Professor Yongmin Chen
Office: Econ 112
Office Hours: 11:00-12:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays
Course Description:This course is concerned with the behavior of individual economic agents and their interactions.It studies how individual economic agents make decisions and how markets function. The course is roughly composed of four parts. Part 1 introduces the basics of microeconomic analysis.It also serves as a quick review of some basic economic concepts.Part 2 studies consumer behavior and market demand.We will show how a consumer may make optimal choices, how individual demands are formed, and how market demand can be derived.Part 3 discusses the firm's technologies, production functions and production costs.We shall see how firms can make the optimal input choices to minimize production costs.This lays the foundation for the study of behavior of firms under different forms of market structure.Part 4 integrates the previous material into models of prices and outputs under different market structures.Topics in game theory and business strategies will be covered.Economic efficiency and public policy issues will also be discussed.
The presentation of the course is at the intermediate level.It is required that you have passed an introductory course in economics or microeconomics (such as ECON 1000-4 or ECON 2010-4), and have passed MATH 1050, 1060, 1070, 1080, 1090 and 1100.In order to take this course, you need to be familiar with calculus.
Course Materials: The textbook is Microeconomics: second edition, by David Besanko and Ronald Braeutigam, published in 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.(ISBN 0-471-45769-8). I will indicate the required readings below.
Grading: Grades are based on homework and class attendance (20%), two midterm exams (25% each), and a final exam (30%). There is also an optional project, which is to write a short paper. If you choose to write the paper (see more details later), your highest two grades from the paper and the two midterm exams will then be used to count as 25% each. This will offer you an opportunity to improve your course grade if your performance in midterm exams is below your expectations.
You are required to attend all classes. If you must miss a class, you need to let me know the reason. Please select a regular seat in the class so that it is easier for me to recognize you. You are encouraged to form study groups to discuss homework and lecture materials.All exams will be in closed-book forms.
How to Study effectively in this Course: I suggest that you read the assigned materials before each class, so that you are prepared when you come to classes.After each class, I suggest that you have a quick review within one day.If you have questions, try to have them answered before we move on to new materials. The best time to ask me questions is during the class or at my office hours; but you are also welcome to talk to me at other times.
The course materials are arranged by topics, and each topic is usually covered over several classes.There is a homework assignment for each topic, which is due at the beginning of the first class for the next topic.You can start working on some problems in an assignment before I have finished the topic. Below is a tentative course schedule.There can be changes to this schedule during the semester, which will be announced in classes.It is your responsibility to update your information about the course according to announcements made in classes.
1. Introduction to Microeconomic AnalysisCh 1; Ch 2.
Assignment 1: pp. 19: #1.2, 1.4, 1.5; pp. 65-66: #2.1, 2.3, 2.5, 2.8, 2.10, 2.11.
2. Consumer Preferences and UtilityCh 3.
Assignment 2: pp. 93-94: #3.1, 3.3, 3.4, 3.7, 3.8, 3.12.
3. Consumer ChoiceCh 4.
Assignment 3: pp. 129-131: #4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 4.6, 4.7, 4.10
4. Individual and Market DemandsCh 5
Assignment 4: pp. 180-181: #5.5, 5.7, 5.10, 5.11, 5.15.
FIRST MIDTERM EXAM: Tuesday, February 8, at normal class time.
5. Inputs and Production FunctionsCh 6
Assignment 5: pp. 217-219: #6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.5, 6.7, 6.9, 6.13, 6.14, 6.15
6. Input Choices and the Cost of ProductionCh 7. Ch. 8
Assignment 6: pp. 253-254: #7.1, 7.3, 7.4, 7.7, 7.9, 7.15; pp. 292: #8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.5.
7. Perfectly Competitive MarketsCh 9, Ch 10
Assignment 7: pp. 348-349: #9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.6, 9.7, 9.9, 9.11, 9.18; pp. 399-401: #10.1, 10.4, 10.6.
SECOND MIDTERM EXAM: Thursday, March 17, at normal class time.
8. MonopolyCh 11, Ch 12.
Assignment 8: pp. 443-445: #11.1, 11.2, 11.3, 11.5, 11.11; pp. 477-479: #12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.10.
9. Market Structure and CompetitionCh 13
Assignment 9: pp. 515: #13.1, 13.2, 13.7.
10. Game Theory and Strategic BehaviorCh 14
Assignment 10: pp. 546-548: #14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 14.4, 14.16
11. Risk and InformationCh 15
Assignment 11: pp. 587-588: #15.1, 15.4, 15.5, 15.13
FINAL EXAM: Wednesday, May 4, 10:30-12:00 AM
Format: A short paper, about 3-5 pages (typed, double-spaced).
Purpose: Applying the theory and concepts of microeconomics to analyzing a practical economic problem.
Schedule: The completed paper is due on December 15.
