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TOPIC GUIDE

BUSN1013 / BUSN9023
Economics for Business
Semester 1, 2015

Topic Coordinator:
Kevin Kirchner
room 3.45 LWCM Building
kevin.kirchner@flinders.edu.au

1.

TEACHING STAFF
Mr. Kevin Kirchner
(Topic Coordinator, lecturer, tutor)
Room 3.45 LWCM Building
kevin.kirchner@flinders.edu.au
Student Consultation Times:
Wednesdays 10am to 12noon
Thursdays 11am to 1pm
If you wish to see me at other times please send me an email to check on my availability and to
arrange an appointment time.
Tutors
Mr. Rod Nankivell rodney.nankivell@flinders.edu.au
Mr. David Medlow-Smith david.medlowsmith@flinders.edu.au
Mr. Koku Wotodzo koku.wotodzo@flinders.edu.au
Ms. Salmin Mostafa salmin.mostafa@flinders.edu.au
Mr. Gilbert Ndayisaba gibert.ndayisaba@flinders.edu.au
Student Consultation times: Please note that these people are all casual staff and hence their
availability on campus will in most cases be limited, meaning that their availability for student
consultation will be limited. Indeed some may only be available in tutorials.
They will advise of their availability for consultation in their first tutorials.
The alternative is to see Kevin Kirchner if you require assistance with the topic in any way see
details of my consultation hours above. All requests for assignment extensions and most other
administrative matters should be directed to Kevin.
Additional consultation times will be advised in the lead up to the final exam.

2.

TOPIC SYNOPSIS AND TOPIC AIMS


Topic Synopsis
This topic provides an introduction to the basic concepts of microeconomics.
Topic Aims
The aim of this topic is to provide an understanding of the basic concepts of microeconomics, as well
as an understanding and appreciation of their relevance to business decision-making.

3.

LEARNING OUTCOMES and GRADUATE QUALITIES


Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the topic students should be able to understand and explain:

basic economic concepts including the economic problem; opportunity cost; demand and
supply model; economic profit; profit maximisation; decisions at the margin; diminishing
marginal utility; price and income elasticities; economies and diseconomies of scale; and price
discrimination

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how competitive markets allocate scarce resources and the strengths of the market system

the notion of market failure and how market failure can occur

the notions of efficiency and equity and how an understanding of economics helps us to address
both.

Graduate Qualities
Bachelor degree programs at Flinders aim to develop, along with more program-specific professional
competencies, the core qualities listed here. Graduate qualities are addressed in varying degrees in
each topic. This topic contributes to the Flinders graduate qualities as follows:
Flinders graduates

Taught

Practised

Assessed

- are knowledgeable

- can apply their knowledge

- communicate effectively

- can work independently

- are collaborative
- value ethical behaviour

- connect across boundaries

4.

LECTURES
Lectures will be held as follows:

9am Wednesday North 4 (with a video relay to North 5)

9am Fridays North 4 (with a video relay to North 2)

The one exception will be Friday 3rd April (Good Friday). In place of this lecture there will be
an additional lecture on Wednesday 1st April at 10am (North 4), immediately following the
normal 9am lecture.
All lectures will be recorded and available for viewing via FLO.
Even though lectures are recorded, it is strongly recommended that you attend lectures. This is for
several reasons:

attending lectures provides a much fuller learning experience than simply watching a video
assuming, of course, that you make an effort to follow the lecture and to think (in a curious,
critical and analytical fashion) about the material being presented;

material will be presented in lectures which is additional to that covered by the textbook;

the focus of lectures is to help you understand the concepts of microeconomics. In the main,
it is your understanding of these concepts that will be tested in assignments and exams; and

attendance at lectures is the best way to discipline yourself to stay up-to-date with the topic.

Lectures are not a repeat of the textbook. Instead they are designed to help you understand the key
concepts.
Warning: There are two corollaries to the above:
i.

You will find it much more difficult to pass this topic if you attempt to rely solely upon the
textbook as your source of information and understanding; and

ii.

Similarly, you will find it much more difficult to pass this topic if your approach to study is
essentially one of relying upon rote learning.

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5.

