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KMPA 2895 - Introduction to Microeconomics

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 12

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This short course provides students with a refresher of fundamental theoretical tools used in microeconomic analysis and a detailed understanding of microeconomic modeling. It first recalls the classical modeling approach of consumer and firm behaviors (preferences and utility, optimization under constraints) and discusses the assumptions behind the notions of equilibrium, efficiency and equity used in microeconomic theory. It then extends the microeconomics analysis to major sources of market failures, which together define the field of public economics: market power, interactions, externalities, public goods and social choice, information asymmetries and redistribution. Each notion and theoretical tool covered will be discussed in relation to an illustrative case study or public policy program such as competition policies, health care, education, social insurance, environmental policy, inequality or poverty. The last session will discuss deviations from rational choice through the study of nonstandard preferences (time inconsistency, reference-dependence, social preferences).


BELLET, Clément S. (Doctorant)

Pedagogical format

This one-week refresher course will be organized in 8 sessions of 1h30 each. In each session, new theoretical tools will be introduced, illustrated with a case study prepared by a group of 5 students. Students will be required to read 8 economics paper in preparation for the session. An in-class quiz will test the understanding of the papers before each two sessions.

Course validation

This is a refresher course so there is no grading. However, students are required to participate actively in class discussions and prepare each session with the required reading. Groups of 5 students will also be asked to present a short case study illustrating the theoretical concepts discussed in class.

Required reading

G. A. Akerlof, The Market for “Lemons”: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1970

Additional required reading

  • R. Chetty, Behavioral Economics and Public Policy: A Pragmatic Perspective, NBER, 2015
  • R. H. Coase, The Problem of Social Cost, Journal of Law and Economics, 1960
  • R. J. Gilbert and M. L. Katz, An Economist's Guide to U.S. v. Microsoft, Journal of Economics Perspectives, 2001
  • E. Ostrom, Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms, Journal of Economics Perspectives 2000
  • T. Piketty, E. Saez and S. Stantcheva, Optimal Taxation of Top Labor Incomes: A Tale of Three Elasticities, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2014
  • H. A. Simon, Organizations and Markets, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 1991
  • G. J. Stigler and G. S. Becker, De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum, The American Economic Review 1977