4 Credit Hours
Introduction to Microeconomics is an introductory undergraduate course that teaches the fundamentals of microeconomics. At MIT, this is the first course that undergraduates take in economics. For some, it may be the only course they take in the subject, and it provides a solid foundation for economic analysis and thinking that can last throughout their education and subsequent professional careers. For other students, it may provide a foundation for many years of study in economics, business, or related fields.
This course begins with an introduction to supply and demand and the basic forces that determine equilibrium in a market economy. Next, it introduces a framework for learning about consumer behavior and analyzing consumer decisions. We then turn our attention to firms and their decisions about optimal production, and the impact of different market structures on firms’ behavior. The final section of the course provides an introduction to some of the more advanced topics that can be analyzed using microeconomic theory. These include international trade, the impact of uncertainty on consumer behavior, the operation of capital markets, equity vs. efficiency trade-offs in economic policy and social insurance.
By the end of the course, you will be able to understand introductory microeconomic theory, solve basic microeconomic problems, and use these techniques to think about a number of policy questions relevant to the operation of the real economy.