Spring 2022 Microeconomic Principles (ECON-103-DL2, ECON-103-P01)

Email: Tabarrok@gmu.edu

Office: Carow Hall, 10B


TA: Zane Mullins, Email: zmullins@gmu.edu


This is entirely an online course taught by Alex Tabarrok (and Tyler Cowen) based on their book Modern Principles of Economics: Microeconomics. We think this is the best online course in principles of economics ever offered. The course is video based. Every video is followed by questions. Every week there is homework and a test. Lecture time is less and active learning time is more. Active learning requires more from the student so be prepared the class will move quickly. There will also be opportunities to ask questions of the instructors and TAs.

Needed: In order to take this course you must purchase access to the Achieve homework system which gives access to the e-book, practice questions, homework and tests. You can get access for 6 months for $99.99 or $119 if you would also like to rent a paperback textbook. The paperback textbook is useful but not mandatory. The Achieve system has access to the e-book. You purchase Achieve through Blackboard.

You must access Achieve through Blackboard--this will keep your GMU and Achieve accounts linked. Once you have paid for Achieve go to START HERE and then ACHIEVE and then Assignments View then start the assignments.

Blackboard is only used to access Achieve. All class materials including homework and exams etc. are on Achieve. Grades on Achieve are definitive, Blackboard grades take time to sync.


Technical Support

If you have trouble accessing the Achieve system try the usual procedures of using a different browser, updating your browser, clearing the cache etc. If that doesn't work, contact Achieve Support.




My experience is that support is very good. Note that I can't help you with technical support! I'd like to but I don't control the Achieve system. If support needs to contact me, they will.


Economics Support

The economics department offers regular economics tutoring. I will email you the hours. In addition, there is a TA for the course, Zane Mullins, who is available to answer questions.




You can also email me with questions.



Every GMU student in this class should monitor their GMU email for periodic announcements.




                At the end of each video, there are homework questions. On these questions, you get unlimited attempts but you lose 25% for each incorrect attempt. For each chapter there is also a Learning Curve. You can answer as many Learning Curve questions as you want to get up to a set number of points. Each section also has an assessment section that is a combination of Ask Fred, Work It Out and News Analysis questions (not every chapter has all categories). You also get multiple attempts at these questions with a 25% penalty for each incorrect attempt. Each chapter concludes with a chapter Test. Finally, there is a Midterm and a Final. Grades will be calculated as follows:



Percentage of Grade

Video Homework


Learning Curve


Ask Fred/Work It Out/News Analysis


Chapter Tests







Your numerical grade will be a good guide to your standing in the class but I reserve the right to adjust (bell) the final grade.


Class Structure and Due Dates

It is very important that you submit your homework and tests BEFORE the due date. All time are EST! If your computer breaks down or if you lose internet access and cannot submit your work you get ZERO.


You will have plenty of opportunity to get your work done on time. We will work according to the schedule below and you will be able to work one week ahead if you choose. Thus, you have flexibility to get things done. But it is your job to get everything done on time.


Use the Achieve homework system to check for due dates. Approximates dates are as follows.


Week of

Last day to complete


Jan. 23

Jan 30 preferable but up to Feb. 4

Chapter 3: Supply and Demand

Jan. 30

Feb. 6

Chapter 4: Equilibrium

Feb. 6

Feb. 13

Chapter 5: Elasticity

Feb. 13

Feb. 20

Chapter 6: Taxes and Subsidies

Feb. 20

Feb. 27

Chapter 7: The Price System

Feb. 27

Mar. 6

Chapter 8: Price Floors and Ceilings

Mar. 6

Mar. 13

Chapter 2: Comparative Advantage, Chapter 9: International Trade

Mar. 13

Mar. 27

Chapter 10: Externalities

Mar. 27

March 30

Midterm must be completed by Mar. 30

Mar. 27

April 3

Chapter 11: Costs and Profit Maximization,

April 3

April 10

Chapter 12 Competition and the Invisible Hand

Chapter 13: Monopoly

April 10

April 17

Chapter 14: Price Discrimination

April 17

April 24

Chapter 18: Labor Markets

April 24

May 1

Chapter 19: Public Goods and Tragedy of the Commons

May 1

May. 8

Chapter 24: Asymmetric Information

Chapter 23: Stock Markets and Personal Finance

May 12

May 14

Final Exam must be completed by May 14.



Honor Code Statement

Disability Statement

If you are a student with a disability and you need academic accommodations, please see me and contact the Office of Disability Resources at 703.993.2474. All academic accommodations must be arranged through that office.

Enrollment Statement

Students are responsible for verifying their enrollment in this class.
Schedule adjustments should be made by the deadlines published in the Schedule of Classes. (Deadlines each semester are published in the Schedule of Classes available from the Registrar's Website registrar.gmu.edu.)