Economic Analysis


Economic Analysis is an introductory course to the fascinating world of the Economics. Our major goal is the improvement of the level of students’ Economic education.

Students will be encouraged to learn the basic topics in Economics as well as the way to better use them to understand, analyze and (try to) solve the problems that they will have to face during their personal and professional lives.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

José Manuel Madeira Belbute


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language

Portuguese. If there are Erasmus students, classes will be taught in English




  1. Mankiw, N. Gregory (2018); Principles of Economics, 8th Ed., Cengage Learning,
  2. Belbute, J. M. M. (2003); Princípios de Macroeconomia  Gradiva, Lisboa.
  3. STIGLITZ, J. e J. Driffill (2000); Economics, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc, New York.
  4. Besanko and Braeutigam (2011); ?Microeconomics?, 4th Ed. John Wiley & Sons,

Teaching method

We will privilege both an intuition-based and empirical approach along with the usual positive methods used in Economic.

The typical lecture will focus on the presentation, discussion and practicing of the relevant concepts in each syllabus’ topics. Moreover, we will use the scientific method in Economics

Additionally, the methodology encourages students' ability to identify and interpret the different theoretical positions on the topics, as well as its ability to identify the correspondent policy implications.

Moreover, we will privilege an active and, in some extend (depending of the class size) cooperative learning based methods. Finally, we will make a strong used of some feedback learning schemes.

Evaluation method

Student’s assessment will be made in a continuous base, which includes, 4 short quizzes, (40%) and a final test (60%). Alternatively students will be allowed to make a single final exam (100%).

Subject matter


I - Introduction

1.1 Economics as Science

1.2 The Economic Problem: scarcity, choice, exchange and interdependence

1.3 Demand  and Supply: a first approach

II - The Consumer Decision

2.1 Preferences, utility and consumer choice

2.1.1 The utility function

2.1.2 The marginal utility and the marginal rate of substitution.

2.1.3 The Budget constraint

2.1.4 The consumer optimal choice

2.2 The Demand Curve

2.2.1 The demand as the “willingness to pay”

2.2.2 Determinants of the demand curve

2.2.3 The Substitution Effect (ES), the Income Effect (IR) and Total Effect (ET): an introduction

2.2.4 Demand elasticity: Price-elasticity, income-elasticity and cross elasticity

2.2.5 The Consumer Surplus

III - The Decision of the Producer and the Market Organization

3.1 Business and production: How to Produce?

3.1.1 The production function and technology: The law of diminishing marginal returns and returns of scale

3.1.2 The choice of the optimal combination of production factors

3.2 The Firm's Supply: How Much to Produce?

3.2.1 Production Costs. Total costs (TC), fxed costs (CF) and variable costs (CV), average costs (CM) and marginal costs (Cmg).

3.2.2 The firm’s supply curve and the market supply curve.

3.2.3 The Determinants of the supply curve

IV - The functioning of the Market: a brief introduction

4.1 Perfect competition

4.2 Monopoly

4.3 Disturbance of market functioning

4.3.1 Taxes and Subsidies

4.3.2 Maximum Prices, Minimum Prices and import quotas,

4.3.3 Welfare and externalities

4.4 The labor market: a brief overview

4.4.1The labor Demand curve and its determinants

4.4.2 The labor supply curve and its determinants

4.4.3 The labor market equilibrium: particularities and sources of rigidity

4.4.4 Some determining factors in wage formation



5.1. Measurement of economic activity: main macroeconomic aggregates

5.1.1. Some National Accounting Concepts

5.1.2. Consumer Price Index (CPI), inflation

5.2. The Economic Growth

5.2.1. Definition, stylized facts and the role of productivity

5.2.2. What determines economic growth

6.1. Inflation, unemployment. The Phillips Curve; fact or artifact?

7.1 Short-term economic fluctuations

7.1.1. The financial system: savings, investment and the credit market

7.1.2. The goods market. The importance of both  the investment and the  government spending and revenues

7.1.3. The money market: demand and supply of money. The role of the Central Bank

7.1.4. The Aggregate demand

7.1.5. The complete systemNot available.


Programs where the course is taught: