Econ 410 - Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
Question: Consider what each of these questions have in common:
Answer: They each ask a question about individuals making choices. They have also been addressed, to some extent, in the Economics literature.
Microeconomics is the theoretical study of individual decision-making. If you have been around humans for any period of time, you have undoubtedly recognized the fact that predicting behavior is not an easy task. This course will show how math (specifically Calculus) along with a few assumptions can offer us significant predictions on the way people, groups, and, firms act. The course will be divided into three sections, with the first focusing on Consumer Theory, the second focusing on Producer Theory, and the last focusing on Game Theory.
The course has two major goals:
If your calculus skills are extremely rusty, you might want to consider purchasing "Calculus for the Managerial, Life, and Social Sciences" by Soo T. Tan (you can find an older edition on the cheap).
Besides our primary textbook, you might find additional textbooks helpful in their treatment of the subject matter and the availability of extra problems. If you would like to check-out or purchase a separate textbook, most any "Intermediate Microeconomics" textbook will have similar content, and older additions will likely be just as useful as newer additions. In addition, I have put the following books on 2-hour reserve in the library. Please note the similarities in the book names and authors. Make sure you receive the book you actually requested.
Unless you have a documented visual, auditory, or learning disability requiring the use of a laptop, all laptops and cell-phone usage is restricted during class. The first time you violate the restriction, you will be warned. The second time you will lose all Clicker points for the day. If you are expecting an important phone call (job interview, family illness, etc.), please notify me before class then sit in the back of the class near the exit.
10% of your course grade will be based on your performance on in-class clicker questions (or your Midterm average, whichever is higher). As such, there is an quasi-attendance requirement. If you miss a lecture, please take the following steps in the order listed to obtain the missing material.
In almost every lecture, there will be opportunities for students to earn points by answering questions with their TurningTechnology clickers. Students are required to bring their clickers to lecture each day. There are no opportunities to make up missed clicker points. However, in order to allow for illness, technical problems, and other unforseen emergencies, there is a 10% curve on your clicker score (not to exceed a total score of 100%).
Prior to Thursday, August 22, you must register your clicker with TurningTechnologies. The instructions and registration links are available as Quick Links to your left, or can be reached through
Using any clicker other than your own is a violation of the Honor Code. Having another individual use your clicker is a violation of the Honor Code.
There are no formal recitation sections in this course. However, at certain points throughout the semester you will be given an eRecitation to watch. The eRecitations are self-contained lectures relating to topics that lend themselves to self-study. You are responsible for the content in the same manner as a regular lecture, but you may watch it at any time during the week. One week after each eRectiation is posted, you will likely have an in-class clicker question(s) or homework questions(s) related to the material. It is estimated that you will have approximately 5 eRecitations throughout the semester.
The eRecitations are created as Flash presentations. As such, you need a Flash-enabled system to have full operability. This means you won't get the full eRecitation experience on an iPad. The library has Flash-enabled browsers available for those who only own non-Flash enabled systems. If, however, you do not care about full operability and only want to watch the eRecitations (without seeing the in-video questions), then you can watch the .mp4's on almost any device.
Throughout the semester, whenever regular UNC classes meet on a Monday-Wednesday, extended sessions will be held according to the following schedule. A graduate TA will be present during each session to answer any questions you have not concerning the current homework assignment. The sessions are first-come, first-serve, with a 20 minute limit per individual if multiple students are waiting. If no students are waiting, you can spend as much time as you need with the graduate TA.
|Day Session(s)||3:30-5:30pm GA09||N/A||12:30-3:30pm GA09||N/A||N/A|
|Evening Session||6:00-8:00pm GA07||6:00-8:00pm GA07||6:00-9:00pm GA07||N/A||N/A|
To find the time/location of an EIM session, please refer to the Course Calendar Quick Link to the left or directly navigate to http://tinyurl.com/econ410-calendar.
On evenings for which a HW Help Session is scheduled, the HW Help Session will take the place of the EIM session.
In addition to the Standard EIM Sessions, we will also be offering Flex EIM Sessions. Specifically, if you would like to meet with a TA on Thursday or Friday or have a schedule conflict preventing you from attending the Standard EIM Sessions, you may request a Flex EIM Session by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. In your request, please include the following:
TA's will be holding up to 8-hours of Flex Sessions per week, on a first-come/first-serve basis. Each student may request up to an hour per week. On high-demand weeks, we will limit the Sessions to 30 minutes per student. Multiple students can attend a single Flex Session, if desired. If four or more students would like to attend a single Session, they may request a 2-hour Group Session.
