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Microeconomics is the study of the behavior of individual units, firms, households or persons in the economy.

If macroeconomics is compared to the study of a "forest", then microeconomics is the study of the trees in the forest.

A typical course in microeconomics for late high school or early college students considers consumer theory in the form of utility maximization and producer theory in the form of profit maximization and cost minimization. Upperclass courses often include discussion of monopoly, market failure, externalities, and more advanced mathematical modeling techniques for lower-level material.