ECONS 555
Managerial Economics for Decision Making
3 semester credit hours

 

Catalog description: Optimal economic decision making for business in a global environment. Not open to economics graduate students.

Prereq: Admission to the MBA program.

Course Instructor:

Alejandro Prera

Please contact your section instructor through the course space whenever possible. If you must contact the instructor outside the course space, use the following contact information:

Instructor: Alejandro Prera
E-mail: alejandro.prera@wsu.edu

https://people.ses.wsu.edu/alexprera/
School of Economic Sciences Phone: 509.335.5976

Alejandro J. Prera is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the School of Economics Sciences.  He received his Ph.D. in Economics, with a concentration in Environmental and Natural Resources, from the University of New Mexico.  Dr. Prera has taught courses on Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Natural Resource Economics, Environmental Economics, Econometrics, and Personal Finance at the undergraduate level.  His current research focuses on forestry management in the Southwestern United States, risk-management in the brewing industry, and urban water policy in Brazil.  He has received research grants to study flea markets in Indianapolis and has presented his work at a variety of national conferences.  Before getting his Ph.D., Dr. Prera worked as a financial assistant for World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank funded projects in Guatemala.  He also worked as a risk analyst for a private bank in Guatemala.   


 

Meet Your Section Instructors

You have been assigned to a numbered section, led by a section instructor, who is responsible for day-to-day management of your course experience.
  • Go to the My Groups panel below the course menu. This provides a direct link to the group space for the section you have been assigned to.
  • Click here for photos and a short bio of each section instructor.

Course Materials:

Required Textbook and Other Resources:

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Required Textbook:

  • Managerial Economics: A Problem-Solving Approach, 4th Ed., 2016 + Aplia Access, Cengage Learning by Luke M. Froeb, Ph.D., William C. Oehmig Associate Professor in Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Vanderbilt University, Brian T. McCann, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, Mikhael Shor, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Connecticut, and Michael R. Ward, Professor, Economics Department, University of Texas, Arlington.  
  • This is where you will complete all of your graded work. Please refer to the Your Aplia Course  on the course menu for registration instructions.

Recommended Resources:

  • Managerial Econ Blog
    http://www.managerialecon.com/. On the right hand side of the blog is a list of the book chapters with links to the blog entries relevant to each chapter. Some blog entries may be the basis of discussions.
  • Managerial Econ Video Lectures
    http://www.youtube.com/LukeFroeb/. Videos recorded by authors of the textbook Managerial Economics: A Problem-Solving Approach, 4th Ed. (used in past semesters) that supplement (most of) the chapters. URLs for videos pertaining to the rest of the chapters are found under the Course Resources menu item.
  • Principles Econ Video Lectures
    http://www.youtube.com/mjmfoodie by Mary J. McGlasson, Ph.D., Economics Faculty, Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Maricopa Community Colleges. On the right side of the mjmfoodie?s channel, under the featured playlists, you will find modules for Macroeconomics (38 videos) and Microeconomics (50 videos). These are outstanding lecture videos going over principles of economics concepts. They are freely available and I strongly urge those of you without a solid economics background to go through these. Their complete list can also be found under the Course Resources menu item.

Course Overview

The main objective of this course is to provide students with an understanding of economic analysis of business practice. The specific objectives for each student are to acquire:
(1) an understanding of the supply and demand model, and marginal analysis, and
(2) an understanding of how these economic tools are used to enhance business decision making.


Course Goals and Objectives

After completing this class you should be able to:

  1. Predict industry-level changes using demand/supply analysis.
  2. Use the rational-actor paradigm to predict firm and individual behavior.
  3. Compute the relevant costs of any decision.
  4. Use marginal analysis to make extent (how much) decisions.
  5. Make investment decisions that increase firm value.
  6. Understand the long-run forces that erode profit.
  7. Develop long-run strategies to increase firm value.
  8. Set optimal prices and price discriminate.
  9. Use game theory to predict how your actions influence those of others.
  10. Bargain effectively.
  11. Make decisions in uncertain environments.
  12. Solve the problems caused by moral hazard and adverse selection.

Time Commitment

This course is delivered during a short 5-week window. It is imperative that you keep up with the pace of the course because principles learned early on are quickly built upon and utilized throughout the rest of the course. All students are encouraged to ask questions and share insights.

