This course provides a set of tools appropriate for economic analysis. The applications are broad and include all fields of economics. The student:
- Learns how to set up and solve the most common decision problems economic agents (consumers, firms) face.
- Gets familiar with the main variables that influence the behavior of economic agents.
- Learns the basic concepts of Consumer Theory: preferences, utility functions, marginal rate of substitution, budget set, demand functions, consumer surplus.
- Is introduced to the concepts of uncertainty and risk, attraction and aversion to risk, risk premium, use and value of information.
- Learns the basic concepts of the Theory of the Firm: inputs and outputs, production function, opportunity cost, sunk costs, fixed and variable cost, total, average and marginal cost, short and long run costs, supply function.
- Takes the first steps in the analysis of the implications of regulatory policies in competitive and monopolistic markets (price controls, quotas, taxes and subsidies, tariffs).
The course material teaches students how to:
- Frame economic problems by using formal models amenable to quantitative analysis.
- Use standard methods to solve decision problems.
- Apply equilibrium analysis to identify the results of the interactions of economic agents.
The course encourages students to:
- Analyze economic problems without prejudices, and with precision and rigor.
- Reason critically.
- Learn autonomously.
- Argue a viewpoint showing its foundation and appreciating the merits of other opinions.