Microeconomics

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Professor:     Sara Robicheaux                  
Office Hours
: 9:30-11:30am M&W or by appointment
Office:           Harbert 208  
Phone:          (205) 226-4828
Email:            srobiche@bsc.edu

Teaching Assistant: Christine Lester            
Email:             cjlester@bsc.edu

Course Description:  ECON 202 is a basic course in microeconomics that gives a theoretical framework, which explains the operations of and interrelationships between individual markets.  The market system allows the effective coordination of the economic decision of millions of consumers and business firms.  The course provides the organizing structure for understanding the operations of the business form and the market it serves.

Course Objective:  The primary objectives of this course are:

To understand the foundation principles of economic analysis such as scarcity, opportunity cost, marginal decision-making, role of incentives, efficiency, etc.
To analyze how market forces coordinate the individual decisions of firms and households within the market.
To understand the role that markets play in determining which goods and services are produced in what quantities and at what price.
To analyze the efficiency of the market system.
To understand the benefits and advantages of free trade.
To understand the impact on the market of government polices such as price ceilings, price floors, and taxation.
To understand the weakness of the market system and when it fails to reach economic efficiency.
To understand and analyze polices that can move the market towards more efficient outcomes.
To analyze firm behavior within the context of four types of markets: perfect competition, monopoly, oligopoly, and monopolistic competition.
To analyze consumer behavior and an individual’s role in the provision of goods and services in the market.

Text:  Mankiw, N. Gregory, Principles of Economics, 2nd edition, Harcourt, 2001

You are expected to read the chapter(s) prior to the class in which they are to be discussed, and you will be held responsible for the text material as well as the material covered during the lecture.  It is also recommended that you keep abreast of current economic news.  By the end of the course you should be able to understand discussions of economic issues in sources such as the Wall Street Journal or The Economist.  These sources are readily available in the library as well as online.

Attendance:  You are expected to attend and participate in ALL class meetings.   You have an obligation not only to learn the material, but also to assist in the teaching of your classmates.  Thus, absences will adversely affect the learning process.  If you must miss class for an excused absence (e.g. illness, death in the family, campus activity), please let me know in advance.  If you miss more than 3 classes you could receive a 0 for 10% of your course grade.

Preparation/Participation:  This portion of your grade is determined by your performance on several unannounced quizzes and on written assignments given during the semester.  It is my belief that you will be successful with this portion of your grade if you are up-to-date on your assignment readings, have worked out problems that I have suggested from the book and/or distributed, and are up-to-date on current economic issues.  There will be absolutely no makeup quizzes, and your lowest quiz grade will be dropped.  Failure to take a quiz will result in a grade of zero for that quiz.  The written assignments will require that you analyze the economic models and concepts that we have learned and apply them to real world economic situations.  No credit will be given for late assignments.  If you miss class for an excused absent the homework must be turned in before the class in which it is due.

You are encouraged to participate in class discussions and ask questions to better your understanding of the material.  The economic concepts taught in this course build on one another.  Therefore, it is imperative that you ask questions when you do not understand so that you do not fall further behind.  Please feel free to ask questions during class or come to see me in my office.  If you experience difficulties in this class during the semester, you are encouraged to come see me to discuss any problems and/or possibilities for improvement.

Exams:  There will be three exams and a comprehensive final.  There will be NO MAKE-UP EXAMS given.  You are expected to take the exam at the scheduled time.  However, if you have to miss an exam under extreme circumstances, beyond your control, the weight from the missed exam will be placed on the final exam.  If you miss two exams then you will receive a 0 for the second missed exam.

                        Exam 1             March 5         

                        Exam 2             April 2 

                        Exam 3             April 30

                        Final Exam               

*** The final exam date and time are set by BSC and therefore, cannot be changed.

Grading:  Your course grade will be determined as follows:

                        Exam 1                         20%

                        Exam 2                         20%

                        Exam 3                         20%

                        Final Exam                    30%

                        Preparation/Participation 10%

Mission Linked Goals for Division of Business

In support of the educational goals of the College, each of the majors offered through the Division of Business is based on two layers of student learning goals.  The first set, mission-linked goals, ties the learning outcome of the majors directly to the liberal arts mission of the College.  The mission-linked goals of the Division are:

Teamwork – to work productively with others
Decision-making – to analyze and synthesize the elements of a situation, general alternatives, and recommend a course of action
Critical Thinking – to gather, analyze and synthesize information and to identify misinformation, prejudice and one-sidedness
Communication skills – to make convincing arguments in both written and oral form
Global and cultural awareness – to think outside one’s own local contexts
Professional responsibility – to demonstrate appropriate professional demeanor and ethics
Independent learning – to organize one’s own research and learning
Interdisciplinary thinking – to integrate the breadth of one’s learning
Disciplinary depth – to gain competence in business administration, accounting, or economics
Technology – to gain experience in the use of relevant technology

 

