Economics is the study of how a society addresses the relative scarcity of goods and services within its country.
1. What goods and services to produce?
2. How to produce these goods and services (which combination of inputs, such as labor, capital and land—for the given technology)?
3. The division of current income or output between current consumption and savings for enhanced future consumption, or economic growth.
4. The distribution of those goods and services produced among the population of the country. What degree of inequality will result and what degree of inequality is tolerable?
These questions can be studied from the perspective of macroeconomics (the study of the aggregate or national economy—which would include unemployment and inflation) or microeconomics (the study of the behavior of individual economic agents, like firms, consumers, or workers—detailed below).
- An introduction to economics and the four economic questions.
- An introduction to and explanation of how a capitalist competitive market system addresses the four economic questions.
- The important concept of elasticity or responsiveness of an important economic variable.
- The consumer’s decision of which goods to purchase, given that consumer income is limited, and goods have unit prices to purchase them.
- The study of the firm and the costs for the firm to produce goods and services both in the short run and in the long run.
- The four market structures: perfect competition, monopoly, monopolistic competition, and oligopoly.
- The results of perfectly competitive market, both in the short run and in the long run.
- The study of monopoly, a single firm, detailed, concentrating on the classic monopoly, the natural monopoly, and price discrimination by monopoly firms.
- Perfect competition and monopoly related to monopolistic competition in different market structure.
- Oligopoly is a market with a few firms, characterized by interdependence among the firms. To show this interdependence we will introduce the concept and technique of game theory.
- How the profit-maximizing firm in labor market assesses and compares the marginal revenue product or contribution of labor to the marginal cost hiring labor.
- Market failures: monopoly, externalities (both positive and negative), and public goods. We will discuss the type of government intervention that can correct market failures.
- The key concepts of comparative advantage, specialization, trade (exports for imports) and the consumer gains from international trade.
Each of the topics above will have lectures by Professor Ross with graphs and tables. Also, there will be questions for the students to check their knowledge of the lecture given.
Following this course, a student should be prepared to take the Advanced Placement Test in microeconomics or the International Baccalaureate Exam in Microeconomics. Also, the student who has mastered these concepts will be prepared to study more advanced topics in microeconomics at the university level. The courses can include intermediate microeconomic theory, international trade, industrial organization and business competition, environmental economics, urban economics, labor economics, and economic development.
Welcome to the study of microeconomics, with all its challenges and benefits!
Clark Ross earned his Ph.D. in economics from Boston College. He is the Frontis W. Johnston Professor of Economics at Davidson College. From 1998 to 2013, he was the Dean of Faculty and the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Before that, he was the Chair of the Department of Economics for 15 years. He was the Chief Faculty Consultant for A.P. Economics and the Co-chair of the A.P. Macro Test Development Committee at the College Board. Prof. Ross used to be the Visiting Professor of Economics at Florida State University, Panama City in 2013. Before joining the faculty at Davidson, he was a Research Scientist at the University of Michigan in its Center for Research on Economic Development, and was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics at the College of William and Mary.
Professor Ross was a Malone Fellow with the U.S.-Arab Council, receiving a study-travel award to Oman and the UAE. He received the Thomas Jefferson Award and the Omicron Delta Kappa Teaching Award from Davidson College.
His teaching interests include introductory economics, labor economics, comparative economic systems and economic transition, and U.S. economic history. While his research interests include the Pedagogy of Introductory Economics, Affirmative Action, and Economic Development in Africa.
- Frontis W. Johnston Professor of Economics, Davidson College, USA
- Frontis W. Johnston Professor of Economics, Davidson College, USA
- Former Co-chair of the A.P. Macro Test Development Committee at the College Board, Davidson College, USA
- Former Dean of Faculty/Former Vice President of Academic Affairs, Davidson College, USA
- Former Chair of the Department of Economics, Davidson College, USA
- Ph.D., Economics, Boston College, USA
- B.A., University of Pennsylvania, USA
- Malone Fellow with the U.S.-Arab Council, receiving a study-travel award to Oman and the UAE
- Recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award, Davidson College, USA
- Recipient of the Omicron Delta Kappa Teaching Award, Davidson College, USA
- Former Visiting / Adjunct Professor of Economics Queens University, Charlotte, USA
- Former Visiting Professor of Economics, Florida State University, Panama City, USA
- Former Research Scientist in Center for Research on Economic Development (CRED), University of Michigan, USA
- Former Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics, College of William and Mary, USA
Pedagogy of Introductory Economics, Affirmative Action, and Economic Development in Africa, etc.
- Coauthored, with Prof. Peter Hess, two economics textbooks: Principles of Economics: An Analytical Approach, and Economic Development: Theories, Evidence, and Policies, etc.
1.1 Introduction to the Course
1.2 Introduction to Economics
1.3 Production Possibilities Frontier
CH02 Basic Economic Principles
2.1 Basics of Demand and Supply
2.2 Elasticity and Total Revenue
2.3 Consumer Surplus, Producer Surplus, and Allocative Efficiency
2.4 Price Controls and Unit Taxes
CH03 Consumer and Household Model
3.1 Consumer Model and Product Demand
3.2 Economics of Marriage
CH04 Production and Cost
4.1 Producer: Accounting and Economic Profits
4.2 Short-Run Costs
4.3 Long-Run Costs
CH05 Market Structure
5.1 Market Structures and Optimization
5.2 Perfect Competition: Short Run
5.3 Perfect Competition: Long Run
5.5 Natural Monopoly
5.6 Price Discrimination
5.7 Monopolistic Competition
CH06 Market Failures
6.1 Competition, Externalities, Public Goods
6.2 Input Markets
6.3 Inputs and Labor Market
6.4 Firm's Hiring of Labor
6.5 Income Distribution
6.6 International Trade
6.7 Trade: Constant Cost
6.8 Trade: Increasing Cost