ECON104-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020

Introduction to Microeconomics

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 13 July 2020
End Date: Sunday, 8 November 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 24 July 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 25 September 2020


Scarcity, exchange and trade. Market analysis and policy. Consumer choice theory. Theory of the firm. Imperfect competition. Externalities and public goods.

ECON104 aims to:
• Develop economically literate citizens.
• Provide students with experience in basic economic methodology and analysis.
• Introduce students to the process of economic reasoning.
• Enhance students’ ability to critically interpret the economic ‘wisdom’ of the popular media.
• Provide preparation for further study in the subject (specifically with reference to courses at Canterbury).

ECON104 studies microeconomics, which examines theories of how consumers and producers behave and interact in individual markets. The course covers a general study of the workings of markets and a more in depth analysis of the two sides – supply (producers) and demand (consumers). The course also covers issues that do not fit the conventional assumptions of the supply and demand framework.

ECON104 is a prerequisite for ECON207 and 208, both of which are compulsory for students majoring in Economics or Business Economics. ECON104 is also required by NZICA and serves as a prerequisite for management courses.
Mathematics, in the form of simple algebra, will be used to introduce students to formal economic analysis and to complement the graphical and verbal exposition of material.

Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to 'think like an economist', and apply basic economic principles such as the role incentives play in people's behaviour.
2. Students will understand the concept of market efficiency, and will be able to analyse the impact of government policies.
3. Students will be able to identify and evaluate occasions when markets function best without direct government involvement.
4. Students will be able to identify and evaluate occasions when markets left on their own are unlikely to result in the best outcomes, and discuss the role of government in these markets.
5. Students will be able to use the theories of economics to describe and explain the behaviour of people and firms.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


Course Coordinator

Steve Agnew


Onur Koska


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Progress Test One 5%
Final Exam 55%
Progress Test Two 5%
Term Test 25%
Tutorial Quizzes 10%

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Parkin, M., & Bade, R; Microeconomics; Pearson, 2016.

Some very readable books which give a very good introduction to the key ideas in economics include:
"New Ideas from Dead Economists" by Todd Buchholz
"The Undercover Economist" by Tim Harford
"Freakonomics" by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $822.00

International fee $3,688.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Department of Economics and Finance.

All ECON104 Occurrences