The purpose of this course is to provide students with a good understanding of the analytical tools economists use to analyze economic issues dealing with the behavior of economic units such as consumers and firms. Students will learn that even seemingly non-economic (social) problems often have economic dimensions that can be usefully examined with economic tools of analysis. The course will build upon the foundation
laid in the two introductory economics courses. It is required that students taking this
course have successfully completed both introductory micro and introductory macroeconomics.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Economics is principally a quantitative discipline. Most economic analyses make use of mathematical tools such as algebraic equations and graphs as well as calculus. The use of calculus in this course is, however, very limited and we primarily rely on algebra and graphical demonstrations. Nevertheless, students who have taken calculus can (and are encouraged to ) utilize their knowledge of calculus in conceptualizing certain economic concepts such as marginal utility, marginal product, etc.
We will start the course with a brief review of the "basic" economic problem and the theoretical framework within which economic models are developed. Within this context economic concepts such as scarcity, self-interest, opportunity cost, diminishing returns, price, and market equilibrium are revisited. A review of the supply and demand model will help us understand how economic models can be used to explain market interactions. Then we shall closely study the consumer theory, production and the theory of the firm and the conditions for market equilibrium under different market structures. Next we shall examine resource markets and income distribution under different market conditions. We shall also investigate market failures and study the issues related to public goods and externalities. The usefulness of an economic theory is measured by its application. That is why our discussions of economic models will always be accompanied by references to specific applications.
Microeconomics by Robert S. Pindyck and Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 6th Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall: 2005
(Optional) Study Guide (for Microeconomics by Pindyck and Rubinfeld, 6th Edition) by Jonathan Hamilton and Valerie Suslow, Pearson Prentice Hall: 2005
There will be three examinations as follows:
Test One...... W. October 6 ...................................25%
Test Two...... W. November10 ..............................30%
Final Exam .....F. December 17 (10:30am) ............ 35%
In addition to the exams students will be given regular homework assignments including (but not limited to) two or three essays. Through these essays students will be given an opportunity to reflect on some of the issues discussed in the course. The assignments will carry a maximum of 20 points that will be added to the points obtained from the exams. The course grades will be determined based on the distribution of the accumulated points.
Students are strongly urged to attend classes regularly and keep up with the reading and other assignments. Excessive absences could have an adverse effect on the student's performance evaluation. Make-up tests are given only when a student misses a test as a result a professionally diagnosed and treated illness and other documented extenuating circumstances. The make-up tests may or may not have the same format as scheduled tests.
The Course Outline: