Economics 202 (Principles of Microeconomics)
Instructor: Dr. Terry Rephann
Spring 2000	Office: College Center, Room 160
Date: R 6:00 PM -8:45 PM
Office hours: by appointment
Place: AC, Bedford and Somerset County Campuses
Office phone: (301) 784-5207
Office fax: (301) 784-5012

** Please note: Under extenuating circumstances, the instructor has the right to change any course provisions or requirements during the semester.

I. Purpose

Catalog Description: Offered second semester. Three hours lecture and discussion a week.

An introduction to price theory, cost, and production and distribution analysis. International trade and economic development concepts emphasizing equilibrium situations found under various market conditions. Selected topics include marginal utility, income and substitution effects, resource determination and allocation, pure competition, monopoly, and oligopoly together with monopolistic competition. 3 semester hours.

Course Objectives: This course will help to provide the student with sufficient background information to enable him/her to understand the complex structure of the U.S. economy, how it functions in an increasingly interdependent world, and how different economic theories are applied in "managing" such major economic problems as inflation, unemployment, and productivity growth. The course approaches the problems of production, exchange, and consumption of goods and services from the viewpoint of society as a whole, rather than from that of an individual or firm.

The specific course objectives are:

  1. To increase awareness of major microeconomic problems and issues.
  2. To facilitate understanding of the role of prices in determining what goods are produced, how they are produced, and how they are allocated.
  3. To introduce ways which economists measure costs and benefits, elasticity, and market concentration.
  4. To understand the firmís decision to provide goods for the market in the context of cost minimization and profit maximization.
  5. To understand how market characteristics influence firmsí price and output behavior.
  6. To be able to identify the situations in which markets succeed and fail.
  7. To introduce how microeconomic principles are used in analyzing labor, public finance, and environmental issues.

II. Course Policies

A. Attendance: Students are recommended to attend classes regularly because exams will be based on the material presented in class as well as assigned readings. In addition, homework problems will be collected every class period, and late homework will not be accepted. Students should strive to arrive in the room(s) before class begins.

B. Class Participation: Participation is not required, but it is strongly recommended.

C. Grading: Grades will be based upon the student's performance on four exams valued at 100 points. The grading scale is as follows: 90-100%=A, 80-89%=B, 70-79%=C, 60-69%=D, and 0-59%=F.

D. Extra Credit: No extra credit will be offered.

E. Tutoring, extra help sessions: Contact the instructor or the Instructional Assistance Center. I generally will be available 10-20 minutes before the class begins for consultation. If a student needs additional help, please contact me about scheduling another time.

F. Make-up Test Policy: If a student is unable to take an exam at its regularly scheduled time, he or she will be given a make-up exam only if he or she contacts me before the regularly scheduled exam and has a legitimate excuse that is substantiated. For athletes and club members who are on the road at times, a written request from the coach or faculty advisor is required in advance. Make-up exams will be given during the final week of class (and, needless to say, the make-up exam will be different from the regular exam).

G. Assignment Format and Deadlines: Instructions and deadlines will be announced in class and distributed to the class.

H. Plagiarism and Cheating: Cheating and plagiarism will be punished severely. Please consult with the Student Handbook regarding College guidelines.

I. Interactive Video Network Policies: Please consult the student memorandum "Student Orientation to Distance Learning AC-IVN Classroom" for information regarding seating conventions, suggestions for communicating and using the microphones, camera operation, sending materials to the instructor, and inclement weather and technical difficulty policy.

III. Course Requirements

A. Required Text: Baumol, William J. and Alan S. Blinder. 1999. Microeconomics: Principles and Policy. 8th Edition. Harcourt Brace & Co.

B. Course Outline:

UNIT I. Introduction to Microeconomics and Consumer Theory

A. Review of fundamentals

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Web Sources: Resources for Economists, The Economist, Graphing Tutorial

B. Supply and Demand

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapter 5

Web Sources: Dismal Scientist , The Economics Cheer

C. Consumer Theory

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapter 6.

Web Sources: Problems in Microeconomics

D. Elasticity

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapter 7.

UNIT II. Economics of the Firm

A. Cost Minimization

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapter 8.

B. Profit Maximization

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapter 9.

C. Perfect Competition

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapter 10.

Web Sources: Competition Self-Test

D. Efficiency

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapter 11.

Web Sources: The Cato Institute, The Capitalism Site, Input-Output Analysis

UNIT III. Imperfect Competition

A. Monopoly

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapter 12.

Web Sources: Monopoly Self-Test

  1. Monopolistic Competition and Oligopoly

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapter 13.

Web Sources: Com Lab Games, Prisoner's Dilemma Game

C. Market Failure and Government Failure

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapter 14.

Web Sources: Union for Radical Political Economics, Public Choice Society

D. Limiting Market Power

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapter 20.

Web Sources: Antitrust Policy: Research, Policy, and Cases

UNIT IV. Microeconomic Topics

A. Labor Economics

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapter 17 (pp. 330-333) and Chapter 18.

Web Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

B. Public Finance

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapter 21.

Web Sources: National Tax Association

C. Environmental Economics

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapter 22.

Web Sources: Resources for the Future

D. Financial Economics

Required Reading: Baumol and Blinder, Chapter 16.

Web Sources:, Wall Street Journal

Preliminary Schedule:

1/20/2000 Intro, I.A, I.B

1/27/2000 I.C

2/3/20000 I.D

2/10/2000 Test I (covers Unit I), II.A

2/17/2000 II.B, II.C

2/24/2000 II.C, II.D

3/2/2000 TestII (covers Unit II), IIIA

3/9/2000 IIIA, IIIB

3/16/2000 No Class (Spring Break)

3/23/2000 IIIB, IIIC

3/30/2000 IIIC, IIID

4/6/2000 Test III (covers Unit III), IVA

4/13/2000 IVB

4/20/2000 No class (Easter Break)

4/27/2000 IVC

5/4/2000 Test IV (covers Unit IV)

C. Library Assignments: No library assignments are anticipated.

D. Additional Required Student Reading Assignments: Additional short readings may be distributed to the class if time permits. The instructor will notify students if they are responsible for the material contained therein.

E. Recommended and Optional Readings: These readings are listed in the course outline above.

F. Supplemental Learning Resources: Computer software demonstrations, World Wide Web demonstrations, video (Economics USA) and multimedia presentations may be used in this class.

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