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Grand View College Syllabus Economics 102 — Principles of Microeconomics Fall 2009

October 20, 2009

Department and Course: ECON 102

Course Title: Principles of Microeconomics

Academic Term: Fall 2009, Section II

Class Times: Tuesday and Thursdays, 5:45p – 8:00p

Instructor: Tom Schenk

Telephone Number: 515-481-0774


Academic Major Goals and Objectives

1. Demostrate abilities to conduct research to access relevant information and then communicate the results of the research to others in written and oral format.

2. Demonstrate abilities to work in a team environment, as a leader and as a follower, to generate solutions to specific situations.

3. Develop skills in analyzing business situations and recommend courses of action that show a thorough understanding of the internal and external envorments.

Instructional Objectives

Learning as Knowledge

1. Identify the definition(s) of economics and microeconomics.

2. Identify the basic principles of the law of supply, law of demand, and market equilibrium.

3. Identify and understand the basic types of market structures and economic properties of each structure.



Understand the economy as a system.

Learning as Process or Behavior

1. Relate political economy systems to the U.S. and other economies.

2. Study how the market system allocates products and services to consumers.

3. Apply economic theory in real-world applications

4. Learn how policy affects all the elements of the economy.

Learning as Attitude

1. Appreciate the basic underlying dilemma of economics.

2. Develop an awareness of how economics impacts their daily lives.

3. Appreciate the complex interactions in an economy.

Content Outline

Elements of economics: political economy, science, and moral philosophy

Economic institutions

Trade-offs (opportunity cost) and the formation of an economy

Supply and Demand: individual choice to market equilibrium

Elasticity: the responsiveness of supply and demand

Applications: Taxation and market efficiency

Constructing supply and demand: individual choice and industrial production costs

Market structures: perfect competition, monopoly, and monopolistic competition

A Beautiful Mind: game theory

Instructional Procedures

Instructional procedures for this course will include lectures, class discussions, company (group) exercises, case analysis, and individual assignments. Students will successfully pass the class if they aforementioned activities.

Instructional Resources

1. Textbook: Economics by David Colander, 7th Edition, McGraw-Hill, Irwin: 2006 ISBN: 0-07-340286-9

2. Periodicals: The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Des Moines Register, New York Times

3. Blogs: See Greg Mankiw, Marginal Revolution, Brad DeLong, EconLog, Economists View, Market Design

4. Other course materials will be distributed via the course website:


Assessment of Academic Achievement

The final grade will be determined through the formula:


𝑦 = 0.2 𝐸 1 + 0.2 𝐸 2 + 0.3 𝐹 + 0.2 𝐴 + 0.07 𝑃 + 0.03 𝐶


where 𝐸 1 is exam 1, 𝐸 2 is exam 2, 𝐹 is the final, 𝐴 is the average of homework problems, 𝑃 is participation, and 𝐶 is company scores. Each component is described in detail below. Exams: Two exams will be administered throughout the semester. The exams will consist of a multiple choice, argument, and long problems. Multiple choice questions will test basic economic vocabulary and elementary relationships. Argument questions will ask the student to reply to a normative statement using economic reasoning taught in class. I may use quotes from recent periodicals and/or blog posts. Finally, long problems will be multi-part and will test whether the student can work through an economic model. Each exam will implicitly be cumulative insofar as the principles of economics are tightly intertwined, but the emphasis will be on the contemporary lesson. Final : The final will explicitly be cumulative, although the emphasis will be slightly more on the latter third of the class. The format will be similar to exams: multiple choice, essay, and long problems. The test is worth slightly more and, thus, will be slightly longer than exams. Assignments: Assignments will be given throughout the semester through the course website. Home- work will (usually) be distributed on Tuesday and will be due at the beginning of the following Tuesday. Assignments are not meant to be taxing, but to help the student prepare for exams and the final. Most assignments will involve a question that will resemble an exams long problem. Participation: Students are expected to regularly participate in classes and, if not in class, in out-of-class communication with the professor. Lack of participation and irregular attendance will be especially noticed if the student is struggling in class. The professor will warmly reward struggling students who seek help through email and questions. Company Score: Students will be randomly assigned to companies of 3 to 4 individuals, depending on the final class size. Companies will accumulate points throughout the semester based on exams, assignments, participation, and any other metric the professor feels is appropriate. These activities are meant to be fun and introspective, while being educational. At the end of the semester, points will be assigned as the inverse of company rank multiplied by 100, e.g., first place: (1/1)*100 = 100, second: ()*100 = 50, etc. The company score is especially helpful toward boarderline students.

Final Course

𝐴 = 90 100

𝐵 = 80 99.9 𝐶 = 70 79.9 𝐷 = 60 69.9 𝐹 < 60

Missed Exams and Assignments

Assignments will be due at the beginning of class every Tuesday and tests will be given on the days denoted below. Late assignments will be penalized 40 percent. Students will be allowed to make up exams ONLY when the professor received prior notification for the inability to complete the exams. In extreme cases where prior notification is impossible, the student must provide written documentationnot by the studentexplaining the absence. Students who miss a test for an unexcused absence will receive a zero.



Students will be expected to attend every class. Irregular attendance will be reflected in participation and company exercise scores.

Writing and Critical Thinking

Modern economics is intensely mathematics, but few people possess the training to grasp a mathematical model. As such, economics is typically communicated in written periodicals so it is no coincidence that well- known economists tend to be good writers–e.g., Paul Krugman, Herny James, John Gailbraith, and Milton Friedman. Employers often lament and seek those with sharp writing ability. Although writing ability is hard to notice during an application procedure, employers will often quickly promote those who effectively communicate. This class will challenge student to reply to assertions during an examination. Students will need to synthesize economic theory and writing to convince the professor the original argument was either fallacious or correct. This experience will be different from writing an essay or research paper. Argument portions of the exam will give the student little room to wonder or add fluff.

