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NUS Economics Module Review: EC3101 Microeconomic Analysis II

Textbook: Intermediate Microeconomics, 9th Ed by Varian. (Not necessary IMO, but your mileage might vary, etc.)

This is the second of the 2 intermediate microeconomics modules offered in NUS. The description on NUSMods is outdated – the module no longer emphasises general equilibrium analysis since the exchange economy is already covered in EC2101. There will be fairly little review (everything you learnt in EC2101 is basically assumed knowledge), so within the first 3 weeks intertemporal choice and choice under uncertainty will have been covered (covering these topics is kind of a revision on consumer theory anyway). The module then goes on to analyse monopolies, oligopolies, game theory and various forms of asymmetric information, the kind of stuff that you have to think about when you throw perfect competition assumptions out of the window.

If you like EC2101 (like I did), and are comfortable working with your Lagrange multipliers, I feel that EC3101 is probably the kind of module that you would enjoy as well. If not, I think it really isn’t the most difficult 3K module you’ll encounter in in the Economics department (*cough* EC3102 *cough*), but you should spend some time to think about what is discussed in class, work through problem sets and homework, etc.

Unlike EC2101, there are different lecturers in different semesters (apparently the module is harder under Dr Tim Wong, but that is hearsay and I cannot verify this). Prof Sng is a pretty good lecturer, and I think that he explains things fairly well, so I can recommend taking the module when he’s teaching it.

As-is standard in any EC-coded module, problem sets are fairly short and do-able, first presentation in class is graded, homework can be challenging but is definitely doable. I feel that the Midterms and Finals are much easier than EC2101, but much of it is still a test of concept mastery rather than just mere mathematical manipulation.

Ultimately, like a TA for this module said, you either get micro or you don’t. Microeconomics is really foundational for later 3K/4K Economics modules though, so try your best to get it.

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