TUTORIALS
Tutorials begin in the second week of semester.
Attendance at tutorials is compulsory and essential if you wish to pass this topic. Not only will
tutorials help you understand the concepts and principles presented in this course but there will be
weekly tests in tutorials, which will count for 15% of your final grade. (see details in section 9)
Except where a valid reason exists, students must attend the tutorial for which they are registered. If,
however, in any particular week you are unable to attend your regular tutorial then you should attend
an alternative tutorial. (You can assess information on tutorial locations and times via the FLO site
for this topic.)
PLEASE NOTE that tutorials will only be of one hour duration, not two hours as currently shown
on the on-line timetable information for this topic. This is a change which is beyond my control.

6.

PRESCRIBED TEXTBOOK
The prescribed textbook for this course is:
Hubbard et al, Microeconomics, 4th ed., 2015, Pearson
The version of the textbook available from UniBooks includes access to on-line material provided by
the publisher, namely MyEconLab and an etext version of the textbook. Unfortunately it comes at
the hefty price of $166.95.
Information on MyEconLab and how to access it is provided below.
While MyEconLab is a useful study tool it is not essential to have access to it. Consequently there
are a number of other options available, in respect of the textbook:

7.

i.

You can buy a copy of the book alone, ie without access to any on-line material. This will
still cost you around $134; and you would need to purchase it via the Pearson website
(www.pearson.com.au).

ii.

A second-hand copy of the textbook will likely suffice even if it is the previous edition.
(Although the problem set in earlier editions will be different. To try and overcome this I
will attempt to provide tutorial questions in full on the tutorial sheets, rather than simply
directing students to particular problems in the textbook.)

iii.

You could purchase only the etext version of the textbook. This is available via the Pearson
website (www.pearson.com.au), but will still cost you $97.95.

About MyEconLab
MyEconLab is an on-line course management and education site provided by the publisher of the
textbook. However, in this topic it will used only as a study aid for students. The main on-line site
for this topic, where you will find course materials, announcements, communication tools, and so on,
is instead the FLO site (refer below).
To access MyEconLab you need a Course ID and a Student Access Code. The Course ID is
kirchner61595. Your Student Access Code comes with your purchase of the textbook (ie a new book
only).
To register for the MyEconLab site for this topic go to www.pearson.com.au/hubbard3 and log in
using the Course ID and your Student Access Code. You only need to register once.
You then just need to click on the course title (BUSN1013 Economics for Business) to take you to
the Textbook website for this topic.

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You will see a menu on the left hand of the page. The only items that are of use are those under
Course Materials, being Study Plan Builder, Study Plan, etext and Multimedia..
The Study Plan Builder contains a small number of quizzes and tests for each chapter, so that you
can test yourself as to how well you have understood and learnt the required material. Upon
undertaking these tests the software will build a study plan for you, based on how well you
answered each question.
So the next step is to go to Study Plan in the menu. In this section you will find further practice
questions, quizzes and tests. This section also provides feedback on your answers, to help you better
understand the correct answer (ie why it is correct).
If you wish you can skip the Study Plan Builder step and go straight into the Study Plan section.
Also in the Course Materials menu you will find access to the etext version of the textbook.
There is also a Multimedia section, which I may use at various times through the course to be
advised. However, you are welcome to check out the material in Multimedia section at your leisure.
And thats about it.
There is, however, also an option to access MyEconLab without purchasing a new textbook. Simply
go to www.pearson.com.au/hubbard3, select the Microeconomics book icon, and then follow the
instructions to register. You will need to pay with a credit card or via PayPal. Acess to
MyEconoLab including access to the etext version of the textbook will cost you $113.95; while
access to MyEconLab without the etext will cost you $49.95.
Alternatively, you could simply access the site with a friend!!
A set of Powerpoint slides (as provided by the publisher) giving some additional information on
MyEconLab is provided on FLO. (see top box).

8.

LECTURE OUTLINE
The topics to be addressed in this course and the associated textbook readings are:
Topic

Textbook Reading

1. The Economic Problem and an Introduction to the Market-Based


Economic System

Chaps1, 2

2. How Markets Work: The Supply/Demand Model

Chap 3

3. How Markets Work continued: Elasticities

Chap 4

4. Economic Efficiency

Chap 5

5. Consumer choice and behavioural economics

Chap 6

6. Technology, production and costs

Chap 7

7. Perfect Competition

Chap 8

8. Monopoly Markets and Price Discrimination

Chap 9

9. Monopolistic competition

Chap 10

10. Oligopoly

Chap 11

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11. Market Failure and Government Intervention in Markets

Chap 12

12. Externalities, Environmental Policy and Public Goods Ventures

Chap 15

Please note that the above is intended as an outline only and may be subject to change.

