Microeconomics is the study of how individuals and firms make choices, and how these choices interact in society. Economics shares with other behavioral sciences the general goal of explaining and predicting human behaviour. The distinguishing feature of the economic approach is the emphasis on rational decision making under conditions of scarcity. Because of the central role of markets and the price system in describing the outcome of individual and firm decision-making, microeconomics is sometimes called “price theory.”
This course is an introduction to the basic concepts and tools of microeconomics. We study how markets work, with an emphasis on analysis of the effects of public policy on the welfare of society. The course also provides a brief introduction to macroeconomics.
By the end of this term you should:
Develop a deep understanding of a small number of core concepts of microeconomics that are essential to good managerial decision making and informed analysis of any economic issue.
Develop an ability to use key economic ideas in evaluating public policies. You should leave this course with a basic understanding of what types of government intervention benefit society. You also will be informed about a number of current issues confronting policy makers.
Be acquainted with a few important ideas in macroeconomics, such as the determinants of economic growth, the causes and consequences of inflation and unemployment, and the role of monetary and fiscal policy.
Develop an ability to critically analyze economic arguments put forth in public policy debates. For instance, you should be able to read and evaluate general economics-related material in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or Economist.