Market Power and Public Policy

The purpose of antitrust laws is to control how firms attain and maintain their market position, presumably for the betterment of consumers, or at least for the benefit of society. Using a rigorous set of tools from microeconomic and game theory, this class will investigate the underpinnings of policies meant to deal with market power broadly defined, such as antitrust laws, the regulation of public utilities, the regulation of financial markets, and anti-dumping rules. Pre-requisites: ECON101, 201D and 205D. One course.

Law and Economics

A qualitative and quantitative introduction to economic analysis of legal issues and legal reasoning. Case studies in accident law, product liability, and the value of life. Other topics include contracts, property, affirmative action, civil procedure, and the economics of criminal behavior. Some models examined include a calculus-based approach. Pre-requisite: ECON205D. One course.

Course Syllabi

Behavioral Economics

Introduction to the insights gained from incorporating psychology into economic modeling. Based exclusively on original, often recent, scientific publications. Focus on empirical evidence, theoretical models and economic implications. Equilibrium analysis is essential analytical tool. Participants will each give a presentation of a scientific paper from the reading list. This course will build on mathematics covered in MATH202/212/222. Pre-requisite: ECON205D. One course.

How Markets Work: Theory, Evidence and Empirical Tools

Uses theoretical models & empirical tools to understand how markets work and implications for public policy/firm strategy. Introduces main theoretical models and empirical techniques used to study range of markets, applying these methods to understand issues/markets in detail. Topics may include auctions, mergers/antitrust policy, collusion, dynamic pricing of new products, price discrimination, insurance markets and advertising. Students will read/evaluate research papers and complete empirical problem sets, highlighting areas suitable for future research. Pre-requisites: ECON208D.

International Finance

Analysis of the determinants of international capital movements, trade imbalances, and nominal and real exchange rates. Policy debates such as the foreign indebtedness of the United States, emerging market debt crises, exchange-rate-based inflation stabilization, and balance-of-payment crises. Pre-requisites: ECON372 or 205D and 210D. One course.

Public Finance

Economic aspects of the allocative and distributive role of government in the economy, the incidence and efficiency of taxation, the effects of taxation on behavior, and analysis of major government spending programs. Pre-requisite: ECON205D or PUBPOL303D. One course.

The Economics of Wages and Employment

Demand for and supply of labor, including human fertility, human capital, hours of work, and labor force participation. Effects of family structure, marriage laws, taxes and transfers (welfare, earned income tax credit) on labor supply and the distribution of income across families and individuals. Labor market discrimination, unions. Pre-requisites: ECON205D; and STA111, 130, 230, 250, or MATH230 or 342. One course.

Course syllabus

Environmental Justice: The Economics of Race, Place, and Pollution

Minorities, people of color, and low-income households bear a disproportionate burden from environmental pollution. Since the Clinton Administration, addressing environmental injustice has been among the policy objectives of the Environmental Protection Agency. Course examines how environmental injustices may arise out of discriminatory behavior and/or market forces founded on individual, firm, and government incentives.

Research Methods: Energy Markets/Environmental Impacts

Course accommodates students pursuing honors research, particularly with empirical focus. Topic of future honors research is student's choice; students develop research skills drawn from examples in energy and environment. Format includes empirical replication paper, oral presentations, short written critiques. Subject matter drawn from published research studies in the field of energy/environmental economics (both macro & micro).