Teaching Assistant: TBA
Course: 4 credits
Microeconomic Theory 1 is the first half
of the two-semester core microeconomics sequence
in the MA program. The course aims at introducing you to graduate-level microeconomic theory.
Topics discussed include producer and consumer theory, competitive markets, monopoly, and
Class time will be devoted to lectures
and seminars. Twenty-four 75-minute lectures will be spread
over eleven weeks. This amounts to two, and in two out of eleven weeks three, lectures per week.
You will also attend six 100-minute seminars devoted to discussion of solutions to homework
assignments (see Course Requirements below) and review sessions. Seminars will be held in weeks
two, four, six, eight, ten and eleven.
The lectures will be based on Varian, Hal
R. Microeconomic Analysis, Third Edition, W.W. Norton, 1992.
The relevant chapters from the textbook have been collected in the class reader.
Attending the lectures and reading the
corresponding chapters from the textbook will help you gain understanding
of the concepts. Working on the homework assignments (see Course Requirements
below) will help you make the crucial step from understanding the concepts toward being able to solve problems. Learning to solve problems is key to doing well in this course.
There will be five homework assignments, a midterm exam and the final exam.
Homework assignments will consist of problems
similar to those that you will encounter on the exams.
While you should tackle the assigned problems first on your own, you are encouraged to discuss them
with your fellow classmates. Each of you, however, must turn in their own copy of each homework.
Homeworks will be graded on effort. Solutions will be presented during the periodic discussion
The dates of the midterm and the final
exam will be announced in class. All material covered in the class
will be pertinent for the final exam.
The course grade will be determined as a weighted average of the problem set and exam scores:
Homework assignments 10%
Midterm exam 15%
Final exam 75%
The following is a brief outline of topics* and relevant chapters from Microeconomic Analysis.
Technology Ch. 1
Profit maximization Ch. 2.1-2.4
Profit function Ch. 3
Cost minimization Ch. 4.1-4.4
Cost function Ch. 5
Utility maximization Ch. 7
Consumer demand: comparative statics Ch. 8.1-8.4
Consumer demand: further topics Ch. 8.7, 9.4, 10.1-10.6
Choice under uncertainty Ch. 11.1-11.7
Competitive markets Ch. 13
Monopoly Ch. 14
Exchange economy Ch. 17.1-17.7
Economy with production Ch. 18.1-18.8
* I reserve the right to
minor modifications of these as the semester proceeds.