Microeconomics Principles

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Description

When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

Introduction to the functions of individual decision-makers, both consumers and producers, within the larger economic system. Primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets, the theory of the firm under varying conditions of competition and monopoly, and the role of government in promoting efficiency in the economy.

About the Course

Most people make the incorrect assumption that economics is ONLY the study of money. My primary goal in this course is to shatter this belief. In fact, in the last 50 years economists have tackled some of the most interesting and important questions for humanity. For instance, the following are just a few examples:
  • About Love and Marriage
    • Why …

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Didn't find what you were looking for? See also: Microeconomics, Econometrics, International Economics, Microsoft SQL Server, and PL/SQL.

When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

Introduction to the functions of individual decision-makers, both consumers and producers, within the larger economic system. Primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets, the theory of the firm under varying conditions of competition and monopoly, and the role of government in promoting efficiency in the economy.

About the Course

Most people make the incorrect assumption that economics is ONLY the study of money. My primary goal in this course is to shatter this belief. In fact, in the last 50 years economists have tackled some of the most interesting and important questions for humanity. For instance, the following are just a few examples:
  • About Love and Marriage
    • Why is the divorce rate so high and what should we do in order to reduce it?
  • About the Environment
    • Why do we have so much pollution?
    • How much is an endangered species worth?
  • About Crime
    • Would legalizing marijuana lead to a reduction in crime?
  • About Labor Markets
    • Does increasing the Federal Minimum Wage put people out of work?
    • Why did so many women enter the labor force during the last 40 years?
  • About things you should be worrying about
    • Why is a college education a smart investment? Or isn't?
    • Why are the presidential candidates missing the point on college costs?
  • And about many other things:
    • Would school vouchers lead to improvements in public education?
    • Why a draft would only damage the army?
    • How to level the playing field in baseball?
    • AND, why is COURSERA offering this course free of charge?
We will be addressing many of these (and many more) questions during this course. Again, my main goal will to show you the way economists think and how to use this analytical system to answer questions related not only to these and other important human issues but pretty much to anything you end up doing with your life after this class. After all, as you will quickly find out, I believe everything is economics!

About the Instructor(s)

Dr. José J. Vázquez-Cognet is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Economics, and the Coordinator of e-Learning for the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). During his tenure at Illinois he has received several teaching awards, including twice The Outstanding Teacher of Freshmen Award , a campus-wide award given every year by the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. He also has been included in the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent for four consecutive years. Before returning to Illinois, he was the Associate Director of the Teaching and Learning and Center at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Vazquez-Cognet specializes in developing technologies that can be used in large enrollment courses, particularly classroom simulation games and web-based assessments/activities. He has published this work in several academic journals including the International Journal of Economic Education, and has presented at numerous academic conferences. In addition to his teaching experience at UIUC, he has also taught at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio and at Hamilton College, in Utica New York.

Course Syllabus

Week 1: Basic Concepts, Modeling and Trade
  • What economists do and the strange way they think?
Week 2: Supply and Demand
  • What determines prices and quantity in a market economy?
Week 3: Market Efficiency and Government Intervention
  • What is the relationship between free market economies and social welfare?
Week 4: Elasticity and Taxes
  • What are the distributional effects of taxes?
Week 5: Production and Costs
  • What is the relationship between production and costs in a firm?
Week 6: Competitive Output
  • How competitive firms choose their efficient level of output?
Week 7: Firms With Market Power
  • What are the pricing policies of firms with some degree of market power?
Week 8: Public Goods, Common Resources and Externalities
  • How much pollution is too much pollution?

Recommended Background

Knowledge of elementary algebra.

Course Format

Each week of class consists of multiple 8-15 minute long lecture videos, integrated weekly quizzes, readings, an optional assignment and a discussion. Most weeks will also have a peer reviewed assignment, and there will be the opportunity to participate in a semester-long project. 

FAQ

  • Will I get a certificate for this course?

    Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

  • What resources will I need for this class?

    Got an up-to-date browser and a decent internet connection? You’re good to go!

  • How can I pass this class?

    We want to give you multiple ways to pass, tailored to your educational needs. You can score well on the quizzes, participate substantially in the forums, or compile a project that encompasses the topics of the course. The choice is up to you!

Provided by:

University: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Instructor(s): Dr. José J. Vázquez-Cognet

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