AP Microeconomics Syllabus 1

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AP Microeconomics
Syllabus 1
Objectives: Students will be able to

    Demonstrate economic questioning and analysis skills. [C1]                 C1--The course teaches
                                                                                students basic economic
    Interpret a variety of graphical models [C6] and paraphrase economic       concepts
      concepts.
                                                                                C6--The course teaches
    Analyze the development of modern economic theory.                         how to generate,
                                                                                interpret, label, and
                                                                                analyze graphs, charts,
    Explain the basic connections between economics and calculus.              and data to describe
                                                                                and explain economic
                                                                                concepts
    Use and interpret the language of business and basic measurements of
      economics performance.

    Apply economic skills and concept knowledge to higher college-level
      economic courses.

Course Planner
Content Summary
Semester 1--Microeconomics
   1. Basic economic concepts: scarcity, choice, opportunity cost, PPF [C1]

   2.  Nature and function of product markets: supply and demand, elasticity,
                                                                                C2--The course
       consumer choice, firm production costs and revenues, pricing, perfect    provides students with
       competition, imperfect competition [C2]                                  instruction in the nature
                                                                                and functions of product
                                                                                markets
   3. Factor markets: derived demand, factor pricing [C3]
                                                                                C3--The course provides
   4. History of economic thought: Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, David            students with instruction
                                                                                in factor markets
      Ricardo, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes

   5. Role of government: government regulation, public goods, externalities    C4--The course provides
      distribution of wealth [C4]                                               students with instruction
                                                                                in market failure and the
                                                                                role of government
   6. Gains from trade and absolute and comparative advantage [C1]




                                                                                                            1
Unit 1: Basic Concepts                                                      1 week
Key Topics: Scarcity, Choice, Opportunity Cost, PPF, Basic Marginal Benefit/           C1--The course teaches
Marginal Cost Analysis [C1, C5]                                                        students basic economic
                                                                                       concepts

Readings: Mankiw, Principles of Economics, Chapter 1, pp. 411; Chapter 2, pp. 2428
                                                                                       C5--The course
                                                                                       promotes understanding
Assessment: Quiz with two short-answer questions and six to eight multiple-            of economic decision-
choice questions                                                                       making and its factors,
                                                                                       such as marginal analysis
                                                                                       and opportunity costs
Unit 2: Supply and Demand                                                 3 weeks
Topics: Demand, Law of Diminishing Marginal Benefits, Supply, Consumer                 C2--The course
and Producer Surplus, Consumer Choice/Optimal Purchase Rule, Allocative                provides students with
                                                                                       instruction in the nature
Efficiency, Deadweight Loss, Elasticity, Total Revenue Test, Price Discrimination,     and functions of product
Price Floors and Ceilings, Efficiency versus Equity [C2]                               markets


Readings: Mankiw, Principles of Economics, Chapter 4; Chapter 5, pp. 8999;
Chapter 6; Chapter 7; Chapter 8, pp. 164-69; Chapter 15, pp. 337-39

Assessment: Test with one long-answer question, two short-answer questions, and
eight to twelve multiple-choice questions.

Unit 3: Costs and Revenues                                                3 weeks
(emphasis on graphs) [C6]                                                              C6--The course teaches
Topics: Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns, Economies of Scale, Costs                 how to generate,
                                                                                       interpret, label, and
(fixed, variable, marginal), Cost Curves (relationship between curves), Total and      analyze graphs, charts,
Marginal Revenues, Profit and Loss (MR/MC and TR/TC), Break-Even, Shut                 and data to describe
                                                                                       and explain economic
Down, Economic Profit versus Normal Profit [C2]                                        concepts

Readings: Mankiw, Principles of Economics, Chapter 13

Assessment: Test with one long-answer question, two short-answer questions,
and eight to twelve multiple-choice questions

Unit 4: Perfect Competition                                               3 weeks
Topics: Assumptions, Relationship between Industry and Firm, Profit Maximization,
Long-Run Equilibriums, Short-Run Equilibriums and the Adjustment Mechanism,
Allocative Efficiency [C2] (for a firm)

Readings: Mankiw, Principles of Economics, Chapter 14

Assessment: Test with one long-answer question, two short-answer questions, and
eight to twelve multiple-choice questions

Unit 5: Imperfect Competition                                             3 weeks
Topics: Relationship Between Price and MR, Barriers to Entry, Profit Maximization,
Monopoly, Regulation, Natural Monopoly, Oligopoly and Duopoly Game Theory
with Game Tree and Payoff Matrix (dominant strategy, Nash Equilibrium, col-
lusion, prisoner's dilemma, interdependence), Collusive Oligopoly, Monopolistic
Competition (long run and short run) (Note: In each imperfectly competitive



                                                                                                                   2
market structure, examine its effect on allocative efficiency and consumer and
                                                                                      C2--The course
producer surplus, and make comparisons to perfect competition.) [C2]                  provides students with
                                                                                      instruction in the nature
Readings: Mankiw, Principles of Economics, Chapter 15; Chapter 16, pp. 345-61;        and functions of product
                                                                                      markets
Chapter 17, pp. 373-80, 385

