Market Structure Microeconomics - DOC by qdw14533


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									                      MICROECONOMICS (ECO2023 – CRN 30511)
                                   Three Credit Hours
                           SUMMER B 2004, JUNE 28 – AUG 2
                 6:00 – 10:15 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Room SSB-247


Kleber Saavedra
Phone (407) 282-4036 Home
        (407) 582-1203, VCC Social Sciences Department

I don’t have specific office hours, but I am available on an “as-needed” basis to assist you on any
matter related to the course. I can meet with you before or after class, or at any other mutually
convenient time. Just see me, or contact me by phone or e-mail to set up an appointment. I
always try to respond to phone calls and e-mails within 24 hours.

                                    COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course is an introduction to economic theory and fundamentals of economic analysis.
Emphasis is on the study of microeconomics: market structure, price determination, factors of
production, distribution of income and effects of competition, monopoly and oligopoly on
markets. The student will also be introduced to international trade and the world economy. For
prospective economics majors and students with interests in specialized business curricula,
completion of full Principles of Economics sequence (ECO 2013 and ECO 2023) is highly


Valencia Community College has established four core competencies that describe the learning
outcomes for a Valencia graduate. They are: THINK, VALUE, COMMUNICATE and ACT. These
general competencies are essential to lifelong success. They can be applied in many contexts
and must be developed over a lifetime. They specify how learning can be expressed and
assessed in practice.

                                     COURSE OUTCOMES

We will study how individuals, households and firms make decisions about what to buy, what to
sell, what to pay, what to produce. We will discuss current microeconomic issues, including
government regulation and intervention in specific economic activities, industries and markets.
You will learn what a market is, and how markets shape the world around us, and by the end of
the course, you should be able to understand and intelligently discuss the economic world around
us, from international trade to why athletes are paid so highly. This course will enable students
to apply three competencies (Think, Value, and Communicate). Students will be required to think
critically, to analyze and integrate controversial economic theories and ideas, to draw well-
supported conclusions, and to communicate their conclusions through team discussions, papers
and oral presentations. Outcomes for this course include: increased students’ critical thinking
and communication skills, and improved understanding of microeconomic issues.


1) Required: Microeconomics, Principles, Problems, and Policies, 15th edition. McConnell & Brue
2) Optional: Study Guide to accompany McConnell & Brue

                           OTHER RESOURCES AND MATERIALS

Students may be required to use the following resources throughout the course. Therefore, it is
important that you spend time at the beginning of the course getting acquainted with them.
These resources will also be used in class during the course.

1) Wall Street Journal (available at the LRC, building 6)
2) The internet Resources:
   McConnell’s web page:
   Bureau of Labor Statistics:
   Federal Reserve System:
   Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED):
   The Conference Board:
   Federal Trade Commission:
   FTC and Justice Department on mergers:
   Justice Department Anti-Trust Division:
   Congressional Budget Office:
   For proper grammar (for paper):
   For proper format (for paper): http://www/

                           GRADING POLICIES AND PRACTICES

Grades will be based on the standard VCC grading scale:
       A = 90 – 100; B = 80 - 89; C = 70 - 79; D = 60 - 69
       Test One                                         20.0%
       Test Two                                         20.0%
       Test Three (Final exam - not cumulative)         20.0%
       Six Quizzes                                      15.0%
       Four Team Discussions                            15.0%
       Research paper or Oral presentation              10.0%
                Total                                   100.0%


There will be three tests during the course, each worth 20.0% of the total grade. Students who
fail to take test one or two at the designated time (see course schedule) MUST make
arrangements with me for taking a make-up test. Make-up tests will be approved only in
cases of emergency.


There will be six quizzes during the course. The dates of these quizzes are given on the course
schedule. They will be worth 15% of the total grade (equally weighted at 2.5% each). Quizzes
will be in the form of short-answer and problems, and will be taken at the beginning of each
session and prior to covering the material in class. Therefore, students must read the
chapters assigned prior to coming to class. No “make-up” quizzes are allowed.

