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2015/2016  BA-BHAAI1023U  Principles of Microeconomics – a Business Perspective

English Title
Principles of Microeconomics – a Business Perspective

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration Summer
Start time of the course Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Professor Christos N. Agiakloglou, University of Piraeus. agiaklis@unipi.gr
    Sven Bislev - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management (ICM)
Main academic disciplines
  • Economics
Last updated on 09-06-2016
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Explain fully the basic concepts, models, theories and tools used in the principles of microeconomics and use them to analyze economic decisions by individuals and by firms.
  • Identify the foundational assumptions used in their own economic analysis and in the economics analysis of others.
  • Predict the effects of supply and demand changes on the direction of market price and quantity. Use the tools of consumer and producer surplus to identify the gains form exchange and the gains from the ability to manipulate price or quantity (e.g., the effects of barriers to entry, market power, monopolization, price controls, taxes, subsidies, and quotas.)
  • Articulate and explain the systematic nature of economic analysis and address likely secondary effects of particular policies and institutional frameworks.
  • Analyze economic outcomes in terms of their contribution to recognition of scarcity and efficiency.
  • Communicate, discuss, and present sound logical conclusions from their analysis of economic incentives.
Course prerequisites
No prerequisites. Useful background – Algebra.
Principles of microeconomics – a business perspective:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam
Individual or group exam Individual
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer, Ordinary exam: 1-5 August 2016
Retake exam: Within two months from the ordinary exam.
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Closed Book: no aids
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
4 hour written sit-in exam with a new exam question
Course content and structure

The Principles of Microeconomics is the primary foundation for all other neoclassical economic theory including much of macroeconomics. Microeconomic theory principles provide insights into the behavior of both individual and collective actors (firms) in markets. This course is the introductory course in any economics curriculum. It will provide you with an insight into how economists analyze practical problems that present themselves to policy makers in the real world. The concepts are theoretical, but we will develop a "set of tools for analysis" which you will be expected to apply. The materials in this course are used extensively in economics, financial economics, and business.


Economics is ultimately about problem-solving through critical thinking. We are asked to provide logical, well-argued, defensible answers to complex questions. To do this we must strip problems down to their essential assumptions, arguments, and then critically analyze them. We do not expect you to master problem-solving or critical thinking in this one course. We do expect that you will greatly increase your proficiency at these skills.  


We emphasize applications because economics conditions and "answers" are constantly changing. What is transferable, fundamental, and constant is the method of economic analysis which we will develop. The ability to apply these tools to varying situations and to make the results clear to others is what gives value to economic analysis.


The primary focus of this course is on the development of analytical prowess or "critical thinking." The discipline of economics originated within philosophy, rhetoric, logic and mathematics and transitioned through political economy in the 19th century into modern economics.  As a result, economics is a very broad social science drawing upon the interconnectedness of human action. We model human behaviors within particular institutional arrangements.


This course focuses on the behaviors of individuals, firms, and institutional actors. Students should be able to successfully apply time-tested, empirical models of microeconomic behavior. For the Preliminary Assignment students are to read an article by RA Radford entitled “The economic organization of a POW camp” (Economica, 1945). For the Mid-term assignment students will be given a take-home examination covering course materials up to that point and will be similar to the final examination. Its format will be multiple choice and short answer. 




Class 1

Chapter 1 - The Big Ideas
Chapter 2 - The Power of Trade and Comparative Advantage Preliminary Assignment

Class 2

Chapter 3 - Supply and Demand
Chapter 4 - Equilibrium: How Supply and Demand Determine Prices

Class 3

Chapter 5 - Elasticity and Its Applications
Chapter 6 - Taxes and Subsidies

Class 4

Chapter 7 - The Price System: Signals, Speculation, and Prediction
Chapter 8 - Price Ceilings and Floors

Class 5

Chapter 9 - International Trade
Chapter 10 - Externalities: When Prices Send the Wrong Signals

Class 6

Chapter 11 - Costs and Profit Maximization Under Competition
Chapter 12 - Competition and the Invisible Hand

Class 7

Chapter 13 - Monopoly
Chapter 14 - Price Discrimination

Class 8

Chapter 15 - Cartels, Oligopolies, and Monopolistic Competition
Chapter 16 - Competing for Monopoly: The Economics of Network Goods

Class 9

Chapter 17 - Labor Markets
Chapter 18 - Public Goods and the Tragedy of the Commons

Class 10

Chapter 19 - Political Economy and Public Choice
Chapter 20 - Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy

Class 11

Comprehensive Review

Teaching methods
The course is based upon the Socratic Method. Though lecture-based, students are expected to contribute to classes. Periodically, I will also use in-class group work focused on a specific short project such an analyzing a case or article. These sessions are designed to encourage critical thinking and to develop analytical skills. All such exercises will be debriefed with the entire class to ensure that students are internalising the major points of microeconomic relevance.
Student workload
Preliminary assignment 10 hours
Classroom attendance 33 hours
Preparation 144 hours
Feedback activity 7 hours
Examination 12 hours
Further Information


Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 1 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.


Feedback Activity: A feedback activitity defined by the course instructor will take place app. half-way through the course. 


The timetable is available on  http://www.cbs.dk/files/cbs.dk/isup_timetable_2016_updated.pdf

Expected literature


Modern Principles: Microeconomics, 2nd Edition. 2012, 459 pages.

Authors: Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok
Publisher: Worth Publishers (USA)

ISBN-13: 978-1-4292-7454-8 


Hayek, F.A. (1945), “The Use of Knowledge in Society.” American Economic Review, 35(4): 519–30.


Radford, R.A. (1945), “The Economic Organisation of a P.O.W. Camp.” Economica, 12(48): 189-201.


Last updated on 09-06-2016