ECON1101 Microeconomics 1 - 2019

ECON1101
Undergraduate
Term 1
6 Units of Credit
On Campus
Economics
This course outline is for the current semester. To view outlines from other years and/or semesters, visit the archives

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

Economics is a social science which studies the ways in which people interact with one another and make decisions in a world with limited resources. The goal of this course is to provide you with the basic tools to “think like an economist” – that is, to be able to use basic economic principles to ask and answer questions about how the world works and the effects of policies. We will cover topics such as how individuals or firms make decisions about the demand or supply of a product, how we can determine the efficiency of a market, and how we evaluate the costs and benefits of government intervention in a market.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to microeconomic analysis. It outlines the theory of markets with relevant applications to individual, social and business issues.

ECON1101 is a core requirement for all students in the BCom and BEc programs. Additionally, ECON1101 is a prerequisite for ECON1102 and all courses in the School of Economics with a course code number beginning with 2 or 3. No previous study of economics is assumed.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeDrScott French Room 470, Business School building - Ref E129385 5352Wednesday, 1:30-3:30pm, and by appointment
LecturerDrAlberto MottaRoom 3124, Quadrangle Building - Ref E159385 9771Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30-11:30am, and by appointment
Lecturer    Peter NicholsRoom 465, Business School building - Ref E129385 9935Friday 10:30-1:30pm
Tutor-in-charge    Mitchell KazmierczakRoom 410, Business School building - Ref E12
Tutor-in-charge    Shreya DhallRoom 410, Business School building - Ref E12

Communication with staff

Note: The primary point of contact for the course is ECON1101@unsw.edu.au. Emailing this address ensures that your enquiry will be directed to the most appropriate person and responded to promptly. Please only contact lecturers or tutors directly if specifically instructed to do so.

Whom to contact?

Subject material: Questions about course content should be discussed in lectures, tutorials, consultation hours, or on the course website. It is very likely that your question has already been asked and addressed by your peers on the course website. If not, post it on the appropriate page, where it can be addressed by other students, tutors, or lecturers. Discussion of course subject material will not be entered into via lengthy emails.

Personal enquiries: All questions of a personal nature, such as questions regarding in-Term marks, special consideration, supplementary exams, etc., should be sent to the primary course email address: ECON1101@unsw.edu.au.

Enrolment: General enquiries relating to your program or enrolment in the course or tutorials should be directed to your Program Authority (for Business School students, this is the Student Centre in Quad 1028).

Online access: Technical enquires relating to your UNSW logins or Moodle access should be directed to the UNSW IT Service Centre on 9385 1333. For issues relating to access to course content in Moodle, please contact Trish Cann.

Playconomics: Instructions for how to sign up for Playconomics are on the course Moodle page. For technical issues regarding access to Playconomics, please contact the Playconomics team at support@lionsheartstudios.com.

Pitstop and PASS

In the weeks leading up to final exams, the School will provide Pitstop, an opportunity for consultation with tutors as you prepare for exams. Details of Pitstop locations and hours for this course will be advised closer to the time.

PASS (the Peer Assisted Support Scheme) is a system of voluntary study groups available to ECON1101 students. The groups are led by senior students and are an opportunity to practice problems, develop study methods, ask questions, and consolidate your knowledge in a friendly, informal environment. The timetable will be available from the Course Website around Week 2.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

Lecture Structure

This course is offered in both a traditional lecture/tutorial format and a blended section. In the blended section, students learn the lecture content and interact with lecturers online but still attend a weekly tutorial on campus. The blended section gives students to flexibility to learn the course content when and where they choose, while receiving personalised feedback throughout the Term both online through the course website and in person in weekly tutorials.

Students enrolled in a traditional lecture section are expected to attend both lectures and tutorials each week and will also have access to the course’s online features. Only students who are enrolled in a lecture section will be guaranteed a seat in the lecture theatre.

All students will sit the same final exam on campus.

Approach to Learning and Teaching

The philosophy underpinning this course and its Teaching and Learning Strategies are based on “Guidelines on Learning that Inform Teaching at UNSW".

