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IGNOU BECC 131 Syllabus – Principles of Microeconomics-I
Economics is a dynamic subject that assists economic agents in making decisions such as which commodities to produce. How to manufacture? Which techniques should I employ? Which factors or resources should be used, in what combinations, and in what quantities should a commodity be produced? How do customers make purchase decisions and how do their choices change when prices and incomes fluctuate? How do businesses determine how many employees to hire and how employees determine where to work and how much work to perform? In other words, economics has shifted away from supporting the activities of the state and toward assisting the average citizen in making several critical decisions affecting their daily lives.
Today, economics encompasses a broad range of activities. These activities include the following: (a) consumer behaviour or the process of choice; (b) producer behaviour or how production is organised and carried out, the unique role of cost functions in this process, and also the various forms of market organisation; and (c) different individuals collaborate in the production process to contribute factors owned by them. The purpose of this course on the fundamentals of microeconomics is to familiarise students with each of these facets. Three blocks comprise the course.
Block 1 introduces the subject of Economics by discussing the fundamentals of demand and supply and how demand and supply curves are used to depict market mechanisms. The block consists of four units. Introduction to Economics and Economy Unit 1 discusses the fundamental nature of economics as well as the fundamental concepts and methodologies employed in the discipline. Unit 2 discusses Demand Principles, the Concept and Measurement of Demand Elasticity, and its Determinants. Unit 3 covers the Law of Supply, Supply Elasticity and its determinants, and Measurement. Unit 4 covers the Market Mechanism via the lens of the Supply and Demand curves.
Block-2 Theory of Consumer Behaviour
Microeconomics is essentially concerned with the determination of prices. Prices are decided in a market economy by the interplay of customers, firms, and workers. Consumers create demand. As a result, this block discusses the fundamental ideas underpinning consumer behaviour. The block is divided into two units.
Unit 5 discusses consumer behaviour using a cardinal method, in which utility is quantified. The law of diminishing marginal utility, consumer equilibrium via equi-marginal utility, demand curve derivation, consumer surplus, and critical evaluation of cardinal utility studies are the unit’s primary contents. Unit 6 examines consumer behaviour from an ordinal perspective, in which utility is measured in terms of preferences and ranking. This unit discussed the properties of indifference curves, consumer equilibrium as determined by indifference curve analysis, the law of diminishing marginal rate of substitution, the separation of price effect into income and substitution effects, and the derivation of demand curve from indifference curve.
Block-3 Production and Costs
Block 3 develops the firm’s philosophy and elucidates the laws that govern production. This enables you to understand how organisations use inputs such as capital, labour, and raw materials to produce goods and services at the lowest possible cost. Various concepts such as the production function, iso product curves, and iso-cost lines have been explained during this procedure.
The block is divided into four units. Unit 7 examines the law of variable proportions and the production function with a single variable input. Unit 8 discusses isoquant properties, optimal factor combinations, and producer’s equilibrium. Additionally, the economic zone of production, ridge lines, and the extension path were studied. Unit 9 discusses the production function where all inputs are variable, and hence the application of returns to scale. Unit 10 examines the cost side of manufacturing by examining several sorts of costs.