                                      TEAM DISCUSSIONS

Team discussions are intended to promote group collaboration and to stimulate an interest in
analyzing and solving important problems of economic policy. They should help students get a
firm grasp of basic principles and analytical tools necessary to think intelligently about economic
problems, make reasoned judgments, draw their own conclusions and communicate their
findings. There will be four team discussions (all in the classroom) during the course, worth
15% of the total grade (3.75% each).          Students will be grouped in teams of 3-6 persons
(depending on class size). Using Pro and Con grids, each team will discuss and, at the end of the
discussion, handwrite and turn in a one-page report on the pros and cons, benefits and costs, of
alternative policy decisions on topics selected for group papers and oral presentations (See
Topics for Research Papers, Team Discussions and Oral Presentations below). The one-page
report must include the students’ own opinion(s) and recommendation(s). Teams will be allowed
to use the textbook, study guide, articles, notes and any other available material. Reports will be
graded based on the Research Paper, Team Discussions and Oral Presentation Rubric provided
below. Students who do not participate in the discussions will receive zero credit for
any discussion missed.


Every student will be required to write a paper or do an oral presentation on a topic selected
from the list provided by the instructor. Students wishing to do their paper or presentation on a
topic not on the list must receive prior approval from the instructor. Students must analyze the
economic theories and ideas covered in the subject matter, make reasoned judgments and draw
their own conclusions. The paper must be 3-5 pages long, single-spaced, and must include
introduction, main body and conclusion(s). An additional page with list of works cited must be
included. Students electing to do a presentation must submit a written summary of it, and must
follow the same format as the paper (introduction, main body and conclusion). Adherence to
intellectual standards of clarity, accuracy, relevance, depth, breadth, logic and professionalism
(see Research Paper, Intellectual Standards below for details) is required. Students are expected
to apply the Think, Value and Communicate competencies. Websites are available for help with
proper grammar and paper format (see above list of internet resources). Both, the paper and the
presentation will be graded based on the Research Paper, Team Discussions and Oral
Presentation Rubric provided below. Oral presentation must be 5-10 minutes. Students must
select their topic by June 30. A rough draft of the paper must be submitted for
review by July 19, and the final version is due by July 28. Oral presentations will
take place during the last week of classes.

                         (Worth up to 5% of Total Grade)

The following five problems/questions are optional and may be completed by those students who
cannot take all the quizzes and/or participate in all the team discussions. They may count for up
to 5% of the total grade (each is worth up to 1%). These assignments must be completed, but
not turned in, by the due dates (see below). I will collect one or more of them without prior
notification; therefore, students must be prepared to turn in assignments due at all times. Any
student who doesn’t turn in the due assignment(s) when requested will receive a grade of
zero. Each assignment must be limited to one page (single space). Incomplete or late
assignments will receive a grade of zero. No make-up assignments are allowed.

Chapter         Question #                       Page             Due Date
Two             Eight                            38               June 30

Four            One                               70              July   12
Seven           Seven                             134             July   14
Ten             One                               202             July   21
Twelve          Five                              250             July   26


Students are expected to read the chapters and material assigned prior to class, as a minimum.
Failure to do so will result in poor grades on quizzes. Students are responsible for the
material assigned.


In addition to the quizzes, team discussions and presentations, classroom activities will include
“minute papers,” end-of-chapter discussions, videos and other activities, as announced by the
instructor. Minute Papers will be part of the review session prior to each of the four tests.
They are intended to help evaluate the effectiveness of the learning process, and to highlight
areas that need further discussion. Students will have an opportunity to submit questions or
concepts/ideas that remain unanswered or need clarification during the review.

                                    STUDENT ATTENDANCE

Students are expected to attend all class sessions. Any student absent two sessions (either in a
row or cumulatively), without a valid excuse, will be warned about the danger of being
withdrawn from the class. Repeated absences after warning will result in withdrawal from the
class. Exceptions for emergencies will be considered. There will be a roll call every single
session. A significant portion of each test is drawn from the classroom material and discussions.
Students missing any class sessions, or that have to leave a class session early, are responsible
for any missed class work and/or related announcements during their absence. It is against
policy to leave a class session early without the instructor’s approval. For text of Student Code of
Classroom Conduct, refer to

                                     ACADEMIC HONESTY

Any form of academic dishonesty on an exam, paper or quiz will result in a grade of F for the
exam, paper or quiz in question, as a minimum penalty. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not
limited to, plagiarism, cheating, furnishing false information, alteration or misuse of documents,
misconduct during a testing session, and misuse of identification with intent to deceive.

                           WITHDRAWAL AND GRADING POLICY

The withdrawal deadline for a “W” grade is July 16. Knowledge of withdrawal policy and
procedures is the student’s responsibility. All students are required to take the final examination
(test four) on August 2. If you do not withdraw and fail to take the required final examination,
you will be assigned a WF (withdrawn failing), which counts toward your GPA. An incomplete (I)
will be assigned only if you are progressing satisfactorily but cannot complete the course
because of an emergency. Full details of grading policy are found in the college catalog.

