• Welcome

    to Economic Investigations

lottery picture moneyWelcome to the Economic Investigations website! We hope that you find it useful. The site is an ongoing project which will evolve over time to provide a comprehensive resource for students and teachers. Economics isn’t just about making money (see picture) – it’s a way of thinking about the world and learning some fundamental, even eternal truths. The thinking skills you gain really will help you flourish. It’s not a dismal science fit for dismaland, nor a fantasy subject fit for disneyland. It’s a living, breathing, evolving discipline.

We encourage you to extend your knowledge and apply it to the real world. We aim to provide resources which are accessible for all, whilst providing an opportunity to extend your thinking beyond the limits of specifications, through a series of advanced articles which will encourage wider reading. Feel free to dig deeper and comment!
On this site we link the study of Economics to four core concepts. These core concepts are:

  • Rationality
  • Scarcity
  • Opportunity cost and,
  • Marginality

Much of Economics focuses on choice. ‘Economic man’ makes rational decisions. We do not spend money on consuming goods from which we derive no satisfaction or benefit. Firms will not supply goods for which there is no demand. When goods are consumed it is because those goods provide the greatest benefit to consumers and because resources are finite we have to make rational decisions about what to consumer and what to forego or do without.

In making these decision we incur opportunity costs – the value or the pleasure of what we didn’t choose. These decisions are taken at the individual level and at society level. It is also true that decision change at the margins. Consuming one malteser might be delightful; munching five might enjoyable but eating thirty in one go might be unpleasant. As we eat each extra malteser the satisfaction gained declines. Eventually, satisfaction turns to dissatisfaction and as rational consumers we cease consumption.

Marginal decisions must also be taken by firms when seeking to achieve efficiency and maximise returns. Society makes choices at the margin when making judgements about a whole range of issues. In this way marginal cost and marginal benefit can be used to examine a range of issues from the highly topical issue of immigration to pollution. It is our belief that grasping the core concepts will enrich students understanding of Economics.

Economic Investigations is intended to be a community. Please feel free to get in touch with suggestions or to request articles to address particular topics. If you would like to contribute activities and resources which have worked in your teaching, please share them with us.

Peter Baron

Managing Editor peped.org