Economics | INTERMEDIATE MICROECONOMIC THEORY
E321 | 1637 | Chang


This is a course on microeconomic analysis.  The key word is analysis.
Economics is a tool for understanding the world.  The approach taken
in this course is problem-solving.  Most books in mathematics teach
the same way.  They show you what the subject is all about, but their
main purpose is to show you how to do it.  It is the belief of the
instructor that you truly understand economics when you are able to
apply them to real-world problems.  The examples in the text and the
problem sets assigned should give you plenty of practice.  I also
supplement materials in class.  Exam questions are constructed
similarly.

The textbook is Price Theory and Applications, 3rd edition, by Steven
Landsburg, West Publishing Company, 1995.  The course has six parts.
The first part, Equilibrium and Gains from Trade, is essentially a
review of E201.  Students are responsible for the material there.  The
course formally begins with the Theory of Demand and the Theory of
Supply.  We shall explore the decision making process of a consumer
and that of a profit- maximizing firm.  Then we move on to Welfare
Economics and Imperfect Competition.  We shall evaluate many public
policies and projects from social welfare viewpoint.  These four parts
constitute the core of the course.  The last part, Income
Distribution, will be covered if time warrants.

There are two exams in addition to the final exam.  The exams are all
essay questions.  Rigor in your reasoning is required for receiving
full credit.  Many questions bear close resemblance, if not identical,
to problems discussed in the text, in class, and the assigned problem
sets.  As a general policy, the exam will not include the material
presented the session before the exam.  The purpose is to give you
time to digest the material.  A copy of the Instructor's manual, which
is served as the answer key to the Problem Sets, is reserved at the
Reserve Library (Undergraduate section) for reference.  The grade is
determined by the test results; there is no extra credit in this
course.  There are no provisions for make-up exams.  But if a student
has a legitimate excuse for missing one, the weight of his/her final
will be increased enough to make up the points missed.  The final exam
is comprehensive.