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Best Free Economic Courses At Online Sources

01 Oct 2018Student Tips

The study of Economics allows us to understand how societies, governments, businesses, and households utilize their resources. If we didn’t use Economics, or had no knowledge of how to use resources rationally you would see community after community suffer and fade away. Economics allows us to safeguard against shortages of a multitude of resources. Economics allows us to overcome market failure, and sustains a competitive arena which people are able to make a living. Properly understanding the consequences of your economic actions is what helps world leaders keep the people of their country prospering and happy.

Economics is important, but unfortunately, to learn economics, one must dedicate time and energy to studying theories and case studies. This can be time-consuming, and often people find sitting in an economic class desperately trying to concentrate, isn’t the best method of learning. In our modern technological age, you don’t have to do that! There are hundreds of fantastic economics online courses waiting for you to take part. The range of courses includes online accounting courses, as well as case studies looking at governments and organizations use of economic resources. How much does this online education cost? It’s absolutely free! These courses are run by passionate individuals that believe education should be available to absolutely everyone!

Not sure where you should start looking for your course? No worries, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best opportunities you can undertake. Passionate tutors, amazing topics and a fantastic learning experience, all from your computer screen!

Springboard Online Courses

Springboard has been a fantastic online resource since the 2000’s! It provides remote students with a range of amazing courses, catering to whatever they need. They run courses that adapt to your schedule, you’ll be matched with a mentor that understands your needs and you’ll be able to test and learn through real-life projects.

Medieval Economic History in Comparative Perspective

Via Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Flexible duration)

This course will survey the conditions of material life and changing social and economic conditions in medieval Europe with reference to the comparative context of contemporary Islamic, Chinese, and Central Asian experiences. The subject covers the emergence and decline of feudal institutions, the transformation of peasant agriculture, living standards, and the course of the epidemic disease, and the ebb and flow of long-distance trade across the Eurasian system. Particular emphasis will be placed on the study of those factors, both institutional and technological, which have contributed to the emergence of capitalist organization and economic growth in Western Europe in contrast to the trajectories followed by the other major medieval economies.

American Capitalism: A History

Via Cornell University (8 weeks long)

Perhaps no story is as essential to get right as the history of capitalism. Nearly all our theories about promoting progress come from how we interpret the economic changes of the last 500 years. This past decade’s crises continues to remind us just how much capitalism changes, even as its basic features – wage labor, financial markets, private property, entrepreneurs – endure. While capitalism has a global history, the United States plays a special role in that story. This course will help you understand how the United States became the world’s leading economic power, revealing essential lessons about what has been and what will be possible in capitalism’s on-going revolution.

Coursera Online Courses

Microeconomics: The Power of Marketing

Via the University of Pennsylvania (5 weeks long)

This course is an introduction to the microeconomic theory of markets: why we have them, how they work, what they accomplish. We will start with the concept of scarcity and how specialization according to comparative advantage helps us achieve more than we could alone. Next we create a model using the tools of supply and demand and learn what well-working markets accomplish and what their limits are. We end by exploring the impact of government intervention on perfect markets. Examples are taken from everyday life and from goods and services we all purchase and use. We will apply the theory to current events and policy debates through weekly exercises. These will empower you to be an educated, critical thinker who can understand, analyze, and evaluate market outcomes.

The Power of Markets

Via The University of Rochester (12 weeks long)

This opening module of the Power of Markets course covers economists’ basic assumptions about market participants, the concept of opportunity cost, and the key determinants of supply and demand. We will then learn how to use the supply-demand framework to explain and predict market outcomes and to show how government policies affect market outcomes. We will look at how quantity demanded and supplied, respond to their key determinants in quantity (elasticity) as well as qualitative terms. The last two weeks of the first module will investigate consumer behavior more closely and show how consumer choices are driven by the interplay of preferences and budget constraints. We will employ the consumer choice framework to examine investor choice as well as policies such as ObamaCare and school choice. Finally, we will also address the concept of how to distribute a given amount of goods across society’s consumers in the most efficient manner.

Economics of Money and Banking

Via Columbia University (13 weeks long)

The last three or four decades have seen a remarkable evolution in the institutions that comprise the modern monetary system. The financial crisis of 2007-2009 is a wake-up call that we need a similar evolution in the analytical apparatus and theories that we use to understand that system. Produced and sponsored by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, this course is an attempt to begin the process of new economic thinking by reviving and updating some forgotten traditions in a monetary thought that have become newly relevant.

