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Unit information: Microeconomic Analysis in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Microeconomic Analysis
Unit code EFIM20038
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Simpson
Open unit status Not open

EFIM10008 Mathematical and Statistical Methods
EFIM10026 The Economy



School/department School of Economics
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


The unit will study the main microeconomic models which underlie modern economic thinking and which are drawn upon by macroeconomics and other fields within economics. As such it will prepare students for final-year units and provide the foundation for students to have the economic tools to apply to concrete problems upon graduation.

The approach of the unit will be to take particular issues and show how these can be modelled formally to analyse the issue in detail; to interpret the model and see how underlying assumptions are related to the model’s conclusions; to use empirical analysis to evaluate the models to see if (or when) they are correct.

Topics will include

(i) consumer behaviour and choice

(ii) monopoly power and limited competition

(iiI) coordination failures and multiple equilibria

(iv) asymmetric information (adverse selection and moral hazard) in a variety of contexts

(v) labour markets and the effect of minimum wages or other regulation.

Although the list of theoretical models used will remain the same, the particular applications used will vary slightly to retain relevance.

Intended learning outcomes

Students will be able:

1. To have a basic understanding of how microeconomic models work and to sketch the derivation

of such models;

2. To use economic models to answer hypothetical questions about the operation of the

microeconomic issues and to draw appropriate policy conclusions;

3. To compare and contrast competing theories about how markets work (or fail), to interpret how different assumptions result in different conclusions, and to select different versions of models to apply to different concrete situations;

4. To understand the conclusions, problems and methods used (albeit without a

technical knowledge) by empirical papers in microeconomics and to evaluate economic models.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions such as online teaching for large and small group, face-to-face small group classes (where possible) and interactive learning activities

Assessment Details

A piece of coursework (worth 50%), plus An online exam within a 24hr window (worth 50%)

Reading and References

(in all cases the most recent edition can be used)

Varian: Intermediate Microeconomics

Pindyck & Rubinfeld: Microeconomics

Bowles: Microeconomics: Behavior, Institutions and Evolution

Bowles: Coordination, Conflict and Competition: A Text in Intermediate Microeconomics

Textbooks will be supplemented with additional teaching notes and references to articles from journals such as the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Fiscal Studies and Oxford Review of Economic Policy.