ECF3120 - Consumer economics - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Business and Economics

Organisational Unit

Department of Economics


Dr Rebecca Valenzuela

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


This unit introduces economic principles underlying consumer choice and market demand; describing consumer preferences, indifference curves and budget constraints, with particular emphasis on the role of prices as conveyors of information. It introduces economic tools and concepts for the analyses of consumption choices over time, under uncertainty and/or with risk, and in markets with asymmetric information. Other topics include work-leisure choice, wage changes and the supply of labour, and the provision of public goods and environmental goods. An examination of observed economic and social outcomes from the point of view of various normative criteria completes the coverage.


The learning goals associated with this unit are to:

  1. understand economic models of household consumption which explain the allocation of resources over a variety of goods
  2. understand the allocation of income between savings and consumption, and the allocation of expenditures over the life cycle
  3. analyse data on household expenditure patterns
  4. understand the role of government over consumer protection
  5. analyse the role and impact of e-commerce on the way consumers choose in the marketplace.


Within semester assessment: 40% + Examination: 60%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)