Economics shows us that incentives are important. The insights provided are relevant for decision-makers in industry or politics. Starting with the classic theory of consumer behaviour and market equilibrium, the module traces the role of incentives and its consequences for social welfare in a variety of economic situations. Basic game theory, imperfect competition, public goods and information economics are covered.
This is a basic theory course, but the content is applicable in every country. The examples used in this module can be applied to any firm or decision.
All of the resources for this module are available on the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).
Full module specification
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 1: |
The aim of the module is to develop the basic tools for analysing problems of resource allocation used by economists working in research, government and business. The module deals with positive and normative problems. It seeks to include modern developments without being overly mathematical, and to develop a capacity to apply economic concepts to real-world problems
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. represent the key ingredients of microeconomic problems in the form of tractable models
- 2. solve the models
- 3. derive testable implications of the models
- 4. critically discuss the adequacy of the models
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 5. apply economic reasoning to decision problems
- 6. use economic analysis to construct explanations for observed economic actions
- 7. understand the nature of incentives, game theory and opportunity costs in decision-making
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 8. engage in abstract thinking by extracting the essential features of complex systems to facilitate problem solving and decision-making
- 9. engage in deductive and inductive reasoning to enhance problem solving and decision-making skills
- 10. plan and manage their time effectively in relation to deadlines
- 11. demonstrate a logical argument, analyse and interpret data and evaluate alternative perspectives on the basis of objective reasoning
- 12. communicate and present complex arguments in oral and written form with clarity and succinctness
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Examination||100%||2 hours||1-12||Exam grade|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
The first part of the module covers individual decision making (preference and choice, demand theory, production, choice under uncertainty) and basic concepts of general equilibrium theory. The second part of the module includes introduction into game theory, market equilibrium and market failure, monopoly and oligopoly. An indicative weekly
plan is the following:
• The theory of the consumer.
• Consumer theory: duality
• Further models on consumer behaviour
• Cost/supply and firm objectives,
• The theory of the competitive market.
• Game Theory
• Choice under uncertainty.
• Insurance, risk spreading and pooling
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
The main source for this course is:
Ã¢ï¿½Â¢Ã¯ï¿½Â Varian H.R. (1992), Microeconomic Analysis, 3rd Edition, Norton
The following books are recommended as a supplementary reading:
Ã¢ï¿½Â¢Ã¯ï¿½Â Kreps, D (1990), A course in Microeconomic Theory, Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Ã¢ï¿½Â¢Ã¯ï¿½Â Rubinstein, A (2007), Lecture Notes in Microeconomic Theory, Princeton U Press (www.arielrubinstein.tau.ac.il )
Module has an active ELE page?
Last revision date