9.

ASSESSMENT
9.1

Summary of assessment components in this topic


Assessment Component

Weighting

Due Date
12 noon

Tutorial preparation and participation

15%

n.a.

Assignment 1

15%

9th April

Assignment 2

15%

21st May

Exam (3 hours)

55%

tba

9.2

Details of Assessment Components

9.2.1

Tutorial Assessment

Each week, at the end of each tutorial, there will be a short 10 minute test. These tests will count for
15% of the final grade for this topic.
There are 12 tutorials across the semester. Only your best 10 tests will count in determining your
tutorial mark.
The tutorial tests will consist of a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions.
(Questions will vary to some degree between tutorials in each week!)
To do well in these tests you not only need to attend the tutorial but you will need to have prepared
for the tutorial and studied the material that has been presented in lectures (in association with that
contained in the textbook). If you simply turn up to the tutorial having done no preparatory study the
likelihood is that in most weeks you will do poorly in the tests.
To the extent that you have done preparatory study and you are unsure about something be sure to
ask in the tutorial before the test is given! (The likelihood is that other students will benefit from
your question also.)
9.2.2

Assignment Questions

There will be two assignments across the semester, consisting of short answer questions. The
assignments will be due on Thursday 9th April and Thursday 21st May. Each assignment will be
worth 15% of your final grade.
Details of the assignments will be provided closer to their due dates.
9.2.3

Exam

The final exam will be worth 55% of your grade for this topic. Further information on the exam will
be provided closer to the end of the semester, but please note the following:

examinations for this topic will be held in June, with supplementary exams to be held in July,
prior to the start of second semester. It is your responsibility to be available to sit exams.

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Students who are not present for an exam will not normally be granted an alternative exam,
except in exceptional circumstances.

students should also be aware that the FBS has decided that no BUSN exam can be sat
overseas. Students need to sit all exams at Flinders University. It is your responsibility to
ensure that you are available to sit exams.

9.2.4
Grades
In line with the University's Assessment Policies and Procedures, grading for this topic will use the
following notations:
Notation

Grade

Percentage Range

HD

High Distinction

85-100

DN

Distinction

75-84

CR

Credit

65-74

Pass

50-64

Fail

0-49

The standards that will be applied in determining grades in this topic are detailed at Clause 6 of the
Universitys Assessment Policies and Procedures (available on the Universitys web site). These
standards (ie Grade Descriptors) are included as an appendix to this Topic Guide.
9.2.5
Further Information on Assessment
Students are advised to carefully read the Statement of Assessment Methods for this topic (separate
document). It provides full information on the assessment policies and procedures to apply to this
topic.

10.

SOME TIPS ON HOW TO ACHIEVE A GOOD GRADE IN THIS TOPIC

Attend lectures and use this opportunity to think about the material that is being presented.
Recognise that lectures and tutorials provide an opportunity for you to improve and test your
understanding of the material presented in this course. You will not pass this topic if you
simply try and memorise material. Instead, you need to be able to apply concepts and
information to solve problems; and this requires understanding.

Prepare for tutorials

Try to put time aside to review tutorial questions immediately after each tutorial, while the
material is still fresh in your mind. This will make a significant difference in your
learning.

11.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
All students have an obligation to understand and respect the rules and practice of academic
integrity. The full policy on academic integrity can be found in the Student Related Policies and
Procedures Manual (refer to the Universitys web site), key extracts of which are included as an
appendix to this Topic Guide.

12.

STUDENT WORKLOAD
Flinders uses units to provide guidance to students on their study plans. It is normally expected that
each unit point is equivalent to approximately two hours of study time per week (including both
formal contact time in lectures, tutorials etc) and individual study time during the teaching period,

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including mid-semester breaks. The expected workload for a 4.5 unit topic is therefore
approximately 9 hours per week. Although note this is indicative only of the estimated minimum
time commitment necessary for an average student to achieve an average grade in the topic (ie a
Pass grade).
Students should also note that this guideline assumes 9 hours productive study time. Be aware that
simply reading a textbook or sitting in lectures/tutorials in an unthinking manner is not productive
study. If you are concerned about your study skills, or simply want some guidance as to how to
make your study more productive/effective, you should seek assistance through the Steps to Success
program, or via the Student Learning Centre, or seek advice from the Topic Coordinator.

