Learning Outcomes

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The content, assignments, and assessments for this course are aligned to the following learning outcomes. A full list of course learning outcomes can be viewed here: Microeconomics Course Learning Outcomes.

Module 1: Economic Thinking

  • Explain what economics is and explain why it is important
  • Use mathematics in common economic applications
  • Use graphs in common economic applications

Module 2: Choice in a World of Scarcity

  • Explain the cost of choices and trade-offs
  • Illustrate society’s trade-offs by using a production possibilities frontier, or curve
  • Explain the assumption of rationality by individuals and firms

Module 3: Supply and Demand

  • Describe and differentiate between major economic systems
  • Explain the determinants of demand
  • Explain the determinants of supply
  • Explain and graphically illustrate market equilibrium, surplus and shortage

Module 4: Applications of Supply and Demand

  • Analyze the economic effect of government setting price ceilings and floors
  • Define, calculate, and illustrate consumer, producer, and total surplus
  • Examine ways that supply and demand apply to labor and financial markets

Module 5: Elasticity

  • Explain the concept of elasticity
  • Explain the price elasticity of demand and price elasticity of supply, and compute both using the midpoint method
  • Explain and calculate other elasticities using common economic variables
  • Explain the relationship between a firm’s price elasticity of demand and total revenue

Module 6: Utility

  • Describe the concept of utility and explain how consumers spend in order to maximize utility
  • Explain how consumer utility changes when income or prices change
  • Find consumer equilibrium using indifference curves and a budget constraint
  • Describe the behavioral economics approach to understanding decision making

Module 7: Production and Costs

  • Explain production and the production function
  • Calculate, graph and understand production costs in the short run
  • Examine production choices in the long run

Module 8: Perfect Competition

  • Describe the characteristics of perfect competition and calculate costs, including fixed, variable, average, marginal, and total costs
  • Analyze a firm’s profit margin
  • Describe how perfectly competitive markets adjust to long run equilibrium

Module 9: Monopoly

  • Describe characteristics of monopolies
  • Calculate and graph a monopoly’s costs, revenues, profit and losses
  • Analyze strategies used to control monopolies

Module 10: Monopolistically Competition and Oligopoly

  • Describe the characteristics of a monopolistically competitive industry
  • Calculate and graph a firm’s fixed, variable, average, marginal and total costs in monopolistic competition
  • Describe characteristics of oligopolies

Module 11: Public Goods

  • Define and give examples of public goods and externalities
  • Define and give examples of positive and negative externalities
  • Analyze the efficacy of government policies to lessen negative externalities
  • Analyze how the government promotes positive externalities

Module 12: Labor Markets

  • Analyze labor markets and how supply and demand interact to determine the market wage rate
  • Explain how wages are determined when employers or employees hold labor market power
  • Analyze the economic implications of discrimination and immigration policies

Module 13: Income Distribution

  • Explain poverty and the poverty trap
  • Analyze and measure economic inequality

Module 14: Globalization and Trade

  • Define and calculate comparative advantage, and understand how countries choose which goods and services to trade internationally
  • Explain how barriers to trade (like tariffs, quotas and non-tariff barriers) affect businesses, consumers and workers in the economy
  • Differentiate between alternative international trade regimes and how they impact global trade

Module 15: Exchange Rates and International Finance

  • Define currency exchange rates and explain how they influence trade balances
  • Analyze how supply and demand affects foreign currencies and exchange rates
  • Explain how the balance of trade (surplus or deficit) affects the domestic economy