APME83-Consumer, Producers, Markets and Trade

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Garth Holloway

Email: garth.holloway@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module is designed to familiarise students with the rigorous application of microeconomic reasoning underpinning the theory and application of consumer behaviour, the theory and application of producer behaviour, the theory and application of market behaviour and the theory and application of trade behaviour. 



While the theory of these interlinked concepts provides the foundation for their study, principal emphasis surrounds the application of the microeconomic tools for better understanding empirically observable consumer, producer, markets and trade phenomena.



In addition to presentations of conventional theoretical concepts deemed essential for post-graduate training in the theory of micro-economic concepts and the practice of post-graduate research applying micro-economic concepts, the course emphasizes additional concepts surrounding research topics within which the module providers are internationally recognized.



Following presentation of the basic theory of consumer behaviour, the course introduces students to the key concepts underpinning behavioural economics. Subsequently, following presentation of the basic theory of producer behaviour, the course introduces students to the key concepts underpinning risk, uncertainty, and choice and introduces theoretical and practical issues surrounding international trade.


Aims:

This module is designed to familiarise students with the rigorous application of microeconomic reasoning underpinning the theory and application of consumer behaviour, the theory and application of producer behaviour, the theory and application of market behaviour and the theory and application of trade behaviour.  While the theory of these interlinked concepts provides the foundation for their study, emphasis resides upon the application of the microeconomic tools for better understanding empirically observable consumer, producer, markets and trade phenomena.


Assessable learning outcomes:

It is intended that the students who pass this module are able to enact formal microeconomic reasoning at levels enabling them to digest representative scientific literature; conduct theoretical evaluations of some commonly-encountered mathematical-economic structures; and undertake empirical research.


Additional outcomes:

Successful students should also have an appreciation of the ways in which formal, microeconomic analyses uncover hitherto unidentified solutions to many real-world problems encountered in a broad collection of scientific disciplines.


Outline content:

Below is an indicative outline of the module content – it maybe subject to change:



Lecture 1: Introduction and Module Organisation




  • Models, Methods and Their Roles in Economics

  • Introduction to Consumer Theory

  • The Budget Constraint 



Lecture 2: Preferences




  • Utility

  • Choice

  • Lecture 3: Demand

  • Consumer’s Surplus



Lecture 4: Introduction to The Lagrangean Method




  • Application to Geometric Choice

  • Application to Estimator Choice

  • Application to Consumer Choice



Lecture 5: Buying and Selling




  • The Household Production Model

  • Intertemporal Choice



Test One



Lecture 6: Introduction to Behavioural Economics




  • Rational Choice

  • Bounded Rationality



Lecture 7: Introduction to Game Theory




  • Basic Game Theory Concepts

  • Nash Equilibrium

  • Subgame Perfect Equilibrium

  • Some Basic Games, Puzzles and Evidence



Lecture 8: Introduction to Public Goods




  • The Fundamental Theory of Public Goods

  • Evidence For Public Goods

  • The Private Provision of A Public Good

  • The Case For Government Intervention



Lecture 9: Some Further Results In Behavioural Economics




  • Auctions

  • The Winner’s Curse

  • Experimental Economics

  • Experimental Markets from Chamberlain to Vernon Smith



Lecture 10: Multinational Firms




  • The Basic Theory of The Multinational Firm

  • The Economic Geography of Multinational Firms



Test Two



Lecture 11: Introduction to The Theory of The Producer




  • Technology

  • Production Possibilities

  • The Composed-Error Model



Lecture 12: Profit Maximization




  • Cost Minimization

  • Cost Curves



Lecture 13: Firm Supply




  • Industry Supply

  • Monopoly



Lecture 14: Monopolistic Behaviour




  • Third-Degree Price Discrimination

  • Oligopoly

  • Cournot-Nash Behaviour

  • Stackelberg Leader-Follower Behaviour

  • Bowley Leader-Leader Behaviour



Lecture 15: Exchange




  • Pareto-Efficiency and Welfare

  • ` Production

  • The Robinson-Crusoe Economy



Test Three



Lecture 16: Introduction to Risk and Uncertainty




  • Risk

  • Expected Utility

  • Prospect Theory

  • Implications for Farmer Decision Making 

  • Insurance and Futures



Lecture 17: Temporal Discounting




  • Present Value

  • Net Present Value

  • Future Value

  • Rational, Hyperbolic and Alternative Approaches



Lecture 18: Social Welfare, Utilitarian Justice and Choice




  • The Benthamite Approach

  • The Rawlsian Approach

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Web, whiteboard and projection media are all used to exchange learning inputs within this module.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 20
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 10 10
    Wider reading (directed) 10 10
    Exam revision/preparation 30 30
    Advance preparation for classes 10 10
    Revision and preparation 20 20
       
Total hours by term 100 100 0
       
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Class test administered by School 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

4 x Tests


Formative assessment methods:

Problem sets will be assigned on a regular basis but will not be graded. However, completion of these assignments is intended to prepare students for the four modular tests.


Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

50% overall.


Reassessment arrangements:

By coursework.


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 23 May 2019

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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