Syllabus for ECON 2510 Principles of Microeconomics SECTION 4

Offered at California State University, Stanislaus by Economics Dept., Fall 2012, for 3 units.

Class meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 1:00-1:50 in C208 (208 Bizzini Hall).



 Elaine Peterson 

 Office hours:

 In Turlock: M,W,F 10-11 am, &


 101 D Bizzini Hall


                    Mon. 5-5:40 pm

 Office Phone:


                    Wed. 5-5:45 pm

 Home Phone:

 529-3804 (Please, no calls after 8:00pm) 

 and also by appointment

 Official Email:



 More reliable email especially for longer emails or attachments please use

Course Description: Course covers basic principles of microeconomics including: price system and market structures, public policy and income distribution. Special problem areas in the American economy to be discussed include: urban economics, environmental economics, agricultural economics, poverty, and health economics. Some fundamentals of international economics, international trade, principles and problems of economic growth and development are also included.

Course Objectives: Introduce students to economics, facilitate development of student's ability to understand economic relationships, and to use models to analyze current economic problems, particularly problems facing individuals and firms.

Goals for General Education Courses:  This course meets the lower division general education requirement for the area “Social, Economic, and Political Institutions and Human Behavior” (D.2.a). The General Education program goals that must be addressed are:

  1. Subject Knowledge: To provide an educational experience that will enhance students' understanding of the disciplines' basic principles, methodologies, and perspectives.
  2. Communication: To provide an educational experience that will enhance the ability to communicate.
  3. Inquiry and Critical Thinking: To provide an educational experience that will enhance critical thinking skills and will contribute to continuous inquiry and life-long learning.
  4. Information Retrieval and Evaluation: To provide an educational experience that will enhance the ability to find, understand, examine critically, and use information from various sources.
  5. Interdisciplinary Relationships: To provide an educational experience that will enhance students' understanding of a discipline’s interrelationships with other disciplines.
  6. Global or Multicultural Perspectives: To provide an educational experience that will enhance the ability to look at issues from multiple perspectives and/or that will describe the disciplines' impact on or connection to global issues, AND/OR
  7. Social Responsibility: To provide an educational experience that will help students understand the complexity of ethical judgment and social responsibility and/or that will describe the disciplines' impact on or connection to social and ethical issues.

Text: Campbell R. McConnell, Stanley L. Brue, & Sean Flynn, Principles of Economics, ECON2500/2510 Edition for California State University Stanislaus, 19th ed., McGraw Hill, 2011. The 18th ed. of the text by Campbell R. McConnell & Stanley L. Brue or other versions will also work, but layout and chapter numbers are different. 

Additional Reading: You should read current newspapers & periodicals for economic news.  The Wall Street Journal and New York Times are good choices.  Think about how the news relates to the principles you are learning.  

Grading: Grading is intended to reflect evidence of student knowledge & understanding. Opportunities to provide such evidence include: class participation and short assignments, short papers, and exams. The weights used in your final grade for these activities are as follows:


Grading Weight

Class participation


Short assignments


2 short papers 10% each        


3  1 hour exams  (13 1/3% each)


2 hour final exam


Pluses and minuses will be included in grades.  This class may be taken for a letter grade or for credit/no credit (CR/NC).  You must earn a C- or higher to receive credit (CR). If you would like to change to the CR/NC option please use an add/drop form.  Business majors should take the course for a letter grade to meet the requirements of their major. 


Class participation:  Regular attendance is expected.  Reading should be done prior to class to enable participation.  Students who must miss a class should contact the instructor in advance or as soon as practical and may have the opportunity to make up work.  Attendance will affect the class participation portion of the grade. WASC accreditation standards indicate that for every hour in class students should be spending 2 to 3 hours studying.  Thus for a class that meets 3 hours per week, such as this one, you should be studying 6 to 9 hours outside of class as well.  Please plan your time accordingly and try to use it efficiently.  For example, if you do not understand something make a note of it and bring it up in class as soon as possible.  Even if you do not have an explicit written assignment to hand in you always have reading to do and think about.  The chapters relating to the material we will be discussing in each class are indicated in the schedule below.  When in class try to engage your mind in the material.  This includes thinking about the topic at hand, respectfully listening to your colleagues’ comments and questions, and offering your thoughtful comments and questions on the topic we are discussing.  Be sure to turn off beepers and cell phones.


