Principles of Economics Microeconomics Spring, 2015

Principles of Economics Microeconomics Spring, 2015

Principles of Economics – Microeconomics Spring, 2015

Economics 201

CaliforniaStatePolytechnicUniversity, Pomona

Dr. Anne Bresnock

Office: Building 1, Room 338

Office Hours:MW 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. and by appointment

Phone:(909) 869-4593

E-Mail: and

Research Website: (Economics section.)

Required Text: Paul Krugman and Robin Wells Microeconomics, 3E (New York, NY: Worth Publishers, 2012). (Study guide recommended.)

Class Website:

Text Website:

Module Website:

Course Objectives:The key objectives in this introductory course in microeconomics include:

1.The student should develop a solid foundation of basic economic concepts pertaining to the market system. The nature and method of decision-making units -- consumers, producers, and governments--to make choices while constrained by limited resources will be carefully analyzed. Additional constraints to the decision making process-government regulations, imperfect competition, etc.--will also be investigated.

2.The student should develop an understanding of the institutional framework of the American economy within which our system of mixed capitalism operates. Thus, an analysis of the various ways producers organize their business, the role of labor unions in labor markets, the role of taxes in directing economic choices, the effect of government regulations on production decisions, etc., will be pursued.

3.The student will develop the ability to apply basic economic concepts and principles to problem situations. In order to accomplish this problem solving aptitude, the student will acquire the basic methodology and tools of analysis necessary to formulate economic decisions. Often the ability to select and utilize economic data to reach a solution will be required as well as a comprehensive justification of the solution.

4.The student will develop the ability to communicate the logic of economic thinking qualitatively and quantitatively. Through the use of objective, problem set and short answer testing techniques, the student will be expected to utilize the principles of economics, to analyze and synthesize answers to problem situations.

5.Finally, the student will develop a better understanding of the role of economics in our sociopolitical environment as well as the role economics plays in decision making processes which crossover to other disciplines -- the arts, natural sciences, and other social sciences. Such knowledge is important to gain awareness of the overall operation of society.

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Testing and Grading: There will be two examinations. Please note the exam dates that are listed in the attached syllabus. Under no circumstances are make-up examinations given. Students missing the midterm for a serious and unavoidable reason will be excused from that test if the professor approves acceptable documentation for such an excuse. Students with approved excuses for a missed midterm will have their final exam score doubled. Students missing an examination without a valid reason will receive a zerograde for that exam. No one will be excused from the final exam.

The midterm and final examinations will contain multiple-choice (60%), and problem-solving, or short answer (40%), sections. The midterm and final exams will consist of 30 multiple-choice questions worth 4 points each, or 120 points, and 2 problems or short answer questions worth 40 points each, or 80 points, for a total of 200 points. The problems and short answer questions will typically require graphical, numerical and/or a brief verbal analysis, and be no more than one to two pages in length each.

Your grade in Economics 201 will be determined as follows:Total Maximum Points

Multiple Choice Quizzes with Explanations 200 ( 33.3%)

Midterm 200 ( 33.3%)

Final Examination 200 ( 33.4%)

Total Course Points 600 (100.0%)

Grading ScaleTotal Accumulated PointsCourse Grade

90 - 100%540 - 600 A- to A

80 - 89% 480 - 539 B to B+

70 - 79%420 - 479 C- to C+

60 - 69%360 - 419 D- to D+

Below 60% 0 - 359 F

Your grade in Economics 201 is thus determined solely on the criteria described above, not on the basis of “need” or special circumstances. There will be no extra credit opportunities to raise your grade. Incompletes are strictly forbidden in this course except in highly extraordinary and unavoidable circumstances. Please immediately consult university policy and specific dates to drop a class. You are expected to adhere to university drop policies. The instructor will make no exceptions unless highly extraordinary and unavoidable circumstances should prevail. Students taking the class on a pass/no pass basis must complete all course requirements. To receive a Pass grade you must earn a minimum grade of a C (73%) in the course overall.

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The computer project assignments will be collected in class lecture on the dates indicated in the course syllabus. You must turn in the assignments no later than immediately after the lecture on the date indicated. Any assignments not received by that time on the due date will receive a zero grade because I will be immediately posting the answers.

Multiple Choice Quizzes with Explanations

Students will be assigned to small groups (3 – 6 students) for completing multiple choice quizzes with explanations. The groups will be assigned in class, and the quizzes will be completed outside of class time. The quizzes will be distributed by E-Mail. Due dates for the quizzes are on the last page of the syllabus. Answer keys will be posted on the due dates. More details on these assignments will be explained in class.

Some Suggestions

To be successful in a course of this nature the following suggestions are offered:

  1. Attend class regularly. Excessive absences (more than two per term) tend to result in a low or failing grade.
  1. Expect to spend 6 hours per week in preparing for this course in order to earn a C grade.
  1. Read the assignment before class. Work problems and practice quizzes that pertain to the assignment in advance of class discussions. Problems and practice quizzes may be found at the end of each chapter, in the recommended study guide, and via the text website. (“Bookmark” or add this site to “Favorites” in your Web browser.)

