Principles of Economics - Micro


Fall 2003



Prof. Arthur Diamond

Office:   RH 512E

Office Phone:   (402) 554-3657

Office Hours:   12:45-2:00 PM Tues. & Thurs.; and by appointment.

Internet address:

World Wide Web home page:



Course Objectives:

          Economics consists of tools of analysis that have proven useful in explaining a wide variety of human behavior.  The aim of the course is for the student to master some of the basic tools both through an understanding of their theoretical rationale, and also through applying them to explain behavior and to predict the effects of government policies.



Required Texts:


Robert E. Hall and Marc Lieberman.  Microeconomics:  Principles and Applications, updated 2nd ed., Thomson, Southwestern, 2002.  [ISBN # 0-324-16855-1]


Geoffrey A. Jehle.  Mastery Study Guide for Microeconomics:  Principles and Applications, updated 2nd ed., Thomson, Southwestern, 2002.  [ISBN # 0-324-15191-8]




          Grades will be based on on-time, full-class-period attendance; one 20-minute quiz; two 75-minute exams; and a final.  The quiz will consist of 10 multiple choice questions (and be worth 10 points).  The two exams will each consist of 40 multiple choice questions (and be worth 40 points).  The final will consist of 60 multiple choice questions (and be worth 60 points).  The final will be comprehensive.  In order to answer some of the questions, you will need to make use of graphs or simple algebra.  The quiz is tentatively scheduled for the last 20 minutes of the class on Tues., Sept. 16th.  The first exam is tentatively scheduled for Thurs., Oct. 9th and the second exam is tentatively scheduled for Thurs., Nov. 6th.  The final exam for ECON 2200-003 is scheduled on Thurs., Dec. 18th from 10:00 AMnoon.  The final exam for ECON 2200-004 is scheduled on Tues., Dec. 16th from 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM.

          Exams will be attentively monitored.  The result of academic dishonesty will be a grade of F for the course.  Only illness or a death in the immediate family will be accepted as legitimate excuses for missing a quiz, exam, or final.  Documentation will be required.  False documentation will result in a grade of F for the course.  Final exams will be kept on file for no less than eight weeks after the date of the final.

          Students will receive 1 point for each full class attended, up to a maximum of 30 points.  When a student is absent from class, the student will lose the point for attendance, no matter what the reason for missing the class.  A half point will be deducted if the student arrives late, and a half point will be deducted if the student leaves early.  If class is cancelled for any reason, each student in the class will receive one point for that class.

          The following table provides the grading scale in terms of percentages, and total points in the course:










































54 or less

 98 or less


Grades in the 65-67% range would normally receive a C-, but both students and colleagues have persuasively argued that in the College of Business Administration, it is better for a student to receive a D+ than a C-.  (Mainly because with a grade of D+, the course can be retaken, and then the D+ will not be calculated in the GPA.)




Course Grade Reporting:

          In a memo dated February 5, 2001, Vice Chancellor Derek Hodgson has advised faculty that posting grades may be a violation of the "Privacy Rights of Parents and Students Act" of 1974.  Grades will not be physically posted.  Test scores, and total course points, will be posted on BlackBoard, and the course grade will also be obtainable through eBRUNO on the Registrar’s World Wide Web home page.




          Much information concerning the course will be posted to the web pages of BlackBoard which has a URL of:  For example, a current version of the syllabus will be available on BlackBoard, and PowerPoint slides that accompany class lectures will generally be posted to BlackBoard.  Test grades will also be posted there.  Announcements pertaining to the class either will appear on BlackBoard or will be sent out via Notes email through BlackBoard.



Xtra! Online Graphing and Tutorial Tools; and other Multimedia Tools:

          Xtra! includes a set of online, computer tutorial and assessment tools that are bundled inside new copies of the textbook.  You will need the access code inside the text, and will need to register with that code (and some other identifying information) at the URL:


If you purchased a used copy of the text, I believe that you can purchase access to Xtra! online at the same URL just listed.

          A few of the questions on the quiz, exams and/or final, will be taken from, or adapted from, the Xtra! graphical problems.

          As time permits, video tape segments will be used to highlight how economics is useful in understanding important policy issues.



Study Guide Questions:

          Students are expected to be able to answer the multiple choice questions in the Mastery Study Guide that correspond to each chapter assigned in the main text.  When the lectures for a chapter have been completed, time will be allowed for you to ask about any questions from the Mastery Study Guide that you are having trouble with.

          Some of the questions on the exams will be taken from, or adapted from, the Mastery Study Guide.



Readings Schedule:

          The following is a tentative weekly schedule of where I hope we will be in the readings as the semester proceeds.  The schedule given below may represent an optimistic projection of what we will be able to cover.

          Aug. 26  Introduction to Course

                 28   Double Oral Auction Experiment

          Sept.  2   Ch.  1  What is Economics

                   4   Ch.  2  Scarcity, Choice, and Economic Systems

                   9   Ch.  3  Supply and Demand

                  11  Ch.  3

                  16  Ch.  3; 20 minute quiz (covers chapters 1-3)

                  18  discuss quiz; Ch. 4

                 23   Ch.  4  Working with Supply and Demand

                 25   Chs. 4 & 5

                 30   Ch.  5  Consumer Choice (skip appendix on pp. 148-153)

          Oct.   2   class cancelled (Diamond at George Mason colloquium)

                   7   Ch.  5 and review

                   9   1st exam (covers chapters 1-4)

                 14   discuss exam

                 16   Ch.  6  Production and Cost

                 21   Fall break; no class.

                 23   Ch.  7  How Firms Make Decisions:  Profit Maximization

                 28   Ch.  8  Perfect Competition

                 30   Chs.  8 & 9  Monopoly

          Nov.  4   Ch.  9  and review

                   6   2nd exam (covers chapters 5-8)

                 11   discuss exam

                 13   Ch.  9 & Ch. 11 The Labor Market

                 18   Chs.11 & 12

                 20   Ch. 12  Income Inequality

                 25   Ch. 15  Government’s Role in Economic Efficiency

                 27   no class---Thanksgiving break

          Dec.   2  Ch. 16  Comparative Advantage and the Gains from Trade

                   4   Ch. 16  sugar video, if time; (and course evaluations)

                   9   review past exams for comprehensive part of final

                  11  review new material for final

                  16  Final exam for ECON 2200-004 from 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM.

                  18  Final exam for ECON 2200-003 from 10:00 AM - 12:00 noon



Important Dates:

          Sept. 16:  quiz (tentative date).

          Oct. 2:  class cancelled (Diamond at George Mason colloquium)

          Oct. 9:  1st exam (tentative date).

          Oct 21:  fall break; student holiday; no class.

          Nov. 6:  2nd exam (tentative date).

          Nov. 7:  Last day to drop course with a grade of "W".

          Nov. 27:  Thanksgiving break; no classes.

          Dec. 16:  Final exam for ECON 2200-004 from 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM.

          Dec. 18:  Final exam for ECON 2200-003 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 noon.