Economics | Introduction to Microeconomics
E201 | 1636 | Prof. Rotella


Introduction to Microeconomics
E201 Rotella

NOTE:
Evening exams will be given on February 1, February 22, March 21 and
April 11.  Students enrolled in this course MUST be free to take exams
7:15 - 8:45 p.m. on the above dates.

Economics is a way of thinking about a wide variety of real world
issues.  Knowing how to think like an economist can help you answer
questions like: Why are some things cheap and other things expensive?
Why are some people rich and other people poor?  How do companies
decide what to produce and how to produce it?  What do we gain and/or
lose by trading with other people?  What will happen to prices and
consumption if sales taxes are raised?  What will happen to the
well-being of American farmers and American consumers if we change
farm policy?  Does the minimum wage help or hurt workers?  How can we
evaluate the proposals of politicians for policy changes such as the
flat tax, changes in Medicare benefits, protection against foreign
trade?  Should we be worried about reduced competition in the computer
industry as Microsoft gets bigger and bigger?  What determines
interest rates?  What will happen to the price of American built cars
if we prohibit imports of cars from Japan?

This is the first course in economics.  Microeconomics studies
decisions making by individual consumers and firms and the operation
of markets in which buyers and sellers interact.  Prices are
determined in these markets.  Therefore a great deal of this course is
concerned with prices -- what causes prices to rise or fall, how
consumers and producers react to price changes, what happens if
governments institute policies that influence prices.

An old joke tells the story of a young person walking down a New York
street who asks a passerby, "How do I get to Carnegie Hall?" The
answer is "Practice, practice, practice."  That is also the answer to
someone who asks "How do I learn economic analysis and get a high
grade in this course?"  The course is structured to provide you with
many opportunities to practice using the tools of economics.  You
should be prepared to devote considerable time to doing homework.
Discussion sessions will provide the opportunity to ask questions, go
over homework, and practice using the tools of economic analysis.
This course has no prerequisites, but it does require that you have
already mastered and be able to use high school level math skills
(algebra and basic geometry).

Grades are based on your performance on 5 exams (four evening exams
and a comprehensive final).  Evening exams will be given on February
1, February 22, March 21 and April 11.