An introduction to the modes of thought of economics. Use of simple standard tools of economics to analyze important problems that arise frequently in public policy, the news media, and in daily life. An emphasis on how economists predict what choices societies make and how economists analyze whether those are good choices. Practical application of a variety of economic tools leading to a focus on the essential unity underlying these analytical tools, viewing economics as a discipline that applies a core methodology in different ways in different situations.
Why have tuition and fees increased substantially over the past 30 years at almost all institutions of higher education in the US? How can quality and productivity be measured in schools? Why do most students pay considerably less than the actual cost of service provision? What is society's interest in devoting considerable resources to education beyond the high school level? How do existing and proposed governmental policies impact both the number of students pursuing a college education and the cost of this education?
Through most of the 20th century gaps in income between rich and poor declined in the US, but after 1970 we experienced a very rapid increase in inequality. This course challenges students to investigate why people make different amounts of money, why income inequality has risen so dramatically in recent years, what public policy tools exist to counter inequality increases, and what different institutional arrangements different countries use to lower inequality.
How does society balance the benefits of environmental protection and preservation against the costs? Though some might say that the environment is priceless, economists recognize that every action involves trade-offs. This course investigates sustainability through comparing costs and benefits. From this perspective, other questions arise: How can we design policies that incentivize sustainable choices? Why might usual market functioning fail to achieve sustainability? Do we need to put a price on the environment in order to protect it? How do we measure an economy's "success"?
Introduces economic models used to analyze economic behavior by individuals and firms and consequent market outcomes. Applies conceptual analysis to several policy issues and surveys a variety of specific topics within the broad scope of microeconomics.
An introduction to how market economies behave at the aggregate level. The determination of national income/output and the problems of unemployment inflation, will be examined, along with monetary and fiscal policy.
Introductory course to develop understanding of statistical concepts used in applied economics. Students will acquire skills needed to calculate and interpret statistical concepts, including descriptive statistics, probability, discrete and continuous distributions, sampling, point and interval estimations, hypothesis testing, basic analysis of variance, and simple linear regression models. Students will apply these concepts to data using both handheld calculators and spreadsheets(Excel), and students will be introduced to an econometric software package such as SPSS or SAS or R.
Analysis of the determination of national income, employment, and price levels. Discussion of consumption, investment, inflation, and government fiscal and monetary policy.
Analysis of the theories of consumer behavior, producer behavior, different market structures, and various sources of inefficient outcomes. Analysis of microeconomic policies designed to improve market outcomes.
Economic concepts are used to analyze various aspects of the founding and early history of the U.S., including the British settlement of the North American colonies, the economics of the American Revolutionary war, the writing of the Constitution, the development of financial markets, policies on public lands and the spread of western agriculture, slavery, banking, and early industrialization.
Topics include: the economics of the Civil War, the performance of southern agriculture in the late 19th century, the rise of large corporations, industrialization, the development of financial markets, the creation of the Federal Reserve Board, the economics of the Great Depression and the New Deal, the economic impact of World War II, and the rise of the modern service economy in the late 20th century.
Analysis of the economic and social characteristics of underdeveloped areas. Recent theories of economic development, obstacles to development, policies and planning for development.
Analysis of policy options and debates on fostering economic growth and development in a global economy where national boundaries are no longer relevant. Topics covered will include real loanable funds markets in both local and international contexts during normal conditions and during financial crises, the design of trade and industrial policies, and the role of the World Bank, IMF, WTO, and other international agencies as well as regional and bilateral trade agreements. Emerging economies will be emphasized.
Introduction to the use of statistics in economics. Topics include: Probability, random variables and their distributions, sampling theory, estimation, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, regression analysis and correlation.
Analysis of macroeconomic behavior and policy with emphasis on theoretical rigor. Topics include the determinants of economic growth, unemployment, inflation, and international economic flows.
Analysis of economic decision-making by individual buyers and sellers, and resulting market outcomes, with emphasis on theoretical rigor. The efficient properties of perfect competition are examined, followed by consideration of market power, externalities, and asymmetric information.
The structure of financial institutions and their role in the provision of money and near money. Analysis of the Federal Reserve System, the techniques of central banks, and the control of supply of financial assets in stabilization policy. Relationship of money and credit to economic activity and the price level.
