EC201: Intermediate Microeconomics


17th January 2018 All Day


Galway, Ireland

This course is designed for students from a non-economics background who are thinking of applying for a postgraduate programme such as the M. Sc. (Health Economics) at NUI Galway that requires applicants to have taken a preparatory course in microeconomics. It is also suitable for those who want to learn microeconomics in a relatively sophisticated way for any reason.

This is an intermediate Microeconomics course. The course will start with an introduction to the theory of consumer choice which explains how individuals choose what to consume given their income, prices and preferences. This theory will be used to explain why demand curves are downward sloping and to explain the income and substitution effect of a price change. You will also learn how consumer choice theory can be used to answer a range of interesting questions such as should consumers receive a per unit subsidy or a lump sum? Which would make the consumer better off? The next section of the course will deal with producer theory. You will learn how firms make production decisions in the short run and in the long run before reviewing the two main types of market structures, perfect competition and monopoly. This will be followed by a more in-depth analysis of monopoly pricing and price discrimination. You will then be introduced to imperfect competition. You will learn about monopolistic competition, oligopoly and cartel models, and how firms make their production decisions under these market structures. You will also learn about wages, rent, interest and profit and finally, you will be introduced to Game Theory.

Overall Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course you will be able to

  • Apply marginal analysis to the determination of efficient choices
  • Use the supply and demand model to analyse competitive market outcomes
  • Use the consumer choice model to analyse consumer choices
  • Show the basic relationships between technology, production decisions, and costs
  • Use demand functions, cost functions, and game-theoretic concepts in the analysis of a firm’s decisions
  • Analyse decisions that involve risk and asymmetric information
  • Analyse why competitive markets lead to efficient outcomes
  • Analyse situations that cause markets to fail and consider what policies are needed in these situations

Format: This is an online course and most of the learning will be undertaken by the student on their own initiative. Once the course starts, the course co-ordinator will post a set of lecture slides on each topic on the Course Blackboard. For each topic some practice questions with solutions will also be posted. There are also answers to some of the questions in the textbook at the end of the book.