13.

BEING INFORMED
It is your responsibility to remain informed about all aspects of this topic. Thus, for the purposes of
this topic you will be deemed to be aware of:
1.

The contents of this Topic Guide.

2.

Any announcements made or handouts distributed during lectures and tutorials.

3.

Any announcements or other material placed on the FLO site for this topic.

All important announcements made during lectures or tutorials will be posted to FLO. It is therefore
imperative that you check the FLO site on a regular basis.

14.

TOPIC FLO SITE


Copies of lecture outlines, tutorial questions, other topic material and recordings of the lectures will
be available on-line at the FLO website for this topic.
The Flinders Learning Online (FLO) site also provides additional support for students, including
other information relevant to this topic, staff details, assessment details and announcements. The site
allows you to communicate with teaching staff and with other students.
University Computers and Help with FLO
You are encouraged to enrol in a FLO workshop in the library (if you have not already attended one
in a prior year). Technical problems you may have with FLO should also be referred to library staff.
Privacy Information:
Students should be aware that the topic coordinator is able to access information about students use
of the FLO site. For example, a record of which pages were visited, when, for how long and what
has been downloaded are maintained for every student enrolled in the topic.

15.

COMPUTER ACCESS
Every student enrolled in a topic within the faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has their
own individual account on the Social and Behavioural Sciences network.
If you experience any difficulties with computer network access contact the Computer Support
Helpdesk (telephone access is available in the computer labs).

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16.

TOPIC WITHDRAWAL DEADLINES


Should for any reason you decide to withdraw from this topic ill-health, conflicts with work,
overloaded with study, or (impossible to believe!!) you are not enjoying the topic then you should
be aware that certain deadlines apply to students regarding enrolment and withdrawal. Details of
withdrawal deadlines for the current semester may be viewed at:
www.flinders.edu.au/studentinfo/important_dates.htm

FINAL WORD
I hope you find this topic enjoyable, worthwhile, interesting, and a stimulating learning experience.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if at any time you have any queries or if you require any
assistance. Most especially, please come and see me as soon as possible if you are having difficulty
with any aspect of the topic. The earlier you come and see me the more likely it is that I will be able to
help you in a manner which will enable you to pass the topic or help you gain a higher grade.

Cheers
Kevin Kirchner

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APPENDIX 1
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: COLLUSION, PLAGIARISM, MISCONDUCT
All students and staff have an obligation to understand and respect the rules and practice of academic
integrity. It is therefore expected that students and staff will adhere to high standards of academic
integrity. The full policy can be found in the Student Related Policies and Procedures Manual or on
the University Web site.
The following extract is taken from the Universitys Policy on Academic Integrity and explains what
exactly is meant by academic integrity:

Academic Integrity
2.1 Academic integrity means that all work which is presented is produced by the student
alone, with all sources and collaboration fully acknowledged.
2.2
Any failure to meet the requirements of academic integrity in any form of
academic work will be regarded as a breach of the requirements of academic integrity and,
depending on the circumstances and the nature of the breach, consequences including
penalties may be expected to follow. Breaches of academic integrity may include plagiarism,
collusion, fabrication, falsification, double submission of work and misconduct in
examinations.
2.2.1
Plagiarism
Plagiarism is the use of another person's words or ideas as if they were one's own. It may
occur as a result of lack of understanding and/or inexperience about the correct way to
acknowledge and reference sources. It may result from poor academic practice, which may
include poor note taking, careless downloading of material or failure to take sufficient care in
meeting the required standards. It may also occur as a deliberate misuse of the work of others
with the intent to deceive. It may include, but is not restricted to:

presenting extracts, without quotation marks and/or without appropriate referencing, from
books, articles, theses, other published or unpublished works, films, music, choreography,
working papers, seminar or conference papers, internal reports, computer software codes,
lecture notes or tapes, numerical calculations, data or work from another student. In such
cases, it is not adequate merely to acknowledge the source. This applies to material accessed
in hard copy, electronically or in any other medium;

close paraphrasing of sentences or whole paragraphs with or without acknowledgement by


referencing of the original work;

adopting ideas or structures from a source without acknowledgment;

using source codes and data from other's work without acknowledgement;

arranging for someone else to undertake all or part of a piece of work and presenting that
work as one's own;
submitting another student's work whether or not it has been previously submitted by that
student.

