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BAEcon Economics and Finance / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Microeconomic Analysis 3

Unit code ECON20501
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by School of Social Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course unit provides students with an intermediate level understanding of microeconomic topics that are at the core of neoclassical microeconomic theory and fundamental for the understanding and development of new, more advanced models for consumers and firms. A core notion is that of welfare in a basic economy, where all agents have full information about the behaviours of other agents in the economy. To achieve that, a deep and concise understanding of the model of consumer choice and demands in markets is required and, similarly, a clear understanding of the decision process of firms in the short run (decision to produce a good or not) and long run (decision to enter or not a market). Finally, the unit addresses welfare issues when consumers and producers participate in an economy.




Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Adv Maths - BAEcon & BSc Econ ECON10071 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Macroeconomic Analysis 2 ECON10182 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Microeconomic Analysis 2 ECON10172 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Introduction to Mathematical Economics ECON10192 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Pre-Requisite: ECON10172 and ECON10071 and ECON10192





The aims of this unit are to: (i) provide students with rigorous understanding of the core neoclassical microeconomics involving consumers, producers, markets and notions of partial and general equilibrium.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this unit students should be able to: (i) demonstrate a clear understanding of preferences, choice, utility and demand; (ii) demonstrate a clear understanding of inputs, outputs, production, cost and supply; and (iii) perfect competition in a market and general equilibrium and welfare.


I. Preferences, Choices, Utility, Demand:

  • a. Definition of Relations, Rationality and Properties of Preferences
  • b. Existence of a Utility& Properties of Utility; Ordinal versus Cardinal
  • c. Consumer Problem
  • d. Demand; Marginal Rates of Substitution, Indirect Utility/Expenditure
  • e. Income and Substitution Effect; Law of Demand
  • f. Consumer Surplus; Elasticities; Slutsky Equation; Market Demand
  • g. Equilibrium in Exchange Economy, Pareto Optimality, Welfare Theorems.

II. Production, Costs, Supply

  • a. Inputs and Outputs; Technology
  • b. Firms and their Objective
  • c. Price Taking Firms, Cost Function/Marginal/Average Costs, MRTS, Law of Supply/Demand
  • d. Returns to scale, elasticity of output,

III. General Equilibrium and Welfare

  • a. The Robinson Crusoe Economy, Optimality and Walrasian Equilibrium
  • b. Competitive Equilibrium, Def. Walrasian Equilibrium Price,
  • c. Existence of Equilibrium
  • d. First Welfare Theorem
  • e. Second Welfare Theorem

Teaching and learning methods

The material is delivered via the online (Blackboard) provision of material (readings) and lectures.

The learning process of students is supported by tutorials (exercise questions and discussion based questions) and the provision of ongoing short unseen tests on the course material covered (thereby facilitating ongoing independent learning).

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Critical reflection and evaluation. Decision-making.
Oral communication
Problem solving
Written communication
General foundations for neo-classical Microeconomics. Using economic modelling tools and techniques. Understanding role of incentives and strategic thinking. Planning and implementing independent study using library, electronic and online resources. Work to set deadlines.

Assessment methods

60% Exam

40% 8 In class tests

Feedback methods

Students receive feedback from lectures, tutorials & office hours, and after the corresponding online tests.


Recommended reading

Core Reading:

  • Nicholson, Walter and Christopher Snyder, Intermediate Microeconomics and its Applications, Cenage Learning, 2015.
  • Varian, Hal. R., Intermediate Microeconomics with Calculus, Norton, 2014.

Advanced Reading:

  • Jehle, G.A. and P.J. Reny, Advanced Microeconomic Theory, Addison-Wesley, 2011.
  • Riley, John G., Essential Microeconomics, Cambridge UP, 2012.

Very Advanced Reading:

  • Mas-Colell, A., M. Whinston, J. Green, Microeconomic Theory, MIT Press, 1995.


  • Ackerman, Frank (1997) “Consumed in Theory: Alternative Perspectives on the Economics of Consumption,” Journal of Economic Issues 31 (3), 651-664.
  • Arrow, Kenneth J. (1959) “Rational Choice Functions and Orderings,” Economica, New Series 26 (102), 121-127.
  • Arrow, Kenneth J. (1963) “Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care,” American Economic Review 53 (5), 941-973.
  • Waldfogel, Joel (1993) “The Deadweight Loss of Christmas,” American Economic Review 83 (5), 1328-1336.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Horst Zank Unit coordinator

Additional notes

For every 10 course unit credits we expect students to work for around 100 hours. This time generally includes any contact times (online or face to face, recorded and live), but also independent study, work for coursework, and group work. This amount is only a guidance and individual study time will vary.

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