1 Econ 1014 Instructors: Eric Parsons Principles of Microeconomics Assistant Teaching Professor Spring 2020 231 Professional Bldg. [email protected] OFFICE HOURS : MWF 2-3pm (and by appointment) Lonnie Hofmann Graduate Instructor 319 Professional Bldg. [email protected] OFFICE HOURS : MWF 4-5pm (and by appointment) Why Economics? The discipline of economics provides a rigorous and scientific approach to addressing the most important local, national, and global issues of our times. Economic relations not only shape social and political institutions but are also the primary sources of transformations to these institutions. Therefore, the study of economics is vital to understanding causes and consequences of the disruptive forces of globalization, inequality, and poverty. Moreover, the theoretical and empirical tools of economists are indispensable for competent policy analysis and evaluation. For this reason, economists are often the most prominent and influential policy advisors in Washington, DC and around world. Goals of the Course: This course provides an introduction to microeconomics, the study of decision-making processes of households and firms. Students will learn to systematically and objectively analyze complex and controversial issues relating to equity and efficiency in modern society. The "economic way of thinking" fosters critical thinking and generates insights about the manner in which people interact through markets and business relationships. In the first part of this course, students will become familiar with the workings of markets and the interplay of market forces and policy interventions, such as price controls, quotas, taxes, and subsidies. The remainder of this course examines different sources of market failure and associated public policies. Topics include market power and price discrimination, labor markets and earnings differentials, environmental harms and regulation, and the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality. Throughout this course, students will analyze contemporary and classic public policy debates about market distributions of resources and government redistribution through the lens of equity and efficiency. Diversity Intensive Requirement: This course satisfies the DI requirement for students in the College of Arts and Sciences by intentionally and intensively focusing on 1) how markets and government policy interventions in markets affect the well-being of different groups (i.e., workers, consumers, investors, rich and poor), 2) the causes of differential economic outcomes across groups, including patterns of poverty and inequality in the United States, and 3) critically evaluating differing perspectives on policy options aimed at alleviating these disparities.