Applied Economic Analysis


Units: 12


Microeconomics is the study of how individuals make choices and how those choices interact to shape consequential outcomes in society.  The economic approach emphasizes rational decision making under conditions of scarcity.  This course is an introduction to the basic concepts and tools of microeconomics.  We study how markets work, and analyze the impact of public policy on economic well-being. 

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this term you should:

  • develop a deep understanding of core concepts in microeconomics—ideas that are valuable for good decision making;
  • develop an ability to use key economic ideas in formulating and evaluating public policies, improve your understanding about how government policy benefits or harms society, and be informed about a number of significant current public policy issues; and
  • develop the capacity to critically analyze economic arguments as they appear in public debate, for instance, should be able to read and evaluate economics-related material in the media (e.g., The Economist or New York Times).

Prerequisites Description

There are no prerequisites for this course. However, we make extensive use of graphs and basic algebra. It is crucial that you be comfortable with these tools. The first review session will include a discussion of graphs and simple algebra, and TAs will provide additional help as needed.

You should plan to read the suggested section of the textbook prior to the class meeting. It is a good idea to read about current economic issues in credible news sources, and you are welcome to suggest articles or ideas you would like to discuss.