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Microeconomics

  • Module code: EC5004
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 5
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: Successful completion of level 4
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This module will develop the model building techniques encountered at level 4, and extend the scope of these models to a wider range of problems. It will show the use of microeconomic models in a problem solving context and provide an analytical basis for subsequent elective modules.


On completion of the module, you will have a good knowledge of the major techniques and issues in modern microeconomic theory and policy and how to apply this knowledge in the discussion and evaluation of contemporary microeconomic issues.

Aims

  • To develop additional models and extend the scope of models encountered at level 4 to a wider range of problems.
  • To show the use of microeconomic models in a problem solving context

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the main models of household and firm decision making and the impact of uncertainty on decision making.
  • Demonstrate some fluency in communicating the knowledge gained and applying it to some contemporary problems;
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the problems facing policymakers in using microeconomics to improve economic welfare/alter economic outcomes.

Curriculum content

  • Consumer theory: utility functions; indifference curves; income and substitution effects; Slutsky equation; expenditure functions; compensated and uncompensated demand functions; compensating and equivalent variation; consumer surplus
  • Producer theory: production and cost functions; firm and industry supply; perfect competition, monopoly and monopolistic competition.
  • Strategic choice: basic concepts of game theory; applications to oligopoly and auctions.
  • General equilibrium and welfare: competitive equilibrium; efficiency of equilibria.
  • Uncertainty and information: choice under uncertainty; insurance markets

Teaching and learning strategy

The content of the module is delivered through weekly two hour lectures and a weekly one hour seminar. Students will be introduced to the major concepts through lectures and by completing the assigned readings. Weekly problem sets will form the basis of the seminars and provide students with the feedback, training and practice needed to develop and hone the problem solving skills required to achieve the learning outcomes. The problem sets will also help to prepare students for the final exam.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lecture 44 [22 x 2 hours]
Scheduled learning and teaching Seminar 22 [22 x 1 hour]
Guided independent study Essay preparation 60
Guided independent study Preparation of problem sets 64
Guided independent study General independent study and exam revision 110
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Assessment will comprise two short essays (1000 words each) and a two-hour final examination.

The short essays will assess the ability of students to discuss, analyse and apply microeconomic models in a particular area of the subject and provide them with an opportunity to receive feedback on their progress as well as suggestions on how to improve their technique.

The weekly problem sets discussed in the seminars are designed to prepare students for the module exam.

The exam tests the overall ability of students to think about, analyse and present contemporary problems/issues in microeconomics and indicate appropriate solutions.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Demonstrate an understanding of the main models of household and firm decision making and the impact of uncertainty on decision making. Short essays (F/S), examination (S)
Demonstrate some fluency in communicating the knowledge gained and applying it to some contemporary problems; Short essays (F/S), examination (S)
Demonstrate an appreciation of the problems facing policymakers in using microeconomics to improve economic welfare/alter economic outcomes. Short essays (F/S) examination (S)

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK 1000 word essay 25
CWK 1000 word essay 25
EXWR Exam 50
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Morgan, W, M. Katz and H. Rosen (2006). Microeconomics, Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.

Varian, H. (2010). Intermediate Microeconomics, New York: W.W. Norton.

Bibliography recommended reading

Perloff, J (2012). Microeconomics, Harlow, Essex: Pearson.

Pindyck, R. S. and Rubinfeld, D. L. (2009). Microeconomics, Pearson/Prentice-Hall.

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