IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Teaching Marginal Analysis: On the importance of emphasising the second-order condition


  • Akihito Asano

    () (The Australian National University)


Students employ marginal analysis in investigating various problems regarding resource allocation. The majority of first-year students, however, seem to struggle in applying it to a firm's profit maximisation problem. Their confusion appears to stem from textbooks for introductory microeconomics courses oversimplifying some subtle points regarding the profit maximisation problem. This paper (1) points out how oversimplification may impede students' understanding, contrary to the instructors' pedagogical intent, and (2) suggests a complementary method to enhance their understanding of marginal analysis in the course of teaching a firm's profit maximisation problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Akihito Asano, 2006. "Teaching Marginal Analysis: On the importance of emphasising the second-order condition," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 5(1), pages 46-59.
  • Handle: RePEc:che:ireepp:v:5:y:2006:i:1:p:46-59

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. William E. Becker, 2004. "Economics for a Higher Education," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 3(1), pages 52-62.
    2. Charles A. Holt, 1999. "Teaching Economics with Classroom Experiments: A Symposium," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 603-610, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:che:ireepp:v:5:y:2006:i:1:p:46-59. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Martin Poulter). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.