Economics is an incredibly powerful tool for understanding the world: how the market encourages people to cooperate locally and globally, how prices coordinate appropriate responses to the ever-changing economic conditions and how government policies can both help and hurt those they were designed to help. Economics is a study of how people use their available resources – whether they are money, equipment, knowledge or time – to achieve specific goals. I hope this course can give you a framework with which you can make sense of the current social issues and events, as well as those that you observe in your own life.
This course will introduce you to the economic way of thinking and to some basic concepts in microeconomics, in particular, the theory of consumers, prices and firms. The primary emphasis will be on building economic intuition rather than on mathematical methods. Starting from basic ideas of trade-offs, opportunity cost and gains from trade, we will study the market forces of demand and supply, different market structures, how firms choose their production levels to maximize profit, how people choose consumption bundles of goods and services to maximize their utility, and market and government failures. Time permitting, we will also explore the ways in which human behavior can systematically deviate from standard economic predictions in behavioral and experimental economics.
Mankiw, G. 2015. Principles of Microeconomics.
Readings & Lecture Notes
- What is economics all about? (M: Chapter 1)
- Production Possibilities Frontier & Power of Trade and Comparative Advantage (M: Chapters 2, 3)
- Demand and Supply & Price Ceilings and Floors (M: Chapters 4, 6)
- Elasticity (M: Chapter 5)
- Efficiency of Markets & Costs of Taxation (M: Chapters 7, 8)
- Costs of Production & Profit Maximization (M: Chapter 13, 14)
- Profit Maximization & Market Structures: Perfect Competition and Monopoly (M: Chapters 14, 15)
- Externalities and Public Goods (M: Chapters 10, 11)
- Consumer Theory (M: Chapter 21)
- Introduction to Behavioral and Experimental Economics