ECON 2506 - Intermediate Microeconomics II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2018

This course builds on the microeconomic principles studied in the Level I Economics courses and provides an analysis of the way in which the market system functions as a mechanism for coordinating the independent choices of individual economic agents. It develops a basis for evaluating the efficiency and equity implications of competition and other market structures, and a perspective on the appropriate role of government. Included are the study of consumer choice, production and cost, market structure, and market failure. Given the emphasis on applications in Principles of Economics I, Intermediate Microeconomics II will put more emphasis on the mastery of theoretical concepts and analytical tools, although their application to real world problems remains an important part of the course.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ECON 2506
    Course Intermediate Microeconomics II
    Coordinating Unit School of Economics
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites ECON 1005 or ECON 1010 or equivalent
    Incompatible ECON 2009
    Assumed Knowledge ECON 1012 or ECON 1004
    Course Description This course builds on the microeconomic principles studied in the Level I Economics courses and provides an analysis of the way in which the market system functions as a mechanism for coordinating the independent choices of individual economic agents. It develops a basis for evaluating the efficiency and equity implications of competition and other market structures, and a perspective on the appropriate role of government. Included are the study of consumer choice, production and cost, market structure, and market failure. Given the emphasis on applications in Principles of Economics I, Intermediate Microeconomics II will put more emphasis on the mastery of theoretical concepts and analytical tools, although their application to real world problems remains an important part of the course.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Raul Barreto

    Tutor: Mr. Wenxi LuWenxi Lu wenxi.lu@adelaide.edu.au
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1 Explain consumers’ and firms’ behaviour using mathematical tools
    2 Develop communications skills through the presentation of your work, interactions during tutorial sessions, and appropriate use of the discussion board
    3 Apply economic theory to diverse real-world situations
    4 Analyse economic problems and prescribe solutions
    5 Model economic situations in a logical, rigorous, and precise manner
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1-5
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1-5
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    2
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1,3,4,5
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    3
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    2,3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Textbook:
    Intermediate Microeconomics: A Modern Approach. Hal R. Varian. 9th Edition. W.W.Norton

    Exercise Book:

    Workouts in Intermediate Microeconomics. Theodore C. Bergstrom. 9th Edition. W.W.Norton

    Note: Students may use the 8th Edition of the above texts with no loss in breadth or depth.
    Recommended Resources
    Microeconomic References:

    The following textbook cannot be used as a substitute for the Varian book. But it may be used as a complement to it, providing further examples and explanations.
    "Microeconomics an Intuitive Approach With Calculus", by Thomas J. Nechyba, 1st Edition.
    "Microeconomics and Behavior", by Robert H. Frank, McGraw-Hill, 7th Edition.

    Math References:

    "Mathematics for Economics and Business", by Ian Jacques, Prentice Hall, 7th edition.
    “Mathematics for Economists”, by Carl P. Simon and Lawrence Blume (Norton), 2nd Edition
    “Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics” by Kevin Wainwright and Alpha C. Chiang, McGraw-Hill, 2004 Edition.
    “Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics” by Alpha C. Chiang, McGraw- Hill, 1993 International Edition.
    "Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis" by K. Sydsaeter and P. Hammond, Prentice Hall, 2006 Edition.
    Online Learning
    This course uses MyUni intensively and you are required to check the website regularly.
    https://myuni.adelaide.edu.au

    Course material such as lecture notes, lecture recordings, quizzes, quiz answers and supplementary material for developing your mathematical skills are available on MyUni. Also, a discussion board will be available for questions you may want to ask the lecturer, tutors or other classmates.

    The lecture recordings should be used as a complement to, rather than a substitute for, attending lectures, as lectures will be interactive.

    Also, Be aware that sometimes due to technical problems recordings may not be available.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    The lectures will provide you with the necessary understanding of the material to be able to solve the exercises you will be given during tutorial, assignments or exams. Some examples will be given to illustrate the concepts presented in this course.

    The tutorials will be organised as follows:

    • Your tutor will present the solutions for one of the tutorial exercises you were asked to prepare to illustrate what is expected from you in solving these kinds of problems.
    • Students will then be asked to come to the board and present their work and answers to some of the tutorial exercises. Your tutor will provide assistance if needed and questions and comments from other students are strongly encouraged.
    • At the end of the tutorial, you will be given a short quiz that lasts about 15 minutes.

    Diverse learning styles will be supported by the provision of course materials in a variety of formats. The lecture sessions will be recorded providing an audio-visual resource that can be utilized by students, as well as the written resources of the lecture notes and the textbooks.

    The practical learning approach will be incorporated through the tutorials as described above, as well as through the provision of additional resources such as past-semester assessment tasks. The online discussion board will also provide a dynamic forum for students to share and develop their ideas.

    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This translates to 12 hours per week for a semester course.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Teaching & Learning Activities Related Learning Outcomes
    Lectures 1,3,4,5
    Tutorials 1-5


    The tentative lecture schedule is presented below. Any major changes to this schedule will be announced in class and on MyUni.
    The text chapters given are for the main text by Varian. The chapter numbers given here are only an indication of relevant readings.

