Economics 315 – Intermediate Business Microeconomics, Summer 2018 Syllabus

Faculty: Francis Mummery Schedule #: 10629; Section: 6; Time: 6:00 – 8:50 PM, Mon, Tue, Thur;

Room: SGMH 2301; Office: SGMH 3384; Phone: 657 278-2237; email:

Office Hours: Mon, Tue, Thur: 5:30 – 6:00 PM and 8:50 – 9:20 PM; and by appointment



Welcome to Economics 315 – Intermediate Business Microeconomics!  The primary objective of this course is to develop the complete set of tools required for a firm’s manager to make well informed, responsible, and efficient business decisions in an increasingly dynamic world.  The course integrates traditional microeconomic analysis and standard topics with the treatment of current and important topics faced by today’s managers.


To be adequately prepared for today’s fast changing business environment, managers must have an understanding of the vast array of influences on the firm and an appreciation of the environment in which it operates.  Hence, a business student’s education is incomplete without adequate exposure to the following perspectives: (i) Ethical issues; (ii) Global issues; (iii) Political, social, legal, regulatory, and environmental issues; (iv) Technological issues, and (v) The impact of demographic diversity on organizations.  This class will provide the students with the tools to apply the insights of economics to the business environment with the perspectives outlined above.



Students taking this course must have completed Econ 201, Econ 202, and Math 135.  In addition, students should have had, or currently be enrolled in ISDS 361A.  All unqualified students should drop this course.


Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 9th Edition, by Michael R. Baye and Jeffrey T. Prince, McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2017, with Connect.


Study Tools:

I encourage you to use the publisher’s website which is full of practice exercises and additional examples (see  In addition, tutors are available at the Mihaylo College Tutoring Center (


I encourage you to read The Wall Street Journal or The Economist.  Discounted options on both of these will be made available to you in class.


My experience has shown me that the students that perform best in this class are those that come to every class, take careful notes, continually review the material, and practice with homework exercises.


You will be required to do a number of homework exercises throughout the semester and your performance on these exercises will be included in your course grade.  These assignments will be announced in class and you will be assigned exercises from each chapter we cover.  You will be doing all of the assignments in Connect.  This program can be purchased as part of a package with your text at the bookstore, or you can purchase it separately if you wish. 


The Connect Web Address for this class is:





Grades will be assigned based on student performance in the following areas:



Points Counted

Actual Points Available

% of Total

Exam 1




Exam 2




Homework (through Connect)




Comprehensive Final Exam









The grading scale is: A = 270+; B = 240 – 269; C = 210 – 239; D = 180 – 209; F: < 180 based on the actual points counted.  No plus/minus grades are given in this course.  Notice that there are 10 bonus points possible in the homework. 


You will need Scantron 882 for all exams.  Exams will be a mixture of true/false, multiple choice, and short answer/graphing/calculation. 


Exams cannot be scheduled for other dates.  There are no make-ups except in extreme cases and only with documentation and timely consultation with the instructor.


Unprofessional conduct (late arrival, early departure, absence, disruptive behavior, texting in class) could result in a 10% (or more) course grade reduction.  No phones, tablets, or laptops are to be used in class.



Academic Dishonesty:

Academic dishonesty, when detected, will result in a grade of F for the course plus additional university level disciplinary action leading to expulsion.


Course Outline:

The outline below is tentative and subject to change.  The Roman numerals (i) through (v) reflect the perspectives mentioned in the Introduction that are interwoven in the course material 




Chapter(s), (perspectives)


1:  The Fundamentals of Managerial Economics (ii);

2:  Market Forces: Demand Supply (ii, iii, iv, v)


2:  Market Forces: Demand and Supply (ii, iii, iv, v);

3:  Quantitative Demand Analysis (ii, iii, iv, v)


3:  Quantitative Demand Analysis (ii, iii, iv, v)


3:  Quantitative Demand Analysis (ii, iii, iv, v)



5:  The Production Process and Costs (ii, iii, iv)


5:  The Production Process and Costs (ii, iii, iv);

6:  The Organization of the Firm (ii, iii, iv)


6:  The Organization of the Firm (ii, iii, iv);

7:  The Nature of Industry (iii, iv)


7:  The Nature of Industry (iii, iv);

8:  Managing in Competitive, Monopolistic, and Monopolistically Competitive Markets, (i, iii, iv)


8:  Managing in Competitive, Monopolistic, and Monopolistically Competitive Markets, (i, iii, iv)



9:  Basic Oligopoly Models (i, iii)


9:  Basic Oligopoly Models (i, iii);

10: Game Theory: Inside Oligopoly (i, iii)


10: Game Theory: Inside Oligopoly (i, iii);

11: Pricing Strategies for Firms with Market Power (i, iii)


11: Pricing Strategies for Firms with Market Power (i, iii)


11: Pricing Strategies for Firms with Market Power (i, iii);

13: Advanced Topics in Business Strategy (i, iii)


FINAL EXAM, 6:00 – 7:50 PM



Additional Course Information:

You are expected to arrive in class before the start of the lecture.  If you must arrive late, please be as undisruptive as possible. 

There are no exceptions to the course grading outlined above.

There are no exceptions to the final exam date set by the University. 