                         STUDENT CODE OF CLASSROOM CONDUCT

For the complete text of the Valencia Student Code of Classroom Conduct, go to
All students are expected to be familiar with and abide by the provisions of this code.

Research Paper, Team Discussions & Oral Presentation Rubric

                     Levels of Achievement
    Criteria               Excellent                        Good                       Average                 Below Average
                            90-100                          80-89                       70-79                      0-69
Understanding of      Paper/Presentation            Paper/Presentation          Paper/Presentation             Paper/Presentation
topic selected for    demonstrates a high level     shows an intermediate       demonstrates a low level       shows lack of
discussion            of understanding of topic     level of understanding of   of understanding of            understanding. The
                      selected. The reader and      topic selected. The         topic selected. The            reader and listener
                      listener can tell that you    reader and listener can     reader and listener can        are left confused, and
                      have researched the           tell that you have          tell that you have not         do not understand
                      subject matter thoroughly.    researched the subject      done “your homework.”          what you are trying to
                      Rich in Pros and Cons and     matter but wish you had     Pros, Cons and personal        say. Pros, Cons and
                      in personal insight           provided a more in-         insight are limited            personal insight are
                                                    depth analysis. Fair                                       lacking
                                                    amount of Pros, Cons
                                                    and personal insight
Communication of      Complex ideas and             Complex ideas and           Attempt is made to             No serious attempt is
Ideas                 principles are explained in   principles are explained    explain ideas and              made to explain ideas
                      a very clear manner.          but some remained           principles, but few are        and principles. None
                      Relevant details, examples    obscure. Few details,       explained. Hardly any          are explained. No
                      and evidence are              examples and evidence       details, examples or           details, examples or
                      provided.                     are provided.               evidence.                      evidence.
Organization and      Paper/Presentation is very    Paper/Presentation are      Paper/Presentation show        Paper/Presentation
format                carefully organized and       logically organized, and    lapses in organization         disorganized and lack
                      delivered, clearly showing    include introduction,       and focus. Introduction,       focus. No
                      an introduction with clear    detail and conclusion(s).   body of detail and             distinguishable
                      purpose, body of detail       Paper makes references      conclusion(s) hard to          introduction, body of
                      and conclusion(s). Paper      to works cited and          identify. Few references       detail or conclusion.
                      makes proper references       researched, but it is       to works cited and             No references to
                      to works cited and            incomplete and not in       researched, and lacks          works cited or
                      researched. Works cited       proper form. Works          proper format. Works           researched. Works
                      list included.                cited list included.        cited list is incomplete.      cited list is missing.
Delivery of Oral      Oral Presentation. Very       Oral Presentation. Some     Oral Presentation. Very        Presentation very
Presentation          articulate. Rich voice        voice inflection, use of    little voice inflection, use   poor. No voice
                      inflection, use of body       body language, visual       of body language, visual       inflection, use of body
                      language, visual aids, and    aids, and eye contact.      aids, and eye contact.         language, visual aids,
                      eye contact. Very little      Some reading from           Heavy reading from             or eye contact.
                      reading from notes.           notes. At times lost the    notes. Did not gain            Heavy reading from
                      Maintained audience’s         audience’s attention.       audience’s attention.          notes. Lost the
                      attention.                                                                               audience.
Language and          No incorrect spelling,        Very few syntax,            Quite a few syntax,            Too many
Grammar               syntax or punctuation         punctuation or spelling     punctuation and spelling       grammatical errors.
                      errors. No redundancies.      errors. No                  errors and redundancies.       Language is very
                      No improper use of terms.     redundancies. No            Some improper use of           poor, and sentences
                      Language is rich, varied      improper use of terms.      terms. Language is very        are long and
                      and precise. Proper           Language is somewhat        limited and imprecise.         confusing.
                      sentence length and           rich, varied and precise.   Proper sentence length
                      structure.                    Proper sentence length      and structure lacking.
                                                    and structure.