Assessment: Test with one long-answer question, two short-answer questions, and
eight to twelve multiple-choice questions

Unit 6: Factor Markets                                                 2 weeks
Topics: Factors of Production (review definitions of marginal revenue, marginal       C3--The course provides
product, the law of diminishing marginal returns), Derived Demand, Marginal           students with instruction
Revenue Product Analysis, Optimal Purchase Rule, Perfectly Competitive Factor         in factor markets

Markets, Profit Maximization/Cost Minimization Rules, Monopsony, Economic
Rent, Distribution of Income Among Factors, Unions [C3, C5]                           C5--The course
                                                                                      promotes understanding
Readings: Mankiw, Principles of Economics, Chapters 18 and 19; Chapter 20,            of economic decision-
                                                                                      making and its factors,
pp. 440-45                                                                            such as marginal analysis
                                                                                      and opportunity costs
Assessment: Quiz with two short-answer questions and six to eight multiple-
choice questions

Unit 7: The Role of Government                                         2 weeks
Topics: Role of Government, Public versus Private Goods, Marginal Social
                                                                                      C4--The course provides
Cost/Marginal Social Benefit Analysis, Market Failures, Positive and Negative         students with instruction
Externalities, Taxes, Free Riders, "Tragedy of the Commons" [C4]                      in market failure and the
                                                                                      role of government

Readings: Mankiw, Principles of Economics, Chapters 10 and 11 (and parts of 12,
if time allows)

Assessment:
   1. Quiz with two short-answer questions and six to eight multiple-choice
      questions

   2. Extra-credit AP Exam free-response section

Comprehensive Final Exam: One long-answer question, two short-answer ques-
tions, and a full multiple-choice section (60 questions) of an AP Released Exam.
Two hours are planned for the exam.

Teaching Strategies
    Complete AP Exam problems in class. Give students 10 to 15 minutes
      to work out the answers to an old AP free-response question. Let the
      students work in small groups if they (or you) prefer. When a group
      finishes quickly, have them put their answer on the board. I do this
      several days a week, at either the beginning or the end of the period. It has
      several benefits:




                                                                                                                  3
         Visit weaker groups or students so that they can get some
         individualized instruction.
         Assess where common misunderstandings are happening. If I get
         questions from several groups on the same part of the problem, I know
         to review or reteach that idea.
         Students learn to do AP problems in the amount of time they will get
         on the actual AP Exam. This helps them know how to pace themselves
         when it counts.
    Give reading previews. Give introductory lectures to the upcoming
        reading from the textbook. Emphasize that these lectures are not meant
        to be a perfect substitute for the reading; rather, they let students read new
        material with some familiarity. Economics textbooks are not the easiest
        to read. When students tackle the textbooks having already seen the big
        ideas, they get the most from the time they spend on the reading.

    Frontload on fundamental topics. Extend the units at the beginning of
        the course and make sure that as many students as possible are on board
        with the basics such as opportunity cost, supply and demand, and the cost
        curves. Spending more time on these topics the first time through will
        save you a lot of time later. Students can pick up new topics quickly if they
        are well grounded in the topics that come early. Hours spent up front can
        save you days later on in the semester!

    Use the newspaper. Nothing motivates students like seeing that
        economics is being put to use every day around them. Finding good
        articles for class is easy. Look in the Wall Street Journal on page A2, "The
        Economy." The commodities page has a supply-and-demand article every
        day. The Sunday "Business" section in the New York Times almost always
        has something you can use, as do the editorial pages. Make a "clip-and-
        save" file, gather articles as you see them, and then break them out when
        you cover that topic. Searching the paper for a few minutes every day will
        quickly produce more good articles than you can use.

Student Evaluation
Student grades are determined as an average of tests, quizzes, papers, and extra-
credit assignments. Grades are broken down as follows:

Tests                40%     Units 2, 3, 4, 5
Quizzes              10%     Units 1, 6, 8
Papers               30%     Nickel and Dimed summer reading, Nickel and
                             Dimed supply-and-demand analysis, The Worldly
                             Philosophers paper
Project              10%     Mutual fund project, AP Released Exam free-
                             response section
Final                10%     Comprehensive




                                                                                         4
Teacher Resources
Economics U$A. Video series. Produced by Educational Film Center. N.p., 2002.

Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America. New
  York: Metropolitan Books, 2001.

Heilbroner, Robert L. The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the
  Great Economic Thinkers. Rev. 7th ed. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999.

Mankiw, N. Gregory. Principles of Economics. 3rd ed. Mason, Ohio: Thompson
 South-Western, 2004.

Morton, John S., and Rae Jean B. Goodman. 2004. Advanced Placement
 Economics: Microeconomics, Student Activities. 3rd ed. New York: National
 Council on Economic Education.

The New York Times

The Wall Street Journal




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