PhD Microeconomics I

ECS504 PhD Microeconomics I

Autumn 2024

  • 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
    • markets with search frictions

  • Learning outcome


    Upon completion of the course, the student can…

    • explain the main results of neoclassical price theory;
    • discuss the main assumptions that lie behind those results and their empirical validity;


    Upon completion of the course, the student can…

    • 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;
    • 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

    Upon completion of the course, the student can…

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

  • Teaching

    The course consists of regular lectures and assignment classes in the auditorium. Students are expected to actively participate during the lectures. 

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

  • Restricted access

    • PhD candidates at NHH.
    • PhD candidates at Norwegian institutions.
    • PhD candidates at other institutions.
    • PhD candidates from the ENGAGE.EU alliance.
    • Motivated master student’s may be admitted after application but are subject to the approval from the course responsible on a case by case basis.

  • Required prerequisites

    Students should have good knowledge of microeconomic concepts and tools at the intermediate level, and be familiar with linear algebra, constrained optimisation techniques and comparative statics analysis (at the level of Dixit (1990) Optimisation in economic theory (Oxford University Press), 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. Students with limited background in microeconomics are advised to read an microeconomics textbook at the intermediate level, such as Banerjee (2021) Intermediate microeconomics--A tool-building approach (Routledge). 

  • Compulsory Activity

    Active participation during lectures.

    Compulsory activities (work requirements) are valid for one semester after the semester they were obtained.

  • Assessment

    Four hour written school exam at the end of the semester. The exam will be written with pen and paper.

    Re-take is offered the semester after the course was offered for students with valid compulsory activities (work requirements).

  • 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.

  • Permitted Support Material

    Materials permitted during the examination:

    • "Economists' Mathematical Manual" (4th ed., 2005) by K. Sydsæter, A. Strøm & P. Berck (photocopies of chapters 1--24 will be distributed in the examination room)
    • Calculator 
    • One bilingual dictionary (Category I) 

    All in accordance with Supplementary provisions to the Regulations for Full-time Study Programmes at the Norwegian School of Economics Ch.4 Permitted support material and  


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered autumn 2024.

Course responsible

Professor Fred Schroyen, Department of Economics.