From Machine Learning to Ethnography: Puzzles and Approaches to International Development

This is an introductory course in applied social science that examines policy issues in developing countries, with a focus on applied research and statistical methods. The objectives of the course are threefold: 1) to introduce students to a range of topics and puzzles in international development; 2) to introduce the broad range of research methods that social scientists use to rigorously study development; and 3) to apply those tools to topics and data that you care about. Instructor: Staff

Social Inequalities and Low-Wage Work

This course introduces students to several, different economic theories and viewpoints regarding social inequality, class, and socio-economic status in the United States. Current debates are discussed, such as the possible raising of the minimum wage. Students also gain first-hand knowledge concerning the livelihood strategies of low-wage workers in Durham, through students’ participation in a service-learning project in the community. Instructor: Miller

Foreign Exchange Markets

The course is a focused look at foreign exchange markets investigating classic economic models, structure of institutions and regimes, identifying and hedging exposure and methods for trading and related topical issues. Duke in New York only. Prerequisite: Economics 201D. Instructor consent required. Instructor: Leven

Course Syllabi

Development Economics: Theory, Evidence and Policy

This course studies the past, present and future of economic development. We begin by briefly learning about patterns of economic development through time and across countries. We then study a selection of specific development policy challenges chosen from conflict, education, health, governance, infrastructure, international aid, labor markets, and trade. We emphasize learning the tools that economists use to study economic development: statistical analysis of large datasets, economic models, and historical case studies. Prerequisite: Economics 205D, 208D, and 210D.

The Economics of Financial Derivatives & Financial Engineering

Introduction to derivatives focused on economic functions as tools for hedging/risk management. Topics include: forwards, futures, swaps, options, parity conditions, binomial options pricing, Black-Scholes formula, financial engineering for risk management Value-at-Risk (VAR). Emphasis on intuition and common sense implementation of technical material. Abuses and potentials for arbitrage profits considered. Instructor: Rasiel

Private Equity

Introduces students to the process of private equity investments, including evaluating potential investments, deal structure and financing, and key drivers of value. Students will learn about a range of private investment styles, from early stage to mature investments, with a focus on acquisitions of existing mid-market firms for value enhancement utilizing various strategies. The course will include both in-class discussions and lectures from visiting speakers from the private equity world.

Inside Hedge Funds

Background and evolution of hedge funds, their structure, and various investment strategies. An analysis of why hedge funds have become the most prolific investment vehicles in the world, and why they have become the key customer base to investment banks. There will be a range of guest lecturers from the hedge fund world that will provide a bird s-eye view into the industry. Instructor: Hughes

Economics of Education

A course in applied microeconomic policy analysis, focusing on the economic factors underlying the historical and current provision of education in the United States. Topics of interest include the private and social returns to education; the effect of scholastic inputs on student achievement (including teacher quality and class size); the valuation of school quality through house prices; and the role of incentives in increasing the efficiency with which education services are delivered.

Empirical Asset Pricing

This course develops, examines, and applies models for portfolio decisions by investors and the pricing of securities in capital markets. While developing portfolio theory, we will study the extensive empirical work that characterizes movements in security prices, evaluates alternative investment and asset pricing models, and attempts to test those models and interpret the implications of those tests. This is a research oriented course with practical implementation of quantitative methods in finance, aimed at highly motivated and technically proficient undergraduate and masters students.