Economics 300:  Intermediate Microeconomics (Section 002)óSpring 2008

Book chapter files (1,2, and 3)        Class Lecture (Chp. 1)    Class Lecture (Chp. 2)  Class Lecture (Chp. 3)


Room: MITCH 121            Time: T 5:30-6:15pm, Th 5:30-615pm               Link to Syllabus Word Doc.

Instructor: Steven Archambault                            Office: Econ 1046

E-mail:                               Phone: 277-3141

Blog                                                                     Office Hours: M 4-5, Th 3-4 (or by appointment)


Website Home                                      

Course Description: This course uses microeconomic tools to analyze economic issues and the decisions made by consumers and producers. Additionally, the assumptions and arguments underlying these tools are examined in intermediate microeconomics. For example, we are not just interested in knowing that increases in the price of apples increases the number of orchards devoted to apple production. We are also interested in knowing what alternatives are available to the owners of orchards when deciding how to use their land; how those decisions are made; and what other factors can affect the decisions made. Formally, we are interested in the motivations of, and constraints faced by decision makers. We will cover supply and demand analysis, theory of the consumer, theory of the firm, and market structures. We will touch on welfare economics and competitive strategy (as time permits).

Objectives: Although we will use fairly simple math concepts, this course is very analytical in nature. You will be expected to understand every step in the concepts we develop. Furthermore, by the end of this course you will be expected to be able to construct and critically analyze multiple step problems.  The hope is that you see the relevance and application of microeconomic theory in real life situations and decision-making. Years from now (when you've probably forgotten the details we cover) the payoff from taking this course will probably be your enhanced ability to think and argue in a rigorous manner. Specifically, by the end of the course, you should be able to

Textbook (required):  Microeconomics, 6th Edition by Robert S. Pindyck and Daniel L. Rubenfeld

Online Course Compass (required) Online Course ID: archambault43174

The book is available in the bookstore, but used versions are significantly cheaper online. Try (, or ( Earlier editions might be okay, but you will be responsible for homework assignments and readings from the 6th edition.

The Online Course Compass comes with a brand new book from the bookstore, or can be purchased online with a credit card for $20.08. This is a requirement for the course. You will complete assignments and find review materials through Course Compass.

Exams and Grading: 

                        Three Midterms (top two will count):                                     25 % each

                        Final:  May 6                                                                           30 %

                        Assignments:                                                                          15 %

                        Participation (including online blog):                                       5 %

Grades will be assigned as follows. A+ 98-100%, A 93-97%, A- 90-92%, B+87-89%, B83-86%, B-80-82%, C+77-79%, C73-76%, C-70-72%, D+67-69%, D63-66%, D-60-62%, F below 60%                                                      


If you miss a midterm for a valid reason, and provide documentation to support the reason given, you may take a makeup exam at a time convenient for the instructor. Any material presented in lecture or assigned in the readings is fair game for the exams. Most of the exam questions will be short-answer questions and problems to be worked out. There will be very little multiple-choice on exams. The exams may take place in a different, less crowded classroom. I will keep you posted.

Midterm Exams

There will be three midterms. The third midterm might be a writing assignment, but this has not been decided yet. There will be approximately 100 points possible for each exam. Only your top two midterm scores will count, each making up 25% of your final grade.


Everyone will be required to take the final on Thursday, May 15th 5:30-7:30. This will be a cumulative final. There will be 100 points possible for the final, but this will carry more weight than the midterm exams (35%).


The best way to learn economics is by doing.  Therefore it is in your best interest to work through as many problems as possible. There are many practice questions in the textbook and through the Course Compass. There will be weekly assignments that correspond with the material in the readings and lectures. You will complete these both online and on paper to turn in. Assignments will not always have the same number of points possible, but all of the assignments will make up 15% of your semester grade. Late assignments will have points deducted. Any assignment more than a week late will not be counted.

Participation and Course Blog

Your course grade will also depend on your level of participation in class through the online blog. These points are rather subjective, but it is my expectation that you find economics interesting and are willing to share your opinion and ask questions. I expect everyone to add comments or post topics approximately once per month during the semester. The participation will count towards 5% of your total semester grade.         


In order for you to be able to post messages to my blog (, I need to send you an invitation via email. I will ask for your email address on the first day of class, and then promptly send out the invitations. The blog requires you to use or obtain a gmail address (the directions will be sent to you). If you have any problems signing up, feel free to ask me.

I expect Blogs to be in the nature of microeconomics. Its okay if political or other personal views (such as religion) are discussed in the blog, as long as there is a connection to economics. I also require that people respect one anotherís views. I will delete any posts that do not adhere to this. Also, I have the right to end discussions if necessary. I might do this if discussions get to far off the topic of economics!

Tentative Course Outline                                                          

Jan. 21-23: Chapter 1: Introduction: Markets and Prices and Chapter 2: The Basics of Supply and Demand

Jan. 28-30: Chapter 2 and Chapter 3: Consumer Behavior (HW 1 due)

Feb. 5-7: Chapter 4: Individual and Market Demand (HW 2 due)

Feb. 12-14: Chapter 4, Review, and Exam 1 (HW 3 due, Exam 1)

Feb. 19-21: Chapter 6: Production 

Feb. 26-28: Chapter 7: The Cost of Production (HW4 due)

Mar 4: Chapter 8: Profit Maximization and Competitive Supply (HW 5 due)

Mar. 4-6: Chapter 9: The Analysis of Competitive Markets (HW 6 due)

Mar. 11-13: Chapter 9, Review, Exam 2 (HW 7 due)

Mar. 18-20 No Classes, Spring Break

Mar. 25-27: Chapter 10: Market Power Monopoly and Monopsony

Apr. 1-3: Chapter 11: Pricing with Market Power (HW 8 due)

Apr. 8-10: Chapter 12: Monopolistic Competition and Oligopoly (HW 9 due)

Apr. 15-17: Chapter 12, Review, Exam 3 (HW 10 due)

Apr. 22-24: Chapter 14: Markets for Factor Inputs and Chapter 15: Investment, Time, and Capital Markets

Apr. 29-May 1: Chapter 18: Externalities and Public Goods (HW 11 due)

May 6-8: Review (HW 12 due)

May 15 Final 5:30-7:30

*The instructor reserves the right to add or subtract to this course outline.


Important Dates:

-Last Day to add a 16-week course Feb 1st

-Last Day to change a grading option for a 16-week course Feb 15th

-Last Day to drop a 16-week course without a grade Feb 29th

-Last Day to withdraw from a 16-week course without approval of college dean April 18th

-Last day to withdraw from a course with approval of college dean May 9th

-Final Thursday, May 15th 5:30-7:30

Cheating Policy

It is very important for your academic success to put in the time and energy necessary to learn the material covered in this course. I also believe there is personal gratification in mastering subject matter, but this does not come without hard work. This is why I take the academic dishonesty policy very seriously.  

If you are caught cheating on an exam, you will be heavily penalized, with the potential of getting a zero on the exam. I also consider copying another personís homework assignment as cheating. I welcome other students to speak with me confidentially if they feel they feel somebody is cheating. Somebody who unfairly gets a higher grade will decrease the potential for a curve that benefits all. All University policies of academic dishonesty will be followed in this course. If you are interested, see this web link.

Accessibility (for students with disabilities)
If you have a condition that requires accommodation in this course, please speak with me after class or in office hours during the first week of class. I will be happy to make appropriate accommodations provided timely notice is received and the arrangement is consistent with any recommendations from Disability Services, when applicable.