Introduction to Microeconomics

Department: Economics 

Instructors: Stephanie Mao and Zachary Hall
Instructors' Emails: 
Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Introduction to Microeconomics is a rigorous three-week course that uses tours to teach the Principles of Microeconomics. These firms include San Diego Union-Tribune Newspaper, Bank of America, U.S. Postal Services, Sony Pictures (Los Angeles), Hewlett Packard, Sempra Energy, True Religion Jeans, Qualcomm, Sanyo S.A. and Cisco Systems. The class will also include guest-lectures from distinguished UCSD faculty members. The course contents include microeconomics subjects of supply, demand, production theory, and market structures. The industrial tours provide vital supplemental examples and practical applications of the course’s theoretical concepts such, economies of scale, price elasticity, natural monopoly, oligopolies, price discrimination, and product differentiation.

Course Goals / Learning Objectives

This course will allow students to see economic theory in practice. This fosters a deep appreciation for the work that goes into running a successful business.  By end of the three-week program, students will have gained pre-college credit, been exposed to numerous examples of applied economics through industrial tours. Whether they someday find themselves running a small businesses or large corporation, they will learn how price changes affects quantity demanded, product substitutes and complements. They will learn how to run their firm’s operations in an efficient and cost effective manner. The Economics on the Move program does not promise to make students rich, but it will expose them to real examples of successful business practices. Most importantly, this project plants the seeds of business leadership by giving students insights on how they can successfully operate their own businesses.

Topical Outline

Week 1 

  • Principles of Economics 
  • Thinking like an Economist 
  • Market Forces of Supply and Demand
  • Elasticity and its Applications 
  • Supply, Demand, and Government Policies 
  • Consumers, Producers and Efficiency of Markets 
  • Costs of Production 
  • Firms in Competitive Markets 

Week 2

  • Monopoly 
  • Oligopoly 
  • Public Goods and Common Resources 
  • Externalities 
  • Monopolistic Competition 
  • Theory of Consumer Choise 
  • Midterm Exam 

Week 3

  • Interdependence and Gains from Trade 
  • Applications: International Trade
  • Frontier in Microeconomics 
  • Review Session 
  • Final Exam 


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