37293 - Microeconomics

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students with understands of the principles of micro-economic analysis. They have been introduced the concept of economic rationality as it applies to individuals and firms, and the analysis of how price and quantity are set under different market structures. Moreover students are introduced to topics addressed in more detail will include the form of utility and production functions, and rational decision making and intertemporal choice in the face of uncertainty. Implications for the behaviour and organization of firms will be highlighted throughout.

Course contents

Topics addressed should include:

1.   Introduction to the market and the concept of economic rationality

2.   Consumer Theory

- The budget
- Preferences and Utility
- Choice
- Individual demand (for goods and services)
- Labour supply

3.   Market equilibrium
- Market demand
- Market equilibrium and the implications of taxes on consumption

4.   Producer Theory
- Technology
- Profit maximisation
- Cost minimisation
- Firm supply in a competitive market
- Industry supply in a competitive market
- The implications for supply of non-competitive market structures: Monopoly and Oligopoly

5. The concepts of Externalities and Public Goods may also be introduced.

The first mid-term exam will cover topics 1., 2., and 3., while the second mid-term exam will cover topics 4., and 5.
Full exams can cover material from any of the five topics.


The text book for the course will be:

Varian, Hal R., Intermediate Microeconomics: A Modern Approach, (9th international student edition), published by WW Norton & Co.

It is strongly recommended that students have access to a copy of the textbook.

There is also an accompanying exercise book which students may find useful (though it is not required reading). This exercise book is:

Bergstrom, Theodore C. and Hal R. Varian, Workouts in Intermediate Microeconomics for Intermediate Microeconomics and Intermediate Microeconomics with Calculus, 2014, W.W. Norton & Co.: New York, London.

Copies of teaching materials (slides, exercises) will be published on the university platform IOL - insegnamenti online.

Teaching methods

Traditional lectures led by the course lecturer.

Lessons to work through exercises led by course lecturer or tutor.

Assessment methods

Final written exam of about one and a half or two hours.
Mid term exam(s)/tests FOR CURRENT (1st year) STUDENTS ONLY (students from earlier years must take the full exams).
For students taking the mid-term exams, the final mark for the course will be an average of the marks in the two "partial" exams. Only students with a sufficiently high mark in the first mid-term exam will be admitted to the second partial: other candidates must proceed to the full exams.

During exams (mid-term or full exams) students will NOT be allowed to use materials such as: textbooks, lecture notes/slides; any written notes; web-enabled or data storage devices such as computers (laptops or tablets), or smartphones. Candidates found with such items will be removed from the exam and their work will not be marked.

The exams will contain a mixture of multiple choice (and possibly "fill in the blanks") questions, and computational/open exercises. The division of marks between the different types of question will be indicated on exam papers where this is appropriate.
The content and structure of exam questions is intended to assess familiarity with the material covered in the course lectures, and, in particular, to assess understanding of the theoretical content of the course. The nature of exam questions will closely follow examples covered as exercises during the course, and discussed in lectures/tutorials.

Candidates will be required to enroll for exams via the University's electronic service (currently AlmaEsami). Exam marks will be published via the University's electronic service (AlmaEsami). The mark published after a second partial exam or after a full exam will be the student’s final mark for the course.
After exams students will be entitled to see their script by attending the lecturer’s office hour.
Students will be allowed to reject their final grade for the course exactly ONCE. When exam results are published, the date by when students must notify the course lecturer of their intention to reject their mark, will be communicated to candidates. Notification of the intention to reject must be sent in writing (by email). After the date specified, marks will be electronically registered (verbalizzato).

Teaching tools


Example exercises

Office hours

See the website of Matthew John Wakefield