4.Download the partial class lecture notes prior to each class meeting. They are posted in advance on the class website, and it is your responsibility to bring a copy of the notes for each class to lecture.

  1. Reread the assignments for clarity after class lectures. Some times rereading certain sections of the text several times will be necessary to obtain a firm grasp of a concept.

6.Write down questions that come up while reading the assignment and discuss them with me during my office hours. By reviewing the material with others much learning may be gained. Consider forming study groups with other class members.

7.Utilize the text study guide and website to prepare for lectures and exams.

  1. Work through the recommended problem sets found in the class website for this course.

9. Form study groups to review the assignments and prepare for the exams. Use the“Additional Problems”, “Handouts”, and “Homeworks” found on the class website to reinforce the concepts. All of these problems have posted answer keys.

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10. Come by my office to clarify any sections of the lecture notes that you miss or do not understand. If you miss a class, come by to copy the notes that you have missed.

On-Line Resources

It is highly recommended that you complete the on-line quizzes and utilize the Student PowerPoints found at:

immediately after reading each of the assigned chapters. Take the quizzes honestly. Take them repeatedly until you get 100% correct and know why your answers are correct. These quizzes, if used in this manner, will give you excellent feedback on your understanding of the course material, and will also prepare you for the objective questions on the course exams.

Course Outline and Assignments

I.Introduction to Economics

Lecture 1 A.Scope and Method of Economics

13/30Assignment: Krugman/Wells, Ch. 1

Lecture 2B.Scarcity and Choice: The Economic Problem

4/1 and 4/6Assignment: Krugman/Wells, Ch. 2 and Appendix

ClassWeb Recommendations: Additional Problems (and Answers) = PPCs; Other Notes = PPCs; and Handout #1 (and Answers); Homework 1 (and Answers)

II.The Market Mechanism: Elements of Price Theory

Lecture 3 A.Theory of Demand and Supply

4/8, and 4/13Assignment: Krugman/Wells, Ch. 3 and Ch. 5

ClassWeb Recommendations: Additional Problems (and Answers) = Markets; Other Notes = Types of Goods; and Handout #2 (and Answers)

Lectures 4 - 5B. Elasticity and Efficiency

4/15, 4/20and 4/22Assignment: Krugman/Wells, Ch. 6 and Ch. 4 and Ch. 7 pp. 181

and 4/2787

ClassWeb Recommendations: Additional Problems (and Answers) = Elasticity; Other Notes = Elasticity; and Handout #2 (and Answers); Homework 2 (and Answers)

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III.Competitive Market Behavior

Lecture 6 A.Consumer Decision Making: Further Demand Analysis

4/29Assignment: Krugman/Wells, Ch. 10

ClassWeb Recommendations: Additional Problems (and Answers) = Utility Analysis.

NOTE: Additional Problem #2 and Handout #3 are NOT covered.


5/6Midterm(Covers Chapters 1, 2, 2A, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 pp. 181 – 187

and 10)

Lectures 7and 8 B. Producer Decision Making: Further Supply Analysis

5/11, 5/13 andAssignment: Krugman/Wells, Ch. 9 pp. 243 – 254, and Ch. 11)


ClassWeb Recommendations: Additional Problems (and Answers) = Production Analysis and Cost; Other Notes = Production Function and Production Cost; and Handout #4 (and Answers); Homework #3 (and Answers)

IV.Economics of the Firm: Price and Output Determination

Lecture 9 A. Theory of the Firm: Pure Competition

5/20 and 5/27Assignment: Krugman/Wells, Ch. 12

ClassWeb Recommendations: Additional Problems (and Answers) = Pure Competition; and Handouts (and Answers) = #5

Lecture 10B. Theory of the Firm: Monopoly

6/1Assignment: Krugman/Wells, Ch. 13

ClassWeb Recommendations: Additional Problems (and Answers) = Pure Monopoly; Other Notes: Efficiency and Long Run Equilibrium; and Handouts (and Answers) = #6; Homework #4 (and Answers)


6/8Final Examination 3:50 – 5:50 p.m. (4:00 Class)

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Economics 201 Quick Reference

Spring, 2015

Week / Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday
1 / March 30
Lecture 1 / April 1
Lecture 2
2 /

April 6

Lecture 2 /

April 8

Quiz 1 Due
3 /

April 13

Lecture 3 /

April 15

Lecture 3
Quiz 2 Due
4 /

April 20

Lecture 4 /

April 22

Lectures 4 - 5
Quiz 3 Due
5 /

April 27

Lecture 5 /

April 29

Lecture 6
Quiz 4 Due
6 /

May 4

Review /

May 6

7 / May 11
Lecture 7 /

May 13

Lecture 8
8 /

May 18

Lecture 8 /

May 20

Lecture 9
Quiz 5 Due
9 /


Holiday /


Lecture 10
Quiz 6 Due
10 /

June 1

Lecture 10 / June 3
Quiz 7 Due
11 / Final Exam Week
June 8 3:50 – 5:50 p.m.