Understanding Economic Policymaking

Via IE Business School (6 weeks long)

This is the first of the three-part course of Globalization, Economic Growth, and Stability Specialization. This course will employ a non-technical approach to analyze how governments use policy to influence a country's economy. Upon completing the course you should be able to discuss national debt and deficits, examine fiscal and monetary policy and their appropriateness to the economical situation and anticipate the results of fiscal and monetary policies and structural reform on a country. These concepts will give you the tools to develop your own position in many current economic debates, such as fiscal stimulus vs. austerity, the merits of quantitative easing, the need for higher interest rates, or the future growth path of many modern economies.

Free Online Courses To Improve Your Knowlege in Economic Science

Intermediate Macroeconomics

Via Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Flexible duration)

This course uses macroeconomic tools to study various macroeconomic policy problems in-depth. The problems range from economic growth in the long run, to government finances in the intermediate run, and economic stability in the short run. Many economic models used today are surveyed.

The Finance of Retirement and Pensions

Via Stanford University (8 weeks long)

In this eight-week course, you will learn the financial concepts behind sound retirement plan investment and pension fund management. Course participants will become more informed decision makers about their own portfolios, and be equipped to evaluate economic policy discussions that surround public pensions. The course begins with the principles of financial economics, such as the distribution of outcomes when investing in stocks, bonds, or annuities. These serve as the building blocks for an understanding of different retirement strategies that can help you improve your asset allocation. Finally, the course applies these principles to government programs and policies.

Debt Sustainability Analysis

Via International Monetary Fund (6 weeks long)

What causes a country’s debt to become unsustainable? How do we assess debt sustainability of public and external debt? How can countries manage their debt portfolio? This online course aims to provide a comprehensive overview of debt sustainability analysis (DSA) and a medium-term debt management strategy framework adopted by the IMF and the World Bank. Specifically, the course will:

  • introduce the main principles of debt sustainability;
  • cover recently updated DSA frameworks — both for advanced and emerging markets and for low-income countries — with an emphasis on country data;
  • present a medium-term debt management strategy (MTDS) framework, and
  • illustrate debt sustainability analysis under uncertainty.

Whether you have a professional interest in debt sustainability or debt management or you are simply curious about these issues, we hope that you will join us in this in-depth study of one of the most critical and current issues in economic policy today!

International Economics I

Via Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Flexible duration)

This course covers a focus on both theory and empirics, advanced topics in international trade (as well as inter-regional trade and economic geography). It includes the study of positive issues, such as:

  • Why do countries trade?
  • What goods do countries trade?
  • What are the implications of openness for the location of production, industries, occupations, and innovative activity?
  • What impedes trade and why do some countries deliberately erect policy impediments to trade?

The course also concerns normative issues, such as: Is trade openness beneficial to a representative agent? Are there winners and losers from trade and if so, can we identify them? Throughout, these issues are approached in neoclassical settings as well as those with market failures, at the industry level as well as the firm-level, and in the presence of both mobile and immobile factors (e.g., FDI, offshoring of tasks, multinational firms and immigration).

Introduction to Statistical Methods of Economics

Via Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Flexible duration)

This course provides a solid foundation in probability and statistics for economists and other social scientists. We will emphasize topics needed for the further study of econometrics and provide basic preparation for class 14.32. Topics include elements of probability theory, sampling theory, statistical estimation, and hypothesis testing.

Nonlinear Econometric Analysis

Via Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Flexible duration)

This course presents micro-econometric models, including large sample theories for estimation and hypothesis testing, generalized method of moments (GMM), estimation of censored and truncated specifications, quantile regression, structural estimation, nonparametric and semiparametric estimation, treatment effects, panel data, bootstrapping, simulation methods, and Bayesian methods. The methods are illustrated with economic applications

Economy and Psychology

Via Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Flexible duration)

This course integrates psychological insights into economic models of behavior. It discusses the limitations of standard economic models and surveys the ways which psychological experiments have been used to learn about preferences, cognition, and behavior. Topics include: trust, vengeance, fairness, impatience, impulsivity, bounded rationality, learning, reinforcement, classical conditioning, loss-aversion, over-confidence, self-serving biases, cognitive dissonance, altruism, subjective well-being, and hedonic adaptation. Economic concepts such as equilibrium, rational choice, utility maximization, Bayesian beliefs, game theory, and behavior under uncertainty are discussed in light of these phenomena.