Suggested topics for the paper:
1. You may choose to discuss and analyze issues such as the business strategy of a firm, the pricing policy of a firm (or several firms), the economic conditions of a market, or the competition in a market, from your readings of newspapers or magazines or from your own experiences.
2. You may choose to discuss and analyze the economic issues facing a firm or an organization that you are personally familiar with.You may want to discuss and analyze one or several issues of the firm or the organization, such as the determinants of demand for the firm and for the market of which the firm is a part, the determinants of costs for the firm or the organization,the economic decision problems facing the organization, and how these change overtime.You may also want to discuss how factors such as demand and costs affect management and organization strategies.
3. You may also choose topics such as:
--.The best new business on CU campus.(You need to identify a product, analyze demand and cost conditions, and argue why this is a promising product to be offered on CU campus, etc.)
--. How and why prices differ in two stores or two locations.(You need to be specific about the stores or the locations, and be specific about the price information.)
- Students with disabilities who may need academic accommodations should discuss options with me during the first two weeks of class.
- The University of Colorado Policy on Sexual Harassment applies to all students, staff and faculty. Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual attention. It can involve intimidation, threats, coercion, or promises or create an environment
that is hostile or offensive. Any student, staff or faculty member who believes s/he has been sexually
harassed should contact the Office of Sexual Harassment (OSH) at 303-492-2127 or the Office of Judicial Affairs at 303-492-5550.
Students who are pursuing their course of the study program in economics needs to study both macro and microeconomics. Studying microeconomics is different from macroeconomics. Microeconomics focuses on supply and demand, the economic behavior of an individual, household or business and markets where goods are bought and sold. Completing assignments in this subject is a difficult task and above it choosing a research paper topic in this discipline can become a challenging experience for the students as there are many great ideas to choose from.
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To compose your academic paper topic, use any one of the following methods. Here are some important tips for picking out an excellent microeconomics research paper topic-
- Creating a spider diagram- This is quite a simple and popular technique among the students. You are needed to write a comprehensive topic on a piece of paper and link as many subtopics to that plan as you can. And then, pick a part of the diagram that appears the most appealing to you and tries to make up a topic idea. You can discuss it with your companions and consider what ideas you can examine in your work.
- Brainstorming with your friends- To get the best research paper ideas you can organize a study session with your friends and classmates. You can plan to meet after classes, visit the school library, get on several courses of study textbooks, and write down your thoughts and ideas that you come up with. Later, you can select one of these ideas for your assignment.
- Getting inspired by the sample papers- You can also visit school’s writing center to get a few sample assignments written by other learners. Reading them will help you in coming up with a great idea to discuss in your Homework. You can also request the center's instructor to present you with a list of sample topic ideas and a writing manual.
List of top microeconomics research paper topics
- What are the fundamental elements of a successful business?
- How can social media marketing help a small company thrive?
- How have remarkable companies in your area survived economic crisis?
- What are the main customer trends in your area?
- Reasons why economies strive for maximal usage of natural resources.
- Name the criteria of industry waste usage in different microeconomics models.
- Name the branches that make the ecological sector of economies.
- Explain the essence of assimilation potential for a particular area.
- Name the principles of natural resource usage that are characteristic of the market, planned and traditional economies.
- Name the possible funding sources for ecological companies.
- What effects does purchasing local produce have on the economy?
- What are the necessary ingredients for a small business to beat the odds and to be successful.
- Make a list of five current user trends and predict the longevity of these items.
- Microeconomics problems of fighting pollution.
- Reasons for ecological issues in planned economies.
- What is the Law of Diminishing Returns and how do you resist its influence on input?
- Estimation of the influence of a local industry on the environment.
- Explain which conditions of nature, industry and household interaction are required to make a microeconomic model work.
- Discuss pricing versus salary concerning the minimum wage increases.
- How do you prevent a small business from going bankrupt?
- The balancing of supply and demand.
- The structure of a market and the method that comprises it.
- What happens to various industries when a recession hits?
- What is the outcome of the union movement on the labor market?
- How does the weather and in various particular seasons affect the economy?
- What are the advantages for an individual in paying for private health insurance?
- Make a comparison between the various main structures of the stock market.
Branches of microeconomics
Here are few of branches of microeconomics listed in which you can find the best research paper topics-
- Demand and supply- This large-scale topic applies to almost every domain of life. Regarding microeconomics, consider how changing demands influence the operation of small businesses or to study about how various factors of supply affect enterprises and personal households.
- Work market- This is another sphere that is worth considering while inquiring for an excellent topic for a microeconomics Research Paper. Here, you are free to address the labor market of a town, the outcome of the work market on an average income family or individual, etc.
- Pricing and marketing- In this sphere, you can analyze price changes on various levels, as well as the influence of sellers and buyers. For the estimation of prices, use shops within a small town.
- Entrepreneurship- In this context, you can discuss the possible obstacles for opening a new business, various government programs that can be used in this activity, and the distinguishing characteristic of a family business operating in a small town or city.
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