Monday, August 31, 2009


Here is the syllabus for the course. There may be changes made over the next several weeks. Changes will be announced in class and on this blog.

ECON 306 Section 009
Intermediate Microeconomics
W 7:20-10:00pm, ENGINERING #1110
Office Hours: Thursday 11pm-1pm or by appointment, Enterprise 342

Course Objective: This course will give an introduction to intermediate microeconomic analysis and price theory, and provide the foundations of economic literacy. The student is expected to have fulfilled the prerequisites for this course and be comfortable with algebra and graphs. Familiarity with calculus will be very beneficial but not necessary. Although attendance is not mandatory, students who attend lectures generally perform better. Most classes will be a mixture of lecture, demonstration, and discussion. Student comments and questions are encouraged and recommended for everyone’s benefit.

Readings: The reading list for this class is extensive. Some topics may not be covered if time does not permit. Students are responsible for what is covered in class, and the readings. Material from the readings will appear on the exams and in extra credit questions. The following texts are mandatory.

Jack Hirshleifer & David Hirshleifer, Price Theory and Applications, 7ed. (Cambridge University Press, West Nyack, NY). HAH
Thomas Rustici, Nathanael Snow, Carrie Milton, Ed., Microeconomics: A Free Market Approach (University Reader Company, San Diego, CA) RSM

The following materials are supplemental and freely available in un-pirated .pdf form online.
D. McClosky, The Applied Theory of Price (MacMillan Publishing Co., NY, NY) DM
Bettina Bien Grieves, Ed., Free Market Economics: A Basic Reader, (The Foundation For Economic Education, Irvington-on-Hudson, NY) BBG

Problem sets will be worth 10% of the final grade. There will be two midterms worth 25% each, and the final exam will be worth 35%. An extra 5% depends on student participation, in a constructive capacity.
Grading scale: A 90-100 B 89-80 C 79-70 D 69-60 F <60

Assignments: Students will be given three assignment sets due on September 30th, November 7th, and December 2nd. Each set is worth 3.3% of the final grade. Solutions will be posted to the class website the day after they are due.

Extra Credit: Students will have opportunities to earn extra credit from supplemental readings on homework assignments and on the exams.

Honor Code: Students are expected to know and follow the University Honor Code specified in the student handbook (available at: Cheating or plagiarism will not be tolerated. I will report any violations immediately to the honor committee.

This schedule is a rough outline, and is subject to change.

Week/Date Topic Readings
September 2 Thinking like an Economist HAH 1; RSM Introduction, I, Pencil, DM 1; BBG 1, 19; HO: Wanted: An Unpractical Man
September 9 Demand and Supply HAH 2; RSM Economic Organization of a POW Camp; DM 2; BBG 18, 49
September 16 Consumer Choice HAH 3; RSM Puzzling Questions of Vital Concern...; DM 6; BBG 14
September 23 Consumer Choice HAH 4; RSM To Drill, or Not to Drill?; DM 7; BBG 3, 17
September 30 Consumer Behavior HAH 4; RSM The Formation and Function of Prices, Loot; DM 10; BBG 8
October 7 Midterm 1
October 7 Applications HAH 5; Price Controls, Rent Controls; DM 5; BBG 63
October 14 Knowledge, Information, Exchange RSM Use of Knowledge in Society, Order From Chaos; DM 8; BBG 44
October 21 Exchange HAH 13; RSM Middlemen; DM 11; BBG 65
October 28 Theory of Firm HAH 6; RSM The Nature of the Firm; DM 14; BBG 67
November 4 Competitive Industry HAH 7; RSM Production, Information Costs, and Economic Organization; DM 13; BBG 40
November 11 Midterm 2
November 11 Monopoly HAH 8; RSM J.D. Rockefeller and the Oil Industry, Competition (Except Where Prohibited by Law); DM 17; BBG 71
November 18 Oligopoly/Game Theory Class Handouts; RSM Occupational Licensure; DM 19; BBG 73
November 25 Fall Break, No Class
December 2 Factor Markets HAH 11; RSM Outrageous CEO Pay, Gumball Now or Ice Cream Later?; DM 22, 25; BBG 78
December 9 Political Economy HAH 15; RSM Greed vs. Compassion, Bootleggers and Baptists; DM 16

If you are a student with a disability, please see me and contact the Disability Resource Center (703) 993-2474, all academic arrangements must be made through that office.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Supplemental Texts

Here are links to the supplemental texts for the course.
The first is D. McClosky's The Applied Theory of Price
This link will take you straight to a pdf version of the entire text.
The second is a volume edited by Bettina Bien Grieves, The Free Market Reader.
I trust you will find each of these resources helpful in developing your economic literacy and depth of understanding of price theory.

Welcome to Econ 306-009

Welcome students to a semester in Intermediate Price Theory. I will post on this site from time to time and include links to various items of interest to the course.
Comments are always welcome, and if attributed, may add to your participation grade.
Good luck.
Nathanael Snow