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General Info

This is the course website for Vanderbilt Economics 3012. This page will be continuously updated throughout the semester. Please check it regularly.

3012 focuses on the formal analysis of the behavior of individuals and firms and how these behaviors aggregate in markets. We will analyze market performance and determine how performance is influenced by various changes.

Some concepts and formulas from differential calculus will be used, but most of the presentations, homework, and exams will involve diagrams, algebra and analytic reasoning. I emphasize intuition and deep understand over the mechanical process of solving problems.

There will be one midterm and a final exam. They are tentatively placed in the schedule below. Grading will be based 30% on the midterm exam, 50% on the final exam, and 20% on homework.

Class meets T,TH 1:15-2:30 in Wilson Hall 103.

The TA for this course is Qiao Lin-- Email

Qiao's office hours: Wednesday 10–12 in Calhoun Hall 006

Greg's office hours: Tuesday 12-1:00 in Calhoun 404

Course Notes / Textbook

The official textbook for this course is Hal Varian's Intermediate Microeconomics with Calculus: A Modern Approach. Any edition of this textbook should be fine. You will also need a copy of the Workouts in Intermediate Microeconomics. I recommend the latest edition of this book since that is the problem numbering I will use in the problem sets.

Class Notes

These class notes are a polished version of what I cover in class. Class Notes Last Updated: 9/26/2022

Problem Sets

Problem sets will consist of selections from problems in the workouts book, as well as problems I have written. I encourage working on the homework in groups. The homework will be graded by the teaching assistant. I will add the due dates below as we move through the semester.

Problem Set 1. Due: 9/22/2022

Problem Set 2. Due: 10/04/2022

Problem Set 3

Problem Set 4

Problem Set 5

Problem Set 6


Week 0 (Aug 23) : Overview of Syllabus & Budget Constraint.

Week 1 (Aug 30) : Budget Constraint, Preferences.

Please Read: Review of Functions. If this stuff is familiar to you, you are probably good-to-go for the class. Otherwise (don't panic), you should talk to me or Qiao about what you can do to review the math you will need for the course.

Week 2 (Sept 6) : Preferences, Utility.

Week 3 (Sept 13) : Choice.

Week 4 (Sept 20) : Demand.

Week 5 (Sept 27) : Slutsky Equation, Buying and Selling

Week 6 (Oct 4) : Buying and Selling, Intertemporal Choice

Week 7 (Oct 11) : Market Demand

Midterm Exam -- Oct 18

The exam covers material up to and including Market Demand.

Key Concepts- Not Yet Updated for Fall 22.

Week 8 (Oct 18) : Midterm Exam, Equilibrium

Week 9 (Oct 25) : Equilibrium

Week 10 (Nov 1) : Technology, Profit Maximization

Week 11 (Nov 8) : Cost Minimization, Firm Supply

Week 12 (Nov 15) : Industry Supply, Monopoly

Week 13 (Nov 29) : Monopoly Behavior

Week 14 (Dec 6) : Oligopoly

Final Exam (Cumulative) Mon Dec 12 9am

Key Concepts- Updated for Spring 22.

Additional Practice

Extra Practice Problems Selected Solutions for Practice Problems (Updated 12/15/2021)

Copy of Spring 2022 Midterm