A central theme of our course is decision making.  My main goal is for you to see the concepts, models and theories of economics in the real world, so that you can use them to make better decisions in business and life. One of the tools we use throughout the course is marginal analysis: understanding how to find the “optimal” or “efficient” quantity of something by comparing costs and benefits at the margin.

Assignment:  Write an essay explaining what “marginal” means and explain why marginal analysis leads to optimal or efficient quantities. Use applications we learned in our course (consumption decisions and production decisions) to support the answer. Adding examples from life outside of the classroom is strongly encouraged.

In short, put together a comprehensive view of a topic that was covered throughout the course. I’m not looking for a laundry list of topics. Rather, you should write a cohesive, accurate and easy-to-understand essay that someone new to economics could use to understand the idea of “marginal” and how marginal analysis works to help us make better decisions.

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