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MICROECONOMICS                                                                                                                   IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE
Martha Stuffler                                                                                                Web Page:
Office B271, Telephone:  (949) 451-5759                                                                                       Email:  
Office Hours:  TTh 9:00-9:30 a.m., 3:30 -- 4:30 p.m., and  Saturday 10 a.m. to noon in Classroom  B118


                                                                  SYLLABUS AND COURSE OUTLINE


Microeconomics studies the behavior of households and business firms; the role of government in a market system; taxation; economic models that include supply and demand, competitive labor markets, international trade, and distinctive market structures.


We employ basic mathematics skills and use graphs extensively in this course.  Your textbook, Chapter 1 Appendix “Working with Graphs and Formulas” will help you gain practice to become comfortable with graphs.    


STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMESUpon completion of this course, you will be able to:

1.    Define and explain the fundamental economic problem of scarcity and its consequences - choice, cost, and economizing;

2.    Use a production possibilities diagram to show and explain the concepts of limits, choice, cost, efficiency, and economic growth.

3.    Construct a supply and demand model and use it to explain how prices are determined in markets.

4.    Employ supply and demand diagrams to evaluate the consequences of legally imposed prices (ceiling and floor prices).

5.    Calculate the elasticity coefficient for supply or demand in a market and interpret the result.

6.    Differentiate the alternative definitions of profit, implicit and explicit costs; and use them to calculate profit given the appropriate data.

7.    Apply the law of diminishing returns to show, calculate, and explain costs in the short run.

8.    Define, explain and evaluate the different market structures.

9.    Determine a firm's profit maximizing (or loss minimizing) quantity and the price given cost and revenue data, for each of the market types.

10.  Critically evaluate the efficiency differences between purely competitive industries and monopolies.

11.  Assess and interpret the market factors that determine the prices and quantities in resource markets.



Microeconomics Resource Guide, 5th edition, 2013, new and unused, by Martha Stuffler outlines course lectures, organizes the structure and format of classroom presentations.  Each student must use their own copy of the Resource Guide during each class to record lecture notes, complete problems, perform graphical analysis and participate in problem solving and class discussions.  In addition, the Guide provides hundreds of practice problems and homework assignments. 

The textbook, Core Microeconomics, 3rd edition 2014, Eric P. Chiang, supplements the course lectures, but does not need to be brought to class.  
A calculator (or you may use your cell phone) and the Resource Guide must be brought to every lecture. 

Three Scantron Forms No. 882 for the three exams.

Access to your IVC email account (or forward your IVC email, my webpage has instructions) and MySite. 

ASSESSMENTS:  Exams are application-oriented and in-depth using multiple choice, short-answer, essay, and graphical analysis based on material covered in lectures and if assigned, outside readings.  Students must complete all parts of the three exams or earn an "F" grade for the course. 

Students must complete all exams on the date and time with the class for which they are registered.  The instructor does not give make-up exams.  If you cannot attend your scheduled exam with advance notice to the instructor, you may take the exam early.  If you miss an exam, since no midterm score may be dropped for grade calculation, you must drop the course or earn an "F". 

                                     Points Possible/Percent

     Midterm 1                         100                25%

     Midterm 2                         100                25%

     Final exam                       100                25%

     Graded Homework          100                25%

                     Total                 400 points = 100%


Homework assignments are tear-out sheets in the back of the Resource Guide. They are collected at the beginning of class on the due date.  Late assignments, if accepted, will bear opportunity costs of a decreased point value.  Any assignment not turned in to the instructor during class and later discovered in the instructor's mailbox will be late or may not be accepted. 


No late assignments will be accepted for any reason if these assignments have been returned to any class.  Missed assignments may not be made up.


GRADING:  Total possible points for the course are 400: 

A = 360 or more points      (90% or higher)

B = 320 to 359 points        (80% but less than 90%)

C = 280 to 319 points        (70% but less than 80%)

D = 240 to 279 points        (60% but less than 70%)

F < 240 points                   (Less than 60% or for cases

                                              of academic dishonesty)

Academic dishonesty includes turning in work that is not your own; removing test questions or other test material from the classroom; discussing test material with students who have not taken the exam; looking at another student's assignment or test and copying their answers, etc.  Students should read and understand this syllabus and the Student Code of Conduct in the class schedule.


