ECON 202 - Principles of Microeconomics (GT-SS1)

  • 3 credits
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Introduction to decision making by households, firms, and governments, and resulting allocation of resources through markets.

Principles of Microeconomics is an introduction to decision making by households, firms, and government, and the resulting allocation of resources through markets. This course is designed to introduce you to the subject of economics as it pertains to the behavior of consumers, firms, industries and society, and to their desires to get the most from a limited availability of resources.

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • identify the basic issues of microeconomics, and state key economic facts and examples from around the world;
  • explain the basic methods of microeconomics, including basic microeconomic principles, and interpret how they are used to build theories of economic behavior;
  • apply these principles, theories and models to critically analyze and explain economic situations encountered in the real world;
  • evaluate how economics can help you as a local and global citizen contribute to the making of appropriate public policy.

This course requires the use of electronic proctoring through ProctorU, please see for detailed instructions. For students requiring accommodations, please contact Resources for Disabled Students; for consideration of exceptions outside the scope of RDS, please contact the University Testing Center

This course is approved for Validation by Education Experience (VEE) by the Society of Actuaries (SOA).

This course meets the All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC) requirements for Social/Behavioral Sciences (Category 3C) and is approved under gtPathways in the content area of Economic or Political Systems (GT-SS1).


MATH 117 (College Algebra in Context I) or MATH 118 (College Algebra in Context II) or MATH 141 (Calculus in Management Sciences) or MATH 155 (Calculus for Biological Scientists I) or MATH 160 (Calculus for Physical Scientists I). Credit not allowed for both ECON 202 and AREC 202 (Agricultural and Resurce Economics).

Important Information

Prerequisite: College algebra.

Textbooks and Materials

ECON 202 utlizes this text: It is an open-access textbook so it is free to students unless you want to purchase a hard copy.


Levi Altringer

My goal as a teacher is to help students understand what it means to think like a social scientist, and an economist in particular. This means developing theories and tools that help students better understand and critically evaluate the complex system we call the economy. I got into economics because it seemed central in determining the things I cared about and I am convinced that, like me, every student of economics will find it helpful in explaining the social phenomena they encounter. No matter what subject a student chooses to pursue, I believe that one of the primary purposes of higher education should be to develop compassionate, critical minds. I like to bring this perspective to my teaching by emphasizing the complex welfare effects of individual- and group-level economic decision making.

I am interested in studying how structural and intentional processes generate, and perpetuate, hierarchy and, therefore, income and wealth inequality between groups. These interests fall within the emerging field of stratification economics. Specifically, I am interested in investigating how mass incarceration in the United States, a phenomenon which began in the 1980s and has disproportionately affected the African American community, has contributed to the stagnation and retrenchment of racial equality across local labor markets. Mass incarceration negatively affects the economic outcomes of groups who are disproportionately targeted, but there may also be benefits which accrue to insulated groups. I am interested in studying the ways in which human capital accumulation, or educational attainment, can generate increasing inequality between labor and capital within and across countries. This work makes use of the labor theory of value, the rate of surplus value extraction, and social structures of accumulation theory to argue that human capital accumulation may actually exacerbate inequality between labor and capital through technical and social mechanisms.

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