This is a standard introductory course in microeconomics. It focuses on the way the market system works. The decisions of households, firms, and governments are coordinated through markets in which prices adjust to keep buying plans and selling plans consistent. The U.S. economy relies mainly on markets to coordinate these decisions, although sometimes governments intervene. We will explore various social issues using the principles developed throughout the course. Upon completion of the course students will have a better understanding of economic problems, efficiency, laws of demand and supply, consumer choice theory, market organization, production and cost.
Presents the essential analytical tools of macroeconomic theory, and outlines their use in issues of economic policy. Topics to be covered include: determinants of the main components of aggregate expenditure, and the construction of the simple Keynesian model; the monetary aspect, and the construction of a more complete Keynesian model, unemployment and inflation, and monetary and fiscal policy.
This course applies microeconomic analysis to the allocation of resources and consumption of products within the health care sector. Substantial attention is given to the socio-economic determinants of health. The course is designed to encourage students to develop skills in applying microeconomic theory to real world problems. Students will also learn about the principal institutions of U.S. health care delivery and the dual relationship between health and economic outcomes. Unique features of health care which interfere with competitive market allocation and pricing will be emphasized.
The course aims to provide the student with an introduction to the role of money, monetary policy, financial markets and financial institutions in the economy. It will first examine financial markets with a particular emphasis on interest rate determination in bond markets. The course will next investigate the main aspects of the banking industry, central banking and the conduct of monetary policy. The course concludes by examining topics in international finance, such as exchange rate determination and the international financial system.
Basic economic theory is applied to issues involving the joint interaction of economic activity, the environment, and use of natural resources. The debate over the sustainability of economic development, the renewability and/or depletion of natural resources, and the effects of pollution on environmental quality will be surveyed. The issues of ozone depletion, loss of bio-diversity, and greenhouse gas emissions and global warming will be considered. Designed for non-majors; Economics majors should take Econ 1360.
The course examines an individual's choice of how much time and effort to allocate to work activities as well as issues that are of interest to employers who must identify, hire, and motivate workers. After all, (almost) everyone in the class will either be an employee, an employer, or both, and can benefit from an understanding of how firms set up compensation schemes to motivate workers. In addition, we will cover such topics as what types of workers to hire, where and how workers obtain their skills, motivating workers through promotion tournaments, executive pay, teams, job search, bargaining, and benefits. We will cover extensions of economic principles to labor markets, public policy questions, demand and supply, theory of wage differentials, unemployment, unions in the private sector, investment in individuals, education and training, mobility. We will gain insight into a number of important policy issues such as race and gender discrimination, increasing wage inequality (the spreading gap between high- and low-income workers), and unemployment.
This course provides an introduction to the field of international economics. The course divides roughly in half between topics from international trade and from international finance. Topics to be covered include: comparative advantage; the effects of tariffs and other forms of protectionism; U.S. commercial policy; the balance of payments; exchange rates; and the international monetary system.
This course focuses on economies which are less technically and institutionally developed and in which per capita incomes are low. Over 80% of the world's population lives in these countries and their economies are assuming an increasingly important role in the global economic system. The functioning of agriculture, industry, and international trade and finance will be outlined. Alternative government policy options will be considered. The effects of roles played by government, population growth, income distribution, health care and education in the process of economic development will be discussed. The course will concentrate on the economic aspects of development.
Nowadays, Countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the area comprising the Arab States, Iran, Israel, and Turkey, face enormous economic challenges in the Twenty-First Century: Stagnant real wages, deteriorating competitiveness, and rapidly growing populations and labor forces, have left most countries in the region unable to afford soaring living standards to much of the society. Yet the opportunities facing the region have never been greater: world trade is growing rapidly, capital flows to most of these countries have never been higher, and regional integration options are many as the result of the European Union's agreement for a free trade area in the Mediterranean. Why after years of negative per capita income growth, has the region been unable to accumulate sufficient reform momentum to sustain economic growth? Do important differences across countries hold lessons for the future? What are the social consequences of economic stagnation, and how might future adjustment costs be managed to protect the poor? How have individual countries in the region defined the challenges ahead? And what issues must be addressed to realize a more prosperous future? This course is designed to expose students to current views by academics and policy makers on past practices and future challenges facing the economies of the MENA region, as a set of developing countries that share a common heritage but also show countless differences. The emphasis will be on developing an overall understanding of the origins and nature of various economic problems while at the same time providing a critical examination of existing and alternative development policy formulations in MENA. The course will focus on population growth and the impact of demographic changes on employment, poverty, and income distribution; agriculture; education; capital formation; labor migration; economic liberalization; the rise and fall of the oil-based regional economy; the economics of structural adjustment and reform; economic regional integration and the challenges of globalization; as well as gender issues.
