Economics_182A_Spring_2011_Introductory_Handout

Economics_182A_Spring_2011_Introductory_Handout -...

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UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS Economics 182A, Spring 2011 Introduction to Microeconomics Course Outline The Goals: This is a course in applied logic . It explains how to apply logical arguments to analyze microeconomic problems. The course has more than one purpose. The course’s first goal is to develop in you the ability to reason for yourself, to raise you above having to submit to listening mindlessly to a politician asserting that you should adopt his point-of-view on an issue. You have no doubt already discovered that in many important economic issues there is always a debate, often shamelessly partisan, with at least two sides accusing the other of attempting to manipulate you. Your only immunity to this perfidy is an ability to reason logically for yourself. Expertise in applying logic is obtained only by hands-on practice. Consequently this course heavily emphasizes, and assesses, your development of problem-solving skills. It is a “doing” course, rather than a “read and memorize” course. It is not a course that can successfully be completed merely by reading notes and answers that others have provided to problems – you must “do”. The problems posed are sometimes purely teaching exercises intended to help you to understand as simply as possible ideas you need. But the applications are always to important real-world issues. The course’s second goal is to show you the great practical value of microeconomics. Why should you study this course? Economics is the study of scarcity. It examines the consequences of scarcity, how human beings have and do respond to scarcity, and how we can manage those consequences and responses in ways that most benefit us. It is an enormously practical science. You live in a time when the population of our planet is straining even the most basic of our resources; arable land, clean water, clean air and nutritious food are examples. Never has a knowledge of economics been more useful. Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday; 8:00 a.m. – 9:20 a.m., in Norton 112. Homepage URL: http://ublearns.buffalo.edu/. This homepage is the central information site for the course. It is the place to find announcements, grades, office hours, contact information, updates about tests and so on. Check the homepage for new announcements and information at least once each week. It is your responsibility to remain informed about the progress of, and any alterations to, the course. Stay alert! Contact Information: All contact information is presented in the Staff Information component of the course’s homepage at UBLearns. There you will find the names, offices, email addresses, office hours and so on of all of the course’s instructors.
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Emailing the Course Instructors: Spam is a pervasive problem. Consequently, if you email any of the course’s instructors then start your entry on the subject line of your message with “Eco182A:”. Then it is unlikely that your message will be treated as spam. Discussion Sections:
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Economics_182A_Spring_2011_Introductory_Handout -...

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