Economics 103

Introductory Microeconomics

Fall 2006

 

Michael Robinson

Skinner 128

538-3085

Office Hours: MW 11-12 and by appointment

Email: mirobins@mtholyoke.edu

 

This course provides an introduction to microeconomics. Topics include: consumer demand, the theory of the firm, monopoly, oligopoly, government and markets, externalities, labor economics, and assorted other topics.

 

The text for this course is:

Microeconomics 1st Edition. Krugman and Wells. Worth Publishers

 

Requirements and Grades:

 

You grade will be based on a mid-semester exam and a final exam (60%). In addition you will be required to write up five case studies (20%) and do weekly quizzes (20%). Note the quizzes will be taken from the Krugman and Wells website.

The mid-semester exam will be taken in class on Oct. 31. The final exam is self-scheduled and will be comprehensive. Very short quizzes will be given some Mondays.

The fourth hour is scheduled for Friday 3:10-3:50. The fourth hours will be used for doing cases, the problems in the book, further review, and occasionally experiments and games. You are expected to attend fourth hours, but in those cases where we are simply reviewing problems you should maximize your utility.

Case studies are an important part of the course. We will be doing several cases over the course of the semester. For each case you should come to class prepared to discuss the case. You may want to meet with a study group to help prepare the cases. You are required to write up five of the cases (on your own). No cases will be accepted after the due date. These case write-ups should be two or three pages long and answer the main questions addressed by the case. The syllabus below tells when each case is due. Because some of the cases we will be using are copyrighted there will be a small fee for the cases.

Worth has a nice web site for Krugman and Wells: http://bcs.worthpublishers.com/krugmanwellsmicro/ which has a very nice study guide. The quizzes will come from the online practice quizzes or conceptual quizzes. Another good econ site is http://netec.wustl.edu//WebEc/, or http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AEA/students/index.htm which have the best collection of economics related information around. If you want to hear the radio listen to Marketplace on WFCR 88.5 and WAMC 90.3 at 6:30 for a great economics/business news show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course Outline and Readings

Chapters in hardcover text

 

 

 

 

 

Topic

Approximate Dates/Readings

1.

Introduction to Microeconomics

Sept. 7

 

 

Chapters 1-2

 

 

 

 

Case Study 1: The Bumbling Professor (A Problem of Allocation)

Sept. 7

2.

Supply and Demand

Sept. 12-14

 

 

Chapters 3 5

 

Case Study 2: Designing a Financial Aid Plan.

Sept. 19

3.

Individuals and Markets

Sept 21

 

 

Chapter 6-7

4.

Consumer Demand

Sept 26

 

 

Chapters 10-11

5.

Production

Sept 28-Oct. 3

 

 

Chapters 8-9

 

Case Study 3: Caribbean Internet Cafe

Oct. 5

 

Mid-semester Exam

Oct. 12

5.

Input markets

Oct 12.

 

 

Chapters 12

6.

Competitive Markets

Oct. 17-19

 

 

Chapter 13

 

Case Study 4: Cornwall County School District

October 20

 

 

Chapter 18

8.

Monopoly

Oct. 24-26

 

 

Chapter 14

8.

Case Study 5: Aids Drugs in Africa

Oct. 27.

 

 

 

 

Midsemester Exam

Oct. 31

 

 

 

9.

MC, Oligopoly

Nov. 2-7

 

 

Chapters 15-16

 

Case Study 6: Marketing and Product Differentiation at Mount Holyoke College

Nov 9

 

 

 

11.

International Trade

Nov. 14

 

 

Chapter17

 

Case Study 7: International Decorative Glass

Nov 16.

 

 

 

12.

Imperfect Information

Nov. 21

 

 

Chapter 18

13.

Externalities

Nov. 28-30

 

 

Chapter 19

14

Public Goods

Dec. 5-7

 

 

Chapter 20

15.

Case Study 8: High Mountain Sheep Dam

Dec. 8

 

 

Chapter 18

 

 

 

16.

Final Review

Dec 12

17.

Final Exam

Self Scheduled

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case Study Summary

 

 

Case

Case done/Write-up Due

 

Case Study 1: The Bumbling Professor (A Problem of Allocation)

Sept. 7/Sept.12

 

Case Study 2: Designing a Financial Aid Plan.

Sept. 19/Sept 26

 

Case Study 3: Caribbean Internet Cafe

Oct. 5/Oct. 9

 

Case Study 4:Cornwall County School District

Links to Servicemaster Web info

Oct. 20/Oct. 23

 

Case Study 5:Aid Drugs in Africa

Oct. 27/Oct. 31

 

Case Study 6: Marketing and Product Differentiation at Mount Holyoke College

Nov. 9/Nov 14

 

Case Study 7: International Decorative Glass

Nov. 16/Nov 21

 

Case Study 8: High Mountain Sheep Dam

Dec. 8/Dec. 12