Economics and Sociology
Full course description
Economic behaviour is generally situated in a social environment. The course “Economics and Sociology” focuses on the role played by social relations, norms, habits etc. in economic life. Other social scientists (the focus of this course is on sociologists) have criticized the economic approach for not taking into account the influence of tradition, social norms, and habits in economic analyses. Economists claim that the economic approach is also useful in explaining human behaviour and social interactions in settings that are not traditionally covered by economics, such as marriage, education, religion, neighbourhoods etc. and have responded to the critique of sociologists by enriching their models to include institutions, psychological factors and social processes. In the course various topics at the borderline between economics and sociology are discussed by comparing empirical papers and looking at the difference in perspective that sociologists and economists take. Topics covered are for example the division of labour, love and marriage, education, etc.
- to learn how social relations, norms, values, attitudes and institutions emerge and how they affect human behaviour, both from an economic and a sociological point of view
- to apply the theories and concepts learned in the course to think about social issues, both from an economic and from a sociological point of view
- Intermediate level of economics (concepts as utility maximization, scarcity, efficiency, and knowledge on the emergence of the discipline of economics),
- An advanced level of English (lectures, tutorials, reading material, and all course work is in English),
- An intermediate level of statistical methods (concepts as independent and dependent variables, OLS regressions, significance levels, R2).
A reading list containing a few classical papers and recent literature concerning the topics mentioned, most empirical in nature.