Tentative Reading and Schedule

The most up–to–date reading schedule will be available at the course website ( Economics is truly an interdisciplinary subject involving political theory, moral philosophy, mathematics, and elements of all social sciences. This course will be based around the cold logical and mathematical aspects often satirized in TV and movies. However, this class will also overtly emphasis applications of economic theory and briefly highlight the moral philosophy and political philosophy elements. Readings are mandatory and should be completed prior to the beginning of class, with the exception of the first week. Suggested readings are not mandatory, but will help the student understand the manda- tory content if needed. The suggested readings will often re-explain the material from a slightly different perspective, much like the function of this sentence to the former sentence. Lastly, voluntary readings are tangential to the topicinteresting, but not necessary knowledge for the class. These readings will delve into political theory, philosophy, and other classical writings that will add to the students comprehensive knowl- edge. Students will not be tested over the material and absolutely should complete other assignments first. I hope this syllabus will be a resource for the student after the class has been completed.



Mission Statement

Grand View College engages, equips, and empowers students to fulfill their ambitions and to serve society. Believing that each person possesses natural strengths and developing abilities which can lead to a full and satisfying life, Grand View College admits and educates students who represent a wide range of ages, achieve- ments, and expectations. Committed to the development of the whole personmind, body, and spiritand to preparing students for responsible citizenship in their communities and in a diverse and changing world, Grand View:

Believes that learning is a collaborative process in which respectful interaction is the norm;

Offers quality programs which expect intellectual growth of students;

Integrates liberal arts education with career preparation in an urban learning environment; and

Affirms Christian faith and ethics as a vision for life, a vision that respects the diversity and dignity of all people and the pursuit of lifelong learning.

Building on its Danish Lutheran heritage, Grand View is a School for Life.

Academic Honesty

Grand View College is dedicated to the development of the whole person and is committed to truth, excel- lence, and ethical values. Personal integrity and academic honesty in all aspects of the College experience are the responsibility of each faculty member, staff member, and student. A student has an obligation to do work that is his or her own and reflects his or her learning and quest for academic knowledge. Dishonesty and cheating are not acceptable behaviors. Examples include helping others during exams, writing papers for others, falsifying data/records, copying other students work, taking work directly from the Internet or any printed source claiming it as ones own, and downloading/purchasing papers on-line. Students who cheat, could risk severe penalties, which may include failure of the assignment, failure of the course, or expulsion from the College.

Accelerated Courses

Grand View offers courses in an eight week or alternative delivery format. These offerings are designed primarily for students enrolled in the College of Adult and Professional Learning (CPAL). They cover the same subject content and require the same or comparable assignments that are associated with a traditional fourteen week course. Students who have successfully completed previous baccalaureate level course work, are well organized, are able to allocate adequate time for out-of-the-classroom study and preparation, and are highly disciplined may find this delivery format appealing.


Grand View College prohibits unlawful discrimination and encourages full participation by all students within the college community. When a student requires any instructional or other accommodation to optimize participation and/or performance in a course, it is the responsibility of the student to contact both the instructor and the Director of Academic Enrichment and apply for any requested accommodation. The Director of Academic Enrichment and Disability Services is Dr. Kris Owens and she can be reached at



Class Attendance

The Federal Government requires that students receiving financial aid attend classes. Students who are identified by the instructor as not attending classes, will be reported to the Registrars Office. Students who fail to return to class may lose all or a portion of their financial aid. Students who never attend a class will be administratively dropped.

Classroom Conduct

Grand View College expects students to conduct themselves as mature members of the College community respecting the rights of others. Behavior that threatens the safety of others or which interrupts the learning and teaching process is not tolerated. When students engage in behavior which threatens their own or the safety of others and/or interferes with classroom learning and teaching, the professor has the authority to ask students to leave the classroom. Readmission to the classroom is dependant upon the approval of the instructor. The instructor may also require a student to meet with the Provost before returning to class. secton*Code of Integrity As a member of the Grand View College community, and in accordance with the mission of the College and its Lutheran identity, I agree to appreciate and respect the dignity and worth of each individual. I will honor and promote a community of open interaction, personal integrity, active and intellectual engagement, and academic honesty with students, faculty, and staff.

College E-Mail Account

E-Mail is the preferred source of communication within the Grand View community. It is essential that all students check their Grand View College e-mail account or set their account to forward to a preferred e-mail address. Students may set up an e-mail auto forward from the myGVC web site. Click on the Manage and Update Personal Information link and then select set myGVC Mail Forwarding Address under the Links for You section. Information outlining proper use of e-mail and computer resources can be found on the myGVC web site. Click on Campus Life and then Technology Resources.

The Electronic Portfolio

All students who have taken INTS 101, New Student Seminar, are required to maintain an Electronic Portfolio that documents their success at Grand View College. At various times during their years at Grand View, these students are required to update their portfolio and to reflect upon the growth in knowledge and skills. This on-going reflection culminates in INTS 470, Knowledge in Social Context, where students review the material they have assembled and consider their college experience in its entirety.

Appeal of Final Course Grade or Other Academic Disciplinary Ac- tion

Students who wish to appeal a final course grade or other academic disciplinary action of an instructor must complete and file an Academic Appeal with the Provost within fourteen calendar days after the end of the academic term in which the issue of disagreement occurred.