This course has 3 interrelated goals: 1. Students will understand the range of career and advanced degree options for which their studies in Economics will make them eligible. 2. Students will learn how to conduct research in economics. The course will explain how to use the Economics literature and publicly available data sources. 3. Students will maximize progress within the major by setting broader goals and taking advantage of the many opportunities offered at the University.
The course investigates the fundamental differences between capitalist and socialist systems in political, cultural and economic terms. After classes on the theoretical differences between capitalism and socialism, specific examples will be drawn from the countries of the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe which have either recently completed or are in various stages of transformation from communism and centrally planned economies to democracy and market capitalism. The ramifications of such revolutionary transformations are multiple and profound. They include the development of a market economy and the impact of private ownership, new patterns of foreign trade, foreign investment and foreign policy, the construction of civil society and democracy, the expansion of NATO and the EU, altered cultural patterns, national identities and gender relations, etc.
Course lectures and discussions will move from a comparison of the two systems, to the major recent historic determinants, to the impact of economic changes in the last two decades on peoples and countries of eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. A central concept of the course is that these post 1989 or 1991 transformations had firm roots in the 20th century histories of the countries. The course will cover the time period since the beginnings of socialist governments in the region (1917 in Russia, and 1945 in eastern Europe) and conclude with the transformation process presently under way. Please note that the course is cross-listed with the History and Economics Departments.
******In addition to the spring course, there is a non-mandatory follow-up study abroad summer term course in Prague, Czech Republic and Krakow, Poland. The study abroad course focuses on the EU, national identities versus globalization, contemporary political and economic developments, and transatlantic relations. This intensive 3-credit course will include daily instruction, field trips, and guest lecturers. ***************
This course will provide the student with a solid understanding of macroeconomic theory and ensure that the student can apply macroeconomic analysis to the study of economic problems. The course covers the development of modern macroeconomic theory, including classical, Keynesian, monetarist and new classical views of the macroeconomy. Key areas to be covered include theories of business cycles, employment, inflation, economic growth and macroeconomic policy. Particular attention will be given to the role of money in general and monetary policy in particular. Considerable emphasis will be placed on analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of these models and understanding how they differ. Students are required to have successfully completed introductory microeconomics and macroeconomics courses before enrolling on this course. Knowledge of elementary calculus is required.
This course will provide the student with a solid understanding of macroeconomic theory and ensure that the student can apply macroeconomic analysis to the study of economic problems. The course covers the development of modern macroeconomic theory, including classical, Keynesian, monetarist and new classical views of the macroeconomy. Key areas to be covered include theories of business cycles, employment, inflation, economic growth and macroeconomic policy. Particular attention will be given to the role of money in general and monetary policy in particular. Considerable emphasis will be placed on analysing the strengths and weaknesses of these models and understanding how they differ. Students are required to have successfully completed introductory microeconomics and macroeconomics courses before enrolling on this course. Knowledge of elementary calculus is required.
This course introduces basic tools in applied econometrics that are commonly employed in government, business, and academic research. It should be useful for those intending to become quantitative business and economic analysts, as well as those interested in knowing how economics is applied to real-world problems: particularly useful for those interested in pursuing graduate work in economics, business and law. Students are expected to become familiar with Stata, a computer program that is often used in quantitative economic research. Topics covered are: a review of basic statistical inference theory, correlation analysis, classical linear regression models (simple and multiple), and associated inferential problems, and generalized linear regression models and associated inferential problems.
An initial course for graduate students or for undergraduates with a strong math background. Topics will include nonlinear and linear optimization models and simulation applications to economic problems. The optimization topics will include an introduction to activity analysis and Kuhn Tucker Theory. To facilitate the study of these, some topics concerning linear inequalities and convex functions will be discussed. Application of each topic to economic theory and policy will be stressed. The computer will be used for solving problems.
