From 2 November 2020, the autumn semester 2020 will take place online. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers via e-mail.

363-0515-00L  Decisions and Markets

SemesterSpring Semester 2020
LecturersA. Bommier
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractThis course provides an introduction to microeconomics. The course is open to students who have completed an undergraduate course in economics principles and an undergraduate course in multivariate calculus. The course emphasizes the conceptual foundations of microeconomics and contains concrete examples of their application.
ObjectiveThe purpose of this course is to provide master students with an introduction to graduate-level microeconomics, particularly for students considering further graduate work in economics, business administration or management science. The course provides the fundamental concepts and tools for graduate courses in economics offered at ETH and UZH.

After completing this course:
- Students will be able to understand and use existing models to make predictions of consumer and firm behavior.
- Students understand the fundamental welfare theorems and will be able to analyze equilibria of markets with perfect and imperfect competition.
- Students will be able to analyze under which conditions market allocations are not efficient (market failure).
ContentMicroeconomics is the branch of economics which studies the decision-making by an individual, household, firm, industry or level of government. The economic equilibrium is the result of agents' interactions. Microeconomics is an element of nearly every subfield in economic analysis today. This course introduces the fundamental frameworks which form the basis of many economic models.

Theory of the consumer:
- Consumer preferences and utility
- Budget sets and optimal choice
- Demand functions
- Labor supply and intertemporal choice
- Welfare economics

Theory of the producer:
- Technological constraints and the production function
- Cost minimization
- Profit maximization

Market structure:
- Perfectly competitive markets
- Monopoly behavior
- Duopoly behavior

General equilibrium analysis:
- Market equilibrium in an exchange and production economy
- Market failure
Lecture notesThe lecture will be based on lecture slides, which will be made available on Moodle.
LiteratureThe course is mostly based on the textbook by R. Serrano and A. Feldman: "A Short Course in Intermediate Microeconomics with Calculus" (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Another textbook of interest is "Intermediate Microeconomics: A Modern Approach" by H. Varian (Norton, 2014).
Exercises are available in the textbook by R. Serrano and A. Feldman ("A Short Course in Intermediate Microeconomics with Calculus", Cambridge University Press, 2013). More exercises can be found in the book "Workouts in Intermediate Microeconomics" by T. Bergstrom and H. Varian (Norton, 2010).