About This Course
This course offers an introduction to the functions of individual decision-makers—both consumers and producers—within the larger economic system. Emphasis is on the nature and functions of product markets, the theory of the firm under varying conditions of competition and monopoly, and the role of government in promoting efficiency in the economy.
Most people make the incorrect assumption that economics is ONLY the study of money. My primary goal in this course is to shatter this belief. During this course, we will be addressing the above questions as well as many more relating to:
-love and marriage
My main goal is to show you the way economists think and how to use this analytical system to answer questions related not only to these and other important human issues, but to anything you end up doing with your life after this class. After all, as you will quickly find out, I believe that everything is economics!Syllabus
You will become familiar with the course, your classmates, and our learning environment. The orientation will also help you obtain the technical skills required for the course.
Supply and Demand
Welcome to your second week in Microeconomics Principles! This module we will cover the hallmark framework of the field: the supply and demand model. I am sure that if you knew any economics words before enrolling in this course those two words were supply and demand. This module you will finally learn what all the fuss is about.
Market Efficiency and Government Policies
Welcome to Week 3! Last module we introduced the supply and demand model to explain how free markets work. One of the main concepts we learned about free markets was that they tend to gravitate toward an “equilibrium” price and quantity. This module we will use the same conceptual model to answer one important question: Are free markets the best way to distribute society’s resources?
Welcome to the fourth week! This module we will cover one of my favorite economics concepts: elasticity. It is one of my favorites because of how useful it is to analyze policy implications, as well as its usefulness for business managers. This will be obvious to you when you read one of the discussion topics for this module: Should we legalize marijuana?
Production and Costs
Welcome to your fifth week! This module we will begin covering the theory of the firm, which will take us basically three modules to finish. Economists call this section of the course, “The Economics of the Lemonade Stand.” And that title makes perfect sense, since the concepts we cover can be used by anyone, from someone owning a lemonade stand, to a car manufacturing company, to a hair salon, to a burrito stand, etc.
Welcome to your sixth week! This module we continue our discussion of the firm by focusing on those firms working in a perfectly competitive (or competitive) environment.
Firms with Market Power
So, why is it that when you fly the person sitting next to you in the plane probably paid a different price for the ticket than what you paid for it? And why does Starbucks charge so much for its coffee even though you can buy coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts for almost half of that price? This module we are finishing our discussion of the firm by focusing on cases that should be more familiar to you than the perfect competition examples we have been using.
Public Goods, Common Resources, and Externalities
And so we have arrived at the last week. This course has gone too fast! This module we will be discussing market failures. A market failure is a situation when the market does not do a good job of distributing resources among members of society. In fact, in all of these cases the market IS the problem.
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