Many important phenomena in economics and political science involve strategic interaction among small numbers of agents. Examples include competition between oil producing nations, bargaining over the price of a car, and forming voting coalitions in a legislature. Game theory is the mathematical tool that social scientists use to model these phenomena. This course will provide an introduction to the fundamental concepts of modern game theory and applications to the social sciences.
This course will expose students to how insights from psychology and experiments have been incorporated into economic models. We will discuss how the insights have changed our understanding of markets and auctions, strategic interactions (game theory), individual decision making under uncertainty and over time, political behavior and more. We will also explore the welfare and policy implications of the findings from behavioral economics.
ECON 1280 is an advanced course in monetary theory and policy. It considers theories of the role of money and credit in a modern economy, the origins of modern monetary theory and the development of monetary policy and central banking. Considerable emphasis will be placed on both the evolution of theory as well as different theoretical views of the role of monetary policy.
This is an advanced elective course on labor economics for undergraduate students. The purpose of the course is to apply the analytical tools from intermediate microeconomic theory to analyze how society develops, allocates and rewards human resources, and to study a wide range of labor-related issues, such as labor supply; household production and labor force participation; labor demand; minimum wages; labor market discrimination; compensating wage differentials; schooling and earnings; wage inequality, and immigration. Emphasis will also be given to the empirical evidence on those topics.
The course is intended as an analysis of the investment valuation and financing of the corporation. Attention will be focused on the application of economic theory to the solution of financial problems. The interrelations between investment and financing policies and their dependence on security valuations will be stressed. The institutional background necessary to analyze these problems will be examined, and practical cases drawn from personal and business situations will be used along with more theoretical materials.
This course provides an in depth analysis of international monetary economics and related topics in the area of international finance. Topics to be covered include exchange rate determination, balance of payments problems, the foreign exchange market, open economy macroeconomic policy making, and the international monetary system.
Latin America’s history of economic development is unique, puzzling and interesting. This course uses data together with concepts and theories from the field of economic growth and development in order to understand the distinct features of economic performance in Latin American countries. Commonalities and differences among Latin American countries are analyzed. Topics covered include Latin American economic history, growth accounting, import substitution industrialization, trade policy, exchange rate policy and the current account, monetary and fiscal policy, macroeconomic stability, rural development, poverty and inequality, demographic change, health policy, economic growth and the environment, and Latin America in the global economy.
Labor economics studies many of the most debated current economic policy issues. What’s the effect of raising the minimum wage on employment and incomes? What impact do immigrants have on U.S. workers? What are the roots of growing wage inequality? Is intergenerational income mobility in the U.S. declining? What are the causes and implications of the increase in women’s labor force participation in the last one hundred years? How is wage discrimination against racial minorities and women detected empirically? How do U.S. labor market institutions compare to those of continental Europe? The answer to these and other questions lies in careful empirical work informed by economic theory. This course has two objectives. The first is to introduce students to the substance of the debates surrounding the topics mentioned above. The second is to introduce them to the empirical methods employed by labor economists. In addition to studying a broad set of topics, each student will also have the chance to dig deeper in a specific research area of interest, chosen in agreement with the instructor.
This course will explore the political economy of immigration to the United States. Who migrates, and from which countries? What is the impact of transportation costs and border policy? What impact does immigration have on labor markets, educational systems, and the provision of public goods? The course will address these questions over two centuries of American experience. Students will have the opportunity to pursue a project on a topic related to immigration, and the course will cover basic empirical research skills in addition to the topics listed above.
Climate change is one of the most serious threats to the global economy. At its root, the problem of climate change is related to many issues we study in economics. Climate change is primarily the result of a negative externality imposed by use of carbon-emitting products and production technologies. However, it presents some additional complications. The consequences of climate change are long-term, uncertain, and global. In this course, students will learn how to apply economic and empirical tools to study the problem of climate change and potential solutions, and will pursue a research project in this area.
This course provides a formal exposition of modern macroeconomics. We will start building up from what you learned in Intermediate Macroeconomics and expand it; the analysis will be done in a rigorous way. Lectures will cover various topics: the Solow growth model, competitive equilibrium, welfare theorems, the one-sector neoclassical growth model, the Real Business Cycle model, the New Keynesian business cycle model, and international trade models. The course will also have an emphasis on analyzing real-world data.