Full course description
Economists study the production and allocation of scarce resources, and one of their primary tools for doing so is microeconomic analysis. This methodology starts from the idea that, within a given institutional framework, economic outcomes are the product of choices made by many different individuals. With the micro approach, economists first study individual decisions, then study how these decisions collectively lead to broader outcomes in society.
In this course, you will be provided with tools to perform this kind of analysis, with an emphasis on the analysis of markets. For example, we will work closely with mathematical models of how consumers and producers respond to prices, as well as models of which prices they may face—both when the market is competitive and when it is not. We will also consider several criteria for comparing economic outcomes, and use them to assess various kinds of market regulations.
Ultimately, this is a course about techniques. The purpose of this course is not to provide you with answers to questions of economic policy, but rather with the techniques to rigorously form your own questions and answers.
- To introduce students to the basics of microeconomic theory.
- To acquire skills in applying its analytical tools to real-life economic problems.
Recommendations: Statistics 1/Introduction to Statistical Methods and Data Analysis (Quantitative Methods) and Principles of Economics. Students taking this course should be prepared to use and manipulate basic mathematical expressions. A good knowledge of the analysis of common functions and their derivatives will be an asset for the course.
The primary textbook for the course is:
Varian, H. (2009). Intermediate Microeconomics: A Modern Approach (Eighth Edition). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.
Varian, H. (2014). Intermediate Microeconomics: A Modern Approach (Ninth Edition). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.
Note that reading instructions are provided for both editions