Microeconomic Principles I

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Dimitra Petropoulou


This course is only available to students whose circumstances require it (for example, those returning from interruption).


This is an intermediate course in microeconomic analysis.  Students are expected to have completed Economics A (EC100) OR Economics B (EC102), or an equivalent introductory course in economics based on textbooks such as Morgan W., M. Katz and H. Rosen, Microeconomics.  Students are also expected to have completed an introductory mathematics course such Quantitative Methods (Mathematics) (MA107) and should revise calculus including partial derivatives and constrained optimisation methods.

Course content

This is an intermediate course in microeconomic analysis giving a broad overview of economic principles including some recent developments in thinking. Students should expect to find the course challenging and by the end of it should be able to apply the tools of microeconomics to thinking about concrete economic problems.  It will cover the following topics:

I. Consumer Theory – the analysis of decision-making under constraints: preferences and utility; utility maximisation and uncompensated demand; expenditure minimisation and compensated demand; income and substitution effects; welfare analysis. Selected applications to savings and labour supply. II. Behavioural Economics I –Anomalies in decision-making; time-inconsistency. III. Decision-making with Risk – expected utility theory; risk-sharing, risk-pooling and insurance; prospect theory. IV. Producer Theory – Production and cost functions; firm and industry supply; market structure. V. Strategic Choice – Game theory: simultaneous and sequential games; subgame perfection; repeated games. Selected applications to oligopoly; auctions. VI. The Market System as a General Equilibrium – Efficiency, distribution and inequality; social welfare. VII. Living Interdependently – Public goods and externalities; the role of government intervention. VIII. Behavioural Economics II – Analysis of markets; the role of government. IX. Political Economy – Effectiveness of government; preference aggregation; constraints on the power of the state, X. Asymmetric Information – Contracts and markets with moral hazard and adverse selection. XI. Innovation – product innovation; the role of government intervention.


20 hours of classes in the MT. 18 hours of classes in the LT. 2 hours of classes in the ST.

Students will have access to pre-recorded lectures in both MT and LT.

The 2-hour classes will give time for students to discuss the lecture recordings and related reading before tackling the weekly problem set.

There will be a reading week in Week 6 of LT only (no teaching or support lab sessions that week).

Student support in the run up to the final examination will be organised in ST.

This course is delivered through a combination of pre-recorded lectures and 40 hours of classes across Michaelmas Term,  Lent Term and Summer Term

Formative coursework

Students are expected to complete the weekly problem sets and any required reading before attending classes and will be encouraged to work in small study groups. Two pieces of work will be marked by class teachers each term, and feedback provided. There will be varied opportunities to engage with the course material, such as producing short video presentations. The diversity of tasks will make the course more inclusive and help students develop a broader range of skills.

Indicative reading

Lecture material will be complemented with required additional reading from journal articles. There is no set textbook for this course, though chapters from suitable intermediate textbooks can be recommended for those who may wish to consult a text (though this is not required).

Students will be expected to discuss critically the theoretical ideas and models taught by engaging with the required reading alongside working through microeconomic problems. The relevance of the readings will be discussed in classes and students will be required to engage with reading for the Coursework component of assessment.


Exam (30%, duration: 1 hour, reading time: 15 minutes) in the January exam period.
Exam (60%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.
Coursework (10%) in the MT and LT.

Key facts

Department: Economics

Total students 2021/22: 815

Average class size 2021/22: 20

Capped 2021/22: No

Lecture capture used 2021/22: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of numeracy skills