Introduces economic models of international trade and finance. Analyzes policies designed to promote and restrict international trade and to manage exchange rates and impact international capital flows.
See Department Advising Office for course eligibility, course requirements, and application information.
Contact department for information to register for this course.
Increase student knowledge of career paths, job search tools, and strategies for successfully obtaining a job with a BA or BS in economics. Students will engage in a range of different activities which build their understanding of job opportunities in economics and hone their abilities to find positions they want. Students will reflect on specific skills employers seek from economics graduates and incorporate that knowledge in their own individual job search and career plan.
First semester of the departmental honors sequence. Students will develop and apply research skills required to carry out original research. By the end of the semester students will have produced a complete draft of an honors thesis resembling a scholarly journal article.
General supervision will be provided through assembled meetings with the professor in charge of the course.
Students will be exposed to the nature of data collection and data usage in the field of Economics. Students will learn the historical development of economics statistics, the limitations and advantages of both scope and survey methodology, and Excel/Stata/R skills which will empower students to produce research products with original data.
Integrated readings and independent study under direction and supervision of a faculty member. Contact department for additional information.
Analysis of current economic problems and public policies. Topics could include poverty, income inequality, social insurance, education, environmental sustainability, immigration, and innovation. Other issues may be substituted depending on current events.
Analysis of the fluctuations in economic activity and the formulation and use of forecasting models of the economy. Illustrations of computer macro models and forecasting problems.
Expands on the assumptions of rational decision-making used in intermediate microeconomics and develops more complicated, more realistic models which address uncertainty, intertemporal choices, strategic interactions, social preferences and considerations of what is fair.
An in-depth analysis of current issues in macroeconomic theory and policy. Topics covered include: 1. alternative perspectives on macroeconomics including monetarism, new classical equilibrium models, rational expectations, and real business cycle models; 2. long term growth, the slowdown in productivity growth, and concerns about U.S. competitiveness; 3. the effectiveness of macroeconomic policy in an open economy; 4. the effects of finance on the real sector.
Institutions are the sets of rules that constrain the decisions and interactions of economic agents. The course uses economic analysis to understand both formal institutions (e.g. laws) and informal institutions (e.g. cultural norms). Practical examples are drawn from economics, law, and politics, and reflect the experience of many different countries.
Analysis of major economic, political, and social change in the developed world since 1800. This includes factors contributing to increases in economic performance, changes in the form of government, technological change (including industrialization), and integration and disintegration of the global economy. Emphasis is on institutional changes in how societies organize economic and political activities.
Studies the competitive and cooperative behavior that results when several parties with conflicting interests must work together. Learn how to use game theory to analyze situations of potential conflict. Applications are drawn from economics, business, and political science.
Focuses on recent developments in the design of markets to improve economic performance and to open new economic opportunities. It is divided into three main segments -- auction design, the design of matching mechanisms, and antitrust theory and policy.
Economic theory of the developing nations; role of innovation, capital formation, resources, institutions, trade and exchange rates, and governmental policies.
Analyzes patterns of economic and institutional development in China; assesses sources of and challenges to economic growth over the past century as China's systems have transitioned from central planning and communism to market-oriented socialism with one-party politics; and examines specific issues such as the role of foreign investment, the performance of state-owned enterprises, the tensions between central and local governments, and the economic impact of demographic policies.
Using examples from different historical and geographic contexts, students will analyze both the diversity and the commonalities of economic outcomes in Latin America, with an emphasis on institutional patterns. The class analyzes the divergence between North America and Latin America since the 1700s; surveys Latin America's economic history; reviews the region's recent economic experience with macroeconomic crises and their interaction with the political sphere; and explores current topics in the region's economic development, like the war on drugs and the rise of leftist policies.
Analyzes patterns of economic and institutional development in the Middle East; assesses the general trends in economic growth, investment, and institutional changes; and examines specific issues such as population and human development, economics and politics of oil and trade, the structure of state and its role in economic development, financial markets and Islamic banking, and business environment.
Emphasizes the interaction between economic problems and the assumption employed in statistical theory. Formulation, estimation, and testing of economic models, including single variable and multiple variable regression techniques, theory of identification, and issues relating to inference.
