Social sciences and humanities
Subject: INTRODUCTION TO MICROECONOMICS (A.A. 2023/2024)
Unit Introduzione alla microeconomia
This course is an introduction to the study of microeconomics. Economics is a social science that studies how people make choices under conditions of scarcity. The main objective of the course is to familiarize students with economic analysis of the behaviour of consumers and producers as well as their interaction in markets.
Basic algebra skills are assumed. In addition, skill with graphs is extremely helpful.
The course - equal to 9 credits - provides 72 hours of teaching including lessons (7 credits, equal to 56 hours) and exercises (2 credits, equal to 16 hours).
1,5 credits (12 hours) Introduction to microeconomics, demand, supply, equilibrium. Short and long term elasticity. Changes in supply and demand. Exercises in comparative statics and graphical representations.
2 credits (16 hours) Preferences, budget constraint, consumer choice. Job offer. General economic equilibrium of pure exchange and Pareto efficiency. Efficiency and equity. Introduction to behavioral economics. Exercises and graphic representations.
2.5 credits (20 hours)
Production. Marginal returns. Cobb-Douglas function. Returns to scale. Production costs in the short and long term. Average and marginal costs. Learning costs. Competitive market analysis. Equilibrium of perfect competition in the short and long run. Exercises and graphic representations.
2 credits (16 hours) State intervention and surplus analysis. The monopoly. Deadweight loss of monopoly. Natural monopoly. Monopolistic competition. Strategic interaction. Game theory and Nash equilibrium (outline). Models of oligopoly. Bertrand's competition and collusion. antitrust policies. Exercises and graphic representations.
Lectures are recorded and involve the use of the Uniboard whiteboard technology. The Uniboard whiteboard and the lecture recordings are made available to students at the end of each teaching unit on the Dolly course webpage. Lectures involve the complementary use of slides, that serve as a logical map for each teaching unit and are intended to be used as a supporting device for the individual study of each student. This is the reason why slides are made available to students before each lecture on the Dolly course webpage. During the course, some lectures will be dedicated to the solution of sets of exercises for each teaching unit, in order to deepen the understanding of the theoretical notions discussed during the lectures. Each class, that requires the solution of exercises of increasing difficulty, will occur weekly. Each set of exercises will be made available to students one week in advance, while the solution of each set of exercises will be made available after the discussion on the Dolly course webpage.
The exam will be held online using the Dolly platform, using SEB, due to the pandemic COVID-19. If we were allowed to hold exam in class, students will be assessed on the basis of a written exam, lasting 120 minutes. The written exam consists in 5 exercises, divided into two sections: a theoretical section and an analytical section. Each exercise has an equal weight. Each question is intended to assess the comprehension of the course outline, the ability to solve microeconomic problems using the correct analytical instruments and to discuss theoretical arguments. All exam papers (from the academic years 2009/10 up to current academic year) are made available on the Dolly course webpage. Each exam paper is regularly made available on the Dolly course webpage the day after the exam date. In the final lecture, a past exam paper is discussed in class.
1. Knowledge and understanding. Through lectures and individual study, the student learns the basic elements of Micoeconomic Theory.
2. Applying knowledge and understanding. Through lectures, exercises and illustation of practical applications, the student learns to apply microeconomic tools to the analysis of market mechanisms, simple cost-benefit studies and policy evaluation.
3. Making judgments. Through exercises and classroom discussions the student is stimulated to understand different theoretical point of views and formulate autonomous evaluations about economic policy.
4. Communicating skills. Classroom discussions and part of the written exam improve communication ability.
5. Learning skills. A good understanding of the course contents helps reading and understanding independently simple economic magazine articles and technical reports.
Robert S. Pindyck, Daniel L. Rubinfeld, Microeconomia, Pearson, Prentice Hall, nona edizione
cap.1, cap.2 escluso 2.6, cap.3 escluso 3.6, cap.4 esclusi 4.6 e appendice, cap. 6, cap.7 esclusi 7.7 e appendice, cap.8, cap.9, cap.10 esclusi 10.5 e 10.6, cap. 11 esclusi 11.5, 11.6 e appendice, cap. 12 escluso modello di Cournot e modello di Stackelberg in 12.2, cap.14, pp. 504-506 (offerta di lavoro), cap. 16, parr 16.1, 16.2, 16.3, cap. 19.