.6 The determinants of the demand for labour

Review Activity

Summary

Section 3: Wage determination in imperfect labour markets

Introduction

3.1 Monopoly demand for labour

3.2 Monopoly supply of labour

Review Activity

Summary

Section 4: The price of capital

Introduction

4.1 The demand for capital

4.2 Internal rate of return

4.3 Supply of capital

Review activity

Summary

Section 5: The price of land

Introduction

Recommended Reading

Answers to Review Activities

Unit 6: Introduction to the Macroeconomy

Introduction

Unit Objectives

Section 1: National income accounts and measurement of national income

Introduction

1.1 National income accounts

1.2 Measurement of national income

1.3 National income statistics and economic welfare

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: National income determination and the circular flow of income

Introduction

2.1 Circular flow of income

2.2 Equilibrium national income

Review Activity

Summary

Section 3: Macroeconomic issues and controversies

Introduction

3.1 Macroeconomic issues

3.2 Objectives of government economic policy

3.3 Macroeconomic debate

Review Activity

Summary

Unit Review Activity

Unit Summary

References

Answers to Review Activities

Unit 7: National Income Determination

Introduction

Unit Objectives

Section 1: Basic Keynesian model of national income determination

Introduction

1.1 Components of aggregate demand

1.2 Aggregate demand and equilibrium national income

1.3 The multiplier

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: Consumption and investment demand

Introduction

2.1 Consumption demand

2.2 Investment demand

Review Activity

Summary

Section 3: Keynesian model and fiscal policy

Introduction

3.1 Keynesian model and unemployment

3.2 Government budget

3.3 Fiscal policy debate

Review Activity

Summary

Section 4: Imports and exports in the Keynesian model

Introduction

4.1 Imports, exports and aggregate demand

Review Activity

Summary

Unit Review Activity

Unit Summary

Recommended Reading

Answers to Review Activities

Unit 8: The Role of Money and the Financial System

Introduction

Objectives

Section 1: Money and the Financial System

Introduction

1.1 Money and the functions of money

1.2 Outline of a financial system

1.3 A model of credit creation

1.4 The financial system

1.5 The London money market

1.6 The money supply

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: Money Demand, Aggregate Demand and Money Market Equilibrium

Introduction

2.1 Theories of the demand for money

2.2 Money market equilibrium and aggregate demand

2.3 Theories of inflation

Review Activity

Summary

Section 3: Monetary Policy

Introduction

3.1 Monetary control techniques

3.2 Interest rate control

3.3 Problems of monetary control

3.4 The monetarist experiment

Review Activity

Summary

Unit Review Activity

Unit Summary

References

Recommended Reading

Answers to Review Activities

Unit 9: National Income Determination and Aggregate Supply

Introduction

Unit Objectives

Section 1: Theories of aggregate supply

Introduction

1.1 Classical theory of aggregate supply

1.2 Keynesian theory of aggregate supply

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: Short-run and long-run aggregate supply

Introduction

2.1 Short-run aggregate supply

2.2 Long-run aggregate supply

2.3 Shifts in aggregate supply

2.4 Macroeconomic equilibrium 537

Review Activity

Summary

Section 3: The Phillips curve

Introduction

3.1 The Keynesians and the Phillips curve

3.2 Monetarists and the Phillips curve

3.3 Supply side policy

Review Activity

Summary

Unit Review Activity

Unit Summary

References

Answers to Review Activities

Unit 10: International Trade

Introduction

Objectives

Section 1: Why do Countries Trade?

Introduction

1.1 Gains from trade

1.2 The UK pattern of trade

1.3 Trade restrictions

Review Activity

Summary

Section 2: The Exchange Rate

Introduction

2.1 What is the exchange rate?

2.2 Exchange rate quotes

2.3 Alternative exchange rate regimes

2.4 The real exchange rate

2.5 The effective exchange rate

2.6 The demand for exports and imports

2.7 Foreign trade and income determination

Review Activities

Summary

Section 3: The Balance of Payments

Introduction

3.1 What is the balance of payments?

3.2 The current account

3.3 The capital account

3.4 Change in reserves

3.5 General principles of correcting balance of payments problems

3.6 Deficit problems

3.7 The problem of a balance of payments surplus

3.8 Surplus problems

Review Activity

Summary

Section 4: Recent Exchange Rate History

Introduction

4.1 The Bretton Woods system

4.2 The oil price shock

4.3 The rise of sterling: 1976-81

4.4 Reagonomics': 1981-5

4.5 The shadowing of the DM

4.6 The European Monetary System

4.7 The exchange rate debate

Review Activity

Summary

Unit Review Activity

Unit Summary

Recommended Reading

Answer to Review Activities

Resources

1.1 Some reflections on morality and capitalism

8.1 The Demand for Money: Problems and Issues

8.2 Monetary targets - a short history

8.3 Macroeconomic Policy since 1979

9.1 Schools brief: A Cruise around the Phillips curve

For a more detailed syllabus on this course, click here

Modules

Assessment Method

After each lesson there will be a question paper, which needs to be completed and submitted to your personal tutor for marking. This method of continual assessment ensures that your personal tutor can consistently monitor your progress and provide you with assistance throughout the duration of the course.

What's Included

  • All study materials
  • Study Guide
  • Full Tutor and Admin support
  • The course fee includes the awarding body registration and certification fee (valued at up to £30.00).

What is NCFE

NCFE is the UK's longest established awarding body, recognised as a highly professional and responsive organisation, committed to maintaining excellent customer service and a friendly approach.

NCFE is recognised as an awarding body by the qualification regulators ('regulators') for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The regulators are the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) in England, the Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DCELLS) in Wales and the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland.

Accreditation by NCFE is a guarantee of quality. It means that the college has been inspected and approved by an independent and experienced education professional and is quality audited biannually by NCFE. The centre delivering the programmes has been licensed by NCFE on the basis of its own quality systems. At the end of an accredited course, successful learners will also receive an NCFE Award certificate of achievement.

For more information on this award, click here

Requirements

There is no experience or previous qualifications required for enrolment on this course. It is available to all students, of all academic backgrounds.

Qualifications

On successful completion of the course you will be issued with the Endorsed Award from ABC Awards:

Level 4 Business Economics Certificate of Achievement

At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement by ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units you have completed as part of your course).

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards' Quality Licence Scheme. This means that learndirect have undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future. The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 4 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of difficulty involved in successful completion by the learner.

The course itself has been designed by learndirect to meet specific learners' or employers' requirements. ABC Awards' endorsement involves a robust and rigorous quality audit by external inspectors to ensure quality is consistently met. A regular review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

To view a sample of the ABC Certificate of Achievement, please click here

To view a sample of the ABC Learner Unit Summary, please click here

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