The lectures, tutorials and assessment have been designed to appropriately challenge students and support the achievement of the desired learning outcomes. A climate of inquiry and dialogue is encouraged between students and tutors and amongst students (in and out of class). The lecturer and tutors aim to provide meaningful and timely feedback to students to improve learning outcomes.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

The examinable content of the course is defined by the assigned text, lecture content, tutorial materials, and any additional material provided by the Lecturer-in-Charge.

Students will be taught the “core principles” of economics and given practice at applying these principles to everyday problems. The aim is to teach students to “think like an economist”, whether it is in everyday or business situations.

Lectures

The purpose of the Lectures is to:

  1. Provide a logical structure for the course topics
  2. Emphasise the important concepts and methods for each topic
  3. Provide relevant examples that apply the key concepts and methods

Tutorials

The purpose of Tutorials is to provide an opportunity for small group discussion of the application of economic concepts and methods can be applied. They also provide practice and feedback in answering questions relevant to the course, both verbally and in writing. To facilitate this process, students should attempt the set of weekly Tutorial Questions before each tutorial. Complete solutions for each set of Tutorial Questions will be posted the following week.In the tutorials, the tutor will address only those questions that students find particularly difficult. Thus, not all the questions will be covered during tutorials. Questions that are not covered in the tutorials can be attempted in PASS or discussed with your peers on the course website.

Out-of-Class Study

It is important to note that most learning will be achieved outside of class time. Remember that lectures can only provide a structure to assist your study, and tutorial time is limited. An “ideal” weekly learning strategy look like the following:

  1. Read the relevant textbook chapter(s), and play the Playconomics online game, consulting the course materials as needed to reach achievements in the game.
  2. Attend Lectures. Here, the course content will placed in context, and the key elements of each topic will be highlighted.
  3. Attempt Tutorial Questions before attending tutorials. This will provide a self test of your understanding, guide your re-reading of specific parts of the text, and allow you make the most of the time spent in tutorials.
  4. Attend PASS to work with other students in the course.

5. Course Resources

Course website

The Course Website contains all course content, including the textbook, tutorial questions, and forums to ask questions and discuss course material. The website can be accessed through Playconomics. Instructions for how to sign up for Playconomics are accessible via UNSW Moodle.

Students should consult the course website regularly, as it contains important information about the course. It will be assumed that all students have seen all material posted on the course website.

Course announcements will be posted on Moodle.

Required textbook

  • Motta, A., Dobrescu, L.I., Faravelli, M., McWhinnie, S. (2015) Principles of Microeconomics (4th ed.), ebook (included in the Playconomics package)

This textbook has been created specifically for this course. The textbook examinable content is defined in the Course Schedule, and includes all Tutorial Questions. The required textbook is available as part of the Playconomics package.

Playconomics

Information on signing up for Playconomics is available on the course Moodle page. Students will have to create a new Playconomics account. From their account, students will be able to purchase the complete version of Playconomics, which includes remote access to the course webpage, with the required e-book integrated (including educational videos, Tutorial Questions, etc.), and the game.

Students who are unable or unwilling to purchase a license will be able to access the course website, textbook, and game using selected PCs in our on-campus computer lab. Please contact the lecturer-in-charge for further information.

For any technical issues, please email support@lionsheartstudios.com.

Optional Readings

The following texts are available in the library:

  • Bajada, C., Jackson, J. McIver, R. Wilson, E., (2012), Microeconomics, (3th Ed.),McGraw-Hill International Book Co., Sydney.
  • Frank, R. H., Jennings, S. & Bernanke, B.S., (2012), Principles of Microeconomics,(3rd ed.), McGraw-Hill International Book Co., Sydney.
  • Gans, Joshua, Stephen King, Robin Stonecash, and N. Gregory Mankiw (2011).Principles of Economics. Cengage Learning.

Students who would like to improve their professional writing ability may consult:

  • Faigley, F. (2011), The Little Penguin Handbook, (Australasian ed.) Pearson, Australia.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

 

The School of Economics strives to be responsive to student feedback.  If you would like more information on how the design of this course and changes made to it over time have taken students’ needs and preferences into account, please contact the Director of Education at the School of Economics.