If you are requesting a Physical Flex Session, the location will likely be in the TA's office, although specifics will be determined on a Session-by-Session basis.
If you the Course Calendar shows a TA should be attending an EIM session but a TA is not present, please use the Quick Links on the left to send an email to the Head TA and me so we can get someone to the session as quickly as possible.
Besides the EIM sessions, throughout the week graduate TA's will be available to answer email questions. From Monday-Thursday, if you send an email you should expect a response within 24 hours. From Friday-Sunday and on holidays you should expect a response within 48 hours. Please note if the question is particularly complex, you might be redirected to an EIM or Office Hour session.
All questions should be sent to one of the following email addresses, which can also be found on the Quick Links to the left:
If you send an email and do not get a response in the specified time, please forward your question to the Head TA using the Quick Link to the left, as well as the specifics on when/where you sent the email. If the Head TA does not respond within 24 hours, send an email directly to me.
Most class announcements I post through our Econ410 Facebook Group, which can be found here. If you have a Facebook account, please request to be added to the Group. If you do not have a Facebook account, email me directly and I will send you a dummy username/account you can use.
I encourage active student participation on the Facebook site. That being said, with 500+ participants things can get a bit...cluttered. With that in mind, one of our TA's will act as the Facebook moderator and will remove posts that do not adhere to these rules:
If your Facebook post is removed, please do not take it personally. If you feel that you are being unfairly censored, please feel free to drop a note to email@example.com or me directly.
You can use the following resources to help you complete your HW assignments
Any other resource is considered an Honor Code violation. If you have any questions about a particular resource, please do not hesitate to ask me prior to using it.
Besides the normal EIM sessions, graduate TA's will hold additional HW Help Sessions during HW weeks. The schedules for HW Help Sessions are as follows:
|Tuesday||HW Handed Out|
|Monday||HW Help Session: 6-8pm GA08|
|Tuesday||HW Help Session: 6-9pm GA08|
|Wednesday||HW Help Session: 6-9pm GA08|
Within the HW Help Sessions, any question of the form "is this right", "is this wrong", or "how do I do this" will not be answered. Instead, you should have worked through the problem to the best of your abilities and have specific questions. Alternatively, if you truly are lost on a particular problem, you should bring in a list of concepts which you think apply to the problem that the TA's can use to guide the session.
All questions specific to the HW should be addressed in the HW Help Sessions, not the EIM sessions.
If a room has not been specified for an EIM or HW session, start on the bottom floor (basement) of Gardner and look for a room with ECON 410 on the door or you see a TA/classmate you recognize. If you don’t find one, try the next highest floor (1st floor). Repeat until you’ve checked up to and including the 3rd floor.
HW's are due at the start of class on the day they are due.
The multiple choice portion of each HW will be graded automatically in Sakai, and no electronic submissions will be accepted after the due date. Please plan accordingly and post your assignment early. Due to the size of the course, technological glitches are not a valid excuse for a late assignment unless Sakai has been down for more than 24 hours. That being said, if Sakai is giving you severe problems, e-mail an Excel document with your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the due date with an explanation.
The long-form portion will be graded by a TA according to a grading rubric I will provide you. I will collect the long-form portion at the start of the class. 10 minutes after class starts, I will not accept any additional submissions. If you are having personal issues (car troubles, illness, etc.) preventing you from attending class on the day a homework is due, scan your assignment and send it to email@example.com prior to the due date with an explanation. Alternatively, you may have a classmate turn in your assignment.
Your grade for each HW assignment is 100 times the sum of the total points you received (multiple choice plus long-form) divided by the total number of points that were possible. For instance, if HW2 has 62 total points and you received 56 points, your grade is 100*56/62=90.3%. Please note each HW assignment has a different number of total points, but each HW is weighted equally.
Requests for a regrade must adhere to the following rules:
To offset the strict HW rules a class of this size requires, your lowest HW grade will be dropped from your HW average.
If your Regrade Request is rejected and you disagree with the explanation, come see me during my office hours to appeal your Request. Please note the odds are fairly low that I will overturn the original grade, but it is possible if there is a relatively severe misunderstanding.
All graded components fall under the jurisdiction of the Honor Code. If you have any questions concerning the Honor Code Policy for this course, please ask.
