Richard Croxdale                          Eco. 2302--Introduction to Microeconomics    

Office hours:    10:30—11:30 MW    10-11 F  or by appointment     

RGC 010     .

E-mail:  rcroxdal@austincc.edu                Phone:  223-3404 RGC

 

Text: Roger Arnold  7th edition

(You may use the split text.)

 

Principles of Microeconomics deals with the economic decision making of individual households and of business firms.   The following major topics will be covered in this course:  1) the mechanics of demand and supply analysis, 2) economic decision making by a consumer, 3) economic decision making of a firm with respect to price and output, and 4) the economic consequences of industrial or market structure.  Market failure and income distribution will also be considered.  This is a lecture course worth 3 hours credit.

 

The goal of this course is to give students insight into the dynamics of a market-based economy and how a market-based economy allocates scarce resources.  The theoretical and actual role of the government in this market system will be addressed.  The knowledge gained in this course will make students better informed citizens and allow them to follow the debates about various economic events and policies reported in the news media.  This course is also a foundation course that will prepare students to be successful in upper division finance, marketing, business administration, economics, government and social work courses.

 

The course is designed for introductory students and there are no prerequisites.  Basic math is assumed but those who have poor math skills should not panic.  This is a course in economics, not mathematics.  While not required, access to regular economic news will be extremely helpful in this course.  The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, television talk shows, or daily newspapers would all suffice.

 

Due to the nature of the subject matter, there is no rigid week-to-week, day-to-day schedule.  Some sections for some classes may take longer than others.  We may wish to spend extra time discussing some aspect of one section.  Interests of students can be accommodated.  But, roughly, the schedule is the following:

 

Sec. 1.  6 weeks.  Chaps. 1, 2, 3, and 5).   Topics will an introduction to the U.S. economy, production possibility curves, demand curve, supply curve, simple demand and supply analysis, and elasticity of demand.  Note—for the first section, for the first few days, I will introduce material that is not in the split textbook, so attendance will be important.

 

 

 

Sec. 2.  4 weeks.  Chaps. 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Topics will be more complex demand and supply analysis, the theory of demand, and the theory of supply.

 

Sec. 3.  4 weeks.  Chaps. 10, 11, 12, and, if there is time, 14 and 15. Topics will the 1)industrial structures of  monopoly, oligopoly, and monopolistic competition,  2) regulation and anti-trust, and 3) labor market and income distribution.

 

      There will be a test after each section.  The tests will be primarily objective.  There will be a review before each test.  Although the test dates are not published, you will receive a minimum of one week’s notice of the test.  The test will be taken in class.  There will be no retests, however, if you are unable to take the test at the scheduled time, please contact me for rescheduling.

 

Course objectives:  1) the basic concepts of scarcity and opportunity cost, 2) the forces of demand and supply and how they interact to determine an equilibrium price, 3) how and why equilibrium prices might change and their impact on resource allocation, 4) the theory of consumer behavior, 5) the theory of the firm, and 6) the theoretical market structures of perfect competition and monopoly.

 

 

Grades

 

            The final grade will be composed of two parts--1) average of the three tests, and 2) homework points.   Grades will awarded on the traditional basis of                         90-100   A

                                                                                                            80-89     B

                                                                                                            65-79     C

                                                                                                            55-64     D

You must earn the points in both categories, both tests and homework, to earn the final letter grade.  For example, to make an A, you must average a 90 on the tests and also earn 90 points in homework or written work.  However, at the A and B level you may transfer up to 5 points from one category to the other. At the C level you may transfer 10 points from one category to the other.

 

Homework

 

      Chapter questions--you may earn a maximum of 70 points from the chapter questions, which I will assign in class.  Each set will be worth 10 points.  Obviously, you do not have to complete them all once you have earned the maximum points.

 

 

      The project for the semester will be to construct a  journal composed of summaries of 10 articles.  The student will choose a subject, to be approved by me. The project is worth a maximum of 10 points. The subject needs to be selected and turned in to me by the end of the first month of the semester.  The 15 articles, which amounts to one a week, can be found in newspapers, magazines, or the internet, although the LRS academic or business premier index of journals is recommended.  The summaries should be at least 1/2 typed page, accompanied by the appropriate bibliographic information.   It will be due the next to last week of the semester, approximately two class days before the last test.  You should note that only the summaries should be turned in.

 

      A book review is worth 10 points.  The book needs to be approved by me.  The book review should be five pages, double-spaced.  This will be accepted at any time during the semester.

 

      You might write 3-page biographies of famous economists for 3 points each.  There is a maximum of 2 biographies for this section.  Talk to me if you do not know the names of any famous economists.  In this section, I expect more than simple life stories.  I would expect to have some presentation of the economic ideas for which the economist selected is recognized.  This will accepted at any time during the semester.

              

     You may ask to read and answer a homework set on a chapter in the book that we do not cover in the course.  This will be worth 5 points.  A maximum of two chapters.  This will be accepted at any time during the semester.

           

    There will be other opportunities to earn homework points in the course of the semester.  I may give you an current article to read and ask you questions about it, or you may come up with some creative work of your own.

  

      It is policy that any student missing 10% of the classes is subject to withdrawal by the professor, so if you are missing a lot of classes, contact me if you intend to finish the course.  Otherwise, you may be withdrawn from the course.  It is, however, your responsibility to withdraw from the course.  I fully understand that this is a community college, and sometimes work or family obligations require attention, but attendance in class is essential to a full understanding of the subject matter.

 

     Incompletes are not recommended.  A miniscule fraction of the students asking for incompletes ever finish the course.  However, if you feel the need, ask at least two weeks before the end of the semester.

 

     Acts prohibited by the college for which discipline may be administered include scholastic dishonesty, including by not limited to cheating on an exam or quiz, plagiarizing, and unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing outside work.  Academic work submitted by students shall be the result of their thought, research, or self-expression. Academic work is defined as, but not limited to tests, quizzes, whether taken electronically or on paper; projects, either individual or group; classroom presentations; and homework.  Students found cheating on a test, or plagiarizing a book report, will be given an F for the course.

 

      Each ACC campus offers support services for students with documented physical or psychological disabilities.  Students with disabilities must request reasonable accommodations through the Office for Students with Disabilities on the campus where they expect to take the majority of their classes.  Students are encouraged to do this three weeks before the start of the semester.