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FALL 2011 COURSE SYLLABUS Last revised 08/16/2011 Professor Richard V. Burkhauser Office: 259 MVR Hall Class Time: MW 9:05 – 9:55 a.m. Email: [email protected] Classroom: Kennedy 116 Administrative Assistant: Tom Rushmer Office Hours: MW after class – 11:30 a.m. Phone: 607-255-2577 and by appointment Email: [email protected] Academic Accommodations: Students with disabilities are entitled to equal access in all university programs and activities. Students with disabilities should work with Student Disability Services (SDS) ( [email protected] ) to determine their best strategies for insuring access. The SDS website is ( http://sds.cornell.edu /). SDS will provide you with an accommodation letter that will enable me to work out with you the logistics of appropriate academic accommodations. Once you have your letter, please make an appointment with me to talk about your requirements as soon as possible. But in any case do so at least two weeks before the first exam. The Course: This is a course in microeconomics. The subject matter is how the wealth of nations is created and distributed. The course first focuses on gains from trade and how those gains are maximized in perfectly competitive markets for products (goods and services) and for factors (land, labor, and capital) used in their production. During this discussion you will learn how prices are determined in the product market; how rents, wages and the return to capital are determined in the factor market; how these prices and markets are interconnected, and why the search for profits by entrepreneurs, which are ephemeral, is the engine of change in such a system. With an understanding of how wages are determined, we will then discuss why all wages are not equal and the role discrimination against women and minorities plays in creating this inequality. This will bring us to the role government plays in market economies. We will discuss the policy trade-off between market efficiency and a fairer distribution of income that occurs when government intervenes in competitive markets (e.g. minimum wage laws, rent control, income taxes). We will then discuss when competitive markets fail to efficiently allocate resources to their highest valued use—externalities (e.g. pollution, literacy of children)—and the role of government policy in such cases. Finally, we will discuss the role of government when market power leads to market outcomes that are not efficient—Monopoly, Monopsony, and Oligopoly—and profits that are not ephemeral. Course Web Site: All lectures, announcements, readings, experiments and grades will be posted on the course web site. The course web site is hosted on Aplia’s system ( http://www.aplia.com/) . The access key for the course is 3U3G-HCK8-9Q9J , which you will need to enter the first time you access the course website. Be sure to regularly check the web site for announcements and class material. 1
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This note was uploaded on 10/21/2011 for the course ECON 1110 at Cornell.

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