PhD Microeconomics I

ECS504 PhD Microeconomics I

Autumn 2021

  • Topics

    The purpose of this course is to give a solid introduction to microeconomic theory and some of its recent developments. The course introduces the basic analytical tools that are necessary to conduct research in the main fields of economics, finance and management science.

    The topics covered in this course:

    • choice and demand theory
    • welfare measurement
    • aggregation of individual behaviour
    • theory of the firm, general economic equilibrium
    • criteria for decision making under risk and uncertainty

  • Learning outcome

    Upon completion of the course, the students will be able to:


    • apply the methods to study problems related to the behaviour of individual agents (consumers, business firms, and investors) and their interaction through markets and other social institutions;
    • explain the main results of neoclassical price theory;
    • discuss the main assumptions that lie behind those results and their empirical validity;


    • discuss scientific articles in the fields of economics, finance and management science while understanding the role of invoked microeconomic assumptions and the references to standard microeconomic results;
    • formulate a microeconomic research question by structuring it as a formal model;
    • manage to obtain useful economic predictions through the use of mathematical tools and a sound economic intuition;
    • identify central measurable parameters, necessary for operationalising microeconomic models.

    General competence

    • communicate the research questions, solution methods and answers in a clear-cut manner by abstracting from considerations that are of minor importance.

  • Teaching

    Regular lectures and assignment classes.

    In case of a new lockdown will lectures take place via zoom.

    Lecture notes will be posted via Canvas prior to each lecture.

  • Restricted access

    • PhD candidates from Department of Economics, NHH
    • PhD candidates from other Departments at NHH
    • PhD candidates from University of Bergen 
    • PhD candidates from other higher educational institutions
    • Promising master students if approved by course responsible

  • Required prerequisites

    Students should have good knowledge of microeconomic concepts and tools at the intermediate level (such as SAM010 and SAM020), and be familiar with linear algebra, constrained optimisation techniques and comparative statics analysis (at the level of Dixit, 1990, Optimisation in economic theory, Oxford, OUP, chs 1-5,8,9). Students who need to fresh up their knowledge of these techniques are welcome to sit in on the first part of the master course ECO401 Optimisation and microeconomic theory.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Active participation during lectures.

  • Assessment

    Two individual assignments during the term. Each assignment will be marked as Pass/Fail. Both components must have a passing grade to pass the course. Assignments must be written in English.

    Tentative release dates of the assignments: around 24/9 and 22/10.  The handing-in deadline is about two weeks after the release date.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading scale: Pass/Fail.

  • Computer tools


  • Literature

    Mas-Colell, A , M Whinston & J Green (1995) Microeconomic Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press) (main text)

    Eeckhoudt L, Ch Gollier and H Schlesinger (2005) Economic and financial decisions under risk (Princeton: Princeton University Press) (selected chapters);

    as well as a selection of papers and articles.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered autumn 2021.

Course responsible

Professor Fred Schroyen, Department of Economics.