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ECON 2010 Principles of Microeconomics

About the Course

Microeconomics is a branch of economics that studies how individuals, households, and firms make decisions to allocate limited resources, typically in markets where goods or services are being bought and sold. We will examine how these decisions and behaviors affect the supply and demand for goods and services, which determines prices, and how prices, in turn, determine the supply and demand of goods and services. There are 13 sections of notes, with the chapters covered listed at the top.


After a brief introduction to the economic way of thinking, we will study supply and demand. Supply and demand analysis provides us with a graphical way of understanding how the price and quantity of a good will change when factors such as income, population, and input costs change. By studying elasticity, we will develop an understanding of what determines how much price and quantity change.

After finishing supply and demand we will discuss the derivation of supply and demand. Specifically, we will examine how a demand curve is derived from consumer decisions about how to allocate their budget between various goods. We will also examine the underlying issues behind supply by explaining how a firm decides how much to produce. We will develop this in the context of several different market settings.

The issues we discuss are complex but they do lend themselves extremely well to critical thinking and rational inquiry, which are the guiding principles of this course. Our goal is to become and remain informed about issues related to economics and, even more importantly, acquire the ability to think about complex issues in a logical objective manner. Thinking critically is what permits us to differentiate between the illogical and the sensible, between the misleading use of statistics, misleading anecdotal evidence, and the reasonable presentation of information.

Grade Breakdown

Your course grade will be based on the four exams. Each exam will be worth 25% of your grade.

Required Text

N. Gregory Mankiw (2006), Principles of Microeconomics 4th edition, Thompson South-Western Publishers, ISBN: 978-0324589986. There is a fifth edition but get the fourth if possible. I would suggest looking for used/new copies online before buying at the bookstore to compare prices. The notes are fairly comprehensive, so while I recommend purchasing the book (especially if you can find a cheap one) you can probably get by without one.

Instructor Contact

Office: ECON 4D
Office phone: 303-492-4784

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