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301lec1 - Organisation of the course Lectures Discussion...

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1 ECON 301 Professor Sergei Severinov Introduction: Concepts and Methods Demand and Supply Organisation of the course: Lectures Discussion sessions Course page: http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/sseverinov/econ301.htm Office hours: Tuesdays 2.15-3.15pm + TA office hours Textbooks: Main textbook: Pindyck and Runbinfeld, ``Microeconomics’’,7-th edition Supplementary: ``Introduction to Economic Analysis,’’ McAfee, Preston R., available at http://www.introecon.com/IEA200.pdf Evaluation Final (55%) Midterm (35%), TBA Problem sets: (10%) 5 (subject to a minor change) 5 (subject to a minor change), Problem sets will be graded based on completeness of your solutions and effort shown(check-about 2 points, check minus-approx 1 point, or minus- zero points for each problem) Mathematics Familiarity with multivariate calculus and optimization is assumed Math Tutorial on the web: http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/osborne/MathTu torial/index.html Consult a book on Mathematical Methods For example, ``Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis ‘’ P. Hammond and Sydsaeter, many others What is Microeconomics? A branch of economics studying economic behaviour and decisions of i ndividual agents E.g. individuals/households, firms, governments, countries, groups of countries and their interactions in the markets “Micro” does not mean that we deal with small things. Rather, it means that we consider foundations , tradeoffs and incentives explaining economic behavior Key Aspects of Microeconomics Main actors: (i) individuals (or households), (ii) firms: (iii) Government • Rationality: each economic agent does what is Rationality: each economic agent does what is best for himself/herself….. (whatever “best” means- could be different things) • Self-interest: each maximizes its objective: -Individuals maximize utility functions . -Firms maximize profit function
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