Excerpt from course description

Market, crises and sustainability


The course addresses key themes and recurring issues in economic organization over the past 250 years. The starting point is Adam Smith's view of the market economy in his groundbreaking work The Wealth of Nations, published in 1776. Then will be presented what later economists have said about the same topic. The course's pervasive theme is the market economy's opportunities and problems related to business, government and the individual's role and behavior in society. Modern economic theory that also explain the functions of the markets from information conditions and psychological factors are also taken up.
How one can handle financial crises, environmental and resource challenges and unequal income distribution issues in a market economy will be also discussed in relation to the ideas that are presented in the course. An important question is whether and how a market economy also can create sustainability for the future.  

Course content

  1. Adam Smith. Invisible hand and the free market.
  2. David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, John Stuart Mill free trade, protectionism and economic development 
  3. Leon Walras, Catl Menger, Stanley Jevons,  Alfred Marshal and Vilfredo Pareto: the neoclassical theory of perfect competition
  4. Thorstein Veblen and and John K Galbraith. The critique of neoclassical theory
  5. Joan Robinson and the theory of imperfect competition
  6. John Maynard Keynes' theory on crises and unemployment. Paul Krugman and The New Keynesian theory
  7. Karl Marx and Joseph Schumpeter's view of why crises occur.
  8. Alfred Pigou and recent environmental economists.
  9. Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman and the market-friendly economists in the postwar period
  10. Joseph Stiglitz and George Akerlof. The consequence of the lack of information in the markets.
  11. Robert Shiller and Hyman Minky.The cause of the financial crisis in 2008.
  12. Daniel Kahneman. Bounded rationality.


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.