Topic outline

  • General

    Intermediate Microeconomics--Fall 2011

    A Group Tutorial

    Monday/Wednesday 11:30-12:50 D-43; 4 credits

    Note: This group tutorial is essentially a repeat of the course I offered in Fall 2010. The group tutorial designation means, as indicated on the course list, “that I will expect a greater degree of collaborative engagement on the part of students than might otherwise be the case with this material.” What this advisory will mean in practice remains to be seen.

    This tutorial/course covers the core theory of contemporary neoclassical microeconomics. The primary focus is on prices, markets, and market failures from the perspectives of individual decision-makers (e.g., consumers, producers, workers) but with an eye toward system performance (e.g. efficiency, equity, dynamism, environmental quality.) Familiarity and facility with this material is essential if you wish to participate in many of the academic and policy dialogues driven by economists on such matters as antitrust, welfare reform, agricultural price supports, minimum wage, environmental quality, and trade. Microeconomic insights into these and many other matters are substantial. In addition, you will learn something about personal and business decision-making, especially under conditions of risk and uncertainty. Finally, this course is a prerequisite for most advanced undergraduate work in economics and is required or recommended for many graduate and professional programs in business, law, or policy.

    In a traditional departmental structure, this is a second-level course, with an introductory “principles” course as a prerequisite. At Marlboro, introductory economics courses are broadly-based surveys of the discipline and are not designed primarily as preparations for “intermediate” theory. While there is no specific prerequisite for this course, keep in mind that we will move pretty quickly through the material, so you should give careful thought to whether this is the right course for you. Keep in mind, too, that the introductory course, Economic Systems, is also offered this semester.

    • Topic 1

      These first pages will be familiar to some of you and new to others of you. We will spend time as needed to get everyone up to speed. Think about positive v. normative economics; think about the nature of markets; think about the authors' explanations of the equilibrium process in markets.

      Time permitting, I will also introduce on Monday a construct known as the Production Possibilities Curve (or Frontier.) There are some notes about this below. Again, this will be familiar to some and new to others.
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          Supplementary Readings
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            Supplementary Resources
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              Instructor's Manual
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