ECON 119-05: Principles of Economics - Fall 2005

General information

  • Time and place:  1:10  - 2:10 pm,  MWF,  C-304
  • Instructor: Florin Bidian
  • E-mail:
  • Phone: (651) 696-6764
  • Office: C-306
  • Office hours: Mo 3:20 - 4:30pm; We 3:20-4:30pm; Fr 9:45-10:45am 

Prerequisites:  None.

Course objectives and synopsis:

Economics studies the allocation of scarce resources. The natural starting point of understanding Economics is to analyze the “microscopic” decisions taken every moment by the consumers and firms. Microeconomics is the branch of Economics analyzing the choices of the economic agents (at the “micro” level), and it will keep us occupied for the first half of the course. Next we will see how the individual decisions aggregate at the economy-wide scale (macro-level). This is the object of study of Macroeconomics, which will be our subject for the second half of the course. For a synopsis of the course, click here.


Mankiw, N.G. Principles of Economics, 3-rd edition, (Fort Worth, TX: The Dryden Press, 2004)

WWW Homepage

The URL for this class is

A copy of this syllabus is available online. Material from lectures will also be posted following (or before)  the lectures. The homeworks will be available for downloading on the class homepage. The homepage also provides links to some web sites related to Economics.


Homework Assignments                  30%
Midterm I                             20%
Midterm II                            20%
Final                                 30%

I will also give up to 3% bonus points to students that enhance the quality of the class discussion.

Grading scale:























I reserve the right to lower the cutoffs but not to raise them.

There will be 6 homeworks. Each assignment is due at the beginning of class at the due date. Solutions will be posted on the due date, thus no late assignments are accepted.  If  a medical certificate is provided, the average on the other homeworks will be applied towards the missed homework. Collaboration is encouraged, however you have to submit the homework individually, and acknowledge the help you received.

There are two midterms and a final exam. The midterms are during the regular class hours and the final's time is listed below. All exams are closed book. No devices that can be connected to the net or that can serve as database storage (i.e. palms) are allowed. You must take the midterms and final exams at the scheduled times. If one of the midterms must be missed for a documented excuse, the final will carry the extra weight. The final must be taken at the scheduled time.  Homework is the best preparation for the exams. Make sure you are able to solve to homework problems with ease.  

Tentative Class Schedule

I will attempt to follow the schedule outlined below :





1-Sep 7

Sep 9

Introduction –overview, how we do Economics

Basic principles – some lait-motifs

Ch 2

Ch 1


2-Sep 12

Sep 14,16

Gains from trade

Supply and demand (S&D)

Ch 3

Ch 4

 HW 1 handed out

3-Sep 19,21

Sep 23


Applications of S&D to government policies

Ch 5

Ch 6


4-Sep 26

Sep 28

Sep 30

Efficiency of markets

Taxation and efficiency

Trade and efficiency

Ch 7

Ch 8

Ch 9

HW 2 handed out

5-Oct 3, 5

Oct 7

Consumer choice

Firms and cost of production

Ch 21

Ch 13


6-Oct 10

Oct 12

Oct 14

Review for the midterm

Midterm I

Profit maximization

Review Ch 1-9

All Ch 1 -9

Ch 13


7-Oct 17,19

Oct 21

Perfect competition


Ch 14

Ch 15

HW 3 handed out 

8-Oct 24

Oct 26

Oct 28

Oligopoly and monopolistic competition

Externalities and public goods


Ch 16, Ch 17

Ch 10, Ch 11



9-Oct 31

 Nov 2

Nov 4

Factor markets

Earnings and discrimination

Income inequality and poverty

Ch 18

Ch 19

Ch 20

 HW 4 handed out

10-Nov 7

Nov 9

Nov 11

Review midterm II

Midterm II

Measuring GDP

Ch 10,11, 13-21

Ch 10,11, 13-21

Ch 23


11-Nov 14

Nov 16

Nov 18

Cost of living  

Production and growth

Saving, Investment and the financial system

Ch 24

Ch 25

Ch 26


12-Nov 21

Nov 23

Nov 25

Basic tools of finance



Ch 27

Ch 28


Hw 5 handed out 

13-Nov 28

Nov 30

Dec 2

The monetary system


Open economy macro I

Ch 29

Ch 30

Ch 31


14-Dec 5

Dec 7

Dec 9

Open economy macro II

Aggregate demand and supply

Monetary and fiscal policy

Ch 32

Ch 33

Ch 34

Hw 6 handed out

15-Dec 12

Dec 14

Dec 16

Inflation and unemployment

Debates over macroeconomic policies


Ch 35

Ch 36

Prepare questions


Dec 20 (Tu)

Final Exam: 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM



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