Econ 102- Principles of Economics (Micro) Fall 2013

Econ 102- Principles of Economics (Micro)
Fall 2013
Instructor: Mark Abajian
Office: NH-309
Office hours: Monday and Wednesday: 3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. or by appt.
Course Description:
ECON 102. Principles of Economics (3) [GE]
Prerequisite: Satisfaction of the Entry-Level Mathematics requirement. Principles of economic
analysis, economic institutions, and issues of public policy. Emphasis on direction of production,
allocation of resources, and distribution of income, through the price system (microanalysis); and
international economics.
Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of the course the student will be able to:
1. Use appropriate terminology to explain the nature and scope of economics.
2. Define scarcity and show how it relates to the concepts of choice and cost.
3. Outline the role of comparative advantage in exchange.
4. Explain how prices are determined and the role of prices in allocating goods, services and
factors of production.
5. Define and apply the concept of elasticity.
6. Identify instances of market failure and evaluate alternative strategies to improve outcomes.
7. Explain the economic behavior of consumers as it relates to the concept of utility.
8. Explain the economic behavior of individual firms in the short run and long run.
9. Use microeconomic models to illustrate how prices and output are determined in various
market structures.
10. Define economic efficiency and compare the implications for economic efficiency under
different market structures.
11. Analyze the role of unions and government regulation in resource allocation.
12. Identify reasons for income inequality and poverty and assess possible solutions.
13. Analyze the foreign exchange and international trade markets.
Text: The text book for the course is Principles of Microeconomics by N. Gregory Mankiw, 6th
edition, 2011.
Course Requirements and Student Evaluation:
Your final grades will be determined as follows:
Three Midterms
50%* Each counting for 16.67% of your grade.
Final Exam
25%* This exam will be comprehensive.
Six Quizzes
10% The lowest of your six quizzes will be dropped, so that the top
five will be used to determine your quiz score for the semester.
Four Problem Sets
*At the end of the semester if your final exam grade is higher than one of your midterm grades,
your lowest midterm grade will be dropped and your final will count as 41.67% of your overall
grade. If your final grade is lower than all of your midterms, your overall grade will be
calculated as listed above.
Grading Scale:
Overall Course
59 and below
Exams: Each exam will cover the material discussed in class after the last test and up through
the last day of class before the test. Tentative exam dates are listed at the end of your syllabus
next to the chapters that each exam will likely cover. Nonetheless, definite exam dates will be
announced at least a week in advance in class.
Make-up Exam Policy: There will be no make-up (or early) exams. If you miss an exam your
final will count as 41.67% of your overall grade. Any subsequent missed exams will count as
zeros. Therefore you cannot miss more than one exam without it seriously affecting your grade.
Quizzes: There will be six quizzes. The lowest grade will be dropped. There will not be makeup quizzes. This is why I allow you to drop the lowest grade in case you miss a quiz. The quizzes
consist of twelve to fifteen multiple-choice questions that will cover material from the previous
NOTE: Due to the rise in text messaging capabilities and cameras in cell phones, you may
not use your cell phone as a calculator during quizzes or exams. You will not receive your
quiz or exam until your phone has been removed from your desk. If seen using a cell phone
during a quiz or exam, you will receive a zero on that assessment.
Hand-held calculators are permitted during quizzes and exams with the following stipulation:
calculators may not be of the "programmable" (e.g. Hewlett Packard "big-screen") type-even if you do not know how to program them. Simple hand-held calculators which perform
basic operations such as addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, and even contain
temporary memory storage will suffice and can be purchased for less than $5 at local office
supply stores. In short, any non-programmable calculator is acceptable. If you arrive to a quiz
or exam without your calculator or with a "programmable" or cell phone calculator, you
will not be able to use any calculator on the quiz or exam. You may not share a calculator
with another student. If seen sharing a calculator on a quiz or exam with another student,
both you and the other student will receive a zero on that assessment. Make your plans now
to avoid being caught in this situation.
