Syllabus - Microeconomics
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Posted August 22, 2003


Fall 2003

Instructor: Yves A. Isidor

Coordinates (tel.#s): (Bus.) 617-547-2220; (Week-end or after 9:00 p.m., week-day - only if calling within the U.S.) 857-928-3029; (Sec=y) 508-999-8347

E-mail :

Course: ECO 231-04 Principles of Microeconomics

Course Description: When studying economics, a question both majors and non-majors are likely to ask is AWhat does this have to do with us?@ - or more accurately, what impact does economics have on the lives of each and every citizen? This course will introduce students to microeconomic theory, focusing on the U.S. economy. Emphasis will be placed on markets, the price system, and resource allocation. Also, price determination in competitive and imperfectly-competitive markets. In addition to those listed above, participants will examine the issues of, but not limited to agricultural economics, technological change, pollution and the environment, public goods, antitrust policy, and alternative economic systems.

Objectives: This course is designed for both, majors and non-majors. Economics today demands ideas with real impact. Of course, great ideas don=t come out of thin air. With the assistance of a recipient of several prestigious awards for his research and incredibly prolific writings (enrapturing ... irresistible for some Harvard University professors, for example) on social, economic and political issues and real-world business professional, peripatetic expert in his fields who has a desire to impart applicable knowledge and skills, participants will achieve the most educationally effective blend of theory and practice relating to the current microeconomics body of knowledge presented in an andragogically sound format, suggesting that their Arudimentum,@ or rudimentary, economic knowledge, if any at all, is consigned to the archives of history.

Method of Instruction: This is not because the text book is unimportant, but primarily lectures and discussions oriented to contemporary problems, as reported in the economics news media, will be employed to provide familiarization with, and practice in applying, the concepts from this course.

Required Text: The Economy Today - Bradley R. Schiller (9th edition) McGraw-Hill, 2003.

Course Requirements/Grading: Students are expected to attend every class. Also, students are expected to be active participants, intellectually curious, adventurous or imbued with fruitful doubt. In so doing, they will not be reluctant (hopefully) to explore relevant economic issues in which they doubt their proficiency for fear of jeopardizing their ambitions. Not only do discussions on practical applications are welcome, but a concerted effort by students will be made to repudiate the idea that enrolling in this course - where higher learning and the practical business world intersect to the point that participants often come to envisage themselves performing at a superior level, four years or so after successfully completing their college education - is limited to getting themselves tagged for higher wages, learning how to win, important though this, too, may be, in an unregulated marketplace, but also being educated and, better than the next man or woman. In that sense, their education will be more than just a Apositional good.@ In addition to the text book, there will be additional reading materials (i.e., newspaper or, journal articles).

All students will take quizzes, mid-term and final exams. Exams will include: Multiple choice, definition and essay questions. When submitting themselves to the rigors of the intelligently written essay-questions, for example, students are expected to use the proper verbs: Compare, contrast and analyze, to name only these ones, rather than Aget, get.@ In other words, no vernacular or street language, please - they are now in college or university. Also, by answering further some of the essay-questions in a graphically sound format, including quantifying their responses, students will, more, convince the instructor that they have amassed a great deal of knowledge in the field of economics or master the relevant subject. Fast food-type (i.e., McDonald=s) or Ade minimus@ (next to nothing) answers are not acceptable. One of the benefits of so, of course, their arduous work will most likely be translated, at least, into an acceptable grade, as the author, by way of explanation, the instructor of this course, continues to emulate Plato (Socrates= best student), who established the Socratic tradition of instruction in his school, the Academy. Socratic irony - Pretended ignorance, used by Socrates as a method of instruction or to reveal inconsistencies in the arguments of an opponent.

The final grade for this course will be determined from the following activities:

Attendance/Class Participation: 10%

Quizzes 20%

Mid-term: 35%

Final Exam: 35%

* It is essential that all assignments be completed according to the attached scheduled. It is not an American English language class, still each student is highly advised to purchase himself/herself or enter possession of a good dictionary.


September 2 Chapter 1. Economics: The Core Issues

September 4 Chapter 2. The U.S. Economy: A Global View

September 9,11 Chapter 3. Supply and Demand

September 16 Quiz

September 18, 23 Chapter 4. The Public Sector

September 25, 30 Chapter 20. The Demand for Goods

October 2, 7 Chapter 21. The Costs of Production

October 9/16 Chapter 22. The Competitive Firm

October 21 Mid-term

October 23, 28 Chapters 24 & 25. Monopoly & Oligopoly

October 30 Chapter 26. Monopolistic Competition

November 4 Chapter 27. (De) Regulation of Business

November 6 Quiz

November 14 Chapter 28. Environmental Protection

November 18 Chapter 29. The Farm Problem

November 20, 25 Chapter 30. The Labor Market

December 2 Chapter 32. Financial Markets

December 4, 9 Chapter 33. Taxes: Equity vs Efficiency

December 11 Chapter 34. Transfer Payments: Welfare and Social Security

December 16-22 FINAL EXAM, as scheduled by the office of the Registrar (date, time, and place will be announced in class).

THANK YOU for submitting yourself to the rigors of this course. I am convinced you can now argue, with authority, to have written the epitaph of your rudimentary economic knowledge, if any at all, As they say in the language of the AFan@ people, AYour success is my success.@ If I may further be of assistance do not hesitate to contact me. Happy holidays and happy days to follow., the scholarly journal of democracy and human rights
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