MBA 505


Fall 2000
Instructor - Robert F. Mulligan or

"Practical men, who believe themselves exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.  Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.”
- John Maynard Keynes

Office Hours – MWF 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM, or by appointment. I am always happy to talk to students outside my scheduled hours.  Feel free to drop in without an appointment, but if you are coming from off campus, call first to make sure I will be available. I will not be available the Monday or Tuesday before exams.

Office Hours/Teaching Schedule
Office - Forsyth 309, Phone - (828) 227-3329.
Department of Economics, Finance, & International Business - Forsyth 304 & 305, Phone - (828) 227-7074.  You are welcome to call me at home at (828) 293-5367 no later than 10:00 PM.

1. Required Text - Economics, Samuelson & Nordhaus, sixteenth edition

2. Course Objectives

"The world consists of facts, not of things." - Ludwig Wittgenstein

a. Develop an understanding of economic markets and how they function to transmit information, provide incentives to economic agents, allocate resources, and distribute income, and satisfy peoples’ wants.
b. Explore the different roles played by households, firms, and the government in the economy.
c. Analyze rational choice and the role of cost in agents’ decision making.
d. Explore how ethics and value judgments enter into economic decisions.
e. Show how economic concepts apply to public as well as private choices.

Economics is a behavioral science like psychology, and one of the social sciences. Emphasis is placed on students developing an understanding of how consumers and producer behavior is influenced by certain events (changes in interest rates, changes in prices, new government regulations, etc.). While a certain amount of technical training is standard in economics programs at most colleges/universities, the overall emphasis has always been on understanding behavioral implications of economic phenomena.

As a component of the business core or non-business major, economics contributes an understanding of  how and why individuals, as consumers and as managers of private and public sector organizations, make choices about the allocation of scarce resources. Economics examines how competition in markets leads to efficient production of goods and services, and the consequences of government intervention in private markets. Students gain an understanding of effective decision-making by managers of firms and other organizations.

Virtually every large corporation in America, and numerous medium-sized firms, employs economists to help make appropriate pricing decisions for its products, to help evaluate the impact of government regulations, and to forecast future demand and supply conditions within its industry. While small firms do not typically hire economists in that capacity alone, trade organizations representing the small firms in an industry do hire economists for the same reasons  large firms do.

Public sector agencies at the federal, state and local levels hire economists to monitor performance of the economy, to assess the desirability and impact of regulations, and to contribute to ongoing discussions of policy formation. Nonprofit groups such as hospitals, community foundations, charitable organizations and schools employ economists as well.

3.  Suggested Study Strategy
Spend no less than fifteen-to-twenty minutes each weeknight reviewing, recopying, and reorganizing your notes, in addition to reading the assigned readings in the textbook and supplemental readings.  This adds up to about 5-8 hours of study time each month. Be committed to spending enough time each day to cover the material you need to, and to fully reviewing your notes and identifying areas requiring further study and things you need to ask me about.   Spread out this way, your study time will be much more productive than an equivalent amount of cramming before tests.   In addition to taking lecture notes in class, read, outline, and make notes on all assigned readings.  Take the chapter quizzes posted on the course website to test your understanding and identify problem areas which need further work.  Take all the applicable chapter quizzes to prepare for exams.  The more time you have spent on the course, the easier it will be to spend additional time studying, and the more productive additional study time will be for you.  Start this strategy the first day of class, because the sooner you start, the easier it will be to continue.

4. Course Policies & Organization

"Eighty percent of success is just showing up." - Woody Allen
a. Absence policy:
Class attendance is essential and roll will be taken at the beginning of every class meeting, but will not form a part of your course grade.

Attendance is important because:

     1. Difficult concepts will be explained and administrative announcements will be made in class, and
     2. Responsible adults display responsible behavior.

b. Grades:  Out of a total of 600 possible points,

Test 1
150 points
Test 2
150 points
Test 3
150 points
Test 4 (Final Exam)
150 points
600 points
Final letter grades will be assigned according to the following schedule:
Letter Grade
Lower Range Limit
Upper Range Limit
Cheating will not be tolerated and will result in an automatic grade of F for the course.

c. Examination Policies:

"Be content with fruit, with flowers, with weeds, with thorns even, but gather them in the one garden you may call your own"
 - Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac
     1. No make ups.
     2. Cheating will result in an automatic grade of F for the course.
     3. Each part will consist of approximately 20 multiple-choice or similar type questions.
"Champions keep playing until they get it right" - Billie Jean King

d.  Gridsheets/scantron forms:
You are required to purchase four scantron forms at the bookstore.  These will be collected by me on Monday, 9-11-2000.  If you do not hand these in on the designated day, you will not be permitted to take the exams. Please do not put your names or fill in any circles on the scantron forms you hand in.

e. Withdrawal Policy:
     1. Students considering withdrawal prior to the withdrawal deadline should make an appointment to discuss withdrawal with the instructor. This is to give me the opportunity to advise you of your options and standing in the class. I do not attempt to stop students from withdrawing.
     2. Ws will not be given after the appropriate deadline except for documented medical or legal reasons.

5. Disabled/handicapped Students
If you have a disability or handicap requiring special accommodation, notify me immediately so arrangements can be made.

6. Course Calendar

Please read the assigned chapters before the day they are scheduled for discussion in class.