Preparation and       A rich list of works          A decent list of works      Few works researched           Hardly any works
References            Researched and cited.         researched and cited.       and cited. Shows a             researched and cited.
                      Shows a substantial           Shows a fair amount of      little amount of research      Shows hardly any
                      amount of research and        research and                and preparation                effort to do research
                      preparation                   preparation                                                and/or prepare

Research Paper, Team Discussions and Oral Presentation –
Appropriate Methods

      Learning                 Performance Criteria                    Assessment                Instructional Strategies
      Outcomes                                                         Techniques
Achieve a higher level of     Students demonstrate a             Student papers and oral         Strategies will include use of Pro
understanding of complex      superior level of understanding    presentations will be used to   and Con grids, minute papers,
concepts and ideas related    of conflicting viewpoints and      measure achievement of          class discussions, review of current
to topic(s) selected          interpretations of key economic    standards specified in the      events and news.
                              phenomena related to topic         rubric attached.
                              selected. This understanding is
                              supported by students’ ability
                              to explain the ideas and
                              concepts to others by use of
                              specific details, facts, and
                              demonstrated personal
                              reflection and insight.
Develop the ability to        Students demonstrate               Student papers and oral         Strategies will include use of
distinguish between           substantial progress in            presentations will be used to   minute papers, class discussions,
economic facts and            unlearning incorrect or            measure students’ progress      review of current events and
opinions; unlearn incorrect   incomplete knowledge and           toward acquiring a knowledge    news.
or incomplete knowledge       acquiring factual information.     base based on facts.
about economic events
Analyze conflicting ideas,    Students will be required to       Students will show individual   Class discussions, group meetings,
interpretations and           consider multiple viewpoints for   contribution to group           review of current events
perspectives                  each subject analyzed.             discussions of conflicting
                                                                 opinions, team discussion
                                                                 papers and oral presentations
Critically evaluate others’   Students will evaluate             Student papers and oral         Class discussions, group meetings,
points of view.               conflicting perspectives by        presentations will be used to   review of current events
                              making a well-reasoned             measure students’ critique
                              judgment as to the merits of       and evaluation of others’
                              each perspective                   points of view from all sides
                                                                 of the argument.
Draw your own inferences      Students will be required to       Student papers and oral         Class discussions, group meetings,
and conclusions               present their own ideas and        presentations will be used to
                              conclusions on the subjects        determine whether individual
                              considered.                        independent opinions have
                                                                 been presented.

Communicate in writing        Students will communicate          Students’ performance in        Review of effective communication
and orally                    effectively through their oral     effective communication will    standards, including proper
                              presentations, their papers and    be measured using standards     grammar, format and delivery,
                              in class discussions. They will    specified in rubric attached.   found in various communication
                              communicate clearly and make                                       aids including several websites.
                              a distinction between theirs and
                              others’ viewpoints.

                                                                   Student Reflection


Please select a topic for your paper or oral presentation. Write in any
other topic you wish to consider (requires instructor’s advance
     1. Should prostitution be legalized?
     2. What are the impacts of trade sanctions on global and domestic markets?
     3. Should the government redistribute income (i.e., collect money from the rich to give
         to the poor)?
     4. Should free markets exist for human body parts and organs?
     5. Should the US government impose limits on gasoline prices?
     6. Should the minimum wage be increased? Decreased? Abolished?
     7. Why did the Soviet Union collapse? Did free markets help?
     8. Should there be restrictions on how much money people (e.g. CEOs, athletes) can
     9. Should illegal drugs be legalized?
     10. Why did outlawing the sale of alcohol fail?
     11. Should the US government insure health care for all of its citizens?
     12. Should the US government lift the trade embargo (limitations on exports and
         imports) with Cuba?
     13. Should the US government mandate higher fuel economy standards or subsidize the
         production of hybrid cars in order to lessen our dependence on foreign oil?
     14. Is self-interest a good or bad thing?
     15. Are rent controls an efficient solution for providing low-income housing?
     16. Are labor unions good or bad for the US economy?
     17. Should the US government set limits on monetary awards arising from medical
         malpractice lawsuits?
     18. Should there be more or less industrial regulation (regulations on monopolies, legal
     19. Other __________________________________________________ (requires
         instructor’s advance approval).

                                                                              Student Reflection

                                        RESEARCH PAPER
Prepare a 3 to 5-page (single-spaced) essay to address the question/topic selected from the list
provided. You should use as many outside sources as possible to help you gain a complete
perspective on all sides of this controversial question. You must analyze and present at least two
sides of the issue. You must then answer the question based upon your own viewpoint. You
must state how and why your answer ties in with economic theory and principles. A grading
criteria is itemized below that will provide you with insight to the Intellectual Standards that will
determine how your essay will be graded.

