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ZUG2040 - Economic Decision Making for Sustainability

Undergraduate – Module

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this module is offered.


Business, Engineering and Technology


South Africa
On-campus block of classes

  • Semester 2, 2019 (Mainstream Programme)
  • Semester 2, 2020 (Extended Programme)

12 credits, NQF Level 6


The primary objective of the module is to master the basic tools used by economists to formalise the analysis of consumer theory, the theory of the firm, and how market structures affect market outcomes.  The course will extend the coverage of key microeconomic concepts and principles beyond those introduced in the first year undergraduate Principles of Economics course. Much of the material introduced in the first year will be reworked, with an emphasis on introducing more advanced terminology.  This includes using mathematical functions, manipulating and graphing them, defining and solving equilibrium conditions.  Examples and problems discussed in the class and tutorials will illustrate the application of economic thinking to a wide variety of practical situations.


On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:

1Articulate the principles of decision making and resource allocation
2Describe how markets work
3Use optimization principles to arrive at the best solution to a managerial problem;
4Apply the concept of elasticity
5Use estimation and forecasting techniques to predict consumer demand for products.
6Apply consumer equilibrium using utility and indifference approaches
7Describe the concept of technology and production costs
8Analyse the behaviour of firms under different market structures
9Apply production theory to different types of market structures
10Use game theory to explain models of imperfect competition
11Explain market failures due to externalities and public goods.


Coursework assessment: 40%
Examination: 60%

Workload requirements

This module will provide students with solid foundation of economic understanding for use in managerial decision-making.  Predictions of economic variables are frequently ambiguous; understanding the underlying assumptions and the analytical methods used by the economists is essential in assessing policy statement of governments and think tanks; and predicting consumer behaviour. The teaching method will be interactive rather than lecturer-focused. Tutorials will be based on individual assignments as well as interactions during tutorials. Written submissions will be compulsory on fortnightly homework assignments.

All outcomes will be assessed by means of class tests, tutorial homework and presentations and a final examination.

Chief examiner(s)