Letter grades are computed from the total points earned during the semester and assigned based on the following scale. There is no maximum number of A's nor B's awarded. However, in previous courses 20%-25% of my students have earned an A- or A, 30%-40% have earned a B-, B, or B+, and 20%-30% have earned a C-, C, or C+. Due to the size of the class, this grade scale is firm. In other words, if you earn an 89.99%, you will receive a B+.
|Grade||If your final class score is...|
Your grade will consist of 4 components. Please note there is no extra credit in this course.
For each class, the percentage of the available clicker points you receive will make up your daily score. Your overall clicker score (not to exceed 100) will be the higher of the two following scores:
|3 Midterms||45%||Midterm 1 - H, 9/26
Midterm 2 - H, 10/31
Midterm 3 - H, 11/21
Each Midterm consists of 10 Multiple Choice questions and 2 Long-Form questions.
Your Midterm score will be the average of your highest 2 Midterm scores.
Section 001 (2:00 class):
Comprehensive final covering all aspects of the course. The Final will consist of 28 Multiple Choice questions.
HW1 - 8/29
A mix of Multiple Choice and Long-Form questions. Your HW score will be the average score of your 5 highest-scored assignments.
Your grade for each HW assignment is 100 times the sum of the total points you received (multiple choice plus long-form) divided by the total number of points that were possible. Please note each HW assignment has a different number of total points.
If you miss 1 Midterm, your Midterm score will simply be the average of your other two Midterms. If you miss 2 Midterms, you will receive 0 points for the second Midterm unless you have a documented illness, are participating in a University-sanctioned activity, or the assignment falls on a major religious holiday that has the potential of affecting your performance. Where applicable, you must provide documentation from a coach or doctor and fill out an Excused Absence Form that can be found under Quick Links or here. If your Excused Absence Form is approved, your third Midterm will replace the score of the missed Midterms.
Per UNC rules, you must have a valid excuse from the Dean to take the Final Exam at a time other than the schedule time. Details can be found here. If you miss the Final Exam and do not have an excuse from the Dean, you will receive a score of 0% on your Final.
For each Midterm, you are allowed to bring in one side of an 8.5 x 11" sheet of paper with anything on it legible to your naked eye. For the Final, you are allowed to bring in all previous cheat sheets plus one additional. Thus, for the final you are allowed to have four sides of 8.5 x 11" sheets of paper.
You are NOT allowed to use calculators during the Midterms or Final Exam. Using a calculator will be considered an Honor Code violation.
Each Midterm is exactly 1 hour and 20 minutes. The Final Exam is exactly 3 hours. To ensure each student has the same amount of time, these cutoffs are strict. If you are observed writing on your Midterm/Final after the time limit has passed, you will receive a 10% penalty for each minute by which the limit has been exceeded. For instance, if you are observed writing 2 minutes after the time limit has passed, you will receive a 20% penalty.
To avoid a last-minute rush, please make sure to bubble your scantron in early.
If any student will require assistance or appropriate academic accommodations for a disability, please contact me after class, during office hours, or by individual appointment. You must have established your eligibility for disability support services through the Division of Student Affairs, Disability Services.
Unless otherwise notified, I will be in my office from 3:30pm-4:30pm every Tuesday and Thursday during which classes are being held.
By appointment, I will also be available most Mondays and Wednesdays by appointment. To schedule an appointment, please email me.
To access additional practice materials, you are encouraged to use our PeerWise course page. PeerWise is an online repository of multiple-choice questions that are created, answered, rated, and discussed by students. Early in the semester, the repository is populated with questions created in previous semesters. This grows gradually as the course progresses and students author and contribute relevant questions. All activity remains anonymous to students, however instructors are able to view the identity of question and comment authors.
PeerWise provides a number of learning opportunities to students, such as designing questions, creating plausible multiple-choice distracters ("wrong answers"), writing explanations, answering questions, and evaluating quality.
Because the questions are student-generated and rated via. crowdsourcing, the difficulty and style of questions can differ from those seen on Midterms. As such, PeerWise should not be your primary studying tool, but instead be used as a complementary source of practice. When asked about how they integrated PeerWise into their study routine, students from prior semesters stated:
As you post PeerWise questions, please offer an Explanation for your answer, as well as list the relevant topics to which the question refers.
As you answer PeerWise questions, please rate the questions (only takes a second) and offer feedback if appropriate (if, for instance, you disagree with the answer). This will make the question bank even stronger for your classmates.
