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Yale University Course Syllabus

ECONOMICS 110
An Introduction to Microeconomic Analysis
KATERINA SIMONS
SPRING 2019

Office Hours and Appointments


My office is in WLH room 101
Office hours are on Tuesdays from 2:45 to 4:15 or by appointment.
E-mail: katerina.simons@yale.edu

COURSE DESCRIPTION
Economics is divided into two fields: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics.
Macroeconomics looks at the behavior of the economy as a whole, in particular the
behavior of such aggregate measures as the unemployment rate, inflation, economic
growth and the balance of trade. In contrast, Microeconomics studies how individuals,
households and firms make decisions, how they interact with one another and how their
interactions determine demand and supply. This course is an introduction to
Microeconomics.

TEXTBOOK
The textbook for this course is Robert H. Frank, Microeconomics and Behavior, 9th ed.
McGraw Hill, New York, 2014. It’s OK to use an older edition.

Supplementary Readings
1. Akerlof, “The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism"
2. Tversky and Kahneman, “Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions.” (TK)
3. Thaler, Richard, Tversky, Kahneman, and Schwartz, “The Effect of Myopia and Loss
aversion on Risk Taking: an Experimental Test.” (TTK)
4. Leibenstein, “Allocative Efficiency vs. X-efficiency”
5. Spence, “Job Market Signaling.”
6. Coase, “The Problem of Social Cost.”

COURSE WEB SITE


The course website on Canvas will be used to post problem sets, solutions, and course
schedule updates.
You also have access to the textbook’s companion site, which is located at:
http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0078021693/student_view0/index.html
This site provides a variety of supplementary materials for the text, including key terms,
chapter summaries and practice quizzes. The free on-line Study Guide is highly
recommended. It can be found at
http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0078021693/student_view0/study_guide.html

Requirements and Grading


Your grade will be based on eight problem sets, a midterm and a final.
Eight problem sets: (20%) The problem sets are due on Thursdays at the start of class.
Midterm exam (40%)
Final Exam (40%)
The dates are approximate; depending on class discussions, some topics may be covered more
quickly or more slowly than anticipated.

Part I: Introduction

Week 1.1 Course organization and an overview of economics. Thinking Like an


Economist.
Reading: Frank: Chapter 1
Week 1.2 Supply and Demand
Reading: Frank: Chapter 2, including the appendix

Week 2.1 Supply and Demand (Continued)

Part II: Consumer Theory

Week 2.2 Rational Consumer Choice


Reading: Frank: Chapter 3, including the appendix
Week 3.1 Rational Consumer Choice (Continued)
Reading: Frank: Chapter 3, including the appendix

*** PROBLEM SET 1 (DUE AT START OF CLASS) ***

Week 3.2 Individual and Market Demand


Reading: Frank: Chapter 4, not the appendix

Week 4.1 Applications: A Gasoline Tax & Two-Part Pricing


Reading: Frank: Chapter 5

*** PROBLEM SET 2 (DUE AT START OF CLASS) ***

Week 4.2 The Economics of Information


Reading: Frank: Chapter 6, not the appendix
Supplementary Reading: Akerlof, “The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty
and the Market Mechanism.”

Week 5.1 Choice Under Uncertainty


Reading: Frank: Chapter 6, not the appendix

*** PROBLEM SET 3 (DUE AT START OF CLASS) ***

Week 5.2 Choice Under Uncertainty (Continued)


Reading: Frank: Chapter 6, not the appendix

Week 6.1 Behavioral Economics


Reading: Frank: Chapter 7
Supplementary Reading: Tversky and Kahneman, “Rational Choice and the
Framing of Decisions.”

2
Part III: Producer Theory

Week 6.2 Production


Reading: Frank: Chapter 8, including the appendix

*** PROBLEM SET 4 (DUE AT START OF CLASS) ***

*** MIDTERM*** February 28 at 6 PM for both sections

Week 7.1 Production (continued)


Reading: Frank: Chapter 8, including the appendix

Week 7.2 Costs


Reading: Frank: Chapter 9, including the appendix

Week 8.1 Costs (continued)


Reading: Frank: Chapter 9, including the appendix

Part IV: Market Structure

Week 8.2 Perfect Competition


Reading: Frank: Chapter 10

*** PROBLEM SET 5 (DUE AT START OF CLASS) ***

Week 9.1 Perfect Competition (Continued)


Reading: Frank: Chapter 10

Week 9.2 Monopoly


Reading: Frank: Chapter 11
Supplementary Reading: Leibenstein, “Allocative Efficiency vs. X-efficiency”

Week 10.1 Imperfect Competition: Game Theory


Reading: Frank: Chapter 12

*** PROBLEM SET 6 (DUE AT START OF CLASS) ***

Week 10.2 Imperfect Competition: Oligopoly and Monopolistic Competition


Readings: Frank: Chapter 13

Part V: Factor Markets

Week 11.1 Labor Market


Reading: Frank: Chapter 14
Supplementary Reading: Spence, “Job Market Signaling.”

Week 11.2 Labor Market (continued)


Reading: Frank: Chapter 14

Week 12.1 Capital Market

3
Reading: Frank: Chapter 15

Part VI: Market Efficiency and Market Failure

Week 12.2 Externalities, Property Rights and the Coase Theorem


Reading: Frank: Chapter 16
Supplementary Readings: Coase, “The Problem of Social Cost.”

*** PROBLEM SET 7 (DUE AT START OF CLASS) ***

Week 13.1 Government: Public Goods


Reading: Frank: Chapter 18
Week 13.2 Wrap up

*** PROBLEM SET 8 (DUE AT START OF CLASS) ***

*** FINAL ***

GOOD LUCK!
HOPE YOU ALL WILL ENJOY THE COURSE!