30403  MICROECONOMICS
Department of Economics
MARISTELLA BOTTICINI
Mission & Content Summary
MISSION
CONTENT SUMMARY
 The beauty of microeconomics. How to think like an economist. Models and data. Math review.
 Budget and time constraints
 Preferences and utility
 Constrained optimal consumption choice
 Uncompensated demand curves
 Price and income elasticities
 Compensated demand curves, expenditure function
 Substitution and income effects; Slutsky equation
 Leisure versus labor choice; the labor supply
 Intertemporal choice; the saving and borrowing functions
 Choice under uncertainty; lotteries, expected utility, risk attitudes; insurance
 Game theory and its applications (Nash equilibrium; subgame perfect equilibrium)
 Production and costs, firm's and market supply curves
 Equilibrium in perfectly competitive markets
 Taxes, subsidies, price ceilings and floors, welfare analysis
 Monopoly (with and without price discrimination)
 Oligopoly (Cournot and Bertrand models; cartels)
 General equilibrium analysis; Pareto efficiency; welfare theorems
 Externalities and public goods; free riding problem
 The journey through microeconomics: what did we learn
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
 Acquire a profound knowledge of the theoretical underpinnings of Microeconomics and its myriad applications to the real world.
 Develop the ability to write an economic model, in particular to understand the choice behavior of individuals, households, workers, firms, and governments through markets and nonmarket interactions.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
 Compare the theoretical predictions of models and the empirical evidence on economic outcomes.
 Apply the economic way of thinking to other fields outside economics, including anthropology, biology, demography, history, medicine, political science, and sociology.
 Develop a problemsolving attitude.
 Develop teambuilding and teamworking skills in a multicultural environment.
 Learn to communicate in a clear and concise way.
 Learn to set priorities, meet deadlines, and deliver the expected outcomes.
 Develop the ability to think rigorously, analytically, and creatively at the same time.
Teaching methods
 Facetoface lectures
 Online lectures
 Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
 Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
 Individual assignments
 Group assignments
DETAILS
The Microeconomics course is built around these building blocks (aka, pillars):
 Theory Lectures
 Understanding Microeconomics is about learning models and the theoretical framework through a combination of mathematical tools and economic intuition. In the theory lectures we learn together a series of concepts, models, graphs, and calculusdriven analysis that help us analyze myriads of economic and noneconomic issues through the lens of economic analysis.
 Individual Homeworks
 12 individual homeworks (roughly one per week) are assigned through the Smartworks 5 platform. The platform automatically grades the homeworks and explains the solutions.
 Group Problem Sets
 4 long problem sets are assigned to groups of 3 or 4 students. Solutions must be typed using LaTex.
 Collective Office Hours
 To encourage continuous interaction between instructors and students, through Blackboard or Zoom the instructors will hold weekly meetings in which they answer questions of general interest and offer insights on current events through the eyes of Microeconomics.
Assessment methods
Continuous assessment  Partial exams  General exam  


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ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS
There is no difference between attending and nonattending students. The material, the workload, the requirements, and the evaluation based on homeworks, problem sets, and exams, are identical for each student, attending and nonattending.
With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the learning outcomes mentioned above, students' assessment is based on the following criteria and weights:
 10% of the overall grade: 12 individual homeworks through the SmartWorks 5 platform integrated into Blackboard. Skills tested are: problem solving attitude, setting priorities and meeting deadlines.
 Pass or Fail: 4 group problem sets typed in Latex and uploaded through Blackboard. Skills tested are: team working and multicultural attitude, leadership skills, problem solving attitude, setting priorities and meeting deadlines.
 30% of the overall grade: Midterm takehome written assignment on the first half of the program.
 10% of the overall grade: Midterm essay in class on the first half of the program.
 30% of the overall grade: Final takehome written assignment on the second half of the program.
 20% of the overall grade: Final written exam in class on the second half of the program.
The written takehome assignments, the midterm essay in class, and the final exam in class are aimed to test the ability of applying theoretical concepts and models to specific economic problems and interpreting mathematical relationships in economic terms (eg., the Slutsky equation and the economic concepts of substitution and income effects in consumption, labor, and intertemporal choices). Also, these evaluation methods test analytical skills and problemsolving attitudes, as well as the ability of thinking critically about economic issues.
Detailed information regarding the duration and format of homeworks, problem sets, takehome assignments, essay, and exams will be provided during the first two weeks of the course.
Grades are based on the X/30 cum laude scale with the minimum passing grade for the entire course being 18/30. A minimum grade of 10/30 in the midterm takehome assignment must be obtained. If this is not the case, students will take a 5hour general exam on the entire program (80% of the overall grade) in January or during the summer sessions.
Teaching materials
ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS
You can find all the relevant information on BlackBoard (syllabus, lecture notes, individual homeworks, group problem sets, past exams, additional helpful material)
https://blackboard.unibocconi.it
 The required textbook is Hal H. Varian. Intermediate Microeconomics with Calculus. International Student Edition. First edition. Norton Company (2020). ISBN 9780393690019, a book that combines a rigorous mathematical treatment of Microeconomics together with many applications and realworld examples.
 The purchase gives access to the SmartWorks 5 platform, which is required for the individual Homeworks.
 The textbook is available at Egea bookstore, or through the publisher website (2 weeks for delivery), or through Amazon. Make sure you purchase the edition listed above with the correct ISBN number.