This collection contains the California Open Educational Resources Council (CA OER) list of peer-reviewed textbooks for Principles of Microeconomics (common course-id ECON 201) , one of the top 50 college courses identified for inclusion in the California Open Online Library for Education (COOLforEd).
This is an introductory course focusing on choices of individual economic decision-makers. Topics include scarcity, specialization and trade, market equilibrium, elasticity, production and cost theory, market structures, factor markets, and market failure.
Minimum Units: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): Elementary Algebra
Advisories/Recommendations: Intermediate Algebra
Course Content: Fundamentals of Economic Thinking Scarcity Opportunity Costs Production Possibilities Marginal Analysis Rational Behavior Positive v. Normative Distinction How Markets Operate Definition of a market Factors of production Supply and demand Price mechanism Producer and consumer surplus Price controls Elasticity Consumer demand Production and cost in the firm Introduction to the production function Marginal and average product Law of diminishing returns Explicit and implicit cost Accounting profit v. economic profit Total cost, average cost and marginal cost in short-run Short-run production decisions Long run average cost curve Economies and diseconomies of scale Market structures Perfect competition Monopoly Monopolistic competition Oligopoly Introduction to factor markets Market failure and public policy Specialization and gains from trade
Laboratory Activities (if applicable):
Course Objectives: At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
Utilize the concept of scarcity to explain economic trade-offs, opportunity costs, and rational behavior. Calculate and interpret measures of elasticity. Demonstrate how markets function and what happens in the presence of market failures. Analyze production and costs of the firm. Demonstrate how firms attempt to optimize their objectives in response to price signals under a variety of market structures in the short and long-run.
Methods of Evaluation: Assessed written work is recommended for this course and may include any of the following (colleges are encouraged to work with local CSU and UC departments to determine writing requirements):
This low-cost textbook v2.0 available from Flat World Knowledge introduces college students to microeconomics. Authors Rittenberg and Tregarthen have written both a microeconomics and macroeconomics textbook and use integrating themes to present economics so that students realize that it is a unified discipline and not an array of seemingly unrelated topics. The integrating theme for microeconomics is the marginal decision rule, a simple approach to choices that maximize the value of some objective. Following its presentation in an early microeconomics chapter, the marginal decision rule becomes an integrating device throughout the discussion of microeconomics.
Each chapter features pedagogical devices to aid student mastery:
Heads Up sections clarify potentially confusing aspects of each concept.
You Try It sectionsencourage students to walk through scenarios related to concepts and ideas.
Case In Point sections feature real-world applications to ground the concepts in reality.
Bookboon’s free text authored by Sanjay Rode provides an explanation of modern microeconomic theories with simple examples in 5 chapters. Consumer equilibrium, production function, game theory, information economics and social welfare are the major topics of this book. It features systematic analysis of consumer utility and behavior illustrating the decision making of the consumer.
Each chapter features questions at the end and chapter 6 provides a bibliography for further exploration.
Russell and Andrew’s open textbook presents all the theory that is standard in Principles books. But by beginning with applications, students get to learn why this theory is needed. The authors take the kind of material that other authors put in “applications boxes” and place it at the heart of their book.
Each chapter is built around a particular business or policy application, such as minimum wages, the stock exchange, and auctions. The authors’ applications-first approach ensures that students will not see chapters with titles like “Cost Functions” or “Short-Run Fluctuations”. They introduce tools and ideas as and when they are needed. Each chapter is designed with two goals. First, the application upon which the chapter is built provides a “hook” that gets students’ attention. Second, the application is a suitable vehicle for teaching the principles of economics.
Important tools appear over and over again, allowing students to learn from repetition and to see how one framework can be useful in many different contexts. These are collected separately in a “toolkit” that provides students with an easy reference and also gives them a condensed summary of economic principles for examination preparation.
OpenStax College's text authored by Taylor and Greenlaw covers the scope and sequence for a one-semester microeconomics course. The text also includes many current examples, including; the Keystone Pipeline, Occupy Wall Street, and debates over the minimum wage. The pedagogical choices, chapter arrangements, and learning objective fulfillment were developed and vetted with feedback from educators dedicated to the project. The outcome is a balanced approach to economics and to the theory and application of economics concepts.
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