Students with disabilities have the right to accommodations for documented special needs via the Disability Support Services, UH 101 or via  

All students should be aware of the required steps for campus emergencies:   


Mihaylo College of Business and Economics Assessment Statement  


The programs offered in Mihaylo College of Business and Economics (MCBE) at Cal State Fullerton are designed to provide every student with the knowledge and skills essential for a successful career in business. Since assessment plays a vital role in Mihaylo College’s drive to offer the best, several assessment tools are implemented to constantly evaluate our program as well as our students’ progress.  Students, faculty, and staff should expect to participate in MCBE assessment activities.  In doing so, Mihaylo College is able to measure its strengths and weaknesses, and continue to cultivate a climate of excellence in its students and programs.


Learning Outcomes for Economics 315


Overview:  After taking this course, students should understand how to apply economic theory and methods to managerial decisions.  They should be able to link external market forces to business output and pricing decisions, know how to apply marginal analysis to discrete business choices, and recognize the market structure in which a business operates and its effects on decision making.  Students should be able to:


  1. Recognize the difference between opportunity and accounting costs and understand the impact of opportunity costs on managerial decision making.
  2. Understand the importance of converting future values to a present value and apply present value tools to calculations of the value of the firm, project choice and other applications.
  3. Distinguish marginal impacts from total impacts and use marginal analysis for the determination of an optimal choice variable in a discrete and continuous setting.
  4. Identify the factors in consumer demand and producer supply.
  5. Determine a predicted market equilibrium graphically and algebraically.
  6. Clarify the welfare impacts to society of a market equilibrium.
  7. Determine the direction of market equilibrium changes following governmental interventions in a market.
  8. Determine the direction of market equilibrium changes following external changes in a market (comparative statics).
  9. Explain the concept of own-price and other elasticities.
  10. Calculate elasticities using point estimates and functional formulas.
  11. Identify the factors affecting an own-price elasticity for a firm’s product.
  12. Use own-price elasticity concepts to determine the optimal price/ quantity combination to maximize a firm’s total revenue.
  13. Obtain elasticities using different types of demand functions.
  14. Analyze demand and supply function coefficients to analyze the nature of a good and its market impacts.
  15. Clarify the relationship between inputs and outputs in a production function.
  16. Distinguish the short-run and long-run frameworks for planning.
  17. Calculate short-run measures of efficiency and use these measures to determine the optimal amount of a variable input for a profit-maximizing firm.
  18. Conceptualize the long-run technology choice of a firm to minimize costs to achieve production goals.
  19. Calculate the associated costs of input usage in the short and long-run.
  20. Determine the optimal scale of firm production in relation to average costs.
  21. Calculate concentration statistics and other ratios which identify the different types of market structure in which a firm operates.
  22. Understand how market structure impacts a firm’s pricing and quantity decisions.
  23. Calculate the optimal quantity and pricing decisions of firms in different market structures (perfect competition, monopoly, monopolistic competition) to achieve profit maximization.
  24. Apply the shutdown analysis to firms operating with short-run losses.
  25. Use the tools of marginal analysis or game theory to determine pricing and quantity strategies for firms operating in an oligopolistic market structure.


Economics  315 and the B.A. in Business Administration  

How does this class relate to others you will take in your B.A. in Business Administration? Below you will find a chart listing concepts covered in this class and how they relate to other subjects covered in your other classes. 

Economics 315

Intermediate Business Microeconomics


Key Concepts

Link to Core


Key Concept 1: Firm goals, choices & constraints

Key Concept 2: Opportunity (implicit) costs Vs. accounting (explicit) costs

Key Concept 3: 5 Forces affecting firm outcomes

Accounting 201B


Key Concept 1: Net present value, time value money

Key Concept 2: Project analysis/value of the firm

Key Concept 3: Math review (calculus, graphs)

Finance 320


Key Concept 1: Optimization using table data and functions

Key Concept 2: The role of marginal analysis

Key Concept 3: Review



Key Concept 1: Demand analysis using table and function data

Key Concept 2: Supply analysis using table and function data

Key Concept 3: Market price and quantity equilibrium



Key Concept 1: Forecasting sales changes given demand shift factors

Key Concept 2: Forecasting output changes with supply shift factors

Key Concept 3: Impact of government price interventions



Key Concept 1: Own-price elasticity of consumer responsiveness

Key Concept 2: Use of elasticity to maximize total revenue

Key Concept 3: Calculation and use of other elasticities

Marketing 351


Key Concept 1: Distinguishing short vs. long-run firm production choices

Key Concept 2: Productivity measures and choice of a variable input in the short-run

Key Concept 3: Optimal mix (or location) of inputs for cost-minimization in the long-run

Management 339


Key Concept 1: Engineering production relationships (functions)

Key Concept 2: Costs (fixed and variable) derived from use of inputs

Key Concept 3: Choices of scale (sales level) and unit costs

Accounting 201B


Key Concept 1: Definition of transaction costs

Key Concept 2: Methods and choice of input provision

Key Concept 3: Different wage packages for incentives

Management 246


Key Concept 1: Profit maximization analysis

Key Concept 2: Application of profit maximization in perfect competition

Key Concept 3: Relevant costs and firm shutdown decisions



Key Concept 1: Applications of profit maximization in monopoly

Key Concept 2: Barriers to entry and market power

Key Concept 3: Monopolistic competition, advertising

Marketing 351


Key Concept 1: Profit maximization in oligopoly settings

Key Concept 2: Game theory applied to 2-firm actions

Key Concept 3: Summary of four market structures



Key Concept 1: Pricing strategies for firms w/ market power

Key Concept 2: Levels of price discrimination

Key Concept 3: Two-part pricing, block pricing, bundling













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Last modified: 07/20/15