SYLLABUS
               Principles of Microeconomics (Econ 202-001)
   Fall, 2013 (8-8:55am MWF Grise Hall, Rm. 442)

                       INSTRUCTOR: William Davis, Associate Professor of Economics
                                                            Department of Economics  Grise Hall, 418
                                                            Office phone/voice mail. 502-745-3123
                                                             FAX 270-745-3190
                                                            e-mail bill.davis@wku.edu
                                                            Web page: http://people.wku.edu/bill.davis/
                                                           Office Hours Office Hours: 10:15-12pm MWF, or
                                                           by Appointment

                        TEXT: Principles of Microeconomics  6th edition N. Gregory Mankiw (I) . South -Western Publishing, Inc.  2012 (earlier editions will work) Study Guide  suggested.
                                 Daily Reading of (in order of preference)  the Wall Street Journal,  The EconomistNew York Times  or  The Financial Times Greg Mankiw Blog is suggested.
                               Course readings and assignments will be  announced in class and/or posted on the  course web page.   See also the sources linked to the course web page
                                and the companion web site for  the text.    

This course fulfills one requirement for General Education category C -- Social and Behavioral Sciences.  It is designed to provide an understanding of the concepts, ideas, policy issues, and methods of analysis which are central to understanding economies at the local, regional, national, and global level. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to apply concepts to contemporary issues and understand the impact that economic decisions and actions have on individuals and society.

Course Objectives:  Students will learn the principles of microeconomics including the concepts and applications relevant to individual  decision  making and public policy.  An emphasis will be on gaining an understanding of the
                                     functions of  product  and resource markets. Attention will be given to the analysis of a variety of  contemporary issues and the contributions from the economic sciences relevant to contemporary national and
                                    global issues including market imperfections and international economic issues.  Appropriate attention will be given to economic concepts as antecedents to ethical judgements.
 

Course Threads:  Ideas, concepts, ways of thinking that are threaded and emphasized in the text and class discussion. You should have some understanding of their importance in the Economic Sciences  by the end of the course.

Not in any particular order of importance and subject to modification

What do we know about economic development and security
 "Incentives Matter"
Understanding how economists view "costs"
How Goods and  Markets Work, How Prices Emerge (supply and demand), and what happens markets are interferred with.
Comparative Advantage, the importance of trade, and issues associated with "globalization"
The importance of "property rights", the "rules of the game"
Externalities (imperfections in markets, how economists view them, and an intelligent person's guide to potential remedies)
 

Class attendance and code of conduct

A seating chart will be used to gather information on student attendance. Although no strict attendance policy is enforced  excessive absences is interpreted as a low level of commitment to the course and will be considered appropriately in the "class participation" component of the grade. Previous experience indicates that excessive absences results in poor performance and lower course grades. Classroom conduct conducive to learning is a necessity. Therefore, chatter and third party discussions that are not part of the class activities, disruptive behavior, use of electronic media (such as text messaging and laptops) that are not part of the announced class activities are not permitted. Infractions will result in disciplinary action that could result in dismissal from the class.

Fall 2013 Semester at a Glance http://www.wku.edu/registrar/academic_calendars/documents/fall_semester_glance.pdf 
 Fall 2013 Academic Calendar  http://www.wku.edu/registrar/documents/regguide_fall.pdf

Fall 2013 Final Exam schedule http://www.wku.edu/registrar/academic_calendars/fall_final_schedule.php
  
  Econ Club Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/groups/297132550358241/297626683642161/  

 Blackboard Forums:    
   

                                                                      COURSE OUTLINE
 
 