                                     Intellectual Standards

            Key Components                         Steps Involved

Clarity: are your topic, purpose, questions,       State concept/problem/issue.
and information clearly stated?                    Elaborate on statement.
                                                   Illustrate with metaphor, analogy, picture.
                                                   Exemplify by giving a concrete example.
Accuracy: is the information from which you        Verify your data.
draw your conclusions accurate and precise?        Use scholarly resources.
                                                   Share sources so community can check them.
Relevance: is the information relevant to the      Show that your writing bears on the issues.
topic/question, is it appropriate to Economic      Answer the questions that you pose.
thinking?                                          Identify how this data/action helps with the
Depth: are the data and the explanation            Identify causal factors, “the why.”
complex enough to address the topic chosen?
Breadth: are multiple viewpoints considered?       Identify perspectives, i.e., historical, national,
Is data gathered across historical periods or      cultural, political, biological.
cross-nationally?                                  Consider alternative points of view.
Logical: does your reasoning make sense? Do        Premises support, not contradict each other.
you contradict yourself? Do your                   Effects follow from causes.
conclusions/actions follow logically?              Conclusions/actions are relevant to the issues.
                                                   Multi-causality and over-determination are
Professionalism: Is your work neat? Would          Papers must be typed and single spaced
your paper be accepted in the business world?      -1 errors from not proof reading
                                                   -2 errors from not checking spelling
                                                   -3 Other grammatical errors

                                        COURSE SCHEDULE*
                                          *Subject to Change
Date     Assignments                                            Classroom Activities
Jun 28   Chapter 1, The Nature and Method of Economics          Review of Syllabus and Course Schedule
         Appendix: Graphs and Their Meaning                     Discussion – Questions, Chapter 1
         Chapter 2, The Economizing Problem                     Discussion – Questions, chapter 2
Jun 30   Chapter 3, Individual Markets: Demand & Supply         Quiz # 1 On Chapters 3, 4
         Chapter 3, continued                                   Video on Equilibrium
                                                                Discussion – Questions, chapter 3
         Chapter 4, The Market System                           Chapter 2 Optional Question due
         Selection of Topic for Papers/Team                     Discussion – Questions, chapter 4
         Discussion/Oral Presentations
Jul 7    Chapter 5, U.S. Economy: Private and Public Sectors    Quiz # 2 on Chapters 5, 6
         Chapter 6, The United States in the Global Economy     Discussion – Questions, chapter 5
                                                                Discussion – Questions, chapter 6
         Review Chapters 1-6 (Minute Paper)                     Team Discussion # 1 on Topic Selected
Jul 12   Test on Chapters 1-6                                   Test One, 6:00 – 7:15 pm
                                                                Chapter 4 Optional Question due
         Chapter 7, Elasticity and Government-Set Prices        Discussion – Questions, chapter 7
         Chapter 8, Consumer behavior & Utility Maximization    Discussion – Questions, chapter 8
Jul 14   Chapter 9, The Costs of Production                     Quiz # 3 on Chapters 9, 10
                                                                Discussion – Questions, chapter 9
                                                                Chapter 7 Optional question due
         Chapter 10, Pure Competition                           Discussion – Questions, chapter 10

Jul 19   Chapter 11, Pure Monopoly                              Quiz # 4 on Chapter 11
         Rough Draft of Paper Due                               Discussion – Questions, chapter 11
         Review Chapters 7-11 (Minute Paper)                    Team Discussion # 2 on Topic Selected

Jul 21   Test on Chapters 7-11                                  Test Two, 6:00 – 7:15 pm
         Chapter 12, Monopolistic Competition & Oligopoly       Chapter 10 Optional question due
                                                                Discussion – Questions, chapter 12
                                                                Team Discussion # 3 on Topic Selected

Jul 26   Chapter 13, Technology, pp. 252-261                    Quiz # 5 on Chapters 13, 14, 15
         Chapter 14, The Demand for Resources, pp. 274-277,     Chapter 12 Optional question due
         279-281, 284-287                                       Discussion – Questions, chapter 13
                                                                Discussion – Questions, chapter 14
         Chapter 15, pp. 292-296, plus Unions (pp. 299-302);    Discussion, Questions chapter 15
         Minimum Wage (page 304)                                Team Discussion # 4 on Topic Selected
Jul 28   Final Papers Due                                       Oral Presentations (TBD)
         Chapter 16, Sections on Interest only (pp. 317, 318,   Quiz # 6 on Chapters 16, 19
         320-322)                                               Discussion – Questions, chapter 16
         Chapter 19, Antitrust Policy & Regulation              Discussion – Questions, chapter 19
Aug 2    Review Chapters 12-16,19 (Minute Paper)
         Final Exam (Chapters 12-16, 19)                        Final Exam 8:30 – 10:15 pm


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