Problem Sets: Problem sets provide a good way of checking your understanding of the material
and preparing for the exams. There will be four problem sets. You will have at least one week to
complete each problem set. I encourage you to form study groups and work together, but you
must write your own problem sets. Problem sets are due at the beginning of class. Late
problem sets are not accepted. If you are absent the day the problem set is due, you must email the problem set to me before the beginning of class to receive credit.
Statement on Academic Integrity:
Quizzes and exams are to be done individually. You may work in teams on the assignments if
you like, but each member must make contributions and each person must turn in the complete
assignment. Ethical behavior is expected, cheating is not tolerated. Acts of academic dishonesty
are taken seriously and dealt with harshly. Acts of academic dishonesty include: a) unauthorized
assistance on an examination; b) falsification or invention of data; c) unauthorized collaboration
on an academic exercise; d) plagiarism; e) misappropriation of research material; f) unauthorized
access of an instructor’s files or computer account; or g) any serious violation of academic
integrity as established by the instructor.
The University is an academic institution, an instrument of learning. As such, the University is
predicated on the principles of scholastic honesty. It is an academic community all of whose
members are expected to abide by ethical standards both in their conduct and in their exercise of
responsibility towards other members of the community. Academic dishonesty is an affront to the
integrity of scholarship at SDSU and a threat to the quality of learning. To maintain its credibility
and uphold its reputation the University procedures to deal with academic dishonesty should be
uniform and understood by all.
Accomodation of Disability:
Students with disabilities who may need academic
accommodations should discuss this option with the Professor after class or during office hours
the first two weeks of class.
Changes to Syllabus:
While I have made every effort to insure that the syllabus is accurate and free of errors and that
dates for when material will be covered are accurate, from time to time, it may be necessary for
me to make changes to the syllabus. Any change will be announced in class as well as updated
on the syllabus posted on Blackboard.
You are expected to become informed of these
announced changes.
Course Outline: The following schedule is provided to give you a rough idea of the lectures,
readings, problems, and assignments covered this semester. The exam dates, number of exams,
assignments, and material covered are all tentative and are subject to change.
Tentative Dates
Tentative Dates for Problem Sets and
I. Introduction, Supply and Demand, and Elasticity
Intro to economics
8/26 – 8/28
Supply and Demand
Supply and Demand
9/9 – 9/11
Elasticity/Tax Burden
Quiz #1 – 9/9
P. Set #1 Assigned – 9/11 (Chs 1-6)
9/16 – 9/18
Quiz #2 – 9/16
P. Set #1 Due – 9/18
Consumer Surplus
9/23 – 9/25
Midterm #1 – 9/23
Chapters: 1-6
II. Welfare Economics, Trade, and Taxation
Costs of Taxation
9/30 – 10/2
International Trade
Quiz #3 – 10/2
P. Set #2 Assigned – 10/2 (Chs 7-10)
10/7 – 10/9
P. Set #2 Due – 10/9
10/14 – 10/16
Midterm #2 – 10/14
Public Goods
Tax System
Chapters: 7-11
III. The Economics of Labor Markets and Consumer Choice
Markets for the Factors
of Production
10/21 – 10/23
Quiz #4 – 10/23
P. Set #3 Assigned
(Chs 12,18-21)
10/28 – 10/30
P. Set #3 Due – 10/30
11/4 – 11/6
Midterm #3 – 11/4
Consumer Choice
Costs of Production
Chapters: 12, 18-21
IV. Private Sector: Firm Behavior and Industry Organization
Competitive Markets
11/18 – 11/20
Quiz #5 – 11/20
P. Set #4 Assigned – 11/20
(Chs 13-17)
11/25 – 11/27
12/2– 12/4
Quiz #6 – 12/4
12/9 – 12/11
P. Set #4 Due – 12/9
Final Review
FINAL EXAM: Wednesday, December 18th @ 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Chapters 13-17 + TBA