module specification

EC5006S - Microeconomics (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Microeconomics
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
 
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Essay (1500 words) and group presentation
In-Course Test 20%   One short In-class test (50 mins)
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen exam (1.5 hours)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester City Monday Morning

Module summary

This module provides a basic grounding in intermediate microeconomics. It covers the constituents of markets, namely supply (producer theory) and considers examples of externalities and market failure. Strategic behaviour and the role of uncertainty are emphasised.

Prior learning requirements

Equivalent of 15 credits in level 4 Microeconomics

Module aims

The module aims to provide:

  1. 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;
  2. an ability to apply economic principles and analysis in a variety of contexts including in business and government;
  3. appropriate tools of analysis to address issues and problems of economic policy;
  4. 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; quantitative analysis; IT; career management; self assessment and reflection; and entrepreneurship.

Syllabus

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.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. 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;
  2. critically apply knowledge to comment on and evaluate real world facts and economic policy;
  3. apply a range of specialist skills to the organisations in which they as specialists may operate, including the application of analytical or quantitative techniques;
  4. be competent communicators of complex ideas and analysis in business, economics and finance through written and oral expositions;
  5. carry out independent and scholarly research, including to investigate and use knowledge to provide analysis and evaluation of specific issues and problems related to the analysis of economic, business and financial problems
  6. work effectively in groups and demonstrate team-working, planning, conflict resolution, communication, self-management, time-management, and self-presentation skills;

Assessment strategy

The 50-minute in-class test will require students to write answers to questions addressing the underlying principles or issues of the subject matter and provide solutions to shorter technical questions.

Students choose an essay from a list of titles. Those choosing 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 individual essays prior to final submission.

The group presentation will also 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.

The essay and final exam 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.

Bibliography

Books
Ha Joon Chang (2014) Economic: Users' Guide. London: Penguin.
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.


Journal articles
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:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9BkAGflT0o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJMwcP1pLEQ&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKlQAVsK7b8&feature=autoplay&list=PLB866467EE8D16137&index=48&playnext=2