Course ID: 6987
Identifier: Your onyen
Help videos can be found in Sakai under Resources/PeerWise on the following topics:
If you have any issues, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the difficulty of keeping track of 500+ potential hand-written submissions, I instead curve the clicker points by 10%. This curve incorporates all the reasons you might not have your clicker on a specific day (forgot it, dead battery, missed class, etc.)
Please do not re-register your clicker. Instead, email email@example.com and include your first name, last name, onyen, pid, and clicker device id.
Please do not register your new clicker. Instead, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you got a new clicker. Make sure to include your onyen, pid, and new clicker device id.
Due to the size of the class, we cannot verify every clicker. Instead, approximately every week we will post the clicker scores in Sakai/Post'Em. If you received points for the day, you are registered correctly.
Check the following causes, in this order
- Do you have a valid TurningTechnologies clicker model?
- Are you clicking correctly? To click a particular response, you only press the desired optioned and nothing else. For instance, if you want to select option 2, you should only press "2". When you do so, the light on your clicker should turn a solid green.
- When you click in class, does the light turn solid green?
- If yes, then you likely have a registration problem. If you have not registered, do so following the instructions here. If you have registered, email email@example.com and provide as much information as possible.
- If no, but you do see a red light or a blinking red/green light, then you are likely on the wrong channel. Change the Channel to 41. Generally, this is done by hitting "Channel" then "41" then "Channel".
- If no, but you see no light, then you might have a dead battery. The clicker battery can be replaced with a standard watch battery you can find at most drug stores.
If none of these steps have helped (and you are sure you don't have a broken clicker), email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide as much information as possible.
I want to give you an incentive to come to class, without making it explicitly mandatory. As such, if you feel you can excel in the course without coming to class, your Midterm score can take the place of your Clicker score. However, it should be noted that historic precedent indicates that it is extremely rare that an individual's Midterm score exceeds her Clicker score, given that the median Clicker score (with the curve) is generally 100%.
It is extremely important that you verify your clicker scores in Sakai/Post'Em throughout the semester to make sure you are registered correctly, your clicker is working correctly, etc. If you did not and you realize you have no clicker scores at the end of the semester, your first step is to email email@example.com with your clicker device id to see if it was a registration problem. If it was, we will be able to find your points. If, however, it is not a registration issue (for instance, your clicker was on the wrong channel throughout the year, your battery was dead, etc.), you will unfortunately not be able to receive any points.
Unfortunately, to ensure fairness and remove subjectivity, we have to be strict on scantron grading. The answers on your scantron are the answers on which your grade is based, regardless of what is written on the test itself.
Email me directly and I can manually grade your scantron. Make sure to include your name, section, onyen, and sequence number. Please note that I have yet to have a scantron graded incorrectly, but it is possible.
Yes, but it is built into the course scores as specified here. Specifically, I drop your lowest Midterm and your lowest HW. I also give you a 10% curve (not to exceed 100%) on your clicker score. Also, my Grade ranges are fairly large, especially in the middle ranges. For instance, a 60 is a C-.
No. The reason I do not offer extra credit is that if everyone knows about it, it's not really extra credit. It's just another assignment, since I incorporate the curve and opportunity for extra credit into the Grade scale . If some people don't know about it (for instance, if a specific student asks for extra credit at the end of the semester), then I'm treating my students differently, which I make every attempt to avoid. To give you an idea of what I mean, imagine an individual has a grade going into the final that would ensure if she got a 100% on the exam her final grade would end up with an 89.8. Given the strict grade cutoffs, she knows there is no chance her grade could flip from a B+ to an A-, so she decides to spend more time studying for another exam and ends up with a final grade of 89.0. Now imagine another student is in the exact same predicament but studies a bit more for the final and ends up with the 89.8. If I then offer a 0.5 point extra credit assignment, the second student can receive an A-, but the first cannot. However, had the first student known the extra credit would have been available, she might have been able to allocate her study time in a different way, ensuring the A-.
I completely empathise with this question, as I understand how frustrating it is to be on the cutoff for a particular grade. Unfortunately, however, the answer is no. The reason is twofold. First, I believe selective extra credit leads to an inequality in how I treat different students, which I make every attempt to avoid. Second, with a class of this size, if I move the Grade scale down by even 0.1, I am sure to have moved the cutoff up against another student. This once again introduces an element of inequality, as I was willing to move the scale for one student, but not the new student for whom the cutoff now applies.