2.2.2 Collusion
Collusion occurs when a student submits work as if it has been done individually when it has

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been done jointly with one or more other person unless the topic coordinator has indicated that
this is acceptable for the specific piece of work in question.
2.2.3
Other breaches of the requirements of academic integrity
Other breaches of the requirements of academic integrity may include:
submission of the same piece of work for more than one topic unless the topic
coordinator(s) have indicated that this procedure is acceptable for the specific piece of work in
question;
providing another student with the means of copying an essay or assignment;

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APPENDIX 2

GRADE DESCRIPTORS
In line with the University's assessment policies and procedures in relation to grading for topics, the
following notations are used. Final grade descriptors are taken from the Universitys Student Related
Policies and Procedures, under Assessment Policies and Procedures (6.1 Final Grades), which
indicate the standards necessary to achieve each of the final grades.
Grade
Percentage
(Notation)
Range
Pass Level 50-64
(P)

Final Grade Descriptor


The grade will be awarded where there is evidence that a student has
undertaken the required core work for the topic and has
demonstrated at least an adequate level of
knowledge/understanding/competencies/ skills required for meeting
topic objectives and satisfactorily completing essential assessment
exercises.
The student would normally have attained an adequate knowledge of
matter contained in set texts or reading materials, and demonstrated
familiarity with major academic debates, approaches, methodologies
and conceptual tools.

Credit (CR)

65-74

Pass is the highest grade which can be achieved in a supplementary


assessment granted on academic grounds.
The grade will be awarded where there is evidence that a student has
undertaken all of the required core work for the topic and additional
work in wider areas relevant to the topic, and has demonstrated a
sound level of knowledge/understanding/competencies/skills
required for meeting topic objectives and completing assessment
exercises at a proficient standard.
The student would normally have attained a sound knowledge of
matter contained in set texts or reading materials and have done
wider reading, and demonstrated familiarity with and the ability to
apply a range of major academic debates, approaches, methodologies
and conceptual tools.

Distinction
(DN)

75-84

Students should have a reasonable opportunity of reaching this grade


provided they have completed all course requirements, demonstrated
proficiency in the full range of course objectives and shown
considerable evidence of a sound capacity to work with the range of
relevant subject matter.
The grade will be awarded where there is evidence that a student has
undertaken all of the required core work for the topic at a high level
and considerable additional work in wider areas relevant to the topic,
has demonstrated advanced
knowledge/understanding/competencies/skills required for meeting
topic objectives and completing assessment exercises at a high
standard.
The student would normally have attained an advanced knowledge
of matter beyond that contained in set texts or reading materials and

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have done considerable wider reading, and have demonstrated a


broad familiarity with and facility at applying a range of major
academic debates, approaches, methodologies and conceptual tools.

High
Distinction
(HD)

85-100

The grade should reflect very high quality work which shows the
student generally works at a level which is beyond the requirements of
the assessment exercise and is developing a capacity for original and
creative thinking.
The grade will be awarded where there is evidence that a student has
undertaken the required core work for the topic at a high level and
considerable additional work in wider areas relevant to the topic, has
demonstrated the acquisition of an advanced level of
knowledge/understanding/competencies/skills required for meeting
topic objectives and passing the range of topic elements at the
highest level.
The student would normally have attained an in-depth knowledge of
matter contained in set texts or reading materials and undertaken
extensive wider reading beyond that which is required or expected.
The student would have consistently demonstrated a high level of
proficiency at applying a range of major academic debates,
approaches, methodologies and conceptual tools and combining a
knowledge of the subject matter of the topic with original and
creative thinking.

Fail (F)

0-49

The grade will be awarded in recognition of the highest level of


academic achievement expected of a student at a given topic level.
The grade will be awarded if a student is unable to demonstrate
satisfactory academic performance in the topic or has failed to
complete essential topic elements or required assessment tasks at an
acceptable level, in accordance with topic objectives.

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