Economics 101

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Spring 2003 (material from other quarters)

by David K. Levine

All materials distributed in class, plus slides from the lectures and due dates will be available at this web site. For information about how to access the material on this site, click here. Changes in the course and other course news can be found here.

Discussion, announcements and news

  Exam rules and tips

   Information on accessing material from this site

  Course schedule and slides from lectures

  Contact information and office hours for the Professor and TAs

  Background Reading: Pure Exchange General Equilibrium; Production Theory

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 Economics 11 and Mathematics 31A, and 31B or 31E. 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: The OPTIONAL text is Robert Gibbons Game Theory for Applied Economists.

LECTURES AND SECTIONS: You are responsible for all material covered in lecture and section meetings as well as the required reading.

SLIDES: The main resource for the class are the slides which can be found on the course schedule page. These are the slides used in lecture, and you are encouraged to print them out and bring them to class to take notes on. You may wish to print more than one slide on a page: Adobe Acrobat allows you to do this from the print menu. Click on the "properties" button. The next dialog will give you the option to select the number of "pages per page" that you would like to print.

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 five 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 in the course schedule. The date of the final exam is available from the schedule of classes at the time you register: the final exam will be given at that date and time only. Please do not come to see me at the end of the quarter to explain that you have a conflict among your final exams. The midterm is given in class. The final exam is mandatory; if you miss the midterm, the final will count in its place. There is no makeup final exam. Incompletes are given only if you miss the final exam for good reason (medical or legal problems) and with written documentation. Otherwise, if you miss the exam you will either fail the class, or, with the approval of the academic dean, withdraw from the quarter. You may not drop this class because it is impacted. There are no exceptions. It is not possible to make up a poor or non-existent exam grade by "doing an extra credit project."
Students With Disabilities: Some students are entitled to extra time on examinations because of documented disabilities. Arrangements for this must be made with the UCLA Office For Students With Disabilities, and it is the students responsibility to communicate the following information to that office:
Exams must begin prior to the end of the regularly scheduled exam, and must be administered by the Office For Students With Disabilities, who must provide room space and proctoring for the exam. The exam is not available to the Office For Students With Disabilities until the beginning of the regularly scheduled exam, and only at the location at which that exam is given at the time of the examination. That office must send a representative who must properly identify him/herself to the exam proctor to receive a copy of the examination. It is the responsibility of the Office For Students with Disabilities to make arrangements with the head TA (contact information available on this website) to return the completed exam prior to the time grading begins.

HONORS CONTRACTS: This is a large lecture class, completely unsuitable for honors contracts. As a result, I will not agree to one.

PTEs: No such thing. If you have a problem getting into class you must see the undergraduate advisor.

MIRROR SITES: There are a number of mirrors of the class website which you may want to record in case one is unavailable. They are

Note that if you post to a discussion board on one site, it may take up to two days before the post appears on the other sites; as a result it is recommended that you use the main site, especially for posting.

REGRADING: We are always happy to talk to you about how exams and problem sets are graded. If a 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). If you feel your problem set had been graded unfairly, you should bring it to the TA who graded it. In each case you must submit the entire assignment for regrading, you may not just ask to get extra points for a particular question. In order to have a problem set regraded, you must submit it for regrading prior to the deadline announced on the class schedule. If errors in your favor are discovered, you may receive a lower grade. It is not fair to ask for a few more points on a particular question because it might net you a higher grade in the class, but we are all concerned that your grade fairly reflect your performance in the class. Please do not ask us what the cutoff is for the next highest grade.

EXAM EQUIPMENT: 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. You must use pen. Do not remove pages or erase: simply put a line through errors or scratch work. Calculators are not allowed, rulers are OK. You must have a photo ID.

TURNING IN HOMEWORK: Homework is due at the announced date and time. You may either turn in a hardcopy to the box in the TA room 2265, or electronically by email in the form of a pdf file which you produce from your choice of text processor or scanning. You may turn in homework in groups of up to 4 people - in this case you should turn in one assignment with the names of all of the people who collaborated. Group homework is graded exactly the same way as individual homework - and it is recommended that you work in groups both for your benefit in reviewing and understanding the material, and for our benefit in grading it. On the first page of the assignment you should list the names of all of the people (up to 4) submitting the homework and one TA session in which you would like the assignment returned. (The person receiving the assignment will be responsible for making sure the other collaborators get copies.) Points may be deducted for assignments that do not meet these standards.
HOME WORK BY EMAIL: The email for homework submitted by email can be found on the TA page. Note that such formats as MS Word are not acceptable, only pdf may be submitted. Social Sciences Computing has a HP Digital Sender next to the helpdesk in 2041 Public Policy that you may use to submit homework by email. The homework file should be an attachment consisting of a single file (not a separate file for each page); the name of the attachment file should include the student ID number of one of the collaborators (this isn't used to identify the homework, but rather to make sure that all the attachments have different names). 
HOMEWORK GRADING: Homework is primarily for your benefit so you can learn to do the problems and score well on the exams. It is graded largely on whether you made an effort to do the problems, not on whether you got the right answers (exams, by contrast are graded largely on whether you did the problems right). We provide answer keys, and the TAs will review the answers, so you should have many opportunities to understand how correctly to do the problems. In addition the midterm (which is replaced by a higher grade on the final) will give you a chance to learn how best to prepare for the final exam.
PDF CONVERSION: Neevia Technologies provides a free conversion service for converting word documents into PDF files. You may email them a word file attachment at or use their web conversion service at Note that if you send them a file attachment, it is probably a good idea to give the file a short name without spaces in it. If you have problems with the email, try their website. If you are in doubt about what version of PDF to use, earlier versions (lower numbers) are generally more widely compatible. There are three commercial products you can use to produce PDF files on your own computer: adobe acrobat (about $250), databecker's pdf producer, and ehelp's robopdf  (the latter two are about $50, but we have not tested them). You can also produce PDF files on virtually all Unix and Linux systems, using the ps2pdf utility.

EXAMS TIPS: Several tips for getting the best  possible score on exams.

AFTER THE QUARTER IS OVER: After they are graded, final exams are available from the 8th floor Economics Office. If you have questions about your grade, I offer office hours every quarter, so please try to see me then. If you cannot make my regular office hours, you can make an appointment by email to discuss your grade.