Interaction between economic problems and specification and estimation of econometric models. Topics include issues of autocorrelation, heteroscedasticity, functional form, simultaneous equation models, qualitative choice models, and other computational methods.
Provide the knowledge and skills necessary to accomplish and utilize basic applied econometric analysis utilized by many business service providers, government agencies, and nonprofits engaged in policy analysis. Topics include simple and multiple regressions using cross section, time series, and panel data, issues of heteroskedasticity, serial correlation, and multicollinearity, models with binary dependent variable, and program evaluation. Course emphasizes application of knowledge using software packages but still covers essential theoretical background.
Study of how to use cost benefit analysis and other similar tools of applied microeconomics to conduct policy analyses. Cost-benefit analysis is an empirical method of identifying an optimal choice from a set of policy alternatives, where optimal is defined in terms of economic efficiency. Real world examples are addressed, so that students understand limitations of the methods and also interactions of economic analysis with political and administrative processes.
An introduction to the methodology of experimental economics and its application to issues such as decision-making under uncertainty, auctions, and public goods. Also an introduction to behavioral economics as a relatively new area of economic research.
How do rational agents make decisions when faced with uncertainty? How do markets and other institutions deal with risks? How do markets behave when some actors are better informed than others? What incentives influence whether economic decision-makers hide or reveal information? Topics include the value of information, the purchase of warranties, agency problems in management, adverse selection and moral hazard in insurance, and signaling in education.
The different types of financial assets that exist, the markets that they trade in, and the determination of their prices and rates of return are examined. Specific topics that will be covered include the Markowitz portfolio selection model, the capital asset pricing model, the arbitrage pricing theory, the efficient markets hypothesis, the term structure of interest rates, and options. There will be almost no emphasis on issues in corporate finance.
An introduction to financial econometrics, which is data science applied to understanding the financial system. Students will learn modern techniques in financial econometrics with an emphasis on the interaction between modeling (theory) and empirical analysis. Topics include relevant economic theory, optimization techniques, probability models, statistical analysis, and use of statistical software.
Uses models of open-economy macroeconomics to explain the causes and consequences of international capital flows. Analysis is made of private consumption, investment, the government sector, current accounts, the labor market, and the money and foreign exchange markets in small open economies. This framework is then used to study examples of how speculative attacks on currencies, sudden reversals of capital inflows, and the effects of the lack of credibility of economic policy affect economic development.
Examines the economics of international economic integration, including the theory of customs unions and free trade areas, the role of GATT and the WTO, changes in individual countries' foreign trade policies during the new era of globalization, the special role of multinational firms in world trade, and recent controversies about the benefits and costs of globalized trade.
Analysis of collective decision making, economic models of government, program budgeting, and policy implementation; emphasis on models of public choice and institutions which affect decision making.
Rational use and reuse of natural resources. Theory, methodology, and policies concerned with the allocation of natural resources among alternative uses. Optimum state of conservation, market failure, safe minimum standard, and cost-benefit analysis.
The role of the public sector in a market economy constitutes the over-arching topic of this course. Emphasis lies on analyzing government expenditure programs and the microeconomics of tax policy.
Examines the role that government plays in providing and financing education. Analyzes why people invest in education. Considers the effects of education on long-term social and economic outcomes, the behavior of institutions that produce education, and how to design and implement public policies affecting the level and distribution of educational resources. Uses microeconomic models and empirical findings to analyze current issues in education policy.
Relationship of the exchange process to the system of institutions and rules that society develops to carry out economic transactions. Topics covered include: Property rights; torts, negligence, and liability; contracts and exchanges; criminal control and enforcement; equity and efficiency issues.
Examines different theoretical models of firm behavior in markets with varying amounts of market power. Relates theory to specific industries and examines how market structure evolves over time.
Considers government intervention in economic activity of three types: antitrust policy, regulation of natural monopolies, and health safety regulation. Covers theoretical models, real-world policy applications, and empirical studies relevant to the impact of regulation.
Economic theory highlights the role of entrepreneurs in fueling economic growth and accomplishing reallocation of resources in response to changes in preferences, technology, demographics, and resource. This course uses empirical evidence to examine the extent to which these predictions are valid. To more fully understand the motivations and constraints relevant to entrepreneurs, student will write a business plan as if s/he were starting a new business.
