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NUS Economics Module Review: EC2101 Microeconomic Analysis I


3% Online Quiz (Pre-Lecture, on flipped classroom content)

10% Tutorial Participation

15% Group Homework (2 sets with equal weightage)

25% Midterm (6 MCQ for 30%, 3 structured qns for 70%)

47% Final (5 MCQ for 20%, 5 structured qns for 80%)

Textbook: Microeconomics, 5th Ed by Besanko and Braeutigam, with additional readings from Intermediate Microeconomics, 9th Ed by Varian. (Textbook not really required as lecture notes are fairly stand-alone, although some of the elaboration might be useful)

This is the first of the 2 intermediate microeconomics modules offered in NUS, mostly covering the foundations of consumer and producer theory, as well as other topics like exchange economy and partial competitive equilibrium. This is a core module for the Econs major that cannot be S/U-ed, so take this as a UE only if you’re interested in Economics, or have sufficient quantitative background.

Knowledge of basic calculus (mostly just use of partial derivatives) is assumed, and more advanced concepts (specifically the method of Lagrange multipliers to solve constrained optimization problems) will be elaborated upon in class. If you’re a math or engineering student, or if you’re an Econs major that has done well in EC2104, the math in this module shouldn’t be that taxing.

Dr Zhang has taught this module since 2012(?), and her experience teaching this module really shows. Her explanations of concepts in lecture are very clear and easy to understand. She is also very approachable if you wish to seek clarification, with fixed weekly office hours and additional office hours before midterms/finals.

Tutorial problem sets are fairly straightforward applications of concepts introduced in lecture, and are meant to reinforce these concepts. You will be expected to present your solution to 1-2 questions at least once during tutorial. You will also form groups of 2-3 in tutorial to complete 2 graded homework assignments, which are slightly more challenging than the tutorial content but still fairly manageable.

Midterms and Finals are definitely more challenging. There will be questions are set differently from the tutorial/homework content, with an emphasis on your own mastery of the concepts in the module. Do the practice problem sets released by Dr Zhang before Midterms/Finals to get used to doing the algebraic manipulations quickly (especially for exchange economy and producer theory questions which can be very messy from my experience), but don’t expect to get too far during the exams just by doing the problem sets.

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