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California Institute and edX Online Course: Principles of Economics with Calculus

‘Principles of Economics with Calculus’ is the free online course going to be started by the California Institute of Technology in association with edX. Economics is the study of production, distribution, consumption of goods and services and transfer of wealth to produce and obtain those goods. It explains how to deal with the market to satisfy their unlimited wants with the available resources. It can be categorized in two main branches. These are: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics.

Calculus approach to the study of microeconomics contributes large dividends to the society. Following are some related reasons regarding this:
– the use of mathematics in micro economics helps to develop problem-solving skills. It also helps in keeping the track of costs and benefits and it provides a structure for determining, which variables and guidelines are significant.
-the calculus approach assists in learning to think distinctly.
-the use of calculus integrates the material by emphasizing on the common economic structure of problems.
-it helps in becoming literate in the language of modern economics.
-this approach offers opportunity to apply mathematics to solve social science problems.
– this approach allows us to take economics to a more advanced level and thus gives a better acknowledgement of the power of economics.

About This Course

This course offers a significant and model-based introduction to basic economic principles and teaches how to apply these principles in solving the wide range real world problems. Several examples of these applications are: predicting the impact of technological changes in market prices, calculating the optimal gasoline tax and measuring the value of new products. This course will be taught simultaneously to Caltech and online students.

There are two implications of this course: ‘On the cost side’ and ‘On the benefit side’. On the cost side, this class is challenging for students and demands dedication. On the other hand, the benefit side of this course defines the successful completion of the class will provide students a deep understanding of basic principles of economics. At the end of this course students will permanently change their view point to see the world.

Duration of the Course

The session will start from January 7, 2014 for the duration of 10 weeks and require about 9 hours/week for studying.


There are no essential requirements for this course but applicants must have a good understanding of basic calculus.

About the Instructors

Antonio Rangel

He is the Bing Professor of Neuroscience, Behavioral Biology and Economics at Caltech. He is teaching principles of economics since his graduation days.

Liam Clegg

He is a third year student of PhD studying behavioral economics and game theory at Caltech. He loves the thinking way of economists.