Econ 101: Introductory Microeconomics

Course Learning Outcomes:

The course introduces the students to the first course in economics from the perspective of individual decision making as consumers and producers. The students learn some basic principles of microeconomics, interactions of supply and demand, and characteristics of perfect and imperfect markets.

Course Modules:

Introduction to Markets:

Problem of scarcity and choice: scarcity, choice and opportunity cost; production possibility frontier; economic systems. Demand and supply: lawof demand, determinants of demand, shifts of demand versus movements along a demand curve, market demand, law of supply, determinants of supply, shifts of supply versus movements along a supply curve, market supply, market equilibrium. Applications of demand and supply: price rationing, price floors, consumer surplus, producer surplus. Elasticity: price elasticity of demand, calculating elasticity, determinants of price elasticity, other elasticities.

Consumer Theory:

Budget constraints, concept of utility, diminishing marginal utility, income and substitution effects; consumer choie: indifference curves, derivation of demand curve from indifference curve and budget constrain

Production and Cost Theory:

Production: behaviour of profit maximising firms, production process, production functions, law of variable proportions, choice of technology, isoquant and isocost lines, cost minimising equilibrium condition. Costs: costs in the short run, costs in the long run, revenue and profit maximisation, minimising losses, short run industry supply curve, economies and diseconomies of scale, long run adjustments.

Perfectly Competitive Markets:

Assumptions: theory of a firm under perfect competition, demand and revenue; equilibrium of the firm in the short run and long run; long run industry supply curve: increasing, decreasing and constant cost industries. Welfare: allocative efficiency under perfect competition.

Imperfect Competition:

(a) Theory of a Monopoly Firm: Concept of imperfect competition; short run and long run price and output decisions of a monopoly firm; concept of a supply curve under monopoly; comparison of perfect competition and monopoly, social cost of monopoly, price discrimination; remedies for monopoly: Antitrust laws, natural monopoly. (b) Imperfect Competition: Monopolistic competition: Assumptions, SR & LR price and output determinations under monopolistic competition, economic efficiency and resource allocation; oligopoly: assumptions, oligopoly models, game theory, contestable markets, role of government.

Income Distribution and Factor Pricing:

Input markets: demand for inputs; labour markets, land markets, profit maximisation condition in input markets, input demand curves, distribution of Income.

Basic Theory of International Trade:

Absolute advantage, comparative advantage, terms of trade, sources of comparative advantage, trade barriers, free trade/ protectionism.

NOTE: The above modules give a rough idea about the topics covered in our Introductory Macroeconomics course. Students will be given modules as per their respective Universities outline after prior discussion.