You are also expected to behave professionally online. Please be polite, courteous, and respectful towards your peers and your professor at all times.


Guidelines for Effective Communication

The essence of education is exposure to diverse viewpoints. In your threaded discussion posts you will meet students with vastly different opinions and backgrounds. When you do not agree with their views, pause a moment. Weigh their words. You are encouraged to disagree with the substance of others? ideas and opinions, but to do so with an active sense of respect for one another, and without losing focus on the topic at hand. Personal attacks, inflammatory statements, flaming, trolling, and disruption of the discussion do not have a place in academic discourse.

Your instructors will promote high-quality academic discussions by removing any posts they view as disruptive of the educational process and alerting students whose posts have been removed that they have violated course expectations. Students who continue to misuse the discussion boards after a warning may be subject to removal of access rights, course failure, and referral to the Office of Student Conduct.

Postings must comply with University policy on use of computing resources, including those regarding harassment and discrimination, as well as conform to the Standards of Conduct for Students. Students are encouraged to review the Standards, particularly WAC 504-26-218, 504-26-220, and 504-26-222.

In certain courses, assessment of discussion posts is part of the final grade. Criteria for evaluating your discussion participation will be explained elsewhere in the course space, if applicable.


Course Work

The course uses a third-party website (Aplia) and other video and article resources to deliver the content, in addition to the textbook and the publisher's companion videos.

Video Lectures

There are video segments that supplement some book chapters. You will also view video lectures from other resources that cover background economic theories used in this course.

Managerial Econ Blog

The blog includes a list of the text chapters with links to relevant entries. You are encouraged to read and consult these blog posts and, if appropriate, post comments and/or respond to discussion points.

Aplia Web Site Assignments

The Aplia graded problem sets have corresponding practice problems. You may use these practice problems as a tutorial and complete them prior to completing your graded assignments.

Graded assignments include problem sets, multiple choice questions, news analyses, and/or short essays. The number of questions per weekly assignment varies. You can access Aplia assignments from the Home tab of your Aplia course space.

For support information from Aplia, visit the Digital Course Support site for resources and the Technical Support URL.

Discussion Board

Please check and read messages on the Announcements menu item of your course space. This is where your instructor will post important announcements and comments. If you have a question, post it on the Discussions Boards. This is where your instructor will respond. These discussion forums are a great place to share information and questions with your fellow students. Interaction and exchanges about course materials will be done through these discussion forums. Thus, your consistent participation is important and analogous to attending class.

Live, Synchronous Web Conferencing Sessions

The primary course instructor and each section's instructor will conduct synchronous, live web conferencing sessions. Please refer to the Course Schedule for the specific dates and times when these will be held. These sessions provide an excellent opportunity for you to ask questions, get more details about specific topics or assignments, as well as give you a chance to interact directly with your instructor and fellow class members. Although attendance is not required, it is strongly recommended that you participate in each webinar. Sessions will be recorded so that you can access them at a later time, if needed.

The web conferencing tool, Blackboard Collaborate, is accessible from the "Course Tools" link. For detailed instructions explaining how to set up and use web conferencing, please refer to these helpful Blackboard Collaborate resources.

  • Please use a headset or noise-canceling microphone for audio access. If you do not have a microphone or headset, you will be able to interact in writing only, via the chat box.
  • Go to the Blackboard Collaborate Support Portal to confirm your computer hardware and software meet minimum requirements before participation in your first session. Select "First Time Users > Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing." System Check Image

Access the Web Conferencing Sessions Bb Collaborate Logo

  1. The first time you join a Collaborate room you will have to download the Launcher. Follow the instructions on the screen. This can take several minutes. Allow a minimum of 10 minutes before the start of a webinar to complete this. Future uses will only take 2-3 minutes to log in.
  2. To participate in the live, synchronous web conferencing sessions:
    1. Go to Course Tools.
    2. Select the link for Blackboard Collaborate.
    3. Follow the appropriate steps in the table, depending on whether you are joining the lead instructor's Webinar or the section instructor's session.

Join the LEAD INSTRUCTOR's Webinar

  • Select the red Join Room button from the icon in the upper left, labeled with the course name.

Collaborate Course Room

  • Select OK from the pop-up window to open the Collaborate room.
  • Go to Tools > Audio > Audio Wizard to make sure the speakers and microphone are set up.

