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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2 Main decisions of the economic actors Main decisions of a household: - What to consume? - How much labor to supply? - How much to save and where to invest? Main decisions of a firm: -What and how to produce? Which inputs to use? -Pricing(not in competitive markets) What prices to charge? -Marketing and Advertising -entry into the industry, investment -R&D -mergers and acquisitions Government’s decisions : taxation, public good provision, defense, industry regulation Main determinants of the decisions in market environments: • Incomes • Prices Degree of competition • Degree of competition • Size of the market • Future prospects (profitability of investment) Themes of Microeconomics: Microeconomics studies: -how prices and quantities are determined in markets -the allocation of scarce resources among alternative end uses. In a market economy, prices are determined by the interactions of consumers, workers, and firms.
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This note was uploaded on 01/28/2011 for the course ECON 301 taught by Professor Chapple during the Spring '08 term at UBC.

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

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