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BSNS113 Economic Principles and Policy

Introduction to concepts central to understanding market economies, including allocation of scarce resources, consumer and business reactions to changing market conditions, and the application of economic principles to personal and business decision-making.

Have you ever stopped to wonder at how easy it is, given you have the cash or credit, to go out and buy almost anything you want? How is it that such a wide range of goods and services are produced in roughly the right amounts, often at surprisingly low cost, and then distributed to the people who want them?

This paper builds an understanding of how, and how well, our market-oriented economy gets this done. We use a variety of simple yet revealing graphical models to study the mechanics of markets and the market system and to evaluate market outcomes. We identify factors that can inhibit markets functioning and evaluate public policies used to counteract these inhibitors, both in individual markets and in the macro economy. In particular, we study issues around international trade, business strategy, competition policy, the environment, taxation, and cycles in exchange, interest, unemployment and growth rates.

Paper title Economic Principles and Policy
Paper code BSNS113
Subject Business Studies
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period(s) Semester 1 (On campus)
Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $887.55
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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BSNS 104
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Commerce, Science
This is a required paper for BCom from 2017 (to be taken in place of BSNS104 by students completing under earlier regulations).

Teaching staff

Paul Thorsnes (Semester One)
Stephen Knowles (Semester Two)
Terry Kerr


7th Asia-Pacific Edition published in 2018 of Principles of Economics by Gans, King, Stonecash, Byford, Libich and Mankiw, published by Cengage.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical Thinking, Research, Interdisciplinary Perspective, Scholarship, Ethics, Global Perspective, Cultural Understanding, Environmental Literacy.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will:
  • Understand how market economies work and apply this understanding to make better business and personal decisions
  • Be able to explain how a market economy allocates scarce resources, how consumers and firms respond to changing market conditions, and the factors that affect market efficiency
  • Be able to identify cases of market failure (e.g. pollution), to evaluate the effects of such market failure and analyse alternative policy responses, and to analyse how these responses affect businesses
  • Be able to apply the principles of economics to business and personal decision making
  • Develop an understanding of the relevance of economic analysis to environmental issues
  • Develop an awareness of the international economy

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 9-15, 17-22
A2 Tuesday 11:00-11:50 9-15, 17-22
AND one stream from
B1 Thursday 10:00-10:50 9-15, 17-22
B2 Thursday 11:00-11:50 9-15, 17-22
AND one stream from
C1 Friday 10:00-10:50 9-14, 17-22
C2 Friday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 17-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 09:00-09:50 10-15, 18-22
A2 Monday 10:00-10:50 10-15, 18-22
A3 Monday 12:00-12:50 10-15, 18-22
A4 Monday 13:00-13:50 10-15, 18-22
A5 Monday 14:00-14:50 10-15, 18-22
A6 Monday 16:00-16:50 10-15, 18-22
A7 Monday 17:00-17:50 10-15, 18-22
A8 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 10-15, 17-22
A9 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 10-15, 17-22
A10 Tuesday 17:00-17:50 10-15, 17-22
A11 Wednesday 09:00-09:50 10-15, 17-22
A12 Wednesday 12:00-12:50 10-15, 17-22
A13 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 10-15, 17-22
A14 Wednesday 16:00-16:50 10-15, 17-22
A15 Wednesday 17:00-17:50 10-15, 17-22
A16 Wednesday 17:00-17:50 10-15, 17-22
A17 Thursday 13:00-13:50 10-15, 17-22
A18 Thursday 17:00-17:50 10-15, 17-22
A19 Friday 12:00-12:50 10-14, 17-22
A20 Friday 13:00-13:50 10-14, 17-22
A21 Friday 14:00-14:50 10-14, 17-22
A22 Friday 15:00-15:50 10-14, 17-22
A23 Friday 16:00-16:50 10-14, 17-22
A24 Friday 16:00-16:50 10-14, 17-22

Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 15:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41
B1 Thursday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41
C1 Friday 15:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 09:00-09:50 29-34, 36-41
A2 Monday 12:00-12:50 29-34, 36-41
A3 Monday 16:00-16:50 29-34, 36-41
A4 Monday 17:00-17:50 29-34, 36-41
A5 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 29-34, 36-41
A6 Tuesday 17:00-17:50 29-34, 36-41
A7 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 29-34, 36-41
A8 Wednesday 17:00-17:50 29-34, 36-41
A9 Thursday 17:00-17:50 29-34, 36-41
A10 Friday 09:00-09:50 29-34, 36-41
A11 Friday 12:00-12:50 29-34, 36-41
A12 Friday 13:00-13:50 29-34, 36-41
A13 Friday 14:00-14:50 29-34, 36-41