Approved by Faculty Senate.

University Studies Course Approval

Department or Program: Economics
Course Number: 201
Semester Hours: 3
Frequency of Offering: Every Semester
Course Title: Principles of Microeconomics

Catalog Description: The private enterprise system, demand and supply and market interaction;
business costs and prices; forms of competition; resource markets; the mixed economy.

This is an existing course previously approved by A2C2: Yes

This is a new course proposal: No

Department Contact Person: Gabriel Manrique Email:

University Studies Approval is requested in: The Arts and Sciences Core - Social Science

Attachment: The attached sample syllabus explains what is typically covered in this course. It also
points out in which parts of the course the seven outcomes for social science courses (a-g) are addressed.
The syllabus is included in this application for purposes of illustration. Each faculty member is still responsible
for his/her own course syllabus.

As required in points 1 and 2 of the approval process, the following address the seven outcomes listed for
Social Science courses and documents course content and learning activities relevant to the course outcomes:

a. understand humans as individuals and parts of larger social systems

Microeconomics focuses on the behavior of individuals as part of a larger system we call the economy.
Sudents are first exposed to one of the important constants in human existence: the scarcity of resources.
Because there are limited resources for unlimited wants, students learn about the interactions of individuals
within societies as each society tries to answer the three questions that societies must grapple with: what to
produce; how to produce; and who will get what is produced. It is part of the learning activity of students to
draw up examples from daily life about dealing with scarcity. It is perhaps summarized best in the economics
adage: There is no such thing as a free lunch.

b. understand the historical context of the social sciences

The study of microeconomics begins with the works of classical economists such as Adam Smith and David
Ricardo. Their writings and insights form the basis of modern economics. Included in the study of economics
are the contributions through the centuries of Alfred Marshall, Karl Marx, Thomas Malthus, and Joseph
Schumpeter. This provides the historical context for microeconomics. Students are thus able to see the evolution
of economic ideas from laissez faire through socialism, from mercantilism through trade based on comparative
advantage, and the extent to which economic analysis has come to rely on supply and demand, marginal utility,
innovation, etc.

c. identify problems and frame research questions relating to humans and their experience

Because the study of microeconomics begins with scarcity and the ways by which society and individuals
must deal with this, the research questions of microeconomics usually deal with allocation - the allocation
of scarce resources and the allocation of the goods and services produced with these scarce resources.
This then allows the student to understand important aspects of the human experience. For example, why
are some items we buy expensive while others are not? What is the opportunity cost of spending my time
on one activity? What roles do markets play in my interaction with others? What are the consequences
of government intervention in the market place? How can I explain the business decisions of entrepreneurs
and corporations?

d. become familiar with the process of theory-building and theoretical frameworks used
by the social sciences

Students are first made to understand that economic models begin as simplifications of reality in order for us to
be able to focus on important economic relationships. Hence, students must first understand the importance of
the ceteris paribus assumption (everything else being equal) in economic model building. Students then progress
to focusing on the important relationship between specific variables or factors - for example the relationship
between price and quantity based on supply and demand factors, and the relationship between costs and profits.
Sudents also study other important assumptions that must be built into any model used for analysis. In economics
made to understand.

e. understand the research methods used in the social sciences

Like most social sciences, economics must rely upon census, surveys, and observation for its data. The student
must therefore study price and production data. The student also studies the behavior of individuals and firms
under various market conditions. Observations about the effects of government intervention in the market place
so form part of the data of microeconomics. Much of the data is then analyzed using the economic method of
'marginal analysis' which emphasizes to students that economic decisions are seldom 'all or nothing' decisions
but are decisions made at the margin. It is from such analysis of economic data, using marginal analysis, that
microeconomics is able to explain and predict human behavior as well as analyze the impact of policies. Students
are made aware, early in the course, that the extensive use of graphical analysis is part of the method of economics.

f. describe and detail discipline-specific knowledge and its applications

Microeconomics exposes students to specific economic knowledge about the behavior of firms - the setting of
output, the determination of prices, the opportunity costs of choices. It also exposes students to specific knowledge
about the behavior of individuals - their decisions on what to buy and at what price, decisions on how to allocate
time and resources, and how individuals respond to incentives and disincentives. The course covers extensively the
applications of this knowledge for business, for household decision-making, for job searches, etc. Other than the
tools of supply and demand analysis, students learn about production possibility frontiers, comparative advantage,
market structures such as monopolies and perfect competition, economies of scale, and the law of diminishing returns.

g. understand differences among and commonalities across humans and their experiences, as tied to such variables
    as gender, race, socioeconomic status, etc.

