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The Department of Agricultural Economics and

Extension
Faculty of Science and Agriculture
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES
St. Augustine

AGBU 1005: Introduction to Microeconomics


Course Outline
2010/2011

OVERALL OBJECTIVE

The Course is designed to introduce students to microeconomic principles and practices. The
Course was designed for students pursuing the areas of Agribusiness Management, Agriculture,
Human Ecology/Nutrition and Dietetics, and Environmental & Natural Resource Management. It
is designed to provide the fundamentals that will allow economic explanations of the behaviour
of consumers and firms and also explain some of the actions of the State.

Microeconomics is essential to an understanding of how markets function and how firms and
consumers interact to determine prices. This subject also allows us to understand how individual
firms and consumers react to these prices. Also, to understand environmental and natural
resource use (or misuse) we have to examine why individuals make specific economic decisions
which lead to this use or misuse. Understanding these decisions is also the subject of
microeconomics.

This Course will only provide an introduction to the subject, which it is hoped will spur your
interest to delve more deeply into the subject and study it in more detail in subsequent Courses in
your programme.

TIMETABLE

The Course is divided into four (4) groups. Students must select one group on the timetable that
best suits their individual schedule and attend all classes for that particular group.

TEXT BOOK

Lipsey, Richard G. and Chrystal, Alec K., Economics – 11th Edition. New York
Oxford University Press, 2007

ASSESSMENT

◘ Mid Semester Test – 15% marks


◘ Group Project – 5% marks
◘ Final Exam – 80% marks

TUTORIALS

Students are to attend one tutorial session per week in addition to their lecture session. Also, they
are to attempt the tutorial worksheets posted on myelearning prior to attending the sessions.

AGBU 1005: Introduction to Microeconomics Course Outline 14.09.10


AGBU 1005: Introduction to Microeconomics Course Outline 14.09.10
TOPICS

1. General Overview
(i) Nature of Economics
(ii) Nature of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
(iii) Externalities
(iv) Public Goods
Lipsey and Chrystal Chapter 1

2. Using Quantitative Tools in Economics


(i) Graphing Economic Theories
(ii) Marginal, Average and Total Concepts
Lipsey and Chrystal Chapter 2

3. Introduction to How Markets Function


(i) Demand, Supply and Price
(ii) Elasticity of Demand and Supply
Lipsey and Chrystal Chapters 3 & 4

4. Theories of Consumer Behaviour


(i) Marginal Utility Theory
(ii) Consumer Surplus
(iii) Indifference Theory
(iv) Utility Maximization Using Indifference Curves
(v) Derivation of the Consumer’s Demand Curve
Lipsey and Chrystal Chapter 5

5. Introduction to the Theory of Production


(i) The Long and the Short Run
(ii) Production Functions and the Law of Diminishing Returns
(iii) Short Run Cost Curves
Lipsey and Chrystal Chapter 6

6. How Markets Function Under Perfect Competition


(i) Profit Maximizing Rules
(ii) Short Run Profit Maximization under Perfect Competition
(iii) Short Run Supply Curve for the Firm and Industry
(iv) Allocative Efficiency of Perfect Competition
Lipsey and Chrystal Chapter 7

7. An Introduction to Monopoly
(i) Short Run Profit Maximization under Monopoly
Lipsey and Chrystal Chapter 8

Govind Seepersad (PhD)

AGBU 1005: Introduction to Microeconomics Course Outline 14.09.10