EC120 – Introduction to Microeconomics

I am scheduled to teach two sections of EC120, Introduction to Microeconomics, in Fall 2017 for the 5th consecutive year.

EC120 introduces students to the analysis of a market economy, with a focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the price system and the role for government intervention in the economy. Students will be introduced to economic analysis relevant to a wide variety of questions in business strategy and public policy conducted at the international, national or sub-national level. Specific examples addressed during the term will include environmental policy, domestic tax policy, lab our standards, international trade and health policy.

The critical goal in EC120 is to understand how to use an economic model to assess how economic changes affect the choices of households and firms, and the resulting effects on social welfare.

I am in the process of updating the course outline for this Fall. The most noticeable change is that we will be changing textbooks, moving to Microeconomics, 15th edition, by Chris Ragan. I will also note that when purchasing the textbook, it is slightly cheaper to buy the physical textbook, with access to the e-text and online MyEconLab, than it is to buy just the e-text and MyEconLab on their own. This is the result of an oddity on the Ontario tax code.

An old course outline is here, in case you are interested. The basic content and structure is not changing too much.
Course Outline for EC120 in Fall 2015

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the difference between positive and normative questions, and recognize the role of economic analysis in each case.
  2. Recognize the importance of opportunity cost and the gains from trade in determining economically efficient outcomes.
  3. Use graphical and mathematical analysis to identify how changes in supply and demand affect prices in a market economy.
  4. Measure consumer and producer surplus, and use these concepts to understand market efficiency.
  5. Understand how consumer budgets and consumer preferences can be analyzed.
  6. Apply the concepts of consumer and producer surplus to assess the effects of tax policy and international trade on aggregate social welfare.
  7. Identify the difference between short and long run costs of production and their effects on firms’ production choices.
  8. Identify the link between perfectly competitive markets and economic efficiency.
  9. Distinguish between the economic outcomes associated with perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly and monopoly.
  10. Recognize the role for government in managing the provision of public goods.
  11. Identify how a market economy affects discrimination, inequality and poverty, and the role of the government in promoting positive social outcomes.

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