William Rainey Harper College
ECO 211
Microeconomics: An Introduction to Economic Efficiency

FALL 2009

~/~ Home ~/~ Syllabus ~/~ Lecture Outlines ~/~ Schedule ~/~ Assignments ~/~ Papers ~/~ Textbook Website ~/~ Blackboard ~/~

General Information


  • Microeconomics by McConnell, Brue, and Flynn (18th edition).


  • Study Guide to Accompany Microeconomics by McConnell, Brue, Flynn, and Walstad.


This course will cover the area of economics commonly defined as microeconomics which is concerned with the individual parts of the economy such as individual businesses or industries, individual consumers, and individual products. Our goal is to study whether the economy uses our limited resources to obtain the maximum satisfaction possible for society. We will concentrate on three issues or goals: ALLOCATIVE EFFICIENCY, PRODUCTIVE EFFICIENCY, and EQUITY (efficiency, efficiency, and equity).


All students must log-in to our Blackboard website, study the syllabus, and take the required 5-point, online, "Syllabus Quiz" before Thursday, Sept. 3. The quiz can be taken more than once and only the highest score will count.
  • Go to http://harper.blackboard.com
  • Follow the instructions to "log-in",
    • If you need help see the following on the Blackboard opening page:
      • "Getting Started with Blackboard"
      • "Student Blackboard Technical Support"
  • You should see "ECO 211- Fall 2009 - Microeconomics (Healy)"
    • If you do not please e-mail the instructor: mhealy@harpercollege.edu 


Option to Forward New Harper Email Account

If you are not planning on using your new Harper email account, please view the instructions on how to forward that account to one you check frequently. Visit http://harper.blackboard.com and check out "How do I forward my Harper email?" in the "Getting Started with Blackboard" area.


The final grade for the class will be awarded according to the following point system. Changes may be made to this grading polity. All changes will be announced in class and posted on the class web page.




1 syllabus quiz

5 points, must be taken online at: http://harper.blackboard.com/

5 points

5 in-class quizzes

10 multiple choice questions, 1 point each each, best 4 of 5 counted

40 points

3 unit exams

40 multiple choice questions each *

120 points

Final Exam

80 multiple choice questions, COMPREHENSIVE

80 points


4 at 10 points each

40 points


* Each of the three unit exams will also have an extra credit essay question worth about 3 points

Letter grades will be awarded as follows:
90%=A, 80%=B, 70%=C, 60%=D, below 60%=F


Students will be allowed to take an exam at a time other than the scheduled class period only IF:
1. the instructor is notified BEFORE the scheduled exam time AND
2. the student has a very good reason to miss the exam at the scheduled time.


Since only four of the five quizzes will be included in the final point total, there should be little need to take a quiz at a time other than the scheduled class time.


Papers can be rewritten for full credit but they must be turned in by the due date to earn the chance to be rewritten. Papers turned in late cannot be rewritten. Please note that papers are either graded as an "A" or an "F", so the chance to rewrite the paper is important. A final due date for all papers and rewrites will be announced in class. For more information see papers


IMPORTANT: For exact reading assignments see: Assignments

Unit 1: An Introduction To Economics, Efficiency, and the Market System

  • Ch. 1 -- Limits, Alternatives, and Choices and the 5 Es
  • Ch. 2 -- The Market System: The Market and the 5 Es
  • Ch. 3 -- Individual Markets: Demand and Supply and the 5 Es
  • Ch. 4 and 16 -- Government and Market Failure and the 5 Es
  • Ch. 5 -- The United States in the Global Economy and the 5 Es

Unit 2: Consumer Decisions and the Costs of Production

  • Ch. 6 -- Extensions of Demand and Supply Analysis (Elasticity of Supply and Demand: Deciding How Much)
  • Ch. 7 -- Consumer Behavior and Utility Maximization: Consumer Decisions
  • Ch. 8 -- The Costs of Production: Producer Decisions / Costs

Unit 3: Product Markets: Decision Making and Efficiency

  • Ch. 9 -- Pure Competition
  • Ch. 10 and 18 -- Pure Monopoly and Regulation
  • Ch. 11 -- Monopolistic Competition and Oligopoly

Unit 4: Resource Markets: Decision Making, Efficiency, and Equity

  • Ch. 13 -- The Demand for Resources
  • Ch. 14 -- Wage Determination
  • Ch. 20 -- Income Inequality, Poverty, and discrimination

NOTE: This outline may be changed! Regular class attendance is needed since changes will be announced in class.


Class attendance is strongly recommended, but not required. Former students have indicated that the material covered in class is very helpful at the time of the examinations.


A textbook and a study guide have been placed on reserve in the library in case you leave yours at Grandma's house. They can be checked out from the circulation desk for two days at a time.


This is a difficult course! There is an old rule of thumb concerning studying for college courses: on average students should study TWO hours for every ONE hour of class. This is an average, which means some courses require more study time and some less. You may find that economics requires MORE.

The following suggestions should help you learn economics:

  1. Passive reading of the textbook is not very helpful . Read with a pen in your hand and a notebook on which to list, repeat, copy, calculate, etc. ALSO, pay close attention to the TABLES and GRAPHS. THEY ARE IMPORTANT.

  2. Attend class. Your instructor will review the material from the textbook, add additional material, and answer questions. Come to class with your questions and problems. While in class TAKE NOTES and lots of them! We will go fast. If you want something repeated, ASK.

  3. Do problems. The assignment web page lists the problems from the textbook and Study Guide that you are responsible for in each unit. DO THEM ALL. If you can't do these problems you will do poorly on the quizzes and exams.

    When doing the multiple choice questions in the Study Guide, it is suggested that you do NOT circle the answers in the book. Rather, write the letter of the answer that you selected on a separate sheet of paper. There are two reasons for doing this: (1) it is easier to grade them since all answers are listed together at the end of the Study Guide chapters, and (2) by not writing in the study guide you can go over the questions again and again without having the correct (or incorrect) answers already marked.

  4. See the instructor for assistance. This should be done EARLY in the semester. The Tutoring Center also offers help.

  5. Keep up. It is easy to get behind. To get a good grade you will have to devote a significant amount of out of class time to studying economics. If you get behind there simply will not be enough time.

  6. Try to APPLY the concepts learned in class to the "real world" including issues in the news and aspects of your personal life.


-- Fall 2009 --

The following dates are TARGETS only. THEY CAN BE CHANGED!. Any changes will be announced in class at least one week before the scheduled date of the quiz, exam, or paper and posted here.





Before Thur. 9/3

Syllabus Quiz. Take the 5-point Syllabus Quiz at: http://harper.blackboard.com/

Thur. 9/3

Paper 1 - Be sure to read and study:

Thur. 9/10

Quiz 1 - Ch.1 Only

You must have your article for paper 2

Thur. 9/24

Paper 2 - Study chapter 3 !

Thur. 10/1

Quiz 2 - Chapter 3 Only

Thur. 10/8

Exam 1 - Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 and 16

Thur. 10/15

Paper 3 - Study chapters 4 and 16 (negative externalities)

Thur. 10/22

Paper 4 - Study chapter 6 !

Thur. 10/29

Quiz 3 - Chapter 6 Only

Thur. 11/12

Exam 2 - Chapters 6, 7, 8

Sat. 11/14


Tue. 11/24

Quiz 4 - Chapter 9

Thur. 12/3

Quiz 5 - Chapter 10

Thur. 12/10

Exam 3 - Chapters 9, 10, 11 and 18

Thur.. 12/17,
8:00 - 9:45 a.m.
same classroom


80 points comprehensive