The University Minor in Economics is a 30 EC programme consisting of the following five, interlinked modules (of 6 EC each):
Foundations of Microeconomics
Explains why economists use models and that economic models differ from models in other sciences. It introduces the basic three concepts of (micro) economics: optimization, equilibrium and empiricism. The course develops the theory of demand and supply, market equilibrium, market efficiency and market failure.
Foundations of Macroeconomics
Introduces core concepts and theories of modern macroeconomic analysis including their historical development. You will understand macroeconomic theories about growth, inequality and unemployment within their historical contexts, and become familiar with recent empirical macroeconomic work.
Introduces you to the theory and practice of fiscal and monetary policy, including regulation of the financial system. You get to apply macroeconomic concepts and theories to analyze problems of employment and inflation, and macroeconomic policymaking in managing business cycles and economic crises.
Identifies, analyzes and evaluates policy options to economic problems in labor markets, social insurance, pensions, development, trade, environment, and product market competition. Using problem sets and work on economic data increases and deepens understanding, and helps broaching a large number of microeconomic policy fields.
Economic Policy Analysis
Develops your capability to independently analyse a policy issue, design a policy response, or evaluate a policy intervention from an economic point of view. You learn how to motivate and formulate an appropriate research question, and conduct literature-based research resulting in a paper, presentation, and peer review.
All five modules represent a coherent package of closely intertwined courses, building gradually from first theoretical principles and tools of empirical economic analysis towards developing identification of market failure and insight when policy interventions may provide solutions. We take a structured approach to solve practical problems using economic core concepts and skills. Upon completion you will have a proven ability to apply sound economic reasoning to a range of issues on a micro- and macroeconomic level, for example related to health, environment, finance, labor, transport, and development.
For more information about each course, please visit the study guide.
The University Minor in Economics is for university students from nearly all majors (exceptions indicated below*) who want to acquire familiarity with the core principles of economic reasoning. Participants in the past had majors in Organization Studies, Physics, Health Studies, Civil Engineering, Philosophy, Political Science, Mathematics, Theology, and came from many faculties at VU and beyond (e.g. UvA, TU Delft). Economics combines rather well (either as complement or as addition) with lots of disciplines and fields of study.
There is no formal entrance requirement for the University Minor in Economics except for highschool level math (“VWO Wiskunde A” (or “B”)). A basic course in quantitative methods and/or statistics is strongly recommended, however. Eligible VU students do not need to ask for permission from the Examination Board to follow the University Minor in Economics and to count the credits (30 EC) towards their own BSc degree.
*Note: Students in the BSc programmes Economics and Business Economics and Econometrics are excluded from participating in the University Minor in Economics.
RegistrationVU student: you can register for the courses of the minor via VUnet from 15 July.
“The program is well-designed, starting with introductory courses microeconomics and macroeconomics and continuing with more advanced courses, closing with an applied policy paper. While challenging, courses are achievable, even for me as a student without any economics background. Besides that, there are a lot of interesting guest lectures, which are well cared for and which match the regular lectures very well. I have learned a lot during the minor Economics and it even made me consider applying for the Economics master as well!”
"The minor Economics helped me to place current societal issues into relevant context. By focusing on global economic policy issues and individual decision-making, students will receive a broad set of skills that will be helpful in a large number of disciplines. Moreover, several knowledgeable economists provide interesting guest lectures that showcase the different manners in which economics is used in today’s society. This minor taught me to apply sound economic reasoning on a diverse set of problems ranging from individual utility maximisation to influencing levels of inflation. As a result, this minor has inspired me to approach problems in my own fields of study in an alternative way that potentially could lead to better solutions."
1 semester (30 EC)
Economie, Recht en Bestuur
Gedrag en Maatschappij
Informatica, Wiskunde en Bedrijf
School of Business and Economics