The general objective of this course is to
help you learn to think as an economist. Toward that end
we will explore economics as economists see it -- not a
collection of facts about markets but a powerful approach
to thinking about almost all human behavior.
My specific goals are to help you become competent
microeconomic technicians, to help you learn how to apply
what you have learned to the "real world", and
to help you develop an ability to explain what you are
doing and why. The former goal will help you in the
200- and 300-level economics courses you will take to complete
the major. The latter two goals help you develop crucial
skills you will use for the rest of your life. The Department
of Economics has also specified a set of tasks important
for students majoring in economics to master. The tasks
relevant to this course are listed below. Graded work related
to them are marked "Task #_".
After successful completion of this course you will be able
Explain basic and intermediate microeconomic concepts
and apply them to new situations;
Demonstrate command of basic and intermediate microeconomic
concepts and graphical models.
Because the economic way of thinking sometimes
seems foreign to the way of thinking about human behavior
learned "on the street", learning economic theory
requires dedication and systematic study in order
to master its logic and structure. At the intermediate level
this takes form in rigorous use of verbal reasoning and
mathematical and graphical modeling. All three methods of
inquiry will be pursued in this class. As a result, you
must have a good grasp of freshman economic principles
(ECO 105) and have retained much of what you learned in
calculus (MAT 121) and statistics (ECO 138).
There is no textbook assigned to this course.
All readings are on the course Web site under the Tutorials
link at the top (and bottom) of every page. I require that
you read the relevant tutorial(s) and related chapter(s)
each week as an introduction to the material and
as a way to prepare you for the assigned Excel
workbooks and questions. Knowledge of the readings will
reduce the time it takes you to "learn by doing the
If, after reading a Tutorial, you would like
additional informtion to help your understanding, I have
three textbooks that I recommend:
- Microeconomics, Robert Pindyck & Daniel
Rubinfeld, 5th edition, 2001, Prentice Hall.
- Microeconomics, David Besanko & Ronald
Braeutigam, 2002, Wiley.
- Microeconomics and Behavior, Robert Frank,