EC5006 - Microeconomics (2017/18)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2017/18|
|Module level||Intermediate (05)|
|Credit rating for module||30|
|School||Guildhall School of Business and Law|
|Total study hours||300|
|Running in 2017/18||
This module provides a basic grounding in intermediate microeconomics. It covers the constituents of markets, namely supply (producer theory) and demand (consumer theory), and considers examples of externalities and market failure. Strategic behaviour and the role of uncertainty are emphasised. The module also discusses departures from the theoretical predictions of how rational consumers behave (behavioural economics) and also why those departures may take place (experimental economics and performativity).
Prior learning requirements
EC4006 Principles of Economics or equivalent
The module aims to provide:
- a systematic understanding and knowledge of conventional microeconomics, as well as an awareness, through an introduction to behavioural economics, experimental economics and the concept of performativity, of its limitations;
- an ability to apply economic principles and analysis in a variety of contexts including in business and government;
- appropriate tools of analysis to address issues and problems of economic policy;
- an appreciation of microeconomics and its application to a range of problems and its relevance in a variety of contexts.
The module also aims to develop students' skills, in particular: subject research; interpersonal and team-working; academic study skills; literacy; communication, including oral presentation;
applied analysis; data analysis; quantitative analysis; IT; career management; self assessment and reflection; and entrepreneurship.
Individual consumer demand, preferences and utility functions
Hicks and Slutzky income and substitution effects. The Slutzky equation. Revealed preference
Market demand. Consumer surplus. Network externalities.
General equilibrium. The economics of trade. Comparative advantage. Welfare analysis of trade and trade restrictions
Intertemporal consumer choice
Choice under uncertainty. Insurance. Market failure. Asymmetric information. The market for lemons. The demand for risky assets.
The market for labour. Job search, matching, pay and career development. The graduate labour markets.
Employability: personal career planning and development, CV development and personal statements, networking, personal presentation and interview techniques and analysis.
Behavioural economics. Experimental economics. Performativity.
Production and cost. Perfect competition
Monopoly. Regulation of monopoly. Barriers to entry.
Applications of pricing models: price discrimination, peak load pricing, two-part tariffs and bundling
Oligopoly and monopolistic competition. Advertising. Game theory.
Investment, time, and capital markets.
Externalities and Public Goods.
Pollution. The economics of the environment
Learning and teaching
Teaching is structured around three hours of weekly contact time with the students. The three hours of contact time are structured as follows:
Lecture – two hours per week. The lecture will discuss the week’s topic by presenting the main theoretical analysis. Lecture materials will be available on Weblearn. Typically, students will be given time to engage in an activity based upon what has been presented in each lecture. The in-class test will take place during two of these sessions.
Tutorial - one hour per week. The tutorial will go through problem sets available on WebLearn. Students are expected to prepare for these tutorials and will lead the presentation of answers to the problems and subsequent discussion. The group presentations will take place during some of these sessions.
Students are expected to complement this 'formal' learning activity with further reading of the material suggested in the teaching sessions, solving problems using economic analysis, writing, planning and preparation for group presentations, essay, in-class test, and the final exam.
Professional and transferable skills are developed in lectures and seminars, and through independent directed learning and assessment. Skills development is enhanced through problem solving practiced in seminars, preparing for the in-class tests and exams and working co-operatively for group presentations. Inititative and independance is developed progressively throughout the module such that students are required to take greater responsibility of their work.
Seminars will also include ‘live’ economics games and simulations. These activities will embed economic concepts, and support the development of student’s teamworking, leadership, and strategic skills.
Both lecture and seminar activities are structured to enable students to initially develop basic knowledge and then to progress to develop higher order skills of synthesis and critical evaluation. Class exercises require students to carry out independent work prior to seminars while the group presentation requires groups of students to work collectively prior to making their presentation.
The module uses blended learning through the virtual learning environment, WebLearn, in which the material supplied for the module is placed. Example links to complementary web resources, such as subject relevant Youtube videos, are also provided.
