Course Description This is an advanced microeconomic theory course that is primarily intended for Ph.D. students. It aims to provide a rigorous treatment of theories on consumers, firms, and the market. Economic problems are studied using analytic techniques such as the analysis of optimization and equilibrium. Formal proofs will be used throughout. It will help students develop skills necessary to successfully complete advanced economic analysis and undertake future research in economics, finance, marketing, and accounting.
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Student Learning Objectives There are three objectives for this course: 1. Students will analyze the theory of consumer such as preference and choice, consumer demand, choice under uncertainty. 2. Students will be able to analyze firms decisions using cost-minimization and profit maximization framework and the outcome of firms decisions—the supply curve. 3. Students will understand the determinants of market equilibrium under different market structures such as competitive market, monopolistic market, and oligopoly. 1 Required Textbooks and Materials The required textbook for the course is Microeconomic Theory, Oxford University Press, 1995, by Mas-Colell, Whinston, and Green.
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A useful book which covers largely the same material and may be used as a supplemental text is Microeconomic Foundations I: Choice and Competitive Markets, Princeton University Press, 2013 by David M. Kreps. Finally, two other reference books for the class are: • Microeconomic Analysis, 3rd Edition, W. W. Norton & Company, 1992, by Hal Varian. • Lecture Notes in Microeconomic Theory: The Economic Agent, 2nd Edition, Princeton University Press, 2012, by Ariel Rubinstein1 Rough Outline of Course 1. Decision Theory (Certainty) • Choice, Preferences and Utility Functions: completeness, transitivity, ordinal utility, Lexicographic preferences, continuity, existence and continuity of utility function, monotonicity, convexity, quasi-concave utility, indifference curves, homotheticity, quasi-linearity, separability, choice, revealed preferences
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• MWG 1A – D, 3A – C; K1 – 2 2. Consumer Theory I • Primal Approach to Demand, Theorem of the Maximum, Consumer optimization, Marshallian demand, Walras Law, Revealed Preference, the Compensated Law of Demand • MWG 2A – F, 3D, 3J; K3 – 4 3. Consumer Theory II • Dual Approach to Demand, indirect utility, envelope theorem, Roy’s identity, Hicksian demand, the expenditure function, Shepard’s Lemma, Hicks’ composite commodity theorem; income/price elasticity of demand, Slutsky’s Theorem, income and substitution effects, normal and inferior goods, consumer surplus and willingness-to-pay • MWG 3D – G, 3I – J; K10 – 11 4. Choice Under Uncertainty • Expected Utility, Risk Aversion, Information Separability, preferences over lotteries, vNM Expected Utility Theorem, independence axiom, Allais and Ellsberg Paradoxes, Prospect Theory, Stochastic dominance, concavity, risk premium, Arrow-Pratt coefficient of risk aversion, Rabin’s calibration theorem, State-dependent utility • MWG 6A – E; K5 – 6 5. Production 1Can be freely downloaded from his website. 2 • Production Sets, Profit Maximization and Cost Minimization, Cost Function, Long-run and Shortrun costs • MWG 5A – D; K9 6. Competitive Markets • Pareto Optimality and Competitive Equilibria, Partial Equilibrium Competitive Analysis, Welfare Theorems, Free-entry and Long-run Competitive Equilibrium • MWG 10A – F 7. Brief Introduction to Game Theory, Monopoly and Oligopoly • Nash Equilibrium, Monopoly Pricing, Static Models of Oligopoly • MWG 8A, B, D, 12A – C