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BAEcon Development Studies and Social Statistics

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Microeconomics 1

Unit code ECON10331
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by School of Social Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

To provide students with an understanding of the quantitative methods and tools that economists use and how they can be appropriately applied and interpreted. These methods and tools are used in practical and academic settings to test economic theories and measure magnitudes that are relevant for economic policy analysis and other decisions. These methods are a key element of the professional training an economist; they will provide a foundation for subsequent study of applied and quantitative topics and are useful in many careers in economics. The course aims to equip students with a number of core competencies including: (i) an awareness of the main empirical approach to economics, (ii) experience in the analysis and use of data and software packages as tools of quantitative and statistical analysis to answer topical economic questions, (iii) an understanding of the nature of uncertainty and methods of making inference in the presence of uncertainty.

The objectives of this course are that students will be able to:

•       understand the main techniques of quantitative economics and econometrics, including their strengths and limitations, at a level appropriate for an economics graduate

•       understand how these techniques can be applied to test economic theories and measure economic magnitudes, and have some knowledge of methods and results in selected areas of the applied economics literature

•       have some practical experience of the application of econometric methods based on practical exercises

•       have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to critically appraise work in the area of applied economics.

•       have a good intuitive and theoretical grasp of the dangers, pitfalls and problems encountered in doing applied modelling.

•       have the necessary background material so that they are able to go on to study more advanced and technical material in the area of econometrics.

•       use the R software package to obtain basic descriptive statistics using real world data and perform introductory econometric analysis.

Pre/co-requisites

ECON10331 Only available to students on BA Econ

This course unit is for BA Econ students only (any student not studying on the BA Econ but who wants to take this course unit must take ECON10221 instead).

NOT available to students who have previously taken ECON10041/42 or ECON10081/82.

Aims

The aims of this course are to:

•       provide a self-contained introduction to microeconomics;

•       introduce a range of microeconomic concepts and analytical tools

 

Learning outcomes

 

  • ability to understand and make appropriate use of core microeconomic concepts such as revenue and cost, opportunity cost, elasticities, marginal and average values
  • understanding of the role and limits of markets
  • understanding of the relationship between modern “neoclassical” economics and “classical” schools of economic thought
  • ability to analyse the behaviour of firms

Syllabus

 

1.     The Capitalist Revolution

Capitalism, Growth, Demographic Transition

Core Reading: ‘The Economy’ Chapter 1

 

1.     Economic Models: Technological Change, Population & Growth

Malthus, the Industrial Revolution, Introduction to Economic Models, the Nature of Economics

Core Reading: ‘The Economy’ Chapter 2

 

1.     Classical Economic Thought

Smith, Ricardo, Marx

 

1.     The Marginal Revolution: Scarcity, Work And Choice

Preferences, Opportunity Costs, Decision-making and scarcity

Core Reading: ‘The Economy’ Chapter 3

 

1.     Social Interactions

Conflict, Co-operation, Institutions, Norms and Behaviour

Core Reading: ‘The Economy’ Chapter 4

 

1.     A model of the Firm and its Costs

Production, Costs, Economies of Scale

Core Reading: ‘The Economy’ Chapter 7

 

1.     Demand Elasticity and the Firm as a Price Maker and a Price Taker.

Demand and its Elasticity; Price-Setting, Competition & Market Power

Core Reading:

‘The Economy’ Chapter 7

‘The Economy’ Chapter 8 & ‘The Economy’ Chapter 11 [sections 11.1-11.3]

 

1.     Markets, Efficiency & Market failure

Market Failure. Pollution, Public Goods, Open Access resources,ImperfectInformation

Core Reading: ‘The Economy’ Chapter 12

Teaching and learning methods

The material is delivered via the online (Blackboard) provision of material (readings, clips) and Lectures.

The learning process of students is supported by tutorials (exercise questions and discussion based questions) and the provision of further online material (such as discussion boards and practice quizzes).

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Problem solving

Assessment methods

22.5%  online test

22.5%  online test

55%      Essay (1500 words)

 

Feedback methods

Individual and group work in the tutorials, and feedback thereon.

Online practice tests on Blackboard

Discussion and feedback (from peers and staff) on Blackboard Discussion Boards

Use the 10 minute break following lectures to ask questions of the lecturer

Recommended reading

The primary textbook for this course will be:

The CORE project (2017) The Economy. Economics for a Changing World. Oxford University Press.

See the e-book, and additional resources, at: www.core-econ.org

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 19
Tutorials 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 77

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Daniel Rigby Unit coordinator

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