Main course materials
The main reference for my half of the course is
my lecture notes.
Please regularly check that you have the latest version.
I last updated the notes at
10:41PM, Saturday 03 of December.
You can see what changed using Adobe Acrobat Pro on the uCreate computers.
Tools -> Compare Documents, and select the PDFs containing
the old and new versions of the notes.
You can download the Latex source if you
want to annotate or contribute improvements to the notes.
You can read the Assessment guide with practice exam questions and sample solutions with commentary.
You can browse last year's course materials, which follow a similar schedule.
- 2nd December, 2022: Please nominate teaching staff that you found helpful for a teaching award. This is especially helpful for the tutors who will be looking for jobs.
- 30th of November, 2022:
- I forgot to edit the Assessment Guide. During the pandemic, the December exam was only worth 10% of the mark. Now that the pandemic has ended, the December exam is now worth 25% again, not 10%. My apologies.
- I am happy to write recommendations letters for everyone. There is no minimum mark (although higher marks mean stronger letters).
- Please check my main web page for information about office hours, including cancellations.
- Week 5
- We will do equilibrium existence (5.6) and the second welfare theorem (5.7).
- Homework: 5.3, practice questions 33, practice question 46.
- Week 4
- We will do economies (5.1), efficient allocations (5.2), equilibrium (5.3), Walras law (5.4), the first welfare theorem (5.5), and model formulation.
- Optional: Watch Economies (5.1). You can read the whiteboard.
- Optional: Watch Efficient allocations (5.2). You can read the whiteboard.
- Optional: Watch Equilibrium (5.3). You can read the whiteboard.
- Optional: Watch Model formulation. You can read the whiteboard.
- Optional: Watch First welfare theorem (5.5).
- Optional: Watch Walras law (5.4). You can read the whiteboard.
- Homework: 5.2, practice questions 5(i)-(iv) and 6(i)-(v).
- Week 3
- We will finish convex cost functions (2.5), utility functions (3.1), utility maximisation problems (3.2), time preference (4.1), finite horizon dynamic programming (4.2), consumer demand (3.3), expenditure function (3.4), Slutsky decomposition (3.5).
- Watch Income effects get in the way (3.3) . You can read the whiteboard.
- Watch Isolating the substitution effect (3.4) . You can read the whiteboard.
- Watch Slutsky equation (3.5) . You can read the whiteboard.
- Homework: 2.16, 3.1, 3.4, 4.2, 3.6, 3.7.
- Week 2
- We will do comparative statics (finishing 2.3), dynamic programming (2.4), constrained envelope theorem (starting 2.5), convexity of upper envelopes (finishing 2.5).
- Optional: Watch Comparative statics (finishing 2.3). You can read the whiteboard.
- Optional: Watch Dynamic programming (2.4). You can read the whiteboard.
- Optional: Watch Constrained envelope theorem (starting 2.5). You can read the whiteboard.
- Will we finish 2.5 (about convex cost functions) next week.
- Homework: 2.10, 2.11, 2.12, 2.5 (not 2.15).
- Week 1
- Optional: watch Naive Set Theory (B1, B2, B3) and Naive Set Theory (B4, B5, B6), which will help you understand the notation in the course. Note: these videos were primarily designed for other courses about proofs (including Mathematical Microeconomics 1), but I think many students will find these videos helpful. You can read the first and second whiteboard.
- Optional: watch Production functions 1 (2.1). You can read the whiteboard.
- Optional: watch Concave production functions (D and 2.1). You can read the whiteboard.
- Optional: watch The firm's problem (2.2). You can read the whiteboard. Note: this lecture includes lots of non-examinable material about the chain rule and the implicit function theorem.
- Watch The envelope theorem (2.3). You can read the whiteboard.
- Homework: 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9. This is done in groups, and is due next week. It will be discussed in your tutorials next week.
- In the last step of the chain rule proof of the envelope theorem (minute 26), the partial derivative should be with respect to a, not b.
- In the lazy decision maker proof of the envelope theorem, I sometimes confused Rupert Murdoch's sons, Lachlan and James. Only James is relevant to the proof.
- If you want to learn more mathematics, you can take Mathematical Microeconomics 1 instead.
Details on the assessment (including the marking criteria) are included in the practice question file. Two students kindly donated their marked exam scripts in 2017-8. Note that the December and May exams are marked on the same scale.
Some students like an extra reference, although it is unnecessary. I will only test knowledge from my notes. The references below are also available as a clickable reference list via the library.
Material marked with a star in the notes will only be tested in bonus questions; it is possible to get a distinction in the class without learning the starred material. My notes are closer to Varian and Kreps than MWG, but quite different from all of them. Ambitious students who would like a strong background in mathematics might want to read Maxwell Rosenlicht's (1968) "Introduction to Analysis" or Luenberger's (1969) "Optimization by Vector Space Methods". Angel de la Fuente's (2000) "Mathematical Methods and Models for Economists" is also helpful.
MWG means Mas-Colell, Whinston and Green's (1995) "Microeconomic Theory". V means Varian's (1992) "Microeconomic Analysis". K means Kreps' (1990) "A Course in Microeconomic Theory". KK means Kreps' (2013) "Microeconomic Foundations 1: Choice and Competitive Markets". SL means Stokey and Lucas (1989), "Recursive Methods in Economic Dynamics". Debreu (1960) is Topological methods in cardinal utility theory.
- Production Functions See: V1, MWG5, K7.1
- Profit Maximization See: V2, MWG5, K7.2
- Upper Envelopes and Value Functions See: V3, SL4, MWG5, K7.2
- Cost Functions and Dynamic Programming See: V4, SL4, MWG5, K7.3, K.A.2
- Upper Envelopes with Constraints See: V5, SL4, MWG5, K7.3
- Utility Functions See: V7, MWG3, K2.1
- Utility Maximization See: V7, MWG3, K2.2
- Consumer’s Value and Policy Functions See: V7, MWG3, K2.2, K2.3
- Expenditure Function and Policy Functions See: V7, MWG3, K2.2, K2.3
- Slutsky Decomposition See: V8, MWG3, K2.3
- Time Preference See: Debreu (1960), V19, SL4, SL5, MWG20, KK2.5
- Economies See V17, V18, V19, MWG16, K6.1, K6.2
- Efficient Allocations See V17, V18, V19, MWG16, MWG22, K5.2
- Equilibrium See V17, V18, V19, MWG16, K6.1
- Characterising Equilibria See V17, MWG15, MWG16, MWG20, K2.2
- Efficiency of Equilibria See V17, MWG16, K6.3
- *Existence of Equilibria See V17, MWG17, K6.4
- Implementation of Efficient Allocations See V17, MWG16, K6.3