Instructor: Alpha Y. KaiKai
Office: AD-FAC 319 Fall 1998
Phone #: 410-455-4344
Office Hours: M 10-11, 1- 2; Tu 11:15-12:15; W 9:59-10:59; Th 11:30-12:30; F 5-6


Economics 121

I. Course Description: Principles of Microeconomics is a study of microeconomic principles with respect to institutions, business firms, households, perfect and imperfect competition, price, output, and distribution.

II. Course Objectives: Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

1. Get a basic theoretical foundation of economics as a social science.
2. Apply economic ideas to real-life problems and critically analyze microeoconomic issues.
3. Assess the impact of market and nonmarket forces on demand and supply.
4. Calculate price elasticity of demand and relate it to the total revenue of the firm.
5. Understand the behavior of firms under different market conditions
6. Understand the causes of poverty in the United States.
7. Understand CCBCs mission as a learning-centered public college.

III. Readings:

A. Required:

1. Roger LeRoy Miller, Economics Today: The Macro View, 1999-2000 Edition.
2. Graph paper (8 or 10 squares per inch).

B. Recommended:

1. Study Guide to Accompany Economics Today: The Micro View, 1999-2000 Edition.
2. The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics. This is a five-volume set that is available in the College library under the following call number: Ref. HB 61 N49 1987;
3. A daily newspaper, e.g., the Baltimore Sun; Washington Post; New York Times; or Wall Street Journal.

IV. Attendance Policy: This is intended to help students derive maximum benefit from instruction and contribute to the general learning process in the classroom. Therefore, students are expected to attend class regularly and punctually except in cases of emergency, religious holidays, participation in official CCC functions, or for special personal reasons. In each case, it is the responsibility of the student concerned to provide to the instructor a legitimate excuse in writing from someone, other than the student himself, who is directly familiar with the situation. However, whether they attend class or are absent, students are responsible for all class assignments. In any event, students who miss more than two/three classes in the semester without proper excuse will likely be dropped from the roster.

V. Course Grade: Each student's final grade will be computed on the basis of four equally-weighted scheduled tests, eight pop quizzes, and a final examination. Each test will consist of 50 true/false and multiple choice questions. Students will be notified of their progress throughout the course with each test when it is graded and returned in class. Make-ups will be granted for excused absences only, and must be taken before the next scheduled test in order to count toward the student's final grade.

Students will be graded on eight out of ten unannounced quizzes. Each quiz will consist of ten objective questions drawn from the reading material for that week. The quiz will be taken in class or given as a take-home assignment. In either case, students must be present in class to be able to take each quiz when it is given. The quizzes cannot be made up for any reason.

The makeup of the final exam will be announced in class two weeks before its scheduled date.

The letter grades and their equivalent point ranges are provided below:

4 tests @ 100 pts. = 400 pts. (69%) A = 90-100% (522-580 pts.)
8 quizzes @ 10 pts. = 80 pts. (14%) B = 80-89% (464-521 pts.)
Final Examination = 100 pts. (17%) C = 70-79% ( 406-463 pts.)
TOTAL=580 pts. D = 60-69% (348-405 pts.)
  F = 0-59% ( 0-347 pts.)


VI. Extra Credit: Tests will not be curved for any reason. However, students may boost their final grade by writing a five-page paper on the topic, The Opportunity Cost of Living Alone in College? This is the only topic assigned for the extra credit paper. Papers written on any topic other than this will be returned ungraded. Personal interviews, government documents, and Web material may be included in the bibliography of at least five references. All references must be listed on a separate page and cited in the body of the paper. Papers will be graded for content, style and grammar. Additional information on writing the paper will be provided at the first class meeting or may be obtained from the instructor during his regular office hours. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in the loss of valuable points. The paper is worth 20 points and is due on . A penalty of five points will be assessed against any paper that is submitted one school day late. An additional two points per school day will be assessed thereafter. No papers will be accepted after . Papers may be hand-delivered at the office or faxed to the instructor at 410-455-6121. Papers taken to the office must be delivered to one of the secretaries in AF-315 by 5 p.m. if the instructor is not around to receive them. Papers placed in the instructor's mailbox or slid underneath his door after hours will be "credited" to the next school day or considered late and unacceptable, whichever is appropriate. Plagiarism is sufficient ground for a grade of "F"! The following information sources would be useful:

i. Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature;
ii. Public Affairs Information Services (P.A.I.S.); and
iii. Social Sciences Index.

They are all available in the College Library. Students who need assistance should check with the reference librarian or the instructor.

VII. Classroom Management: The objectives of this course are attainable only if the instructor and students work closely together. Students who hope to do well are advised to make a minimal effort to meet the course objectives. In part this means by coming to class prepared to contribute to the discussion.

To help conscientious, hardworking students get value for their money the instructor is determined to create and maintain a classroom atmosphere that is conducive to learning. Laxity in matters of self- discipline will not be tolerated from anyone. Talking in class out of turn or about non-topical matters, doing homework for another class, eating or drinking in class, coming to class conspicuously late, or simply being discourteous to the instructor or one's classmates are all offenses that unnecessarily undermine the learning process and as such will be not permitted. In addition, students will deactivate beepers, radios, and recorders unless their use is permitted by the instructor. The instructor will issue a verbal warning to or dismiss from class students whom he judges to have engaged in disruptive conduct, depending upon the severity of the behavior in question. Attending class in part means taking one's seat preferably before the roll call and staying for the full session. Anyone who shows up after the roll has been called and the lecture or exam has started will not be allowed into the room; and anyone who leaves the room before the class is over will not be allowed back in without the instructor's prior permission. If you have an outside appointment and must leave during the hour to keep it, make sure to sit as close to the front as possible so as to minimize disruption.

VIII. Course Outline

Week of Topic


9/7/98 Introduction: Rational Self-Interest


9/14 Scarcity and Opportunity Costs
Quiz 1 - Quiz 2
9/21 Demand & Supply: Non-price Determinants, Price Controls 3,4
  Test #1 (C's. 1-4): September 24  
9/28 Consumer Behavior
Quiz 3
10/5 Elasticity 20
10/12 Forms of Business Organization 21

Test #2 (C's. 19-21):October 15

10/19 The Firm: Costs & the Profit-maximizing Level
Quiz 7
10/26 The Firm (continued)  
11/2 Perfect Competition 23
11/9 Monopoly 24

Test #3 (C's. 22 - 24): November 12

11/16 Imperfect Competition 25
11/23 Regulation of Industry 26


11/30 Labor Demand and Supply 27

Test #4 (Chs. 25 - 27): December 3

12/7 Rich People, Poor People 30
12/14 Interest Groups 32


IX. FINAL EXAMINATION: ECO 121 C, Thursday, December 17, 8:00 - 10:00 a.m., in H-301.