    Week Lecture Topic
    Text reference


    1 Budget Constraints, Preferences, Axioms Chapter 2, 3
    2 IC, MRS and Utility Chapter 3, 4
    3 Specific Cases of Utility Chapter 4
    4 Choice Chapter 5
    5 Demand Chapter 6
    6 Slutsky Equation Chapter 8
    MID-SEMESTER BREAK
    7 Mid-semester Test
    8 Technology
    Profit Maximization
    Chapter 19
    Chapter 20
    9 Cost Minimization
    Cost Curves
    Firm Supply
    Chapter 21
    Chapter 22
    Chapter 23
    10 Monopoly
    Monopoly Behaviour
    Chapter 25
    Chapter 26
    11 Oligopoly Chapter 28
    12 Game Theory Chapter 29
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    The grading scheme for this course is as follows:

    Mid-Semester Test 20%
    Tutorial Participation 5%
    Tutorial Quizzes 10%
    Assingment 1 10%
    Assingment 2 10%
    Final Exam 45%
    The assessment addresses University Graduate Attributes to achieve the
    Course Learning Outcomes as follows.

    Assessment Detail Graduate Attribute Learning  Outcome(s)
    Mid-Semester Test Critical thinking and problem solving
    Deep discipline knowledge
    1,2,5,6
    Tutorial Participation Teamwork and communication skills
    Career and leadership readiness
    1,3,4
    Tutorial Quizzes Critical thinking and problem solving
    Deep discipline knowledge
    1,2,5,6
    Assingment Critical thinking and problem solving
    Career and leadership readiness
    1,2,4
    Final Exam Critical thinking and problem solving
    Deep discipline knowledge
    1,2,5,6
    Assessment Related Requirements
    1. Legible hand-writing and the quality of English expression are considered to be integral parts of the assessment process. Marks may be deducted in the midterm and final examinations because of poor hand-writing.

    2. The 14 online quizzes must be completed prior to the due date to count toward assessment. Students may make as many attempts the he or she wishes prior to the due date and only the highest score from the attempts will recorded. Your final quiz score will be the average of the your ten best online quizzes will be counted.

    3. Redemption - If you miss a quiz, the midterm, or do not submit the assignment in due time, there will not be a replacement assessment. All missed assessments will add to the weight of the final exam such that any mark below your final exam score is effectively dropped.

    4. Hurdle - Students are required to score at least 40% on the final exam to pass the course.
    Assessment Detail
    Tutorial Quizzes - 10%
    Weekly – except week 1
    The tutorial quizzes component of the assessment will be based on marks received for short online quizzes that will occur in each week except week 1. Of the 14 quizzes, only the best 10 will be counted toward assessment. Prior to each quizzes due date, students may make as many attempts as he or she wishes. Only the highest score from any attempt is counted.

    Tutorial Exercises - Non-graded
    Weekly – except week 1
    Tutorial exercises will be made available on MyUni during the week prior to the tutorial. You will be asked to prepare some exercises before going to your tutorial. Please be aware that this preparation is important as it will improve your learning during the tutorial and will contribute towards a dynamic environment where students and tutor will interact more actively with one another. These exercises are not to be submitted or graded.

    Mid semester test (Week 7) - 20%
    During lecture time, same location
    This test will assess the topics of Weeks 1-5 (inclusive). It will be 1 hour 50 minutes in length.
    It will consist of mathematical problems and short answer questions, and may also include multiple choice questions.

    The midterm test is redeemable, which means that if the grade you obtained for the final examination is higher than the one you obtained for the midterm, the final examination grade will account for 72% of your overall grade.
    Failure to sit the midterm test will result in receiving zero points, whether a medical certificate is provided or not. The grade of the final examination will then account for 70% of the overall grade.

    Assignment 1 - 10%
    Due Date: week 7
    This assignment will assess the topics of the first 6 weeks.
    It will consist of mathematical problems, and short discussion questions.

    Assignment 2 - 10%
    Due Date: week 7
    This assignment will mainly assess the topics of weeks 8-10 (inclusive) but may also include material from earlier topics.
    It will consist of mathematical problems, and short discussion questions.

    Participation - 10%
    Due Date: Weekly
    Each week during lectures, students will be asked to complete a short online quiz pertaining to that week's material. The quizzes will be completed via the students' electronic device, be it computer, tablet or smartphone. Failure to attend lectures will disallow completion of this assessment task.

    Final Exam - 40%
    There will be a 3 hour exam. The final exam is comprehensive, i.e. it can cover ALL the topics of this course. It will consist of mathematical problems and short answer questions, and may also include multiple choice questions. There is a score 40% or higher hurdle requirement on the final exam to pass the course.
    Submission
    1- No late assignment accepted. Exceptional circumstances will be evaluated by the lecturer in charge on a case-by-case basis and should be discussed whenever possible at least 48 hours before the due date. Failure to hand in an assignment on time will lead to a zero mark.

    2 – Extensions and alternative assessment conditions for students with disabilities:
    It is your responsibility to contact lecturer, in the first 2 weeks of the semester and provide them with a copy of your Access Plan.
    You do not have an automatic right to extensions for assignments. You must apply for extensions in the designated way at least 2 weeks before the due date for the assignment. The usual extensions available to students with disabilities is 2 days over the regular due date of the assignments.

    3 – All assignments must be submitted electronically via MyUni. Hand written assignments may be scanned for submission

    4 – Each assignment should be accompanied by a cover sheet.

    5 - Medical reports from only Australian registered medical practitioners are accepted. See for the list of acceptable medical practitioners: www.ahpra.gov.au.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Additional Assessment
    If a student receives 45-49 for their final mark for the course they will automatically be granted an additional assessment. This will most likely be in the form of a new exam (Additional Assessment) and will have the same weight as the original exam unless an alternative requirement (for example a hurdle requirement) is stated in this semester’s Course Outline. If, after replacing the original exam mark with the new exam mark, it is calculated that the student has passed the course, they will receive 50 Pass as their final result for the course (no higher) but if the calculation totals less than 50, their grade will be Fail and the higher of the original mark or the mark following the Additional Assessment will be recorded as the final result.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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