Economic Principles and Problems-Micro Syllabus
Microeconomics is the study of how individuals, households, and firms make decisions on how to use limited resources. We’ll cover supply and demand, pricing, equilibriums, and elasticity, as well as monopoly and oligopoly.
This course is the more “practical side of economics. It is designed to teach good business decisions, help students understand how companies target potential clients, and understand how legislation affects individual consumers and businesses.
This is by no means, an “easy” subject. There is logic, math, and concepts that may take a while to wrap your brain around, but it is by all means, a “worthwhile” subject for students of any major. This course emphasizes the functioning of the price system and its effects on households and businesses. Students should expect to allocate at least 9-12 hours each week for this course.
Course Learning Outcomes
In this course, we will:
- Apply basic mathematical tools to model and solve problems.
- Explain how scarcity relates to economics.
- Demonstrate the economic way of thinking.
- Explain the structure, assumption, and use of models to analyze and solve problems.
- Explain how the market system answers the three basic questions of what to produce, how to produce, and for whom.
- Use the Production Possibilities Frontier or Curve to model the production capabilities of a society or individual and analyze tradeoffs and comparative advantages.
- Describe how the demand curve is derived and the law of demand is applied.
- Describe how the supply curve is derived and the law of supply is applied.
- Explain how the market efficiently allocated resources to reach equilibrium and how the market responds when not at the equilibrium.
- Demonstrate the impact of government intervention in the market.
- Discuss the role of government intervention in the resource market.
- Discuss how education impacts the labor market.
- Explain the behavior of the private market when positive and negative externalities are present and methods to correct these externalities.
- Explain the nature of public good and how the social optimum quantities are determined.
- Discuss the market failures that exist with asymmetric information.
- Compute and analyze own price or demand elasticity.
- Compute and analyze cross price.
- Compute and analyze income elasticity.
- Compute and analyze the elasticity of supply.
- Compute the burden of a tax on the consumer and producer and explain how changes in elasticity of demand and elasticity of supply change the burden of a tax.
- Explain consumer behavior and how the demand curve is derived using indifference curves and budget constraints.
- Explain the nature of production.
- Derive and analyze short run costs curves.
- Derive and analyze long run cost curves.
- Explain the short run behavior of firms in pure competition and derive the firm and industry supply curves.
- Define the long run conditions of firms in pure competition and derive long run supply curves for firms in constant cost industries, increasing cost industries, and decreasing cost industries.
- Describe the behavior of monopolists in pricing and output decision.
- Compare the efficiency of monopolists to pure competition.
- Explain the behavior of price discriminating monopolists.
- Explain government regulation of monopolies.
- Explain how market concentration is measured and impacts firm behavior.
- Explain the behavior of firms in monopolistic competition including a description of the products, quantities, and prices of products supplied to the market.
- Explain the behavior of firms in oligopolies including a description of the types, quantities, and prices of products supplied to the market.
- Explain the concept of game theory and demonstrate its use in oligopolies.
- Explain how the demand for resources is derived from the demand for the products they produce.
- Explain how the supply of resources is determined.
The course has been designed to follow a weekly schedule in which students typically complete one lesson per week. You are expected to complete all of the learning activities for each lesson in the order they are listed for each lesson. The instructor may shift the order of completion for some assignments, and may even extend the deadlines on a few assignments if circumstances warrant it for the whole class.
|The Market System|
|3||Supply and Demand|
|4 & 5||Market Challenges & The Role of Government|
|Exam 1 (Chapters 1 - 5)|
|7 & 8||Consumer Behavior|
|9||Production & Costs|
|Exam 2 (Chapters 6 - 9)|
10 & 11
12 & 21
|Monopolies & Antitrust|
13 & 14
|Monopolistic Competition & Oligopoly|
|16 & 17||Resource Demand|
|Exam 3 (Chapters 10-14, 16-17,21)|
General Weekly Schedule
Each week students are expected to have read the course material and completed the preparation phase, which includes reading the chapter(s), completing the Reading Outlines and Application assignments, and reporting your work on the Self-Assessment by the End-of-Week. Students will then attend the live class meeting/office hour with their instructor and fellow classmates (or watch the recording) and discuss their questions on the week’s material and review the activities and assignments from the week prior. You will participate in the Critical Thinking discussion throughout the week. The Connect assignments, such as the homework and quizzes, are to be completed by End-of-Week.
- Start early- Since the week’s assignments conclude at the End-of-Week due date and the preparation phase of the next section is due at Beginning of Week, students will benefit from reading the material on the preceding weekend.
- Allocate sufficient time (in general a minimum of 9-12 hours per week). Set specific and regular times to study the course material.
- Break up your studies into several sessions.
- Take notes as you read and seek to apply the principles.
- Get help early as needed, from your group members and professor.
Books and Software
The McConnell, Bruce, Flynn Microeconomics 21st edition is an e-textbook for the course and is included as part of McGraw-Hill Connect. The Connect software is required to access the e-text and assignments (homework, quizzes, and exams). To purchase access Connect, click the McGraw-Hill link in Week 01 of your course. The University Store will charge your student account for your Connect access after the add-drop deadline.