Graduate career development will also be examined and practical guidance will be provided with support from the University careers service. The development of career awareness is promoted within the module by introducing students to career development opportunities such as, internships and work experience, job search techniques, employer recruitment strategies, self-presentation together with a review of skills sought by prospective employers. Written presentation including CVs and personal statements, networking, job application, interviews, and inter-cultural communication are also discussed.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
- demonstrate a broad knowledge and a systematic understanding of microeconomics covering theory, policy and application including its limitations as an approach to understanding human behaviour;
- critically apply knowledge to comment on and evaluate real world facts and economic policy;
- apply a range of specialist skills to the organisations in which they as specialists may operate, including the application of analytical or quantitative techniques;
- be competent communicators of complex ideas and analysis in business, economics and finance through written and oral expositions;
- work effectively in groups and demonstrate team-working, planning, conflict resolution, communication, self-management, time-management, and self-presentation skills;
- demonstrate life and career development awareness, including vision and personal awareness, presentation, and development.
The 2 hour examination will require students to write answers to questions addressing the underlying principles or issues of the subject matter or provide solutions to technical questions.
The in-class test, essay and final exam will assess the student’s: knowledge and understanding of microeconomics covering theory, issues, policy and application; and ability to apply and to critically assess what they learn directly to organizations. The unseen in-class test will be based on class exercises.
The group presentation will enable students to further develop their ability to work effectively in groups, undertake team activity, plan and allocate functions, seek to resolve any conflict, communicate effectively, work under binding time constraints, and undertake a presentation. Students will individually and independently produce a 1500 word essay from the titles offered.
Students doing the same essay will be placed in groups of typically 4 in number and will work as a group to prepare and give a group presentation. Feedback from the group presentation will enable students to revise their essays prior to final submission.
Pindyck, R. S. and Rubinfeld, D. L. (2013). Microeconomics, 8th ed., Pearson/Prentice-Hall international edition.
Perloff, J. M. (2012). Microeconomics, 6th ed., Pearson.
Perloff, J. M. (2011). Microeconomics with calculus, 2nd ed., Pearson.
Varian, H. (2010). Intermediate Microeconomics: a modern approach, 8th ed., Norton.
Frank, R. H. (2010). Microeconomics and Behaviour, 8th ed., McGraw-Hill.
Nechyba T J (2011). Microeconomics: an intuitive approach, South-Western Cengage learning.
Nechyba T J (2011). Microeconomics: an intuitive approach with calculus, South-Western Cengage learning.
Bernheim, B. D. and Whinston, M. D. (2008). Microeconomics, McGraw-Hill.
Salvatore, D. (2003). Microeconomics: theory and applications, 4th ed., Oxford University Press.
Snyder, C. and Nicholson, W. (2008). Microeconomic Theory: basic principles and extensions, 10th ed., London : Thompson South-Western.
Jechlitschka, K., Kirschke, D. and Schwarz G. (2007). Microeconomics using Excel, Routledge.
Wilson, D. and Dixon, W. (2012). A History of Homo Economicus, Routledge.
Akerloff, G. A. (1970). “The Market for ‘Lemons’: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 488 – 500.
Hoel, Michael (1998) “Emission Taxes Versus Other Environmental Policies.” Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 100, 1, 79 – 104.
Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation (2010), Vol.73, Issue 1. Special issue: experiment.
Kolay, Sreya and Shafer, Greg (2003). “Bundling and Menus of Two-Part Tariffs.” The Journal of Industrial Economics, 51, 3, 383 – 403.
Neumark, David and Wascher, William (2000). “Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Comment.” American Economic Review, 90, 5, 1362 – 1396.
Oi, Walter Y. (1971). “A Disneyland Dilemma: Two-Part Tariffs for a Mickey Mouse Monopoly.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 77 – 96.
Wilson, D. and Dixon, W. (2010). Performing the Recession. Studi e Note di Economia 15:3.
Indicative online resources
Instructional videos on relevant microeconomics topics can be accessed via YouTube. Example links include: