Syllabus query

Academic Year/course: 2017/18

27307 - Microeconomics

Syllabus Information

Academic Year:
27307 - Microeconomics
Faculty / School:
109 - Facultad de Economía y Empresa
228 - Facultad de Empresa y Gestión Pública
301 - Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas
448 - Degree in Business Administration and Management
454 - Degree in Business Administration and Management
458 - Degree in Business Administration and Management
Second semester
Subject Type:
Basic Education

1.1. Introduction

Microeconomics I is the first economic theory course in the curriculum, and establishes the foundation on which future contents will be developed later during the degree. The course is structured in three parts. The first one introduces the basic concepts of microeconomics, like supply, demand and markets. The second part is devoted to consumer theory and demand, and the third part focuses on producer behaviour and the determinants of market supply.

All this constitutes a logical and conceptual knowledge pack which will be later complemented and expanded in Microeconomics II and other related courses in the curricula which comprise the development of the student.

1.2. Recommendations to take this course

In order to have an optimum understanding of the course, a previous basic knowledge of Economics and Mathematics is recommended.

1.3. Context and importance of this course in the degree

Microeconomics I is part of a full course of intermediate microeconomics. In consequence, its contents are fundamental for the student, providing the necessary elements to study basic economic institutions from the perspective of economic analysis The course belongs to the module “Fundamentals of Economic Analysis and Instruments” and to the field “Economic Theory”.

 The context of the course Microeconomics I in the Business degree can be found in

1.4. Activities and key dates

This course is offered during the second semester, which runs between February and June. The official hours and dates of the final exams can be found on the web pages of the centres in which the course is offered.

Dates of the partial exams will be announced in each group.

2.1. Learning goals

Show adequate understanding of the methodology in Economic Analysis as well as its aims and scope, identifying its main components: economic agents, models, variables and data.

Correctly use the basic terminology of an economist in describing topics in the field of Microeconomics

Correctly describe and interpret any decision problem of an economic agent, consumer or producer, using verbal reasoning, graphic representations and mathematical analysis (calculus and basic algebra).

Model formally any non-dynamic decision problem of an individual economic agent as a conditional optimization problem, identifying the relevant endogenous and exogenous variables, obtaining a quantitative solution (behaviour equations), and explaining how the solution could change when the economic environment changes (comparative statics).

Reasonably predict the result and determinants of the interaction of numerous economic agents in competitive markets in the short-term, and to describe the resulting equilibria and disequilibria with adequate verbal, graphical and mathematical tools

Carry out normative analysis and economic policy recommendations

Learn autonomously and produce written reports according to the established guidelines.

2.2. Importance of learning goals

1.        Allow the student to design and resolve economic problems according to the appropriate economic methods.

2.        Provide the necessary analytical tools to understand economic reality accurately and rigorously.

3.1. Aims of the course

Microeconomics I, together with Microeconomics II, offer a global vision of the basic knowledge of microeconomic theory that every graduate should have acquired.

Microeconomics I begins with a description of the market and the interactions between supply and demand. Then, both sides of the market are individually studied in detail.

The tools and techniques used in the analysis will be verbal reasoning, visual representations and mathematical analysis.

3.2. Competences

  • To evaluate the situation and the previous evolution of companies and organizations, and to be able to acquire the relevant knowledge for taking informed decisions successfully.
  • To produce assessments of particular market situations, sectors, organizations, companies and their functional areas
  • To understand and apply professional criteria and scientific standards to the solution of economic, business and organizational problems.
  • To be able to solve problems.
  • To be able to analyse and synthesize.
  • To be able to apply knowledge in practice.

4.1. Assessment tasks (description of tasks, marking system and assessment criteria)

The student will prove that he/she has achieved the expected learning results by means of the following assessment tasks:

A final global exam that evaluates the knowledge of microeconomics encompassed in the course program. This exam will be in two sections, a theory/practical section and a section of practical exercises.

Completion of two voluntary tests, which will take place during class time and will evaluate both the theoretical and practical parts of the chapters.

Evaluation and grading criteria Evaluation criteria:

The student will:

* Know and understand the concepts contained in the course.

* Apply the techniques of Economic Analysis correctly.

* Select important information and interpret it appropriately.

