Microeconomic Theory

Microeconomic Theory



Winter, 2012

Instructor:Art Stewart

Office:Dunning Hall, Room 331



Office Hours:Tuesday 11:30-12:30am; Thursday 10 -11am; by appointment

Textbook and Other Resources

The textbook for the course is Microeconomics by David Besanko and Ronald Brauetigam. This book and the accompanying study guide are available in the bookstore. You may find additional resources at the publisher’s website, Other materials may be referenced as we proceed through the course.


Student grades will be based on three sets of work:

1)A three-hour final exam worth 50% to be scheduled by the Exams Office during the December exam period.

2)A midterm exam worth 30% to be held in class on Monday, March 5.

3)A set of five open-book quizzes to be held during the last 25 minutes of class, beginning on Monday, January 23. A full schedule of the quizzes is included below. Your four highest quiz scores will count for 20% of your grade. Missed quizzes will not be made up for any reason. If you have a legitimate and documented reason for missing a quiz, please speak to me about alternative arrangements.

Please note that all graded work, with the exception of the final exam, will be returned through an office set up for this purpose. You must show your student card to pick up your work. Details will follow in class.

Exam and Quiz Schedule

Quiz 1January 23

Quiz 2February 6

MidtermMarch 5

Quiz 3February 27

Quiz 4March 12

Quiz 5March 26

Other Stuff

The course has a head TA who is responsible for coordinating grading activities and office hours for other TAs, and maintaining the course website. The name and coordinates of the head TA will be announced in class and posted on the website, along with those of the other TAs. The remaining four TAs are responsible for grading quizzes and the midterm. All TAs will hold regular office hours to respond to grading inquiries. These office hours will be posted on the website early in the term. The website address is The website contains important announcements, and past quizzes and midterms.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is constituted by the five core fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility (see These values are central to the building, nurturing and sustaining of an academic community in which all members of the community will thrive. Adherence to the values expressed through academic integrity forms a foundation for the "freedom of inquiry and exchange of ideas" essential to the intellectual life of the University (see the Senate Report on Principles and Priorities)

Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the regulations concerning academic integrity and for ensuring that their assignments conform to the principles of academic integrity. Information on academic integrity is available in the Arts and Science Calendar (see Academic Regulation 1), on the Arts and Science website (see and from the instructor of this course.

Departures from academic integrity include plagiarism, use of unauthorized materials, facilitation, forgery and falsification, and are antithetical to the development of an academic community at Queen's. Given the seriousness of these matters, actions which contravene the regulation on academic integrity carry sanctions that can range from a warning or the loss of grades on an assignment to the failure of a course to a requirement to withdraw from the university.

Course Outline and Readings

Chapter 1 – entire chapter

  • Students are responsible for reading this chapter

Chapter 2 – pages 22-55 (3rd edition)

– pages 26-56 (4th edition)

  • Covers the basics of supply and demand and elasticity

Chapter 3 – entire chapter

  • Preferences and utility, the basis of consumer theory

Chapter 4 – pages 96-123 (3rd edition)

– pages 103-131 (4th edition)

  • Consumer choice through constrained optimization problems

Chapter 5 – pages 134-158 and pages 172-175 (3rd edition)

– pages 150-172 and pages 182-186 (4th edition)

  • Derivation of demand functions and consumption-leisure choice problems

Chapter 15 – pages 550-569 (3rd edition)

– pages 604-626 (4th edition)

  • Consumer choice in the presence of risk and an introduction to insurance

Chapter 6 – entire chapter

  • Production functions

Chapter 7 – pages 221-243 and pages 246-252 (3rd edition)

– pages 245-280 (4th edition)

  • Costs and cost minimization

Chapter 8 – pages 259-283 (3rd edition)

– pages 285-309 (4th edition)

  • Cost curves in the long run and the short run
  • Covered very quickly in class with most of the chapter for student reading

Chapter 9 – pages 298-335 (3rd edition)

– pages 327-362 (4th edition)

  • Perfectly competitive markets

Chapter 10 – entire chapter

  • Applications of competitive markets to policy issues
  • A few sample problems will be done in class, but the chapter is mostly left for student reading

Chapter 11 – pages 403-413 and pages 422-427 (3rd edition)

– pages 438-462 (4th edition)

  • Basics of monopoly

Chapter 13 – pages 481-498 (3rd edition)

– pages 528-548 (4th edition)

  • Basics of oligopoly

Chapter 14 – entire chapter

  • Introduction to game theory