Microeconomics gives the student excellent opportunities to understand how different groups can be affected
differently by markets and by government policies. While all human beings and groups of human beings must deal
with the basic problem of scarcity and must all answer the basic economic questions: what to product, how to produce;
and who gets what is produced - different groups also have different experiences with scarcity. For example, the setting
of minimum wage laws (a government intervention in the marketplace) have different effects on different ethnic groups
and age groups. The economic consequences of discrimination in the labor market are also among the topics in this course. Students also have the opportunity to understand the competing wants of needs of different economic classes particularly
when the course covers topics such as public goods, private goods, and externalities. The price discrimination that occurs
in the health care industry is an example of how students use economics to understand inter-generational conflicts.

(Sample Syllabus)
Economics 201


2. Office hours

3. Textbook                                                     McConnell & Brue
                                                                      McGraw Hill Company
                                                                         14th. Edition, 1999

4. Course description

This course will have three parts. In the first one, we will consider the nature, method, and scope of economics; the second one will deal with supply and demand analysis both from the market and from the individual consumer point of view, and the last one will cover the economics of the business firm. The objective is to provide students with the basic concepts and tools necessary to understand the operation of the market system in general and of the American economy in particular.

5. Course expectations

Attendance. Students are expected to attend all lectures. Although I will call the roll only during the first week of the semester or so, as soon as the add/drop period is over, I will assign specific seats to each of you, so attendance can be checked quickly. Attendance will not influence your grade directly but may do it indirectly. If you miss lectures, you may miss in-class assignments, homework assignments and explanations you may need. Besides, when it comes to final grades, attendance will be one criterion used in borderline cases.

Class participation. I encourage and reward class participation. You are welcome to ask questions, bring up current events, and discuss the material under analysis. On occasion you will be asked to work with one or several of your classmates. Involvement in teamwork will provide you with an experience you will find valuable professional career. Your participation or lack thereof will also influence your final grade in border-line cases.

Exams. There will be three partial exams whose dates will be announced at least one week in advance. The CUMULATIVE final exam will be given at the date indicated in your class schedule. Questions will be of the multiple-choice type.

Assignments. There will be two types: in-class and homework assignments. They will be scored and incorporated in your final grade. Please be aware of the fact that I do not take late assignments. Unless you have a clearly justifiable reason, assignments should be handed in during the lecture or left in my office by 9:00 A.M., next day. Your absence either when I give the assignment or on the day when it is due is not considered a justifiable reason. Makeups. There will be no makeups of any kind, except in unusual circumstances. Students requesting makeups will be asked to clearly justify their absence and will take all-essay questions exams.

Feedback. You can expect prompt feedback in all cases. I will score your exams and assignments right away and will generally return them the following session.

Individual contact. I am very interested in meeting you personally and I want to hear of the concerns you might have regarding this class. Please feel free to stop by my office. Call me or talk to me at the end of the lecture if you need to make an appointment. You can also fax or e-mail messages.

Academic dishonesty. A zero grade will be assigned to that part of the course in which dishonesty is discovered.

6. Grading guidelines

                  Exam I, 20%
                  Exam II, 20%
                  Exam III, 20%
                  Assignments, 20%
                  Final exam, 20%

                  85% and higher, A
                  75% -84%, B
                  65% -74%, C
                  55% -64%, D
                  54% and lower, F

7. Course outline

University Studies Program: Social Science Course

This course will satisfy three semester hours of the six-semester hour requirement for social science in the University
Studies Program. As such, it seeks to provide students taking this course the opportunity to achieve the following

a. understand humans as individuals and parts of larger social systems
b. understand the historical context of the social sciences
c. identify problems and frame research questions relating to humans and their experience
e. understand the research methods used in the social sciences
f. describe and detail discipline-specific knowledge and its applications
g. understand differences among and commonalities across humans and their experience, as tied to
     such variables as gender, race, socioeconomic status, etc.

The outline below identifies where these University Studies Program outcomes are addressed by placing the letter
references above in parenthesis.

I.                               Introduction
                                (1) The nature and method of economics - Chapters 1 & 2 (b, c, d, e)
                                (2) Scarcity, trade, and economic systems - Chapters 2 & 4 (a, c, d, e)

II.                              Supply and demand analysis
                                 (1) Concepts and mechanics - Chapter 3 (b, c, d, e)
                                 (2) Market equilibrium -Chapters 3 & 4 (b, c, d, e)
                                 (3) Economic institutions - Chapter 5 (a, b, f, g)
                                 (4) Elasticity - Chapter 7 (c, d, f )
                                 (5) Demand and consumer choice - Chapter 8 (a, c, d, e, f, g)

III.                              Economics of the business firm
                                 (1) Costs and production - Chapters 9 & 10 (c, d, f)
                                 (2) Perfect competition - Chapter 11 (a, b, c, d, f)
                                 (3) Monopoly - Chapter 12 (b, c, d, f)
                                 (4) Monopolistic competition - Chapter 13 (c, d, f)
                                 (5) Oligopoly - Chapter 13 (c, d, f)
                                 (6) Resource markets and income distribution - Chapters 20-22 (a, b, c, f)