Economics 101

by David K. Levine (August 01, 2000)

This is the first upper division microeconomics course for economics majors. It covers the basics tools required for upper division economics, and is relatively mathematical.

PREREQUISITES: You must have two courses in calculus and economics 11. We will make serious use of calculus. We will do differentiation, simple equation solving, and a limited amount of integration. It is crucial that you feel comfortable with these operations. If calculus is something you once knew but are now fuzzy on, you will find this course difficult.

TEXTS: We will use two textbooks.

H. R. Varian, Intermediate Microeconomics: A Modern Approach, 4th edition, Norton, ISBN 0-393-96842-1

H.S. Bierman and L. Fernandez, Game Theory with Economic Applications, Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-56298.

LECTURES: You are responsible for all material covered in lecture as well as the required reading.

GRADING: You will be graded on four problem sets, a midterm exam and the final exam. Each problem set will count for 5% of your grade. The midterm exam will have three equally weighted questions, and counts 30% of your grade. It will be based directly on the problem sets. The midterm and problem sets are optional. The final exam is mandatory, and will cover the entire course, and have six equally weighted questions accounting for 50% of your grade. If you do better on the final than on either the midterm or the problem sets, it will replace the corresponding grade.

EXAMS: Dates of the exams, as well as due dates for the problem sets are given below. The midterm is given in class. Attendance at the final exam is mandatory; if you miss the midterm, the final will count in its place. If you do not think you can make the final exam, do not enroll in this class: you will either fail the class, or, with the approval of the academic dean, drop the class or withdraw from the quarter. There are no exceptions. I do not give incompletes, nor is it possible to make up a poor or non-existent exam grade by "doing an extra credit project."

If your exam score has been tallied incorrectly, we will gladly correct it. Otherwise, if you feel your exam has been graded unfairly, you should bring it to me (and not to the TA) and submit the entire exam for regrading. If errors in your favor are discovered, you may receive a lower grade. I have no interest in the possibility that a few more points on a particular question might net you a higher grade in the class, but I am concerned that you are graded fairly.

You must bring two large BLUEBOOKs to the midterm, and three to the final exam. Do not write your name in them: you will turn them in and they will be randomly distributed. Do all scratchwork in the bluebook. Do not remove pages or erase: simply put a line through errors or scratch work. You must use pen.

WORLD WIDE WEB: The slides used in class and all materials distributed in class will also be available on the world wide web. To use the material you will need access the the web and a web browser. If you do not currently have access to the web, you may go to one of the Social Science Computer Labs in Bunche 2149, 2155, Franz 2434, Haines 37, Powell 145, 307, 320, or 320B. Alternatively (and highly recommended) you can establish a Bruin Online account. To do this, you should purchase the Bruin Online client software from the ASUCLA Student Store. This will contain instructions on setting up and accessing a Bruin Online account. You may also establish an internet access account with any commercial internet provider.

Once you have established access to the world wide web, point your browser at Follow the directions there to access the course material. While using the material found on the web is not required, it is highly recommended. Because materials for the lectures are being provided (in advance) I will not have a notetaker for this course.

You are encouraged to submit questions to the TAs and myself by e-mail as an alternative to attending office hours.

Contact Information


fax: (310) 825-3810 or (310) 825-9528; phone: (310) 825-3810

administrative assistant: Chris Frank (310) 825-1011,

David Levine
8th Floor Bunche Hall
Department of Economics
Los Angeles, CA 90095 USA

Appointments are best arranged by email at

TA Information

Matteo Alvisi

Office: Bunche 9372

Office Hours: Friday 11am-1pm

E-Mail Address:

Web-Site: none yet

Sections: Tue 12:00-12:50pm Bunche 2156; Tue 4:00-4:50pm Bunche 3117


Elisa Mariscal

Office: TBA

Office Hours: TBA

E-Mail Address:

Web-Site: none yet

Sections: Th 11:00-11:50pm Bunche 2156; Th 3:00-3:50pm Bunche 3156

Course Schedule

Course Schedule

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Date last modified: August 01, 2000 12:10 PM.


Winter 1997 (Tue 09:30 AM - 10:45 AM Dodd 161) (Thu 09:30 AM - 10:45 AM Dodd 161)


Week Date Lecture Assignment Section reading in Varian reading in Bierman and Fernandez
1 Jan 7 Econ 11 review   review problems    
  Jan 9 Monopoly     23  
2 Jan 14 Duopoly and the Prisoner's Dilemma     31 11.4, 11.5
  Jan 16 Dominance and the Second Price Auction        
3 Jan 21 Iterated Dominance in the Cournot Model       11.6, 13.1, 13.2, 13.3
  Jan 23 Nash Equilibrium and Coordination Games PS#1A   27 5.4, 11.7, 11.8
4 Jan 28 Cournot, Bertrand   review PS#1A 26 13.5, 13.6, 13.7
  Jan 30 Subgame Perfect Equilibrium PS#1B      5.1, 5.2
5 Feb 4 Information Sets and the Normal Form PS#2A review PS#1B and #2A   11.3
  Feb 6 Stackelberg Equilibrium and Precommitment PS#2B   26  
6 Feb 11 Discounting   cancelled: extra office hours 10  
  Feb 13 MIDTERM EXAM        
7 Feb 18 Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma   review midterm   23
  Feb 20 Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma       23
8 Feb 25 Long Run versus Short Run PS#3A review PS#3   23
  Feb 27 Probability Theory, Conditional Probability and Bayes Law PS#3B     2.4, 3.3, 3.5
9 Mar 4 Expected Utility Theory   preliminary course review   2.5, 2.6
  Mar 6 Mixed Strategy Equilibrium       11.9
10 Mar 11 Dynamic Programming PS#4 review PS#4   1
  Mar 13 Types and Incomplete Information Cournot Competition   final course review   17
11 Mar 20 FINAL EXAM: Thursday, 3:00pm-6:00pm in Dodd 161        




Office Hours and Scheduling Information

Summer 2000
Fall 2000
 Economics 218
3:30 PM-5:00 PM Economics 219