Skip to main content

Economics 201: Principles of Microeconomics

Sample Syllabus

Expected Learning Outcomes

The course will introduce students to the university-level study of microeconomic principles and the application of those principles to the world around them. Having completed this course:

  • Students can investigate economic relationships using graphical analysis.
  • Students can state the basic theories behind consumer behavior (demand) and producer behavior (supply) constrained by the scarcity of valuable resources. 
  • Students can analyze how world events affect market equilibrium prices and quantities using supply and demand. 
  • Students can describe the role of prices and profit and loss in coordinating economic activity. 
  • Students can describe the nature of competition in markets. 
  • Students can assess the efficiency of competitive market outcomes relative to alternative arrangements. 
  • Students can outline the theory of the firm and its implications for prices and production under both perfect and imperfect competition, including monopoly. 
  • Students can solve simple analyses of markets for production inputs, including labor and capital. 
  • Students can examine the potential roles for government in the economy. 
  • Students can explain externalities and where and when they are likely to occur. 
  • Students can analyze outcomes associated with government interventions into markets.

Common Content

This list shows the Economics faculty's expectation of minimum course content and does not restrict the individual instructor in any other way.

  • Introduction to Economics; difference between Microeconomics and Macroeconomics; Concept of Scarcity, Trade-off and Choice; Opportunity Cost; Cost-Benefit Analysis; Marginal Analysis; Absolute and Comparative Advantage; Gains from Trade
  • Supply and Demand - definitions and graphs; determinants of; shifts versus movements along curves; Market supply and demand; Equilibrium; Comparative Static Analysis; Applications; Price Ceilings and Floors and Quotas
  • Consumer and Producer Surpluses; Economic Efficiency
  • Elasticity - definition; different kinds of elasticities; Calculating the Price Elasticity of Demand; Factors affecting the price elasticities of supply and demand
  • Consumer Choice
  • Production, Supply and Cost - Fixed and Variable Inputs; Fixed and Variable Costs; Long-run versus Short-run; Total, Average and Marginal Costs; Shapes of cost curves; Returns to Scale
  • Economic versus Accounting Profit; Profit Maximization
  • Free markets and the Price System; Efficiency and free markets; Efficiency versus Equity
  • Perfect Competition and Monopoly; Short-run and long-run equilibrium under profit maximization; Efficiency issues under the two regimes
  • Oligopoly and other forms of markets - definitions and analysis
  • Externalities, Public Goods and Market Failure

You may also chose additional topics from the following list, according to your personal preference:

  • Savings and Investment; Present Value; Compound Interest
  • Public Finance and Public Choice aspects of Microeconomics
  • Other Aspects of International Trade; Imports and Exports
  • Labor