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Econ 201
Principles of Micro Economics
Spring 2024
Instructor: Professor Roger D. Congleton Class Time: 2:30-3:45
Office: 4131 Reynolds Hall
Office Hours: 4:00- 5:00 Wednesday and Thursday, and most other afternoons by appointment
Required Text: Class Notes from this Website
Optional Texts:
To use the optional texts, simply look up the chapters where the material being covered in class is explained.

Economics: Private and Public Choice, 16th Edition. By James D. Gwartney, Richard Stroup, Russell Sobel, and David Macpherson

Common Sense Economics, James D Gwartney and Dwight Lee

Basic Economics, Thomas Sowell

Course Description:
. Principles of Microeconomics is a lecture based course that focuses on the core tools and applications of undergraduate microeconomics. It can be thought of as a course on the geometry of economics or a course on the economic implications of rational (net-benefit maximizing) choices in a market context. Although the main focus of the course is theory, applications to a wide range of choice and policy settings are used to illustrate the relevance of the tools developed in class. .

The main body of the course is divided in to two parts,(1) the the logic of net-benefit maximizing choice and its implications for prices and for the effects of market structure on prices. (2) Extensions of that framework to take account of innovation, risk, informational problems, time, and public policies. ..

The goal of the course is to provide the student with a thorough understanding of the power of microeconomics as a means for understanding voluntary exchange, market equilibria, and how market equilibria are affected by a variety of factors including natural and public policy shocks.

. Tentative Course Outline .
Dates Topic
Additional Readings
. I. The Economics of Competitive Markets .See Optional Textbooks.
9-Jan-24 1. Introduction to Microeconomics

. A brief look at markets: mutual gains from trade, the gains from specialization, and how prices coordinate individual decisions. A brief overview of models as a method of explanation and prediction. Methodological Individualism and rational choice as modeling devices.  Microeconomics and the logic of choice. (1 lecture)


2. Demand and Supply as Consequences of Net Benefit Maximization  Rational choice as net benefit maximization. The geometry of choice. Use of marginal cost and marginal benefit curve to model consumers and firms. Price takers, supply and demand, and market prices,  (3 lectures)

23-Jan-24 3. Comparative Statics: The effects of economically relevant changes in consumer marginal benefits and firm marginal costs on equilibrium market prices and outputs. Factors that change marginal consumer benefits include income, the prices of substitutes, and the prices of complements. Factors that change marginal production costs include input prices, technological change, and some forms of government regulation. Long and short run adjustments.(3 lectures) HW1

4. Income: Competitive Markets for Inputs. Income as the price paid for inputs. Marginal revenue product and the demand for inputs. Opportunity cost and the supply of inputs. Competitive markets for inputs.  Career choice and expected income. (2 lectures)

. 8-Feb-24 5. Applications: Policy Analysis Using Demand and Supply Curves.
Effects of price controls and entry barriers, Dead weight losses in the short and long Run. Excise taxes, market prices, and excess burden in the short and long run. (3 lectures) HW2

Review for Midterm Exam
Midterm Exam
Review of Midterm Exam


6.Market Structure: Monopoly and Monopolistic Competition.
Price making firms. Why firms prefer to be monopolists. Cartels as an attempt to escape from competition. Monopolistic competition: competition among firms producing close but not perfect substitutes for one another, antitrust law.
 (3 lectures)

Spring Break No Class  (March 9-17)

II. Extenstions and Additional Applications of Micro Economics

19-Mar-24 7. Growth and Entrepreneurship.
Capital Accumulation and Innovation as sources of economic growth. Entrepreneurs as innovators. Knight, Schumpeter, and Kirzner's theories of Entrepreneurship. (2 lectures). (WSJ on Innovation and Commodity Prices.) HW3


8. The Effects of Risk on Economic Choices  Risk aversion. Rational Ignorance.Expected Values. Affects of risk and uncertainty on market outcomes. Innovation as a source of uncertainty. Specialization and markets as a way of addressing informational problems.(3 lectures) 
Prof Congleton Travel Days
Precorded Lectures
April 2, April 4, and April 9

9. Time and Risk Assessing Costs and Benefits through time. Present Values. Expected Present Values. Planning for the future. Cost-Benefit Analysis. DIscount rates. (2 lectures) HW4

11-April-24 10. Further Applications and Extensions.
Law and Economics, Rational Criminals and Markets,
Public Choice, Rational Voters and Public Policies, Welfare Economics, Externalities Externalities. (3 lectures) HW5    ANS5
Webnotes in Book Form
25-April-24 11. Overview of the course and Review for the final
3-May-24 FINAL EXAM Take Home
Due via email at 6:00 PM, available 48 hours before


Midterm Exam 40.00%
Final Exam 44.00%
5 Homeworks
Marginal extra credit for extraordinary class participation (up to 2% bonus)