Principles of Microeconomics

Course Description

An introductory course on issues relating to individual economic units: namely, the individual consumer, the individual firm, and their interaction in markets.

Topics include, but are not limited to, price theory, price determination through equilibrium, supply and demand, analysis of consumer demand, utility theory and marginal utility, consumer equilibrium, indifference curve analysis, analysis of supply, theory of production, pricing in perfectly and imperfectly competitive markets, types of imperfect competition, and anti-trust laws.

Course Objectives

The course will enable students to gain an understanding of how the market economy works and how economic theory can be used to understand the interactions of individual decision makers and entities like consumers, firms, and the government.

Course Materials

Required:

The course will follow the textbook: Cowen & Tabarrok, 2020, Modern Principles of Economics, 5th edition, Worth Publishers.
You can also use an older edition, the chapter numbers may be different, though.

Further recommendations:

Additionally, material from the following text may be used:
Goodwin et. al., 2014, Principles of Economics in Context, Routledge.
Available from amazon and bookdepository.
Relevant chapters are listed below as [PEC:Chapter number].

Klein & Bauman, 2010, The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume One: Microeconomics, Macmillan
bookdepository amazon

To prepare for the exams, Schaum’s Outlines of Principles of Economics offers a large number of fully solved problems. Available from amazon and bookdepository.

Course Requirements:

Students must read the corresponding chapters of the textbook and watch the assigned videos before each session. Reading the economic and political press will also be helpful.

I recommend that you try to solve the end of chapter problems in preparation and review of each class session.

Consult the problems we want to discuss (see below) before each class so that you can prepare questions.

Instructor Information:

Prof. Dr. Dennis A. V. Dittrich
dennis.dittrich@touroberlin.de
https://economicscience.net
Twitter: @davdittrich

You can always contact me via email or twitter. For meetings appointments can be arranged through the my webpage at: https://economicscience.net/appointments/

Updated information, links to the literature, additional materials, etc. can be found on my webpage as well.

Grading Guidelines:

Grading Component Weight
Quizzes 30%
Problem Sets 70%

Missed quizzes cannot be made-up, in case you were excused from a quiz it will be dropped from the grade calculation.

Workload

A typical 3 credit course requires 150 hours of your time. The table below identifies how I expect those 150 hours will be allocated. While you do not receive direct marks for reading, reading will affect your class participation mark (your ability to participate in class discussions and activities) and your final exam mark.

Activity Time
Class Time (3 hours / week) 45 hours
Reading and Preparation (4 hours / week) 60 hours
Problem Sets and Review (3 hours / week) 45 hours

Topics and Reading Assignments

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Session 6

Session 7

Session 8

Session 9

Session 10

Session 11

Session 12

Session 13

In “Industrial Organization” we will discuss issues of imperfect competition (Monopolies, Oligopolies, Cartels, Strategic Pricing) in more detail.

Session 14

In “Intermediate Microeconomics” we will discuss normative and descriptive theories of consumer behavior in more detail.

Session 15

Review

Topics and reading assignments are subject to changes.

Problem sets

We will discuss problems – mostly taken from our textbook – in class. You will find the problems for download in a pCloud folder: here.

Upload you solutions to this pCloud folder [Click Here!]
Please use PDF or plain text for your uploads.

If you do not have a pCloud account yet: You can get one for free!