Email: Any changes to the schedule below will be announced in class or via email.  Email is a relatively efficient way to distribute information and is part of our current economic environment. The class email discussion list is another way to participate and increase your learning experience. Please check your email regularly.  To join the discussion list you may submit your email address to the professor in writing on a signup list passed around or by sending an email message with your email address, your name, and the name of the class to the professor at EPETERSON@CSUSTAN.EDU.  If you do not yet have an email account, you are entitled to one as a student at CSU Stanislaus.  To get one go to the OIT office, room 130 in the Library Building.  In all email messages please indicate your full name, the name of the class, and a subject heading.  Including this basic information helps people know if they want to read your message. There are a lot of junk emails, viruses, and worms going around.   If your message is missing such information it may be deleted without being read.  Also keep in mind that most people are very reluctant to open attachments.  So please try to send your message as a text only message unless there is a compelling reason you need to use an attachment.  Some email systems are setup with html as their default mode, but if you examine the settings you can usually change to text. 


Blackboard access: You can go to the web page and use your student id as your login and your pin as your password to get into a set of web pages restricted to students in the class.  Under “course information” are some PowerPoint slide presentations I will use in class if you are interested.  If you decide to access these, I strongly recommend that you DO NOT just hit print.  Some of the PowerPoint slide presentations are quite long.  It would probably be smarter to download them to look them over.  Then if you would like a printed copy consider going into PowerPoint and under print, choose the slides you want based on the page numbers and under “Print what” choose “handouts”, and under “slides per page” choose “6”.  This will kill fewer trees and less of your budget.


Short assignments:  Several short assignments will be announced in class or via email. Some may require you to use a computer.  There are computer labs in the library building on the first floor intended for student use.  The short assignments are intended to help you learn and you should feel free to refer to your text or ask questions as you work on them. 


Short papers:  You will have the opportunity to write 2 short papers using microeconomic principles to analyze current events or issues in the news. In each paper briefly summarize facts from a recent (published this semester) newspaper, magazine, journal, or internet article and then discuss how microeconomic principles relate to the event or issueNOTE: The summary portion of the paper should be extremely brief, no more than a few sentences.  If you do not see relationships to microeconomics then the article is not a good choice for this assignment.  Some particularly good sources for articles include the newspapers Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and the magazines The Economist and Challenge. The papers should be approximately 1-2 double spaced typed pages, 12 point font with one inch margins.  A copy of the article should be submitted with the paper.  Be careful to use your own words.  Plagiarism will result in a failing grade.  You are welcome to bring articles to class for discussion or to submit a preliminary draft prior to the due date.  You may also discuss articles together and give each other helpful comments on each others’ papers.  If you receive substantial help from another student in the class you should cite them at the end of your paper.  In the economics field professional recognition is given for frequent citation.  Similarly if your paper is good they will be given extra credit towards the class participation portion of their grade.   Be sure your paper has basic required elements before you turn it in such as:

Your name

Your Paper Title (note this should not be the same as the title of the article)

Copy of the article published this semester that you are analyzing

Relates to microeconomics

Includes your analysis from a microeconomic perspective


Exams: Exams may involve short problems, multiple choice questions, and essays.  Practice exams are linked to the course web page: and are on BlackBoard.  You are encouraged to work together in studying, but not during exams.  Cheating will result in a failing grade.  Please note the dates of the exams in the schedule below and avoid scheduling conflicting activities.  In the event of an emergency remember my doctorate is in economics, not medicine.  After receiving appropriate medical treatment, as soon as practical please get in touch with me by phone or email.  When leaving phone messages please remember to speak slowly and leave your full name, class, and phone number.  When leaving phone numbers please speak slowly.

Principles of Microeconomics Fall 2012 Schedule



19th ed.  (18h ed.)

W Aug. 22

Introduction, Overview, Economics & Microeconomics, Scarcity, Benefits & Costs

1, 2       (1,2)

F Aug. 24

Modeling Demand & Supply (Think about products you buy or sell and what factors influence the supply and demand for each of these goods.)