Join the SECTION INSTRUCTOR's Webinar

  • Find the scheduled sessions listed below the Search area. Locate the session for your assigned section. Select the small purple icon in the Available column next for that session. Blackboard Collaborate icon
  • Select the red Join Room button.
  • Select OK from the pop-up window to open the Collaborate room.
  • Go to Tools > Audio > Audio Wizard to make sure the speakers and microphone are set up.

How to Find Scheduled Sessions

If section facilitator scheduled sessions are not visible, confirm that the proper dates are entered in the Start and End date fields.

  1. In Start, enter the first day of the course.
  2. In End, enter the last day of the course.
  3. Select Go. All scheduled sessions are displayed. Select the Blackboard Collaborate icon icon for the appropriate session.

How to Find and Watch Recorded Sessions

If you want to watch a recorded web conferencing session, follow these steps to view the recording:

  1. Go to Course Tools. Select the link for Blackboard Collaborate.
  2. Select Recordings.
  3. In the Start Date calendar, select the first day of the course.
  4. Select Go. All recorded sessions to date are displayed. Use the date and time notation to identify the desired recording.
  5. Select the Blackboard Collaborate icon icon for the session you want to view.

Blackboard Collaborate Technical Support

Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you encounter technical issues, contact Blackboard Collaborate Technical Support for assistance.


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Grading

Graded Aplia assignments include problem sets, multiple choice questions, news analyses, and/or short essays. The number of questions per weekly assignment varies. The number of point(s) per question and weekly assignment varies too. Here is a document explaining how to find the number of point(s) each question or weekly assignment is worth.

Your course grade is your average grade on your Aplia assignments, computed as the ratio of points earned over potential points. For example, if by the end of the course, you have earned 200 points out of the potential 223 points in this course, your grade in the course will be 200/223 = .897 or 89.7%.

Letter grades for the course are strictly assigned according to the following schedule. For example, according to this table, a percentage grade of 89.7% is equivalent to a B+ letter grade.

NOTE: A percentage grade of 89.96% will earn you a B+ letter grade, while a percentage grade of 90.02% will earn you an A- letter grade.

Course Work Percentage
Aplia Assignments 100%
TOTAL 100%
Letter Grade Distribution
Letter Grade Final Total %
A 92% ? 100%
A- 90% ? 91.9%
B+ 88% ? 89.9%
B 82% ? 87.9%
B- 80% ? 81.9%
C+ 78% ? 79.9%
C 72% ? 77.9%
C- 70% ? 71.9%
D+ 65% ? 69.9%
D 60% ? 64.9%
F below 60%

Instructor Interaction

If you have questions related to assignments, grades, homework, or other learning content, post these on the "Questions for the Instructor" discussion forum. I will log into the course space periodically throughout the week to review questions. Students are encouraged to respond if they know the answer to the question. Since it is common for several students to have the same question, I may only respond to one of the posted questions, assuming that you will read and review all questions and responses posted in this forum. If you have a question that requires a confidential response, send it to me via the internal course space email or to the email address listed above. Make sure to specify the course prefix, number & section: EconS 555 section #, in the subject window of your email. If you must contact me by phone, please use the main School of Economic Sciences Department number above and leave a message for me to call you back. My preferred method of communication, however, is email.


Late Work Policy

Late work will not be accepted.


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The MBA Oath

The MBA Oath was created to make a real impact on the meaning of the MBA degree and on the role people expect business to play in society. While other professions have certain guiding principles/pledges that are administered at graduation or after passing certain professional examinations, this does not presently exist for business school students. The students who designed the MBA Oath believe the purpose of the Oath is to set a new standard for how people conduct business in the future.

Please visit the following website to learn more about this initiative from a number of MBA alumni: http://mbaoath.org/


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NOTE: When contacting a Disability Specialist please indicate you are an OMBA student so they can provide you with the appropriate information.

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WSU Online MBA Student Support

Your Online MBA Student Services Advisor has all the non-content and administrative-related information you need to be a successful online learner. Please do not hesitate to contact your Advisor at studentsupport@wsumba.com or 1-877-960-2032. This support includes questions surrounding purchasing course materials, registration, billing, financial aid, and graduation.


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