14.121: Microeconomic Theory I

Fall 1998 Syllabus

Professor Susan Athey
E52-252C, athey@mit.edu
Office Hours: Wednesdays 11-12 and by appt.

TA: Scott Ashworth mailto:ashworth@mit.edu
Phone: 3-8709. Office Hours: E52-243F, Tues 10:30-11:30, Wed 3-4.

Class: Tuesday-Thursday, 9-10:30am, E51-372
Recitation: Friday, 9-10:30 p.m., E51-376.

Course Overview

This course is designed to provide an introduction to microeconomic theory for
students planning to pursue a PhD in economics. The main topics which will be
covered are the theory of the consumer and the theory of the firm, as well as the
basics of market equilibrium.

Prerequisites and Enrollment

The course will be taught assuming that students have taken an intermediate
microeconomics course at the undergraduate level. Further, students should have
a working knowledge of multivariate calculus and linear algebra, as well as
some exposure to real analysis. These prerequisites are essential for success in this course. Students whose backgrounds are weak in some areas should plan to devote extra time, particularly in the first two weeks, to review the mathematical prerequisites.

Enrollment in this course is limited, and permission is required for students
outside of the economics department. Permission can be obtained by
attending the first class meeting and providing information about previous
coursework in mathematics and economics.  Please be advised that
students outside the economics department may be better served
by a variety of other altnerative undergraduate or Sloan school classes.
Students outside of the economics department have historically had
difficulty with this class.

Course Requirements

There will be approximately six problem sets, which will be graded on a "check, check-,
and no credit" scale. You may work in groups, but please do the "write-ups"
individually. Thus, we do not expect to see identical answers to problems from
different students. The problem sets will count at the margin towards your grade.
There will be a final exam to be given between October 26 and October 29; details to be settled in class.
Economics Department students who do not pass the exam will be required to retake
the exam at a later date.