Presentation on theme: "Principles of Microeconomics"— Presentation transcript:
1Principles of Microeconomics Chapter 1Limits, Alternatives & ChoicesBy Dr. Laura Lamb & material from McConnell, Brue, Flynn & Barbiero
2Economics (definition) The social science concerned with how individuals, institutions, and society make best choices under conditions of scarcity.
31.1. The Economic Way of Thinking The economic way of thinking (aka economic perspective) consists of numerous elements:Scarcity & choicePurposeful behaviourMarginal Analysis
4Scarcity & choice What is scarce? What are resources? The concept of opportunity cost: the next best alternative foregone.
5Scarcity & choiceThe concept of opportunity cost: the next best alternative foregone.What is the opportunity cost of attending this class today?Illustrates that there is no free lunch!
6Purposeful behaviourRational self-interest entails making decisions to achieve maximum satisfaction i.e. the economic concept of utility.Different preferences and circumstances lead to different choices.Rational self-interest is not the same as selfishness.
7Marginal Analysisthe comparison of marginal benefits and marginal costs, usually for decision making.Most decisions are made on the margin.
81.2 Theories, Principles & Models Economics uses scientific methodObserve real world behaviour & outcomes Based on observations, formulate a hypothesis Test the hypothesisAccept, reject, or modify the hypothesis based on testing Continue to test against facts
9Scientific methodIf hypothesis is supported in many trials, the theory becomes an economic principle or economic law.These economic principles are incorporated into modelsEconomic theories are developed to explain the behaviour of economic agents
10Three Important facts about economic principles GeneralizationsOther-things-equal assumption (aka ceteris paribus)Graphical expression
111.3 Microeconomics vs. Macroeconomics Microeconomics looks at specific economic unitsMacroeconomics examines the economy as a whole
12Positive and Normative Economics Positive economics describes the economy as it actually is.Normative economics involves value judgments about what the economy should be like and the desirability of the policy options available.
13Which headlines are microeconomics & which are macroeconomics? The total revenue of Ford Motor Company have risen over the past 2 years.The unemployment rate remains high at the end of 2012.The price of gasoline continues to be volatile.Sears is closing several store locations inInflation rates are relatively low.
14Are the following statements normative or positive? The unemployment rate is 7.2%.The provincial governments should spend more on health care.The unemployment rate remains lowest in Alberta.The price of asparagus is too high.
151.4 The economic problemThe need to make choices because society’s material wants for goods and services are unlimited but the resources available to satisfy these wants are scarce.The economic problem is experienced by individuals & society as a whole.
16 Individuals’ economic problem Individuals are confronted with the need to make choices because their wants exceed their means to satisfy them.Limited income – everyone, even the most wealthy, has a finite amount of money to spend.Unlimited wants – people’s wants are virtually unlimited.
17The combination of limited income and unlimited wants force us to choose those goods and services that will maximize our utility.A budget line is used to illustrate the individual economic problem.
18Budget LineA schedule or curve that shows the various combinations of two products a consumer can purchase with a specific money income.Used to identify attainable & unattainable bundles of products.The budget line can change. When?
201.5 Production possibilities model Assumptions of the model:Economy is employing all available resources.Available supply of resources is fixed in quantity and quality at this point in time.Technology is constant during analysis.Economy produces only two types of products.Choices will be necessary because resources and technology are fixed. A production possibilities table illustrates some of the possible choices.
21Production Possibilities Table Production AlternativesProductABCDEButter1234Guns1097q
22Law of increasing opportunity costs The PPC illustrates increasing opportunity costs
23PPC Questions ???What is the total opportunity cost of producing 3 units of butter?When at Production alternative B, what is the opportunity cost of producing 1 more unit of butter?Is the production of 3 units of butter & 3 units of guns attainable?Is the production of 3 units of butter & 7 units of guns attainable?
24What is the economic rationale for increasing opportunity costs?
25Optimal allocationHow does society decide its optimal point on the production possibilities curve?Use marginal analysis
261.6 Economic growth, present choices & future possibilities Other uses of the PPC
27Pitfalls to sound reasoning BiasesLoaded terminologyFallacy of compositionCausation fallaciesPost hoc fallacyCorrelation versus causation
28ReviewThe textbook website offers many practice questions to test your understanding of the economic concepts.Also, do the appendix study questions of graphing.