Economics 382

Intermediate Microeconomic Theory 2

Course at a Glance 

  • Credits:  3 hrs
  • Expected weekly time outside of class: 9 hrs
  • Prerequisites:  Econ 380.  In particular, students should feel confident in working with Lagrangians.
  • Grades determined by:
    • 3 Exams (50%)
    • 11 Assignments (30%)
    • Quizzes (10%)
    • Article Review (10%)
  • Topics:
    • General Equilibrium
    • Market power (Monopoly, Oligopoly)
    • Game Theory
    • Information Economics (Uncertainty, Asymmetric information)
    • Political Economy (Redistribution, Voting)

Course Objectives

The second semester of Microeconomic Theory is meant to expose students to a variety of formal models that depart from the standard assumptions of perfect competition.  These market imperfections include firms with market power, agents with limited information, actions that impose externalities on others, and uncertainty in choices.  We will particularly focus on inefficiencies created in these scenarios, and potential methods of and pitfalls in correcting them.

This course will also expand the student's ability to formally model economic choices.  We will reinforce mathematical skills in constrained optimization, and provide practice interpreting the results of models. Ultimately, the goal is to foster critical thinking about economic models.  This is to say, the student should be able to recognize differences in the assumptions of various models, evaluate the appropriateness of the assumptions, and determine how they will affect the model's predictions.

From their experience in this class, students should become able to:

  1. Formally express and analyze economic models.
  2. Understand the core microeconomic theories of imperfect markets.
  3. Adapt models to new scenarios.
  4. Establish a knowledge base that will be useful in all field classes.

Course Policies

  • All assignments are distributed via Blackboard.  Quizzes are also taken there.
  • The required textbook is Microeconomics Theory, by Nicholson.  Either the 9th or 10th editions may be used.  It is useful to read the text after the corresponding lecture.
  • A suggested supplemental reading is The Armchair Economist, by Landsburg.  This reading will not be tested, but provides useful perspective.
  • A sample syllabus may be downloaded here.​
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     Publication & Working Papers


     Econ 110
     Econ 382


     ​Faculty Homepage
     Brennan C. Platt
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