* Express his/her reasoning in a clear and orderly manner. Marking:

The final mark is obtained as the highest of the following:

  1. The mark achieved in the final exam after the teaching period.
  2. The figure resulting from weighting the average mark of the two voluntary tests (40%) with the mark of the final exam after the teaching period (60%).

5.1. Methodological overview

The learning process that has been designed for this course is based on the following activities:

Participative lectures. The professor will explain the basic course content. The student must supplement the explanations with the recommended reading.

Practical classes.  Students will solve practice exercises, always under the supervision of the professor. This will be done in smaller groups to facilitate the participation of each student.

5.2. Learning tasks

The programme offered to the students to help them achieve the learning results includes the following activities :

Theory classes: 

Credits 1.2. 

Methodology: Class attendance and participative problem-solving.

Practical classes:

Credits: 1.2

Methodology: Class attendance, problem-solving and case studies.

Tutorials and seminars:

Credits: 0.6

Methodology: Tutorial and complementary activities

Personal work:

Credits: 3

Methodology: Solution of exercises. Use of ITCs.  Preparation of assignments and exams.

5.3. Syllabus


 Unit 1. Concept and scope of the Economy

  1.1. Economics as a social science

  1.2. Method in economic science

  1.3. Topics in Microeconomics

  1.4. Organization of economic activity

 Unit 2. Demand, supply and market mechanics

  2.1. Market demand

  2.2. Market supply

  2.3. Equilibrium in the competitive market

  2.4. Elasticities of demand and supply

 PartII:Theory of Consumption

Unit 3. Preferences, utilityand budget constraint

  3.1. The budget set and preferences

  3.2. The utility function

  3.3. The marginal rate of substitution

  3.4. The budget constraint

Unit 4. Consumer choice

  4.1. Consumer equilibrium

  4.2. Individual demand function

  4.3. Demand curves and the Engel curve

  4.4. Price elasticities and income elasticities

  4.5. Classification of goods and demand

Unit 5. The function of the individual and market demands

  5.1. Substitution effect and income effect

  5.2. Consumer surplus

  5.3. From the individual function to the market function

 PartIII:Theory of Production

Unit 6. Production

  6.1. The production set and the production function

  6.2. The marginal rate of technical substitution

  6.3. Returns to scale

  6.4. Marginal, average and total productivity

Unit 7. Minimizing costs and maximizing benefit

  7.1. Cost minimization

  7.2. Conditioned demand of inputs

  7.3. Cost functions

  7.4. Long-run and short-run costs

  7.5. Marginal income, marginal costs and profit maximization

5.4. Course planning and calendar

It is estimated that a student will spend an average of 150 hours of effective work for optimally preparing this course. These hours include both class-work and attendance and homework/exam preparation. It is highly recommended that the student distribute this preparation time evenly during the term

5.5. Bibliography and recommended resources

BB Pindyck, Robert S. : Microeconomía / Robert S. Pindyck, Daniel L. Rubinfeld ; traducción y revisión técnica, Esther Rabasco Espáriz . - 8ª ed. Madrid : Pearson Educación: Prentice-Hall, 2013
BC Frank, Robert H.. Microeconomía intermedia : análisis económico y comportamiento / Robert H. Frank . - 7ª ed. Madrid [etc.] : McGraw-Hill, cop. 2009
BC Gravelle, Hugh. Microeconomía / Hugh Gravelle y Ray Rees . - 3ª ed. Madrid : Pearson, 2005
BC Nicholson, Walter. Microeconomía intermedia y aplicaciones / Walter Nicholson ; revisión técnica Juan Carlos Zapatero, Fernando Esteve . - 9ª ed. Madrid [etc.] : Thomson, 2006
BC Varian, Hal R. : Microeconomía intermedia : un enfoque actual / Hal R. Varian ; traducción de Mª Esther Rabasco y Luis Toharia . - 9ª ed., [reimp.] Barcelona : Antoni Bosch, D.L. 2015
BC Varian, Hal. Ejercicios de microeconomía intermedia [recurso electrónico] / by Hal Varian, Theodore Bergstrom . 8ª ed. Barcelona, Antoni Bosch, 2011. [plataforma dawsonera]