Additionally a set of web notes has been created by the BYU-Idaho Economics Department as a supplemental resource. These notes require a student to download the free Wolfram CDF player to allow for the graphs to be interactive. The notes can be accessed at: https://courses.byui.edu/ECON_150/ECON_150_WebText/Course_Introduction.htm
In order to participate in online meetings and study groups, you are required to have access to a microphone and set of earphones for your computer. You will use both of these to participate in a variety of learning activities in this course. If you do not have these, a headset with both microphone and headphones can be purchased at a local electronics store for around $20. Generally, the sets that have a USB-port work far better than the basic RCA plug-in types.
Your preparation prior to the group and class discussion is a key component of this course. You are expected to have read and studied the assigned reading material using the e-text in Connect and completed and submitted the accompanying Reading Outline. After the completing the Reading Outline, complete the Application assignment. After submitting both assignments, complete the Self-Assessment Quiz in I-Learn.
Teach One Another
You will discuss lesson concepts and applications with your instructor and classmates in the Critical Thinking board throughout each week
Ponder and Prove
Homework questions in Connect allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the material. You may check your answer on each question in the homework three times with no penalty. In addition, you may attempt the assignment a total of three times; however, each additional attempt will cost you 3% of your overall grade on the assignment.
Homework assignments are open note/book and open neighbor. The intent is to help you better understand the principles and concepts covered in the assignment. These assignments tend to be more quantitative in nature.
Quizzes are also open note/book but not open neighbor and may only be attempted once. Students are allowed to use the internet to learn the general principles; however, searching for the question in an online test back is a violation of the honor code. Also, you may check your answer at a cost of 25% of the value of the question.
Students may complete the related LearnSmart module in each chapter for extra credit that counts as 2.5% of their overall grade. These modules must be completed by accessing the assignment under the folder and completed by the due date. Students who access the LearnSmart assignment in Connect using the link under Additional Resources on the left-hand side of the screen will not receive credit.
There are three exams throughout the semester. Exams are multiple-choice and will be taken in the testing center or in a similar proctored setting using Connect. Only Excel and a non-programmable calculator may be used when taking the exam. Makeup exams will only be given in severe emergency situations. Prior notification of your absence is essential in most circumstances. Exams will consist of terms and concepts, which are covered in the text as well as calculations such as those covered in the homework and quizzes. Since this exam is used in multiple sections, you will not be allowed to review the exam; however, the concepts of the top questions missed will be discussed in class meeting.
You should focus on the concepts covered in the outlines, homework, and quizzes as you prepare for the exam. In addition, there is practice material for each section. These practice items are optional. It is important that even though the homework and quizzes are open note, you need to spend time learning the material. Students that rely on their ability to look up material instead knowing and understanding the material, tend to perform poorly on the exams.
Instructions for taking the Exams
Each of the three exams are closed notes using only a non-programmable calculator and must be taken in a proctored setting.
Refer to the Proctored Test Information in W01 to learn more about how the exams will be administered.
Grades will be based on the points students earn from assignments, participation in online class meetings, and completion of any other learning activities assigned by the instructor. Points will be distributed according to the following percentages.
|Reading Outlines & Applications||15%|
|Lesson Reflections & Class Meeting Reports||3%|
|Critical Thinking Posts||2%|
|Connect Homework (Drop lowest one)||15%|
|Connect Quizzes (Drop lowest one)||15%|
Students are expected to complete assignments before the assigned deadline. No late work will be accepted except in emergency situations, at the discretion of the instructor.
Final grades will be determined as follows:
|Letter Grade||Percentage Range|
|A||100% – 93%|
|A-||92% – 90%|
|B+||89% – 87%|
|B||86% – 83%|
|B-||82% – 80%|
|C+||79% – 77%|
|C||76% – 73%|
|C-||72% – 70%|
|D+||69% – 67%|
|D||66% – 63%|
|D-||62% – 60%|
|F||Less than 60%|
Students may check their total number of points for all assignments and quizzes at any time using the My Grades link on the course menu.
You should read the following course policies and make sure that you understand what these policies mean to you regarding your interactions with the instructor and other students in this course. If you have questions about any of these policies, you should contact your instructor immediately.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of the 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in an educational program which receives federal funds, including federal loans and grants. Title IX also covers student-to-student sexual harassment. If you encounter unlawful sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination, please contact the Personnel Office at 208- 496-1130.
Students with Disabilities
BYU-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disabilities. If you have any disability which may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact the Services for Students with Disabilities Office at 208-496-1158. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by this office. If you need assistance of feel you have been unlawfully discriminated on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established policy and procedures. Contact the Personnel Office at 208-496-1130. Students may check their total number of points for all assignments and quizzes at any time using the My Grades link in the Course Menu.
This syllabus and the course schedule may be changed at any time prior to or during the semester as the need arises. You will be notified by your instructor of any changes and may view them in the Welcome folder.