Intermediate Microeconomics

Commerce & Business Administration
Course Code
ECON 3201
Semester Length
15 weeks X 4 hours per week = 60 hours
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course is designed to provide an understanding of microeconomic theory at the intermediate level. The students will be introduced to the concepts and terminology and the analytical tools and methods used by economists to describe and explain consumer and producer behavior. This course includes a thorough development of the technical aspects of the economic concepts relating to consumer and producer behaviour including consumer preferences, utility maximization, individual and market demand, Slutsky (income and substitution effects) decomposition, optimization (first and second order conditions), production theory, the supply decision, firm and industry supply, and industry structure (perfect competition in contrast with monopoly).
Course Content
  1. Introduction and the market
  2. The budget constraint
  3. Preferences
  4. Utility and the utility function
  5. Choice
  6. Consumer demand and revealed preference
  7. Slutsky decomposition (income and substitution effects)
  8. Intertemporal choice (optional)
  9. Market demand
  10. Equilibrium
  11. Production technology, production function
  12. Profit maximization
  13. Cost minimization
  14. Cost curves
  15. Firm and industry supply
  16. General equilibrium
Learning Activities

Lecture / Seminar /Tutorial

Means of Assessment

Problem Sets and Assignments             0% - 15%

Midterm Tests                                   40% - 50%

Final                                                35% - 50%

Total                                                        100%


Students may conduct research as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans, which can require obtaining Informed Consent from participants and getting the approval of the Douglas College Research Ethics Board prior to conducting the research.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course the student will be able to:


  1. Understand the nature of the market and exchange
  2. Explain and develop the budget constraint
  3. Describe and explain the nature of consumer preferences and axioms of choice
  4. Develop and manipulate indifference curves and utility functions
  5. Use the utility function and budget constraint to develop the demand curve
  6. Analyze and calculate first and second order conditions of constrained utility maximization.
  7. Utilize the demand curve and indifference curves to measure consumer surplus, CV’s and EV’s
  8. Analyze the income and substitution effects from the demand curve
  9. Develop the market demand, inverse demand function, and explain market equilibrium
  10. Explore the process of production and develop an understanding of isoquants, the production function, MP, and technical rate of substitution
  11. Analyze short run and long run profit maximization conditions and comparative statics.
  12. Analyze and understand the process of profit maximization and cost minimization
  13. Explain cost curves and calculate and explain the firm’s supply curve
  14. Explain the firm’ supply decision under conditions of perfect competition
  15. Relate firm’s supply curve to the industry supply curve
  16. Explain and analyze exchange, mutual benefit, partial equilibrium, and general equilibrium
Textbook Materials

H. Varian, Intermediate Microeconomics: A Modern Approach.  Norton (latest edition)


T. Bergstrom and H. Varian, Workouts in Intermediate Microeconomics, Norton,


Or textbook approved by department.



ECON 1150 Principles of Microeconomics,

ECON 1250 Principles of Macroeconomics, and

MATH 1125 Calculus for Social Sciences or (MATH 1120 Calculus)


No corequisite courses.


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for ECON 3201
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU ECON 211 (3)
Coast Mountain College (CMTN) CMTN ELEC (3)
College of New Caledonia (CNC) CNC ECON 201 (3)
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR ECON 207 (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU ECON 2350 (3)
Okanagan College (OC) OC ECON 2XX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU ECON 2XX (4)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ECON 2XXX (3)
University Canada West (UCW) UCW ECON 2XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV ECON 301 (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ECON 203 (1.5)

Course Offerings

Fall 2023