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Microeconomics

Vak 2015-2016

Tags

GED, ID, PSc, Ec

Admissions requirements

Principles of Economics or permission of the instructor.

Description

This 200-level course begins with the study of individual decisions before moving to the interactions of individuals making decisions. (Macroeconomics tends to emphasize the aggregated outcomes of decisions.) We will follow this route with an emphasis on new insights from behavioral and experimental economics that explain more about our choices and interactions than simple “_homo economicus_” models.

After covering the micro foundations of demand, we will move to supply, to understand how cost curves are derived for individual firms, how multiple inputs affect economies of scope and scale, and how aggregate supply curves reflect markets that range from monopoly to duopoly to perfect competition.
We will examine the impact of institutions, information and transaction costs on markets, missing markets, and non-market scenarios, to explore the interaction of economic, social and political forces.

Themes: Preferences, technology, markets, competition, monopoly, incentives, regulation.

Course objectives

After completing this class, students will have a demonstrable knowledge of:

  • How individuals (demand) and firms (supply) interact in various market structures to determine the prices and quantities of produced goods.
  • The process by which individual preferences (tastes) combine with income and prices to produce the demand curve.
  • Factors affecting the slope of the demand curve (elasticity), and why the demand shifts in or out (income, tastes, complements and/or substitutes).
  • The relations among marginal benefits, marginal costs and utility
  • The process by which production inputs and technology combine with prices to produce the supply curve.
  • The factors affecting the slope of the supply curve (elasticity) and why the supply curve shifts in or out (technology, regulation, input mix).
  • Economies of scale and scope and the relations among average cost, marginal cost and total cost.
  • The relations among marginal revenues, marginal costs and profits.
  • How firms try to influence market structure and how different degrees of competition affect pricing, output, and social surplus.
  • The efficiency and equity implications of market failure and government failure.
  • The impacts of information and transaction costs on individual and firm behavior

Timetable

Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The course is taught through two-hour seminars. Students will be expected to participate in both large and small group discussions and present and defend their ideas within an academic settings. The instructor will facilitate and ensure the efficient running of the discussion, but students are responsible for its quality. Required reading must be read in advance of class.

Assessment

Class participation: 15%
Homework and/or reading assignments: 15%
Blog post: 15%
Briefing: 15%
Peer critique(s): 15%
Final exam (multiple choice and/or short answer): 25%

NB: Plagiarism software will be used to assess written assignments.

Blackboard

There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Dolan, Ed (2013), Introduction to Microeconomics BVT Publishing. 5th Edition. ISBN: 978-1-61882-610-7 (e-book)

Registration

This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact course.administration@luc.leidenuniv.nl.

Contact

David Zetland (d.j.zetland@luc.leidenuniv.nl)
Leiden University College, Room 4.37
Faculteit Campus Den Haag

Remarks

Blogs are great for learning about economics. Check out Marginal Revolution.