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Department of Economics

Microeconomic Analysis

Course Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year

The aim of the course is to provide a thorough treatment and critical appreciation of neoclassical microeconomic theory. Students will be expected to understand the defining assumptions concerning individual market agents and the internal structure of neoclassical microeconomic theory, including working knowledge of the relevant mathematical formalisms. Topics to be discussed will include neoclassical approaches to Consumer Theory; the Theory of the Firm; industrial structure and Game Theory; General Equilibrium and Welfare Economics; and Information-Theoretic Approaches to contracts and markets. The course also discusses the alternative analytical approaches to the behaviour of producers and consumers that may be developed on the bases of Classical Political Economy and radical-subjectivist analyses.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to: 

  • Discuss and critically evaluate various theories and approaches to consumer behaviour, including a rigorous understanding of optimal consumer choice and its various applications.
  • Discuss and apply key concepts of welfare analysis in the context of partial equilibrium
  • Understand the concepts of substitution and income effect, and compensated demand curves
  • Have a sound grasp of producer theory including costs of production and the theory of the firm
  • Analyse different market structures: perfect competition, monopoly and various forms of imperfect competition, including through the use of game theoretical tools.
  • Develop a rigorous analysis of general equilibrium including its construct, properties, and welfare implications.
  • Have a sound grasp of “informational asymmetries” in neoclassical economic analysis and their implications for markets and institutions, and critically understand the motivation and limitations of their application.
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify and apply all relevant optimisation techniques for analysis of microeconomic behaviour.
  • Understand a show ability to apply the analytical critiques of neoclassical microeconomic theory advanced on the bases of Classical Political Economy and radical-subjectivist approaches to the market process

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: Exam 80% / Coursework 20%. Resubmission of coursework regulations do not apply to this course.