Teaching plan for the course unit



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General information


Course unit name: Microeconomics

Course unit code: 364543

Academic year: 2021-2022

Coordinator: Miquel Juan Ferrer

Department: Department of Economics

Credits: 6

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 150


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture with practical component

Face-to-face and online




-  Problem-solving class

Face-to-face and online



Supervised project


Independent learning




Competences to be gained during study



CB2 - Capacity to apply knowledge and understanding in a manner that indicates a professional approach to the work or vocation, and have competences typically demonstrated through devising and sustaining arguments and solving problems within the field of study.


CG8 - Capacity to communicate in English and/or other foreign languages orally and in writing, comprehension skills, and mastery of specialized language.


CB5 - Learning skills that are necessary to undertake further study with a high degree of autonomy.


CG3 - Capacity for learning and responsibility (capacity for analysis, synthesis, to adopt global perspectove and to apply knowledge in practice).


CG10 - Capacity to apply ICTs to professional activities.


CE3 - Understanding of the structure and operation of international markets, to detect the potential implications of increasing internationalization and the new global framework.

Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

— Understand the basic principles of economics.

— Acquire knowledge of the main instruments of economic theory for interpreting economic situations.

— Understand the tools and models behind the decisions made by economic agents: consumers (demand) and companies (supply).

— Understand how markets operate and how equilibrium is determined in perfect competition markets and monopoly markets.

— Discuss the conditions that justify possible public sector intervention in markets and analyse the consequences.


Referring to abilities, skills

— Be able to calculate different types of elasticity and understand their application to real situations.

— Learn to determine market equilibrium.

— Be able to quantify consumer surplus and producer surplus and changes in welfare in different situations.

— Be able to calculate the market effects of a tax or duty.

— Learn the relationships between the production functions of a company and its total, average and marginal costs.

— Understand how competitive companies maximise profits.


Referring to attitudes, values and norms

— Develop an analytical and critical intellectual approach to socio-economic phenomena.

— Acquire regular work habits through continuous assessment.

— Develop greater critical skills through critical analysis of the models studied.



Teaching blocks


1. Introduction to economics

1.1. Introduction to economics

— Principles of economics
— The circular-flow diagram
— Microeconomics and macroeconomics
— The production possibilities frontier
— Positive and normative statements
— Absolute advantage and comparative advantage

2. Demand, supply and market equilibrium; Extensions and applications

2.1. Demand and supply

— Competitive markets
— Demand curve
— Supply curve
— Market equilibrium

2.2. Welfare and efficiency

— Consumer surplus
— Producer surplus
— Market efficiency
— Efficiency and equity

2.3. Elasticities

— The price elasticity of demand
— Demand, price elasticity and revenue
— Other demand elasticities
— The price elasticity of supply

2.4. Government policies

— Controls on prices
— Taxes
— Subsidies

2.5. International trade

— World price, imports and exports
— Effects of a tariff
— Arguments supporting trade restrictions

2.6. Market failures

— Externalities
— Public goods and common resources
— Asymmetric information

3. Theory of the firm and perfect competition

3.1. Theory of the firm: production and costs

— The production function
— Production and costs
— Types of costs
— Costs in the short and the long run

3.2. Perfect competition

— Profit maximisation
— Supply curve in a competitive market
— Short-run decisions and long-run decisions
— Long-run equilibrium

4. Imperfect competition

4.1. Monopoly

— Price discrimination
— Multi plant monopoly
— Regulation of monopoly

4.2. Oligopoly

4.3. Monopolistic competition



Teaching methods and general organization


The methodology is based on two main types of activities: lectures and directed learning activities, and independent study.

First, students attend two types of lectures:
a) Lectures with a practical component, during which the lecturer presents the concepts of each topic and the theoretical tools to analyse them, providing examples of their application, during 3 hours per week.
b) Problem-solving classes or directed learning activities, which are used to work through numerical exercises and/or to discuss texts and specific problems related to the content covered in class. Students are expected to prepare the texts and problems in advance. There is a total of 10 hours per semester (1 hour per week).

Second, students are required to carry out directed learning activities (outside class hours), which should include reading through the recommended bibliography and completing exercises and assignments set in class.

Students should also conduct independent study, including revision of lecture notes, reading complementary texts and materials and preparing for continuous assessment tests and the final examination.

The study load for these two types of activities should be roughly equal (100 and 50 hours, respectively).



Official assessment of learning outcomes


Face-to-face continuous assessment

Face-to-face continuous assessment is the default assessment procedure for all students, except for those who, for any reason, do not sit the continuous assessment tests (CATs) and only take the face-to-face final examination.

Therefore, face-to-face continuous assessment consists of TWO mid-term activities on the content of the subject. The fist mid-term activity includes blocks 1 and 2 of the syllabus and the second mid-term activity, blocks 3 and 4.

Each of these mid-term activities consists of:

  1. A continuous assessment test (CAT1 and CAT2) of 20 multiple-choice questions, one short-answer question on theory or practical content, and one problem to be solved. These two tests account for 80% of the mark for each mid-term activity. The dates of each CAT will be posted on the Virtual Campus.
  2. Ad hoc assignments proposed by the teacher related to the blocks of the subject and that account for 20% of the mark for each mid-term activity.

Students who obtain a mark of 5 or higher out of 10 in a mid-term activity need not be assessed again on its content in the final exam (blocks 1 and 2 in the first mid-term activity and blocks 3 and 4 in the second).

If the mark for both parts is equal to or higher than 5 out of 10, students obtain a pass grade for the subject and do not have to sit the face-to-face final examination. The final grade obtained will be the average of the two mid-term activities.

NB. Students who obtain a fail mark of 4 or higher in one of the mid-term activities, but whose final grade for the subject is equal to or higher than 5 out of 10 will also pass the subject. In this case, the final grade will also be the average of the two mid-term activities.

Repeat assessment

The repeat assessment examination has the same structure as the single assessment exam and is the same for all students. Continuous assessment results are not carried over for repeat assessment.


Examination-based assessment

Face-to-face single assessment

All students are entitled to single assessment, which consists of a face-to-face final examination on the whole content of the subject.

Students who wish to be entered for single assessment must not submit the mid-term activities.

The face-to-face final examination contains the following types of questions, and each section is weighted as shown:

— Test of 20-30 multiple-choice questions (correct answers: +1 point, blank answers: 0 points, and incorrect answers: -0.25 points). Students must obtain a mark of 3.5 or higher to be eligible for a final grade. 40%.
— Two short-answer questions on theory or practical content. 30%.
— Two problem-solving questions. 30%.
Students who have not passed one of the two mid-term activities only need to answer the questions corresponding to the blocks included in the failed mid-term activity.

Face-to-face repeat assessment

The repeat assessment examination has the same structure as the single assessment exam and is the same for all students. Continuous assessment results are not carried over for repeat assessment.



Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB


Nechyba, Thomas J. Intermediate Microeconomics. An intuitive approach with calculus. Cengage. EMEA Edition. 2018

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

KRUGMAN, Paul R. and Robin WELLS. Microeconomics. 4th edition. New York:  Worth Publishers, 2015

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

MANKIW, N. Gregory. Principles of Microeconomics. 8th edition. London: Cengage Learning, 2016

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

VARIAN, Hal R. Intermediate microeconomics : a modern approach. 9th ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2014

Catāleg UB  Enllaç