Intermediate Microeconomics
Fall 2001 GMU Syllabus

Economics 306, Section 7, meets 7:20- 10:00pm, Thursday, during Spring 2001, in room Enterprise 275.

Instructor: Robin D. Hanson, Asst. Professor, Economics (rhanson@gmu.edu, http://hanson.gmu.edu)
Office Hours: Tu-Th 2-3pm. Also, I'm usually in at 10b Carow Hall. Call ahead (703-993-2326) if you want to be sure.
Catalog Entry:

306 Intermediate Microeconomics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 103 and 104, and MATH 108 or 113. Basic factors of price and distribution theory, including analysis of demand, costs of production and supply relationships, and price and output determination under various market structures.
(This course has been designated a "writing intensive course." Assignments will therefore be graded on writing quality in addition to content.)

Reccomended Texts: (None are required.)

Edgar K. Browning, Mark A. Zupan, Microeconomic Theory and Applications, Sixth Edition ISBN 0-471-36442-8, 1999 (There is also a related optional study guide for this text.) Sample price $55.
David D. Friedman, Hidden Order, The Economics of Everyday Life Harper Collins ISBN: 0-887-30885-6, 1997. Sample price $15.
(You can search for the lowest text price via ClickTheButton.)
Major Dates: Paper due April 26. Exams in class Feb 22, Apr 19. Final is Thursday, May 3, 7:30 - 10:15 p.m..
Grade Weights: Your final grade will be a weighted average of Class Discussion (5%), Homework (15%), Paper (20%), and three exams (20% each).
Exam Policy: Exams are in class and closed book, but you can use one standard size (8.5"x11") piece of paper with notes. Exam problems will be similar to homework problems.
Homework Policy: Homework is due in class the week after it is assigned. Homework received by the next Monday will recieve 3/4 credit. You can discuss homework with others in general terms, but each person should do their own specific work. Before you turn it in, I will also only discuss the homework with you in general terms. (The schedule below links to the homework for each week.)
"Fanciful Economics" Paper: Make whatever assumptions you want about the basic features of some alternative world, but then use the economics concepts from this class to write about the economics of that world. You might describe the economics of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, how economics would differ on a space colony, or in a fantasy world like that of Harry Potter or Bilbo Baggins. You might describe how our world would be changed by a Star Trek "transporter," a cheap universal "duplicator", interstellar commerce, by intelligent robots, or by the world economy doubling in size every year. (Why did I pick these topics? Because it is hard to look them up; you'll need to think, I hope.) The following topics have been overdone and are now banned: What if we had no money or a new money system, and what if people could just fly.

Schedule
#Week Micro Ch.H.O. Ch. Topics Note
1Jan 18 1,2 2,4,5 Supply & Demand HW1
2Jan 25 2 6,7 Regulation of Supply & Demand HW2
3Feb 1 14,15,20 Welfare HW3
4Feb 8 4 17 Welfare in Supply & Demand HW4
5Feb 15 19 18 Externalities & Public Goods HW5
6Feb 22 First Exam (on weeks 1-4) EX1
8Mar 8 Spring Break
7Mar 15 16 12,13 Time & Uncertainty HW6
9Mar 20 6,7,81,9 Production HW7 In Thompson Hall 106
10Mar 22 10,1110 Monopoly HW8
11Mar 29 13 11 Game Theory HW9
12Apr 5 13 Signaling HW10
13Apr 12 3,5,183 Indifference Curves HW11
14Apr 19 Second Exam (on weeks 5-12) EX2
15Apr 26 21 Fanciful Economics, Review Paper Due
16May 3 Final Exam (on all weeks)7:30 - 10:15 p.m.

(This course fulfills in part the Writing-Intensive requirement in the Economics major. It does so in part through the paper and the weekly homework assingments.)