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Principles of Microeconomics: Supply and Demand

35 minutes of course content

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Course Description

Economics may have a reputation as a dismal science, but in fact it addresses some of the most fundamental problems we face: How to make the best decision given that resources are limited. You can use the tools of microeconomics to decide how best to spend your income; how best to divide your time among leisure activities; or how many people to hire in the business you run. Life is full of choices. Microeconomics can help you decide how to make them.

You may not realize it, but every time you purchase something, you are participating in a market for that good. Some people supply it, and some people—you!—demand it. 

In this course, you will learn how to analyze supply and demand curves and the impact changes in market conditions and government policy can have on market equilibrium.

After taking this course, you'll be able to:

  • understand shifts in supply and demand and their implications for price and quantity sold
  • analyze how consumers respond to a shift in the price of the goods they consume
  • use the above knowledge as the foundation for future economic analyses in other aspects of microeconomics

1. Getting Started - 2 minutes

1. What Do You Already Know?

2. Supply and Demand - 7 minutes

1. Overview of Supply and Demand
2. Impact of a Supply Shift

3. Government Intervention - 18 minutes

1. Government Interference: Gasoline Prices
2. Costs and Benefits of Government Intervention

4. Government Intervention Case Study - 8 minutes

1. Government Intervention: Water Shortages

5. Wrapping Up - 2 minutes

1. What Do You Know Now?
2. Additional Resources

Jonathan Gruber. 14.01SC Principles of Microeconomics, Fall 2011. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 11 Jun, 2015). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA


About the Expert

MIT Open Courseware

MIT Open Courseware

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.
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Jonathan Gruber

Jonathan Gruber

Jonathan Holmes Gruber is an American professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992
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