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University of Exeter Business School

Microeconomic Theory I

Module titleMicroeconomic Theory I
Module codeBEEM137
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Stephen Nei (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This is the first module in microeconomic theory, intended for students who wish to pursue doctoral studies in Economics and related subjects or for students who wish to learn microeconomics at a high technical level. Starting with the classic theory of consumer behavior and production, the module also will cover decision theory and general equilibrium theory.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of the module is to develop the basic tools for formally analysing problems of resource allocation used by economists. After completing this module, you will be able analytically represent and solve economic allocation problems.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. critically evaluate tractable models that form key ingredients of microeconomic problems.
  • 2. formally solve analytical models.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. critically evaluate current frontier research.
  • 4. acquire the analytical skills necessary to transform preliminary ideas into formal models.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. engage in abstract thinking by extracting the essential features of complex systems to facilitate problem solving and decision-making.
  • 6. communicate and present complex formal arguments in written form with clarity and succinctness.

Syllabus plan

The first part of the module covers individual decision making (preference and choice, demand theory) and theory of production. The second part is on decision making under uncertainty, introduction to ambiguity and general equilibrium. Below is an indicative plan:

Part 1:
1. Preferences and choice
2. Demand theory
3. Production theory
Part 2:
4. Decision-making under Risk and Uncertainty, von-Neumann-Morgenstern, Anscombe-Aumann, Savage, introduction to ambiguity
5. Risk and Risk Aversion, 1st and 2nd order stochastic dominance.
6. General equilibrium, existence and uniqueness of equilibrium, first and second theorems of Welfare economics

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Lectures (2 hours per week)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Tutorials (1 hour per week)
Independent Study118Independent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly problem sets50 minutes1-6Oral and written (ELE)

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Mid-Term Exam1050 minutes1-6Oral and written (ELE)
Final Exam903 hours1-6Written (ELE)

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Midterm exam Midterm exam (10%)1-6Aug/Sep
Final examFinal exam (90%)1-6Aug/Sep

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Part 1:
Mas-Colell, A, Whinston, M, Green, J (1995). Microeconomic Theory. New York, Oxford University Press.

Part 2:
Mas-Colell, A, Whinston, M, Green, J (1995). Microeconomic Theory. New York, Oxford University Press.
Wakker, P., (2010), Prospect Theory, CUP, Cambridge.

Key words search

Preferences, demand, production, supply, prices, wealth, risk, uncertainty.

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

Only available to MRes Economics PhD pathways

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date