The application of theoretical and empirical economic tools to the sports industry, including competition at professional,collegiate, and international levels. Microeconomic models from labor, industrial organization and public finance will be applied to the sports industry and combined with data from sports markets, providing students with opportunities to produce and interpret economic analysis. The topic of discrimination will also be explored in the context of this particular economic activity.
Analyze markets for health care and related products by understanding the incentives and constraints for various participants, including individuals, family units, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and insurance providers. Analysis will combine both theoretical models and empirical tools.
An analytical treatment of theories of labor markets, and an examination of empirical findings, evidence and conclusions. Topics covered will include some or all of the following: labor demand; labor supply and labor market participation; theory of human capital; earnings differentials; and if time allows, market structure and the efficiency of labor markets; and unemployment.
Central topics include the determinants of firms' demand for labor and households' decision making about whether to work, how much to work, and where to work. We will then study the equilibrium amount of labor hired in society and the wages paid to workers. The course will also include the measurement of the labor market, human capital, discrimination, incentives, and current changes in the American economic landscape. Various economic policies impacting labor markets will be analyzed.
Analysis of the economic issues associated with social safety nets. Topics to be covered include the cash transfer programs for breaking the cycle of poverty, labor market policies aimed at combating unemployment, childhood interventions to improve human capital development, and the challenges faced by pension systems over the world. The approach is based on a life-cycle perspective. Evidence and experiences from developed and developing countries will covered.
An exploration of the use of economic incentives for protection of the environment and the determination of appropriate (or efficient) level of environmental quality. Also covers the choice of policy instruments for the attainment of environmental standards.
Students will work in small groups (3-4 per group) to gather macroeconomic and industry-specific data, analyze and interpret this information, and use findings to develop recommendations for simulated clients. Each semester’s research will focus on a different business line. Each group will examine data pertaining to unemployment rates, personal income, uncollectible debt, and collection laws.
The Wealth Management Fundamentals Program is an opportunity for undergraduate students to gain knowledge of financial instruments, financial markets, and develop expertise in investment analysis, financial planning, personal finance, and wealth management. Throughout the course relevant financial and statistical concepts, such as time value of money (present value, future value, annuity, etc.), intrinsic value, risk (standard deviation), expected value (mean), and diversification (covariance, CAPM) are emphasized.
Exploration of urban and regional economics and policies, including economic forces leading to formation of city and regional networks. Conceptual and empirical analysis of policies affecting land use, housing, transportation and other aspects of sub-national economic development.
Directed research under the supervision of a faculty member. Contact department for additional information.
Introductory technical treatment of standard Keynesian, classical and new classical macroeconomic models. Expectations formation and microeconomic foundations of consumption, investment, money demand, and labor market behavior.
Further issues regarding macroeconomic topics. First half emphasis will be placed on dynamic macroeconomic theory as pertaining to monetary issues, policy ineffectiveness and effectiveness. The second half of the course will focus on theories of investment and growth.
A detailed treatment of the theory of the consumer and of the firm, particularly emphasizing the duality approach. Topics include the household production model, imperfect competition, monopolistic and oligopolistic markets.
Analysis of markets and market equilibria; the Arrow-Debreu model of general equilibrium, the two-sector model, welfare theorems, externalities, public goods, markets with incomplete and asymmetric information.
Institutions and technology shaping pre-capitalist economies: Archaic, Greek and Roman, Feudal, and Mercantile. Rise of the market system, national economies, and capitalism. The nature of industrial society. Imperialism.
Explore both the causes and consequences in development economics from a historical and scientific approach. Presents theoretical models and applied work that test alternative hypotheses. Explore models of economic growth and institutions, with emphasis on property rights and political regimes as causal factors affecting development. Discuss empirical methods widely used in the field and important related topics including poverty, inequality, education and health.
Survey of a variety of models explaining how market failures may lead to poverty and underdevelopment, with an emphasis on the empirical evaluation of constraints faced by individuals in developing countries and the programs that attempt to alleviate those constraints. Topics include: agricultural and land markets, labor markets, human capital in developing countries, credit markets, and consumption smoothing and risk coping.