Environmental Policy and Environment

Via Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Flexible duration)

This course explores the proper role of government in the regulation of the environment. It will help students develop tools to estimate the costs and benefits of environmental regulations. These tools will be used to evaluate a series of current policy questions, including:

  • Should air and water pollution regulations be tightened or loosened?
  • What are the costs of climate change in the U.S. and abroad?
  • Is there a "Race to the Bottom" in environmental regulation?
  • What is "sustainable development"?
  • How do environmental problems differ in developing countries?
  • Are we running out of oil and other natural resources? Should we be more energy efficient?

To gain real-world experience, the course is scheduled to include a visit to the MIT cogeneration plant. We will also do an in-class simulation of an air pollution emissions market.

Fast Company

Fast Company is a leading progressive business media brand. It’s written by the most progressive business leaders. Fast Company inspires readers to think beyond traditional boundaries, lead conversations, and create the future of business. So you can be sure they know the best economics courses around.

Internet Giants: The Law and Economics of Media Platforms

Via The University of Chicago (9 weeks long)

This nine-week course will explore the relationship between law and technology with a strong focus on the laws of the United States with some comparisons to laws around the world, especially in Europe. Tech progress is an important source of economic growth and raises broader questions about the human condition, including how culture evolves and who controls that evolution. Technology also matters in countless other ways as it often establishes the framework in which governments interact with their citizens, both in allowing speech and blocking it and in establishing exactly what the boundaries are between private life and the government. Technology itself is powerfully shaped by the laws that apply in areas as diverse as copyright, antitrust, patents, privacy, speech law, and the regulation of networks.

Economics of Transition and Emerging Markets

Via The Higher School of Economics (6 weeks long)

It starts from a brief history of communist economic systems based on central planning in the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe, its evolution and collapse at the end of 1980s/ early 1990s and subsequent transition to a market system in 1990s and 2000s. Then it analyzes the experience of market reforms in China, India, other Asian countries, The Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America during the same period. Finally, it discusses the problems of the contemporary global economy and global and regional economic governance with a special focus given to emerging-market economies and their role.

By the end of the course, you will be able to analyse emerging-market economies and economies in transition, taking into account their crucial characteristics and historical experience.

Introduction to Neuroeconomics: How the Brain Makes Decisions

Via The Higher School of Economics (9 weeks long)

Economics, psychology, and neuroscience are converging today into a unified discipline of Neuroeconomics with the ultimate aim of creating a single, general theory of human decision-making. Neuroeconomics provides biologists, economists, psychologists, and social scientists with a deeper understanding of how they make their own decisions and how others decide. Neuroscience, when aligned with psychology and economics, creates powerful new models to explain why we make decisions. Neurobiological mechanisms of decision-making, decisions under risk, trust and cooperation will be central issues in this course. You will be provided with the most recent evidence from brain-imaging techniques (fMRI, TMS, etc.) and introduced to the explanatory models behind them.

Politics and Economics of International Energy

Via The Institute of Politics in Paris (8 weeks long)

Energy issues have always been important in international relations, but in recent years have become even more important than in the past due to the widespread awareness of existing limits to energy sources and negative climate impact. The course discusses global trends in energy consumption and production, various available scenarios for potential developments in the coming decades, the availability of oil reserves and the evolution of the oil industry. It then discusses natural gas and highlights the differences between oil and gas. It will also discuss renewable energy sources, nuclear energy, and EU energy policy.

Microeconomics: The Power of Markets

Via University of Pennsylvania (5 weeks long)

We make economic decisions every day: what to buy, whether to work or play, what to study. We constantly respond to markets: prices influence our decisions, markets signal where to put effort, they direct firms to produce certain goods over others. Economics is all around us. This course is an introduction to the micro-economic theory of markets: why we have them, how they work, what they accomplish. We will start with the concept of scarcity and how specialization according to comparative advantage helps us achieve more than we could alone. Next we model a market using the tools of supply and demand and learn what functional markets accomplish and what their limits are. We end by exploring the impact of government intervention on perfect markets. Examples are taken from everyday life and from goods and services that we all purchase and use. We will apply the theory to current events and policy debates through weekly exercises. These will empower you to be an educated, critical thinker who can understand, analyze and evaluate market outcomes.

Microeconomics: When Markets Fail

Via University of Pennsylvania (5 weeks long)

Perfect markets achieve efficiency: maximizing total surplus generated but real markets are imperfect. In this course we will explore a set of market imperfections to understand why they fail and to explore possible remedies including antitrust policy, regulation, and government intervention. Examples are taken from everyday life, from goods and services that we all purchase and use. We will apply the theory to current events and policy debates through weekly exercises. These will empower you to be an educated, critical thinker who can understand, analyze, and evaluate market outcomes.

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