Travis W. Reynolds
PB AF 516
Ways in which microeconomic analysis can contribute to the analysis of public sector issues. Supply and demand, consumer and firm behavior, competitive and monopoly markets, income distribution, market failure, government intervention. Policy applications of theory. Prerequisite: elementary economics.
The first portion of the course will cover in detail: - the core assumptions of microeconomic theory - a conceptual and mathematical introduction to: -- individual and market supply and demand -- indifference curves -- elasticities -- utility maximization and related concepts.
The second portion of the course will introduce: - profit maximization for firms - utility maximization for firms and nonprofits - the market failures framework, with a focus on monopolies - government intervention and policy analysis
Specific case examples will be drawn from the course text and from outside reading materials, including academic journal articles and popular media.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
The course will consist of 3-hour lectures, twice weekly, in addition to a weekly review/homework session.
Some mathematical preparation is necessary - basic algebra is required, and at least some calculus exposure is preferred. At least one previous economics course would be helpful, but is not required.
Class assignments and grading
Homeworks (3) Quizzes (2) Mid-Term Exam (1) Final Exam (1)
Homework and Quizzes: 60% Exams: 30% Class Participation: 10%