Specification, estimation, hypothesis testing and prediction in the classical and generalized linear regression model. Topics include: ordinary least squares, generalized least squares, instrumental variableestimation, quantile regression, finite and large sample analysis and general testing principles including misspecification tests. The course will also provide instructions on the use of a major statistical packagesuch as Stata or TSP.
A continuation of ECON623. Topics include: Nonlinear models and nonlinear estimation methods (generalized method of moments and maximum likelihood estimation), panel data models, univariate dynamic models, multivariate dynamic models including simultaneous equation models, and non-parametric/semiparametric estimation methods. The course will also provide instructions on the use of a major statistical package such as Stata or TSP.
An examination of the specification, computation, estimation and interpretation of structural models that are widely used in applied microeconomics (empirical and theoretical Industrial Organization, public and urban economics, environmental economics, development, political economy (e.g., voting), health and education economics, trade) and Marketing. The focus will be on how to use these models in practice, and students will solve and estimate models in weekly problem sets, with solutions/code being discussed in class.
To provide students with the opportunity to use empirical techniques that are particularly valuable in the analysis of microeconomic data. Topics include panel data, nonlinear optimization, limited dependent variables, truncated, censored, selected samples, the analysis of natural experiments, and quantile regressions. This course will emphasize hands-on practical experience.
Essential computational methods used in macroeconomics. There will be particular focus on approximating the solution to dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models. Methods for representative-agent and heterogeneous-agent models will be extensively studied. Econometric methods such as Generalized Method of Moments, Maximum Likelihood, Vector Autoregressions wil also be covered.
Beginning on Fri, October 23rd, students will need to attend an evening meeting from 5:30p-830p
An introduction to the methodology of laboratory and field experiments. The course concentrates on a series of experiments to show how experiments build on one another, allowing researchers with different theoretical dispositions to narrow the range of potential disagreement.
An exploration of how people make decisions, questioning the concept of "perfect rationality" in the standard economic theory, providing improved models in line with the observed biases of decision makers. Focusing on decision making under risk and ambiguity, endowment effect, status quo bias, loss aversion, intertemporal choice, and selfish and pro-social preferences.
Decision making is a process in which we select a course of action among available options. It begins when we need to do something but we do not know what. First, we embark on a journey into a land of rationality to study the normative approach. Since our ability to think and knowledge are limited and time is pressing, it is not surprising that some behavioral biases will observed in decision making processes. Of course, this will require adjusting our normative theories to capture these biases. This will be the second purpose of this course.
Microeconomic analysis applied to public policy problems with an emphasis on practical examples and how they illustrate microeconomic theories. Policy issues such as pollution, welfare and income distribution, market design, industry regulation, price controls, tax policy and health insurance are practical examples used to illustrate the abstract principles of microeconomics.
Fundamental aspects of data management and interpretation emphasizing sampling, descriptive statistics, index numbers and construction of aggregated variables. Students will learn probability theory, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing and regression analysis using the EXCEL spreadsheet program and STATA statistical software.
Study of empirical techniques that are particularly relevant to the analysis of microeconomic models. Emphasis is on advanced panel data methods, time series regressions, instrumental variables, limited dependent variables, and sample selection corrections.
This course is the first in a two-part graduate sequence in Public Economics. We will focus on the role of government intervention in the economy and cover the following topics: externalities, public goods theory, local public finance (with a focus on the economics of education), and social insurance. For each topic, we will focus on theoretical and empirical evidence as well as relevant empirical research methods.
Classical theories of industry organization are analyzed. Topics include monopoly price discrimination, product differentiation and bundling as well as traditional oligopoly models of Cournot and Bertrand are examined. Dynamic models of oligopoly including entry deterrence and collusion are discussed in addition to games of research and development. Long-run industry structures and dynamics are also analyzed. Also investigates implications of these models for antitrust policy.
Review recent empirical literature in industrial organization. Covers price discrimination, cartel and collusion, entry and market structure, information and competition, technological change and adoption, auction, and firm organization.
An examination of the structure, conduct and performance of the health care market, including a study of physician services, the pharmaceutical industry, the hospital market and health insurance. Extensive use of quantitative and analytic economic tools with special emphasis on regulatory response to market imperfections.
A study of the application of economics to law with a focus on game theory, strategic behavior and public policy.
A study of the nature of environmental regulation focusing on U.S. environmental policies and policy debates.
Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Recent developments in macroeconomics with an emphasis on topics and techniques useful for conducting research in macroeconomics. Topics include advanced treatment of fiscal and monetary policy issues; the role of imperfect competition; real, sectoral and nominal business cycle models.
Selected issues in monetary economics with an equal emphasis of learning the models and understanding important issues: a survey of models (cash-in-advance, money-in-the-utility-function, transaction cost, search-based models), empirical issues in monetary economics, business cycles and money, monetary policy, welfare cost of inflation, alternative media of exchange.
Formal treatment of game theory and its microeconomic applications are presented, emphasizing dynamics and information. Equilibrium concepts for static and dynamic games, and games with complete and incomplete information are studied. Topics also discussed: mechanism design, efficiency, reputations, signaling, and screening.
This is the second half of a two-semester sequence in Advanced Microeconomics, intended for second-year Ph.D. students. The course material varies from year-to-year, but currently it focuses on auction theory, matching theory, and the relationship between matching and auction theory. Other topics that are treated in some years include: sequential bargaining under incomplete information; and equilibrium refinements.
Advanced Topics in Applied and Theoretical Microeconomics
Advanced Topics in Applied and Theoretical Macroeconomics
Oriented towards macro-econometric methods. Topics covered will be selected from the following: Further discussion of topics covered in ECON624, nonlinear time series models, exogeneity and causality, non-stationary time series models (unit roots, co-integration, error correction models, vector autoregressive models), econometric models of volatility (ARCH and GARCH models, and Stochastic volatility models), rational expectations models, non-stationary panel data models, tests for structural change, Bayesian econometrics and methods for Bayesian computation.
Oriented towards micro-econometric methods.
Exchange rate determination; exchange rate regimes; international monetary reform; policy conflict and cooperation; the LDC debt problem; pricing of international assets; balance of payments crises.
Comparative advantage, Heckscher-Ohlin theory, specific-factors model, empirical verification, economies of scale, imperfect competition, commercial policy, factor mobility.
Puzzles in international finance; portfolio balance, current account dynamics, exchange rate behavior; capital market imperfections; balance of payments crises.
Designed primarily for students planning to write dissertations on a topic related to international trade. Its focus is on recent research in this field including tests of trade theories; the effects of trade on growth and knowledge diffusion; the political economy of trade policy and the theory and practice of trade agreements.
Theoretical and empirical issues in taxation and redistribution, with a particular emphasis on the U.S. experience. Major topics covered include the theory of optimal income taxation and transfer program design; U.S. anti-poverty and income support programs; taxes and labor supply among both low- and high-income individuals; taxable income elasticities; tax incidence and efficiency; and individual savings behavior, in particular as it relates to taxation and public policy.
Study of political determinants of macroeconomic outcomes. Time inconsistency in monetary and fiscal policy, political business cycles. Political models of redistribution, delay in reform, transition, growth, and international policymaking.
An introduction to empirical political economy. Determinants of individual political behavior and the impact of political rules on economic outcomes will both be analyzed. Modern applied econometric techniques will also be covered.
Modern analytical and quantitative labor economics. Labor supply decisions of individuals and households; human capital model and distribution of income. Demand for labor; marginal productivity theory, imperfect information and screening. Interaction of labor demand and supply; unemployment; relative and absolute wages; macroeconomic aspects of the labor market.
Covers the central ideas in population economics. These include theory and test of theories of mortality, fertility and immigration.
The theory and practice of valuing environmental benefits, including the health, recreation and aesthetic benefits associated with controlling air and water pollution, and the damages associated with climate change. Estimation of the benefits of energy efficiency improvements-including the benefits of fuel economy standards.
The use of exhaustible and renewable natural resources from normative and positive points of view. Analysis of dynamic resource problems emphasizing energy, mineral, groundwater, forestry, and fishery resources; optimal, equilibrium, and intergenerational models of resource allocation.
Also offered as AREC785. Credit will be granted for one of the following: AREC785 or ECON785.
Master's Thesis Research
Workshop on Macroeconomics and Growth; Workshop in Applied Economics
Workshop in Econometrics
Workshop in International Development, and Comparative Economics
Workshop in Industrial Organization
Workshop in Labor Economics
Doctoral Dissertation Research