Econ 3012

Class Notes (Updated: 11/20/2021)


This is the course website for Vanderbilt Economics 3012. This course focuses on the formal analysis of the behavior of individuals and firms and how these behaviors aggregate in a market. We will analyze market performance and determine how performance is influenced by various changes. This page will be continuously updated throughout the semester. Please check it on a regular basis.

Mathematical Level

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. A review of the relevant mathematical concepts will occur on the first day of class.


Intermediate Microeconomics with Calculus: A Modern Approach by Hal R. Varian. Workouts in Intermediate Microeconomics (Ninth Edition), by Theodore C. Bergstrom and Hal R. Varian.

Problem Sets

Problem sets will consist of selections from problems in the workouts book, as well as problems I have written. The problem sets will be posted on this page in the schedule below. I encourage working on the homework in groups. The homework will be graded by the teaching assistant.

Exams and Grading

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

Office Hours / Teaching Assistant

Greg's office hours: Thursday 11:00-12:00pm. TA: Qiao Lin. Office Hours: 1-3 pm every Wednesday. Zoom link: E-mail:


Problem Set 1. Due 9/21.

Problem Set 1 Workout Solutions.

Problem Set 1 Other Solutions.

Problem Set 2. Due 10/12.

Problem Set 2 Workout Solutions.

Problem Set 2 Other Solutions.

Problem Set 3. Due 11/2.

Problem Set 4. Due 11/16.

Make sure you do the right workbook problems. Chapter 19 should be technology and chapter 21 should be cost minimization. Older workbooks have different chapter numbering.

Problem Set 5. Due 12/2.


Week 0: Overview of Syllabus & Chapter 2.1-2.7: Budget Constraint.

Week 1: Sept 2

Chapter 2.1-2.7: Budget Constraint. Chapter 3.1-3.8: Preferences. Please Read: Review of Functions.

Week 2: Sept 7,9

Chapter 3.1-3.8: Preferences. Chapter 4.1-4.5: Utility

Week 3: Sept 14,16

Chapter 5.1-3&5.5 (Skip Lagrange Method).

Week 4: Sept 21,23

Chapter 6.1-6.8: Demand.

Week 5: Sept 28,30

Chapter 8.1-8.5,8.6-8.7: Slutsky Equation, Chapter 9.1-9.4: Buying and Selling

Week 6: Oct 5,7

Chapter 9.1-9.4: Buying and Selling, Chapter 10.1-10.5: Intertemporal Choice

Week 7: Oct 12 (No Class Oct 14)

Chapter 15.1-15.2,15.5-15.6,15.8,15.11: Market Demand

Midterm Exam October 21

Copy of Midterm

October 21 Midterm exam covering Chapters 1-6 & 8,9,10 Key Concepts.

Week 8: Oct 19,21

Review, Midterm Exam

Week 9: Oct 25,27

Chapter 16.1-16.9: Equilibrium Video Lecture for 10/27

Week 10: Nov 2,4

Chapter 19.1-19.10 Technology, Chapter 20.1,20.5-20.10: Profit Maximization

Week 11: Nov 9,11

Chapter 21.1,21.3-21.6: Cost Minimization, Chapter 22.1-22.3,22.5: Cost Curves

Week 12:

Chapter 23.1-23.9: Firm Supply

Week 13:

Chapter 24.1-24.6: Industry Supply, Chapter 25.1-25.7: Monopoly

Week 14:

Chapter 26.1-26.6: Monopoly Behavior, Chapter 32.1-32.7, 32.9-32.13: Exchange

Final Exam

Final Exam: cumulative exam. Friday December 17 at 9:00am.

Additional Resources

Spring 2020 Virtual Lectures ch. 16-22

Extra Practice Problems

Relevant problems for midterm exam: 1,2,3,4,7,11(A-D),12,15,16,17,18,19,20,25,28(A,C)

Selected Solutions for Practice Problems (Updated 10/18/2021)