ECON 302


Course Documents
By enrolling in this section, you agree to the policies outlined in the course documents.
Fall 2020 Syllabus
Details about Grading
Missing or Planning to Miss an Exam or Problem Set or Live Session? and Certificate of Illness
Regrade Policy
The "Syllabus" page on Canvas has a FAQ section that you may find informative.

Tips for Succeeding in ECON 302

Lecture Slides
Slides will be posted as the semester progresses along lecture recordings (links will be inactive before posting; see dates on syllabus). These slides provide a brief overview of the topics covered in this course. It is recommended that you read and THINK THROUGH them before lecture. The slides are NOT meant to be comprehensive, so you should attend lectures and complement the slides with your own notes.
Introduction
Review: Pareto Efficiency and Welfare Analysis
Externalities, Property Rights and Public Goods
Monopoly
Introduction to Games and Expected Utility Theory
Iterated Strict Dominance
Nash Equilibrium
Cournot and Bertrand Competition
Backward Induction
Repeated Games
Price Discrimination
Adverse Selection
Signaling
Lotteries over Money and Attitudes toward Risk
Moral Hazard

Problem Sets and Practice Problems
Problem sets must be submitted on Canvas by the end of day on each due date; solutions are posted on Canvas soon thereafter.
Make sure that your submission is legible. Your TA will check your submissions for completeness only. The point is to discourage you from falling behind. It is NOT to evaluate how well you're doing, so don't assume that you're fine just because you're getting full marks on problem sets. You are responsible for actually checking what you did right and what you did wrong, and for understanding the solutions (both the details and the big picture): this is often as important as doing the problem set in the first place!
Problem Set 0: See Canvas (due September 18)
Problem Set 1 (due September 25)
Problem Set 2 (due October 2)
Problem Set 3 (due October 16)
Problem Set 4 (due October 23) Related: Finding Nash Equilibria
Problem Set 5 (due October 30) Related: Cost Function of a Merged Firm (by Kevin Chen, past TA)
Problem Set 6 (due November 13) Related: Finding Strategies and Deriving the Normal Form for a Sequential Game (by Kevin Chen)
Problem Set 7 (due November 20)
Problem Set 8 (due November 27)
Problem Set 9 (due December 4)
Practice Problems on Moral Hazard

Most of ECON 302 is about maximizing expected utility/profit and figuring out the welfare implications of this maximization. The exact way in which the maximization is done varies according to the economic situation, but it always takes the form of "Choose an action/strategy to maximize expected utility/profit, taking certain things as given and/or subject to certain constraints."
Here is an overview of the various "kinds of maximization" from ECON 201 and 302. You should not have to learn this document by heart - if you understand the material, you should naturally know all of this. Instead, find the similarities and differences between the settings, and see if you understand WHY they're there.
If you know how to write down the expressions to maximize and the constraints, can perform the maximization, understand the reasoning and economic intuition, and know how to evaluate the efficiency of the outcomes, you should do well in this course.

Practice Exams
All past ECON 302 exams by Shih En, along with solutions, are available on Canvas.
Please note: There is no quiz this semester due to the presence of live exercises. Unlike in semesters prior to 2017 (when externalities and public goods were covered at the end of the semester), this semester's midterm may include questions about externalities and public goods, but cover less game theory. Also, unlike in semesters prior to 2019, Stackelberg competition (oligopoly with sequential moves) and second-best calculations in second-degree price discrimination are no longer covered in ECON 302. Finally, like for exams since 2018, this semester's exams will indicate which questions are "basic," and which are "challenge."
You won't get much out of the practice exams unless you actively use them to understand the underlying concepts: most exam questions change every semester. So don't rush through these exams: if you have to choose, sacrifice quantity of practice rather than quality of practice.

External Resources
This material can be helpful if you have trouble taking good notes in class - remember that slides are provided as a courtesy, and should not be considered complete notes - or need the course content explained in another way. Please note that these resources do NOT cover every topic in the course, but also that the course does NOT cover every topic from these webpages.
Introduction to Economic Analysis (textbook by R. Preston McAfee, Tracy R. Lewis and Donald J. Dale)
Game Theory 101 (videos by William Spaniel)
Disclaimer: The ECON 302 staff takes no responsibility for the content of these websites. In particular, it is the viewer's responsibility to note any mistakes or differences in definitions.