I.  INTRODUCTION: The central problem of all economies---securing the cooperative behavior of its members.
                      A. Ten principles of economics
Mankiw,      B. Stylized systems. Traditional, command, and market economies
 Chps.1,2,3   C. An overview of allocative and distributive mechanisms common to all economies
                     D. The focus of the course-markets as coordinating mechanisms
                     E. The analytical assumptions about individual behavior and the forward looking nature of man
                     F. Thinking like an economist
                     G. Introductory applications
                          1. The issue of industrial policy
                            2. Economic analysis as an antecedent to ethical judgements
                     H. The concept of comparative advantage and the benefits of trade.
                          1. Applications
II. MARKET CONCEPTS: DEMAND and Supply
                    A. The concept of demand as an empirical proposition
   M:4,5,6    B. Some mechanical conventions in the use of demand schedules
                    C. The concept of elasticity of demand
                    D. Differential Pricing (Price discrimination )
                    E. Applications
                   A. The concept of supply as an empirical proposition
                   B. Some mechanical conventions in the use of supply schedules
    M:4,5,6  C. The concept of elasticity of supply
                   D. Applications
III. THE RATIONING AND ALLOCATIVE FUNCTIONS OF MARKETS
                  A. Price determination in highly organized markets
                  C. The popular view of price changes
                  D. The price and allocative effects of price changes
                  E. Applications
                      1. Agricultural policy in the U.S.and the Common Market
                      2. Rent control laws-the case of New York City
                  F. Specialized markets
                      1. Information markets
                      2. Forward and futures markets
IV. Markets and Welfare: How Economists View Market Forces
                 A. The concept of market efficiency
                       1. Consumer Surplus
                       2. Producer Surplus
   M:7,8,9       3. Market Efficiency
                 B. Application: Welfare (Efficiency) Loss of Taxation
                        1. Deadweight Costs
                 C. Application: International Trade
                       1. Individual production and trade---the two party case
                       2. Basis of mutually beneficial trade
                       3. Absolute and Comparative Advantage
                       4. Arguments for restricting trade
                       5. Trade as a wealth creating activity
                       6. Case studies: NAFTA and GATT
V. THE ORGANIZATION OF PRODUCTION AND ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY:The Private and
        Public Sectors
                 A. Team production and trade
                     1. Implications of various property rights arrangements
 M:10,11,12    2. Special problems of monitoring and economic risk
                 B. The relevance of property rights arrangements
                 C. Applications-LBOs, corporate raiders, junk bonds,and hostile takeovers
                 D. The concept of ‘appropriability' and its importance
                 E. The "tragedy of the commons"
                 F. Externalities
                 G. Coase Theorem
                 H. "Public goods"
                I. Applications and case studies
VI. THE CONCEPT OF COSTS
              A. The equi-marginal rule in rational decision making
    M:13 B. The difference between marginal costs, average, and sunk costs
              C. The expectational dimension of costs
              D. The differences between accounting and economic concepts of costs
              E. The diamond-water paradox
              F. Short run and long run cost concepts
              G. What about "non-profit" companies?
              H. Applications
VII. FIRM BEHAVIOR, MARKET STRUCTURES, AND ECONOMIC COMPETITION
             A. The analytical meaning of competition
             B. Competition in price taker markets-open and closed
             C. Competition in price searcher markets-open and closed
             D. The ambiguous concepts of monopoly and oligopoly
             E. Contestability of markets
             F. Anti-competitive behavior
 M:14,15,    1.Predatory tactics
    16,17       2.Collusion and cartels
             G. Government regulation of business
             H. The issues of deregulation and privatization
             I. Profits defined
             J. The dissolution of profits
             K. The role of uncertainty in an assessment of profit
             L. Property rights, decision making, and profits
             M. Applications
 VIII. The Economics of Labor Markets
                   A. Markets for resources
   M:18,19, B. Labor markets
 20              C. Markets and discrimination
                   D. The distribution of income
  IX. Frontiers of Microeconomics
                  A. Asuymmetric information
   M.22      B.  Political Economy--voting paradox
                 C. Myth of the Rational Voter
                 D. Behavioral Economics
 
 

Suggested Links/Sources:

