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.
Courses Offered in Spring 2016
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.
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.
See Department Advising Office for course eligibility, course requirements, and application information. Contact department for information to register for this course.
General supervision will be provided through assembled meetings with the professor in charge of the course.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. They will analyze this data with an eye to the accounts receivable management industry and private collection agencies, explaining their findings in a final executive summary and a visual presentation.
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.
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.
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.
Behavioral and Experimental Economics
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.
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 micro-econometric methods. Topics covered will be selected from the following: Further discussion of topics covered in ECON624, binary and multinomial response models, censored and truncated regression models, sample selection models, count data models, duration models program evaluation and treatment effects methods, structural econometrics, the identification problem, stratified and clustered samples, spatial/cross sectional dependence models, dynamic panel data models, weak instruments, non-parametric estimation, boot strap and Jack Knife methods, pre-test estimators.
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.
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.
Covers the central ideas in population economics. These include theory and test of theories of mortality, fertility and immigration.
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