Introductory Microeconomics

Module Code ECNU111
Semester Autumn
Prerequisite  
Level 8
Credit Value 20
Module Co-ordinator Dr David Comerford
Assessment

The coursework assessment comprises two class tests. A grade will be awarded for each test and an average coursework grade will be computed by weighting the two tests equally.

  • If you gain an overall coursework average of at least 65%, you will be exempt from the examination. Your final grade will be your overall coursework grade.
  • If you do not meet the above condition, you should take the examination. Your module grade will be computed by weighting the components of assessment as follows: coursework 40%, examination 60%. You must get a weighted grade of at least 40% for an overall module pass.

MODULE INTRODUCTION, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The module introduces students to the fundamental principles of economics. It defines some important economic concepts, demonstrates some applications of these concepts, and guides students through the tools that economists use to explain the world.

  •  To familiarize students with the economic criterion for decision making i.e. do the benefits outweigh the costs?
  • To give an introduction to economics focusing on the distinction between microeconomics and macroeconomics and the underlying economic problem of scarcity.
  • To give an introduction to microeconomics: the factors that determine the prices and the quantities traded in markets of different types, and how governments influence markets.

LEARNING OUTCOMES AND SKILLS DEVELOPED

Knowledge and understanding of:

  •  what is meant by microeconomics and macroeconomics
  • the economic problem of scarcity
  • the concept of opportunity cost
  • the importance of incentives
  • the factors of production
  • self-interest and social interest
  • choices and trade-offs
  • choosing at the margin
  • common fallacies
  • the production possibility frontier
  • using resources efficiently
  • the gains from trade
  • circular flows through markets
  • the laws of demand and supply
  • how prices are determined by supply and demand
  • the concept of market equilibrium
  • the causes and effects of changes in supply and demand
  • the elasticities of supply and demand
  • factors affecting the elasticity of demand and supply
  • ways of allocating resources
  • consumer surplus and producer surplus
  • the invisible hand
  • deadweight loss
  • fairness and the market
  • price ceilings, price floors and taxes
  • consumption possibilities and the budget line
  • preferences and indifference curves
  • the marginal rate of substitution
  • predicting consumer behaviour
  • the different categories of costs
  • the importance of marginal valuations
  • the short-run pricing and output decisions of firms
  • how monopoly compares with competition.

RECOMMENDED READING LIST

The core text book for this module is:

Mankiw and Taylor Economics 3rd edition

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