Nobel Prize Winners in Economics
An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
 National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA)
 Becker-Posner Blog
 2009 Index of Economic Freedom
  Econ Papers.com  -one of the largess collection of papers on Economic Issues and Topics. A great source for research papers.
 Bluegrass Institute For Public Policy Solutions (BIPPS)    In Bowling Green, Kentucky
 Famous Econ Majors
 Ronald Coase Institute

2011 Index Economic Freedom of the World http://www.freetheworld.com/2011/reports/world/EFW2011_complete.pdf

 

Big Mac Index --Economist magazine  http://www.economist.com/content/big-mac-index

Dollar/ Yuan exchange rate FRED  http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/EXCHUS

FRED data/graphics on U S Dollar Value  http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/release?rid=15&soid=1

Suggested Blogs/Podcasts:
1.   Freakonomics
2.  http://www.chicagoboyz.net/
3.   http://www.econopundit.com/
4.    http://marginalrevolution.com/

5.   EconLog Blog
6.  Adam Smith Blog
7The Armchair Economist  Steven Landsburg and others
  8. John Goodman Health Policy Blog http://healthblog.ncpa.org/

9. My Friend Sarah http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olCmbcd4L0U&feature=player_embedded

Electronic, Political, Sports, and Event Markets

1.  Iowa Electronic Markets
2.  Hollywood Market
3.  http://www.intrade.com/

Online Encyclopedia of Economics

  Test File

 Michael Munger on " middlemen
  
 

 Night views of N and S Korea http://www.paulnoll.com/Korea/History/Korean-night.html

 How Ideas Trump Crises by Alex Tabarrok

 Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo

 Composition of Course Grade:
1.     Test #1                                                                     100 points
2.     Test #2                                                                     100
3.     The best five of six 10 point quizes                       50
4.      25 weekly posts on the class forum-two points
          each (details in class)
Accepted Sources: Wall Street Journal
       The Economist Magazine
     NY Times  Anything from
     the The Library of Economics and LIberty
     or any threaded disusssion
     from My Favorite Blogs, any podcast found at

 http://www.econtalk.org/ articles from
     the  "Readings" links                                                 50
  NOTE: forums will be closed at midnight on
  Sunday of each week. Make up posts are allowed
only for "excused" misses.

5.   Class participation/Attendance                              75
6.   Comprehensive final exam                                     150

         Total available course points                        525 points

Course grade: accumulated points  (90%) 472.5 or more   = A
                                                                (80%) 420-472.0         = B
                                                                (70%) 367.5-419         = C
                                                               (60%) 315-366             = D
                                                                Less than 315             = F

 Readings(A)
 Readings(B) 
  150,202 Readings(C) 
 202 Reading C

Readings F12 1

Readings Begining Fall 2013

 202RF13

 

 

202 Why You'll Love Paying for Roads that Used to be Free

 Alex Tabarrok on Incentives

 U S Dept of Labor Report on College Education
 

 College Grads Earning Trends
 
2010 Economic Freedom Report 
 
 

Course Threads : How does the study of Economics inform the discourse on

1. environmental issues (environmental degredation of all kinds, climate change, etc)
2.  on health care reform
3. on tax policy
4. economic justice
5. on economic growth
6.  the regulation of commerce and anti trust issues policy
7.  the advantages and disadvantages of  "globalization"
8.  economics of  congestion
9. executive compensation
10. social security reform
11. patent and copywrite issues (e.g., the "napster" issue)
12. capital market integrity and efficiency
13.  market competition
14.  property rights
15. Education reform
 

NOTE:

      Make-up exams and quizes will be given only for excused absences.

Student Disability Services  In compliance with university policy, students with disabilities who require academic and/or auxiliary accommodations for this course must contact the Office for Student Disability Services in Downing University Center, A-200.   The phone number is 270 745 5004. Please DO NOT request accommodations directly from the professor or instructor without a letter of accommodation from the Office for Student Disability Services
 

      WKU Student Handbook on Academic Dishonesty  Refresh your memory on the matter of academic dishonesty.



 


  
  
  
  
  
 


  
  
  
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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