Advanced microeconomics

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course is designed to provide a rigorous introduction to the conceptual apparatus of modern microeconomics. Its objective is to equip first-year students with the basic analytical tools required to read and understand contemporary literature in theoretical and applied microeconomics and possibly to approach more advanced research topics in this area.
Expected learning outcomes
By attending this course, the students: 1) will obtain a thorough knowledge of the foundations of modern microeconomic analysis; 2) will learn how to interpret and explain a number of economic phenomena central to contemporary market economies; 3) will acquire advanced skills enabling them to apply the relevant methodology, analytical tools, and theoretical apparatus of modern microeconomics to the solution of a number of economic problems (concerning consumers¿ and producers¿ choices, price formation, economic efficiency, and social welfare).
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Lessons and classes will be held in the assigned classroom, according to the scheduled timetable, provided that the health regulations will make it possible. In any case, all teaching activities will be recorded by making use of the Microsoft Teams platform, so that all lessons and classes will be made available online to all students not only live, but also at any time after recording.
Slides and other teaching materials will be made available at the web page of the course on the Ariel platform.
Course syllabus
Unit 1. Consumers and producers
1. Individual decision making: An introduction
- Market economies: commodities and prices
2. Consumer choice theory
- Preferences and utility
- Utility maximization and expenditure minimization
3. Demand theory
- Individual demand functions: Walrasian and Hicksian
- The Slutsky equation: wealth and substitution effects
- Aggregation
4. Producer choice theory
- Technology: production sets, transformation functions, production functions
- Profit maximization and cost minimization
5. Supply theory
- Individual supply functions
- Cost and supply in the single-output case
- Aggregation
Unit 2. Competitive equilibrium and Pareto optimality
6. Competitive equilibrium and Pareto optimality: An introduction
7. General equilibrium theory: some examples
- The Edgeworth Box economy
- The Robinson Crusoe economy
8. General equilibrium of a market economy with excess demand functions
9. General equilibrium theory and welfare economics
- The two Fundamental Theorems of Welfare Economics
- Pareto optimality and social welfare optima
10. First-order conditions for equilibrium and optimality
Prerequisites for admission
The students are expected to fully master the topics dealt with in the course Mathematics for Economics (6 credits), i.e., linear algebra, intermediate calculus, and an introduction to static optimization. A reasonable acquaintance with introductory and intermediate microeconomics (consumer and producer theory, partial competitive equilibrium theory) is expected.
Teaching methods
The topics dealt with in the course will be thouroughly discussed from an analytical and theoretical viewpoint in a series of lessons. Applications to a number of issues concerning both individual decision-making and market outcomes will be discussed in a series of classes, where the students will have the opportunity to interact with the instructor in analysing the solutions to previously circulated problem sets.
Teaching Resources
Mas-Colell A., M.D. Whinston and J.R. Green, Microeconomic Theory, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1995. Chapters 1.A-B; 2; 3.A-E, G, and I; 4.A-B; 5; 10; 11; 12.A-B; 15; 16.A-F; Mathematical Appendix: M.A-M.F., M.J-M.L.
Varian Hal. R., Microeconomic Analysis, Third Edition, W. W. Norton & Company, New York - London, 1992. Chapters 1-5, 7-10, 13-14, 17-18.
Assessment methods and Criteria
A number of problem sets, both unmarked (UPS) and marked (MPS), will be handed out over the entire duration of the course. All problem sets will be discussed in specific class meetings. Two problem sets will be marked. Students will be required to hand in the solutions to each marked problem set in the week immediately following its distribution. The overall assessment will be based on the successful solution of all the problem sets (20% of the final grade) and a written final examination (80% of the final grade). Regular attendance is encouraged. Two bonus points will be granted to students attending more than 80% of the course lectures and classes. One bonus point will be granted to students attending more than 50%, but less than 80%, of the course lectures and classes. No bonus will be given to students attending less than 50% of the course lectures and classes.
SECS-P/01 - ECONOMICS - University credits: 8
Practicals: 32 hours
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Donzelli Franco
Educational website(s)
Mondays, 4:45-7:45 p.m..
Department of Environmental Science and Policy, 2 Via Celoria, 1st floor, room n. 7.