3            (3)

M Aug. 27

Modeling Demand & Supply

3            (3)

W Aug. 29

Modeling Demand & Supply

3            (3)

F Aug. 31

Demand & Supply Elasticities

4           (6 )

M Sept. 3

Labor Day Campus Closed


W Sept. 5

Demand & Supply Elasticities,

Consumer and Producer gains from trade 

4           (6 )

F Sept. 7

Consumer Utility Maximization 

20         (7)

M Sept. 10

Consumer Utility Maximization

20         (7)

W Sept. 12

Firm Theory: Production Costs

21         (8)

F Sept. 14

Firm Theory: Production Costs (continued) 

21         (8)

M Sept. 17

Exam 1 


W Sept. 19

Overview of Industry Structures,

Determining Price & Quantity: Perfect Competition Case

22         (9)

F Sept. 21

Determining Price & Quantity: Perfect Competition Case

22         (9)

M Sept. 24

Determining Price & Quantity: Perfect Competition Case, short run versus long run

23         (9)

W Sept. 26

Determining Price & Quantity: Pure Monopoly Case

24        (10)

F Sept. 28

Determining Price & Quantity: Pure Monopoly Case, different types of monopolies & price discrimination

24        (10)

M Oct. 1

Determining Price & Quantity: Monopolistic Competition Case & Oligopoly

25       (11)

W Oct. 3

Determining Price & Quantity: Monopolistic Competition Case & Oligopoly

25       (11)

F Oct. 5

Compare and Contrast Alternative Competitive Situations:
Perfect Competition, Monopoly, Monopolistic Competition, Oligopoly


M Oct. 8

Compare and Contrast Alternative Competitive Situations:
Perfect Competition, Monopoly, Monopolistic Competition, Oligopoly


W Oct. 10

Columbus Day No Classes


F Oct. 12

Exam 2


M Oct. 15

Resource Markets, Marginal Product x Marginal Revenue Þ Derived Demand 

26      (12)

W Oct. 17

Determination of Wages in pure competition model

27     (13)

F Oct. 19


Monopsony, Unions, Bilateral monopoly, Wage differentials, Pay schemes

27     (13)

& appendix   

M Oct. 22

W Oct. 24

Labor Issues Discrimination & Immigration

34 p.706-711 & 36

 (20 p.423-428 & 22)

F Oct. 26

Determination of Rent, Interest, & Profits (continued) 

Paper 1 due 

28     (14)

M Oct. 29

Determination of Rent, Interest, & Profits

28     (14)

W Oct. 31

Public Goods & Externalities

5      (16)

F Nov. 2

Public Goods, Externalities, Information Asymmetries

5      (16)

M Nov. 5

Information Asymmetries & Public Choice

31    (16 & 17)

W Nov. 7

Public Finance: Expenditures & Taxes 

30      (17)

F Nov. 9

Antitrust, Regulation, & Industrial Policies (continued) 

32     (18)

M Nov. 12

Veteran’s Day Observed Campus Closed


W Nov. 14

Antitrust, Regulation, & Industrial Policies 

32     (18)

F Nov. 16

Exam 3


M Nov. 19

Agricultural Policies

33     (19)

W Nov. 21

Agricultural Policies

Paper 2 due

33     (19)

F. Nov. 23

Campus Closed as part of Thanksgiving Break


M Nov. 26

Poverty, Income Inequality, & Income Redistribution

34     (20)

W Nov. 28

Poverty, Income Inequality, & Income Redistribution (continued) 

34     (20)

F Nov. 30

Health Economics & Public Policy

35     (21)

M Dec. 3

Health Economics & Public Policy

35     (21)

W Dec. 5

International Trade relationships to firms and consumers

37     (37)

F Dec. 7

Balance of Payments, trade deficits & exchange rates,

how they affect firms, industries & consumers

38    (38)

M Dec. 10

Summary & Conclusions (last class)


M Dec. 17

FINAL EXAM 11:15 am - 1:15 in room where class is regularly held (Comprehensive)