The second set of student learning goals, disciplinary depth goals, defines the overall contents and skills expectations within each major.  The disciplinary depth goals are:

Students Completing the Accounting Major Should Understand:

The role of accounting in public and private companies and not-for-profit organizations
The language of accounting and its use in description events and transactions
The functions of accountings, including preparing financial, tax, and audit report, interpreting financial and cost data, making marketing decisions, projecting future performance, and consulting on tax strategy
How computer applications are used to improve the efficiency of all accounting work
The impact of taxation on decision-making
Issues, concepts, and application of tax law
Principles, procedures, and tests that are required elements of the audit test function
The importance of cost accounting to the organization and how it is used by management to make decisions

Students Completing the Business Administration Major Should Understand:

The basic functions of the financial manager, including forecasting and planning, evaluating the potential profitability of prospective investment opportunities, and evaluation the overall financial performance of the firm and the link to financial markets
The basic concepts of finance and economic theory and how those concepts support effective financial decision-making
The fundamental structures and use of financial statements in performing the functions of financial management
The political-economic environment effecting business decisions
The general structure and functioning of financial markets and price determination
The time value of money and the use of discounting and compounding tools in assessing intertemporal decisions
The process of capital budgeting as an integral part of strategic management
The underlying realization that successful management is entrepreneurial
The roles and responsibilities of a manager
The wide range of activities which managers undertake, including the steps that should be taken to plan, organize, lead, and control organizations effectively and efficiently
The concepts of strategic managements and what is means to think strategically.
The type of leadership that works best with certain situations and individual personalities
What it means to see change rather than stability as the nature of things
The manager’s responsibility for the creation of a collaborative workplace
The definitions of marketing, marketing management, the marketing concept and its role in the economic system, and its application to both profit and not-for-profit organizations
The “external” marketing environment and its impact on the firm and its marketing strategy
The elements of a marketing strategy
The role and purpose of marketing research and marketing information systems
The basics of consumer behavior
The channels through which products reach market
The marketing of services

Student Completing the Economics major Should Understand:

The fundamental principles and language of economics
The usefulness of economic modeling as a tool of rigorous analysis
The nature of markets and how they function
The role of economic theory in examination of public policy issues
The economic impact of actions taken by individuals, firms, governments, and other groups and organizations

 

Statement of Professional Responsibility

The faculty of the Division of Business and Graduate Programs, both collectively and as individual professors, feel that students should be accountable for developing the work habits and personal discipline which will be expected of them after graduation as professional members of the business community.  It is just as important that students reach satisfactory standards of written and oral communication skills, as it is that they learn a satisfactory amount of accounting or management or marketing or finance.  It is just as important that students learn integrity and professional responsibility, as it is that they learn economics or statistics.

 

Honor Code

Students are responsible for knowing and strictly abiding by the BSC Honor Code contained in the student Handbook.  When in doubt regarding any assignment, clarify instructions with the professor.

 


Calendar and Reading List:

Day

Date

Chapter:

Subject:

1

5-Feb

Chapter 1

Ten Principles of Economics

2

10-Feb

Chapter 2

Thinking Like and Economist & Appendix

3

12-Feb

Chapter 3

Interdependence and the Gains form Trade

4

17-Feb

Chapter 4

Supply and Demand

5

19-Feb

Chapter 4

Supply and Demand…..Continued

6

24-Feb

Chapter 5

Elasticity

7

26-Feb

Chapter 6

Supply, Demand, and Government Policies

8

3-Mar

Review

 

9

5-Mar

Exam #1

Chapters 1-6

10

10-Mar

Chapter 7

Consumers, Producers, and Efficiency

11

12-Mar

Chapter 10 & 11

Externalities and Public Goods

12

17-Mar

Chapter 8

Cost of Taxation

13

19-Mar

Chapter 9

International Trade

14

31-Mar

Review

 

15

2-Apr

Exam #2

Chapters 7-11

16

7-Apr

Chapter 13

Production Cost

NC

9-Apr

No Class

 

17

14-Apr

Chapter 14

Competitive Market

18

16-Apr

Chapter 14

Competitive Market…..Continued

19

21-Apr

Chapter 15

Monopoly

20

23-Apr

Chapter 15

Monopoly……………Continued

21

28-Apr

Review

 

22

30-Apr

Exam #3

Chapters 13-15

23

5-May

Chapter 16

Oligopoly

24

7-May

Chapter 17

Monopolistic Competition

25

12-May

Review

 

Exam

 

Final Exam

Cumulative

 

***Please note that no date on the schedule is fixed in stone except this final exam date.  If we finish early one day, we may move on to the next chapter.  Likewise if we do not finish the chapter on a particular day, we will pick up where we left off at the next class meeting.  The Continuation/Review days do give us some flexibility in the schedule.  However, we will attempt to follow the above schedule as closely as possible.

 

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For problems or questions regarding this web contact [srobiche@bsc.edu].
Last updated: February 25, 2003.