7. Course Schedule

Note: for more information on the UNSW academic calendar and key dates including study period, exam, supplementary exam and result release, please visit: https://student.unsw.edu.au/new-calendar-dates
Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Week 1: 18 FebruaryLectures

Introduction/Administration

Comparative Advantage and the Basis for Trade

Read Chapter 1

Week 2: 25 FebruaryLectures

Supply in Perfectly Competitive Markets

Read Chapter 2

Tutorial

Introduction/Administration

Comparative Advantage and the Basis for Trade

Attempt Chapter 1 tutorial questions.

Week 3: 4 MarchLectures

Demand in Perfectly Competitive Markets

Demand & Supply: An Equilibrium Analysis

Read Chapters 3 and 4

Tutorial

Supply in Perfectly Competitive Markets

Attempt Chapter 2 tutorial questions

Week 4: 11 MarchLectures

Demand & Supply: An Equilibrium Analysis (continued)

Government Intervention

Read Chapters 4 and 5

Tutorial

Demand in Perfectly Competitive Markets

Attempt Chapter 3 tutorial questions

There will be a written assessment in Week 4 tutorials. Students must attempt the assessment in the tutorial in which they are enrolled.

Week 5: 18 MarchLectures

Government Intervention (continued)

International Trade

Read Chapters 5 and 6

Tutorial

Demand & Supply: An Equilibrium Analysis

Government Intervention

Attempt Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 tutorial questions

Week 6: 25 MarchLectures

Market Power: Monopoly

Read Chapter 7

Tutorial

Government Intervention (continued); International Trade

Attempt Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 tutorial questions

The mid-term test will take place on Saturday, 30 April. Consult the course website for information regarding the time and location.

Week 7: 1 AprilStudy Break

There are no lectures or tutorials this week.

Week 8: 8 AprilLectures

Market Power: Oligopoly

Externalities

Read Chapters 8 and 9

Tutorial

Market Power: Monopoly

Attempt Chapter 7 Tutorial Questions

Week 9: 15 AprilLectures

Public Goods

Revision

Read Chapter 10

There will be no lectures on 19 April due the Good Friday public holiday. Students enrolled in these lectures should attend another lecture this week or review all lecture content online.

Tutorial

Market Power: Oligopoly; Externalities

Attempt Chapter 8 and Chapter 9 tutorial questions

There will be no tutorials on 19 April due the Good Friday public holiday. There will be additional tutorials scheduled during the week beginning 29 April to make up the missed content.

Week 10: 22 AprilTutorial

Externalities (continued)

Public Goods

Revision

Attempt Chapter 9 and Chapter 10 tutorial questions

There will be no tutorials on 22 and 25 April due the Easter and ANZAC Day public holidays. There will be additional tutorials scheduled during the week beginning 29 April to make up the missed content.

8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

 

UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.




Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.

Plagiarism

UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz: https://student.unsw.edu.au/plagiarism-quiz

Cheating

The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at: https://student.unsw.edu.au/aim.

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: https://student.unsw.edu.au/plagiarism as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: http://subjectguides.library.unsw.edu.au/elise. For information on student conduct see: https://student.unsw.edu.au/conduct.

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: https://student.unsw.edu.au/referencing. If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.


Student Responsibilities and Conduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.

Workload

It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload

Attendance

Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.



Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School Education Quality and support Unit (EQS)
The EQS offers academic writing, study skills and maths support specifically for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, and individual consultations.
Level 1, Room 1033, Quadrangle Building.
bschoolconsults@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 7577 or 02 9385 4508

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning Centre
The UNSW Learning Centre provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
learningcentre@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 2060

Educational Support Service
Educational Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process. Check their website to request an appointment or to register in the Academic Success Program.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
advisors@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 4734

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
externalteltsupport@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT
UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
itservicecentre@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 1333

Disability Support Services
UNSW Disability Support Services provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or who have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. Disability Advisers can arrange to put in place services and educational adjustments to make things more manageable so that students are able to complete their course requirements. To receive educational adjustments for disability support, students must first register with Disability Services.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
disabilities@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
counselling@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 5418


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