The instructor retains graded materials that have not been returned to students for 90 days after grades have been posted.  If any student wishes to review these materials used for grade determination, the student must contact the instructor before this date.  


ATTENDANCE: Students are responsible for all lecture material and assignments given.  If you miss class, ask another student to get assignments, fill in Resource Guide notes, and gain any other information missed.  Your instructor does not provide a copy of notes that you have missed.


If you decide to drop the course, it is your responsibility to drop the course through Admissions and Records.  Deadlines for dropping courses are shown in the class schedule.  Any student who does not complete the course and does not drop the course will earn the grade of "F". The instructor reserves the right to drop any student who misses more than three classes.   


EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY:  A student learns best when he/she knows what is expected and is presented with a challenge.  I will do my best to present complex material in a simplified manner.  I need your classroom participation to know whether or not you grasp the material.  I do not believe in surprises on exams, but they will test your knowledge in-depth.  I will help every student who is sincerely trying to pass the course.  You may reach me by phoning my office or meeting with me during office hours or by appointment.  Please do not hesitate to ask for help at any time during the semester.


INSTRUCTOR MESSAGES:  If you need to reach me, call my office telephone (949) 451-5759 during office hours or leave a voice mail message.  I will return your call as soon as possible.  Meet with me during my office hours or by arranged appointments.  Please do not leave messages for me with office staff. 




1.   Attend each class meeting and complete the lecture material required in the Resource Guide

2.   Complete the Practice Questions and Assignments in the Resource Guide.

3.   Use Launch Pad which comes with the recommended textbook for this course for practice problems and quizzes to identify areas where you need more study. 

4.  Tape record lectures, replay to reinforce learning. 

5.  Ask questions during lectures. 

6.  Expect to spend 6 and dedicate 6 hours in home study per week to be successful in this course. 

7.  Form study groups to discuss and apply concepts.

8.  Read the Resource Guide material and the textbook within 24 hours AFTER the lecture.  Reread the material at least once before exams. 

9.  When assigned, read lessons and chapters covering supply and demand and elasticity five times—they are very challenging concepts. 

10. Students unsuccessful or dissatisfied on first exam should meet with me to discuss their progress. 

READING ASSIGNMENT AND TEST SCHEDULE:  This schedule is tentative and is subject to change at the instructor's discretion based on the pace that we are able to maintain. 


Chapters are listed for the textbook and Lessons are for the Resource Guide.


Unit One:  Read Chapters 1-4. 13, and Lessons 1-4

Week 1/Day 1 – Lesson 1 Introduction to

Week 2/Day 2 – Lesson 2 Production Possibilities

Week 3/Day 3 – Lesson 3 Supply and Demand

Week 4/Day 4 – Lesson 4 Market Failure

Week 5/Day 5 – Lesson 4 and Unit One Test


Unit Two:  Read Chapters , 5, 6, 13 and Lessons 5-9

Week 6/Day 6 – Lesson 5 International Trade     

Week 7/Day 7 – Lesson 7 Consumer Choice  

Week 8/Day 8 – Lesson 6 Elasticity  

Week 9/Day 9 – Lesson 8 Income, Taxes and Govt.   

Week 10/Day 10 – Lesson 9 and Unit Two Test


Unit Three:  Read Chapters 7-10 and Lessons 10-14

Week 11/Day 11 – Lesson 9 Production, Costs, and Profits

Week 12/Day 12 – Lesson 10 Perfect Competition

Week 13/Day 13 – Lesson 10 Perfect Competition

Week 14/Day 14 – Lesson 11 Monopoly

Week 15/Day 15 – Lesson 12 Oligopoly and Game Theory

Week 16/Day 16 – Lesson 13 Monopolistic


Final Exam


Note:   For the 8 week course, each class day covers one week of course material for a comparable 16 week class.  The final exam will be held on the last class meeting.


COPYRIGHT:  My lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, tests, outlines, and similar materials, are protected by US copyright laws. I am the exclusive owner of the copyright for those materials I create. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own use. You may not and may not allow others to reproduce or distribute lecture notes and course materials publicly whether or not a fee is charged without my express written consent. Similarly, you own copyright in your original papers and exam essays. If I am interested in posting your answers or papers, I will ask for your written permission.


© 2014 Irvine Valley College