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University of Rhode Island — Environmental & Natural Resource Economics
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EEC 528 –Microeconomic Theory
Course Information

Professor: Dr. Thomas Sproul
Semester: Fall
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: ECN 328 and 375 or equivalent or permission of instructor

Catalog Description: Analytic tools of optimization. Neoclassical price and production theory. Neoclassical theory of consumer and producer behavior, price and distribution, partial and general equilibrium, and welfare economics

Course Goals & Outcomes

This primary objective of this course is to initiate a foundation in microeconomic theory for research and policy analysis. Upon this foundation, students should be able to identify problems in society and begin developing solutions.

By the end of the semester students will be able to:

  • Apply learned microeconomic concepts or models to real world environmental issues
  • Use the acquired analytical tools with microeconomic models of individuals’ and firms’ decisions and of markets
Course Syllabus

Class topics:

  • Costs
    • Cost minimization versus output maximization
    • Cost equation, cost function
    • Shifts, long run, short run
    • Marginal Cost and Average Cost curves
  • Profit maximization
    • Marginal revenue
    • Short run supply; input demand
    • Profit function
    • Hotelling’s lemma
  • Partial equilibrium
    • Short run, long run
    • Riacardian rent
  • Applied analysis
    • Tax incidence
    • Gains from trade
  • General equilibrium
    • Edgeworth box, equilibrium prices
    • Walras Law
  • Pareto efficiency, contract curve
    • First and Second Theorem of Welfare Economics
  • Monopoly, price discrimination
  • Imperfect competition
  • Game theory
About The Professor

Dr. Thomas Sproul
Assistant Professor
Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
204 Kingston Coastal Institute
Office: (401)874-4589
Fax: (401)782-4766

Reasons To Take This Course

This course will provide you with the microeconomic tools needed to develop solutions to environmental issues.

This course is a requirement for environmental and natural resource economics graduate programs and a prerequisite for several other upper level graduate courses.

Cool Links
  • Library of Economics and Liberty
    “The strength of microeconomics comes from the simplicity of its underlying structure and its close touch with the real world. In a nutshell, microeconomics has to do with SUPPLY and DEMAND, and with the way they interact in various markets. Microeconomic analysis moves easily and painlessly from one topic to another and lies at the center of most of the recognized subfields of economics.” (Microeconomics by Arnold C. Harberger, The Library of Economics and Liberty)
  • American Economic Association
    The American Economic Association promotes economic research and discussions and is home to several highly recognized journals such as The American Economic Review, The Journal of Economic Literature, and The Journal of Economic Perspectives.