Microeconomic Theory - Eiu

Microeconomic Theory - Eiu

Theoretical Models Economists use models to describe economic activities While most economic models are abstractions from reality, they provide aid in understanding economic behavior Verification of Economic Models There are two general methods used to verify

economic models: Direct approach Establishes the validity of the models assumptions Indirect approach

Shows that the model correctly predicts realworld events Verification of Economic Models We can use the profit-maximization model to examine these approaches Is the basic assumption valid? Do firms really seek to maximize profits?

Can the model predict the behavior of real-world firms? Features of Economic Models Ceteris Paribus assumption Optimization assumption Distinction between positive and normative analysis

Ceteris Paribus Assumption Ceteris Paribus means other things the same Economic models attempt to explain simple relationships focus on the effects of only a few forces at a time Other variables are assumed to be unchanged

during the period of study Optimization Assumptions Many economic models begin with the assumption that economic actors are rationally pursuing some goal Consumers seek to maximize their utility Firms seek to maximize profits (or minimize costs) Government regulators seek to maximize

public welfare Optimization Assumptions Optimization assumptions generate precise, solvable models Optimization models appear to perform fairly well in explaining reality Positive-Normative Distinction

Positive economic theories seek to explain the economic phenomena that is observed Normative economic theories focus on what should be done

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