Principles of Microeconomics

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Course Number: ECONOMIC 2230
Course Name: Principles of Microeconomics (Online)
Course Description:    An introduction to basic economic principles with applications to current economic problems. Emphasis is on understanding how households and business firms make decisions in the U.S. economy. Topics include how prices are determined and how they help solve the economic problem of scarcity, the distribution of income and wealth, problems of monopoly power, labor unions and labor problems, environmental and energy concerns, and agricultural economics.
Prerequisites:    None
Level: Undergraduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online  (This course is also offered in print.)

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes
Economics 2230, Microeconomics, is a course designed to help you understand decision making for the economy, firm, and households. The primary course outcome will be for you to be able to use five critical thinking skills to make better decisions at home, in business and the economy. Upon completion of Economics 2230, Microeconomics, you will be able to do the following:

  • Apply the five critical thinking skills to economic decision making
  • Identify efficiency and equity issues for the economy.
  • Distinguish between different types of market structures.
  • Explain the impact of market structure on efficiency and equity.
  • Identify the profit maximization point under different market structures.
  • Distinguish between short run and long run decision making.

Unit Descriptions

Unit 1
Unit 1 introduces the basic economic terms and concepts that will be used for the entire course. The economic problem is identified and discussed. Demand and supply is introduced with many applications for the economy.

The material in Unit 1 is designed to help you understand the critical thinking skills that allow economist to analyze a wide variety of social issues.

Chapter 1 * The Scope and Method of Economics
Chapter 2 * The Economic Problem: Scarcity and Choice
Chapter 3 * Demand, Supply, and Market Equilibrium
Chapter 4 * Demand and Supply Applications

Most principles textbooks cover the preceding topics. The unit learning activities section indicates on what pages the topics are discusses in the course textbook.

Unit 2
Unit 2 will introduce to you practical applications for household and firm decision making in the long and short run. Households must decide how to get the most out of their resources. Sometimes this means producing goods and services themselves such as rearing children, playing scrable with family members. Other times it means deciding what goods and services to purchase that will maximize family welfare. Businesses must decide questions of what to produce and how to do it.

These decisions can change depending on the type of market structure. Both households and business must make decision in two different time periods. The short run when some resources are fixed and the long run when all resources can be changed.

The material in Module 2 is designed to help you understand household and business decision making. Module 2 is divided into four units:
Chapter 5 * Elasticity
Chapter 7 * The Production Process: The Behavior of Profit- Maximizing Firms
Chapter 8 * Short Run Costs and Output Decisions
Chapter 9 * Long-Run Costs and Output Decisions

You should utilize extra care and instructor contact in this section. Many students find probability one of the most difficult sections of the course. Consult the course instructor as soon as possible when questions arise. Remember: the economic cave can be very dark at times.

Unit 3
Natural resources (land, minerals, oil, timber, coal etc) are important in the production decision. The actual amounts of resources that are use in the production process are determined by the price of each resource. In Module 3, you will learn how the price of resources is determined. The factors that determined the price of land, labor and capital will be examined. At the end of this module you should be able to explain why a sports athlete is worth millions per year.

Chapter 10 * Input Demand: The Labor and Land Markets
Chapter 11 * Input Demand; The Capital Market and the Investment Decision
Chapter 12 * General Equilibrium and the Efficiency of Perfect Competition

Unit 4
The discussion of how competitive markets can be inefficient will continue from the end of chapter 11. The topic of international trade and protectionism will also be covered.

The material in Module 4 is designed to help you understand non-competitive markets, market failures and the world economy.

Chapter 13 * Monopoly and Antitrust Policy
Chapter 14 * Oligopoly
Chapter 15 * Monopolistic Competition
Chapter 16 * Externalities, Public Goods, Imperfect Information, and Social Choice

Grading Information

Your final grade is based upon total points accumulated from unit examinations, and written activities. The textbook problems are worth between 5-10 points unless otherwise noted. The learning activities alone will not provide enough experience for most people to do well on the exams. The instructor encourages all students to gain as much experience as possible by doing as many problems at the end of each chapter as time permits.

The course material is assigned the following values:
Test 1 -- Unit 1:   100 points
Test 2 -- Unit 2:   100 points
Test 3 -- Unit 3:   100 points
Test 4 -- Unit 4:   100 points
Written Activities:   250 points
Quizzes:   75 points
Discussions:   75 points
TOTAL POINTS:   800

  • Exam questions will be taken from the problem set at the end of each chapter. The best preparation will be to review all study questions at the end of each chapter and MyEconLab questions.
  • Each quiz will consist of 5 multiple choice questions on each chapter. The multiple choice questions will be similar to the multiple choice questions that appear in the MyEconLab. The best preparation for the quiz is to review the multiple choice questions in MyEconLab.
  • Your grade in this course will ultimately be determined by the amount of effort you put into it.

Letter grades are determined as follows:
A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 60-69%
F = below 60%

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