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Course Descriptions

ECO 100Introduction to Microeconomics(SA)Economics is the study of how people and societies deal with scarcity. This course focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of market systems for allocating scarce resources.Uwe E. Reinhardt
ECO 101Introduction to Macroeconomics(SA)The theory of the determination of the level of national income and economic activity, including an examination of the financial system. Emphasis on economic growth and such economic problems as inflation, unemployment and recession, and on appropriate policy responses. Some attention is also paid to international issues.Elizabeth C. Bogan
ECO 300Microeconomic Theory(SA)This is an intermediate microeconomics course. The general themes are: (1) choices made by individual consumers and firms, (2) equilibrium of the interaction of these choices in markets and (3) the role of government policy in improving economic outcomes. Some new concepts and techniques are developed, especially for studying behavior under uncertainty, and strategic interactions (game theory). The theory of each topic is accompanied by evidence, illustrations, and applications.Staff
ECO 302Econometrics(QR)Develop facility with basic econometric methods and the ability to apply them to actual problems and understand their application in other substantive course work in economics.Kirill Evdokimov
ECO 310Microeconomic Theory: A Mathematical Approach(SA)This course presents the economic theory of individual and firm behavior using mathematical tools including calculus. The course will emphasize applications of microeconomic theory to consumer choices, output and production of firms, market interaction and equilibrium.Wolfgang Pesendorfer
ECO 312Econometrics: A Mathematical Approach(QR)This course is an introduction to econometrics. Econometrics is a sub-discipline of statistics that provides methods for inferring economic structure from data. This course has two goals. The first goal is to give you means to evaluate an econometric analysis critically and logically. Second, you should be able to analyze a data set methodically and comprehensively using the tools of econometrics.Bo E. Honoré
ECO 321Industrial Organization(SA)This course studies firms, markets and competition. We will study the theory of industrial organization, focusing on analyzing the way firms make decisions, as well as the impact of those decisions on market outcomes such as market prices, quantities, the type of products offered and social welfare. The goals of the course include the development of intuition for firm strategic behavior, such as pricing, as well as the development of skills for the analysis of formal models.Myrto Kalouptsidi
ECO 324Law and Economics(SA)An introduction to the economics of law. Application of price theory and welfare analysis to problems and actual cases in the common law - property, contracts, torts - and to criminal and constitutional law. Topics include the Coase Theorem, intellectual property, inalienable goods, product liability, crime and punishment, and social choice theory.Thomas C. Leonard
ECO 325Organization and Design of Markets(SA)This class studies how to solve problems of economic resource allocation via markets. The first half will focus on matching markets. We will study how to assign students to schools, kidneys to patients, workers to jobs and so forth. In the second half we will study auctions. We will discuss how they can be used to discover price in various environments and their use to allocate goods such as advertising, financial assets or radio spectrum. Throughout the course we will discuss the issues underlying the design of successful marketplaces. The course will emphasize applications and connections between the different problems.Jakub Kastl
ECO 326Economics of the Internet: The Digital RevolutionUsing applied microeconomic theory and case studies, this course examines the impact of digital communications technology (DCT) on markets. DCT has enabled connections between markets, so that information is instantly, continuously and ubiquitously available. We will study the economics of networked markets, whose drivers are connectivity and big data. Is the Internet eliminating intermediaries? Is there more granularity of economic agents? Has the concept of time changed? Topics will include social networks, privacy, security and innovation.Swati Bhatt
ECO 331Economics of the Labor Market(SA)To provide a general overview of labor markets. Covering labor force participation, the allocation of time to market work, migration, labor demand, investment in human capital (education, on-the-job training, man-power training), discrimination, unions and unemployment. The course will also examine the impact of government programs (such as unemployment insurance, minimum wages, or a negative income tax) on the labor market.Orley C. Ashenfelter
ECO 341Public Finance(SA)This course is about the microeconomic functions of government -- the way in which government expenditure and tax policies affect resource allocation and the distribution of income.Harvey S. Rosen
ECO 342Money and Banking(SA)This course explores the role that money, financial markets and institutions, and monetary policy play in shaping the economic environment. We investigate why these markets and institutions arise and may lubricate the resource allocation analytically (rather than descriptively), using tools of economic theory.Staff
ECO 343Economic Inequality and the Role of Government(SA)In the US and many other developed countries, economic inequality has risen to historic levels in recent decades. What are the causes of this trend -- "natural" market forces (e.g., globalization?) or changes in public policy (e.g., erosion of the minimum wage)? Are measures currently proposed to counteract inequality and poverty -- e.g, progressive taxation, transfer programs to low-income families, public insurance programs such as Medicare -- effective? An emphasis is placed on understanding what basic microeconomic theory as well as empirical evidence can (and cannot) tell us about these questions.Ilyana Kuziemko
ECO 353International Monetary Economics(SA)This course studies topics in open-economy macroeconomics and international finance. Topics include Exchange Rates,Current Account Imbalances, Inflation, Sovereign Debt, and Open Economy Macroeconomics. The course will include economic theory as well as several applications.Mark A. Aguiar
ECO 362Financial Investments(SA)This course surveys the field of investments with special emphasis on the valuation of financial assets. Issues studied include how portfolios of assets should be formed, how to measure and control risk, how to evaluate investment performance and how to test alternative investment strategies and asset pricing models.Yacine Aït-SahaliaHarrison Hong
ECO 372/EPS 342Economics Europe: Economics of the European Union and Economies in Europe(SA)Europe is at a crossroads. Political and economic integration in the European Union (EU) exceeds levels reached in other parts of the world. Economic integration not only affects trade but agriculture, competition, regions, energy, and money. Most euro areas economies have been struggling with interlocking crises involving debt, banking and growth, which challenge the viability of monetary union and threaten much of what has been achieved since 1945. This course studies economic integration in Europe, the ongoing euro crisis, and economic challenges facing EU member countries. It uses economic analysis to study policy issues.Silvia Weyerbrock
ECO 418Strategy and Information(SA)Explores basic themes in modern game theory and information economics. Non-cooperative solution concepts for games will be developed and applied in a variety of contexts including auctions, bargaining, repeated games dynamic interaction in oligopolistic industries, and reputation formation.Dilip J. Abreu
ECO 464Corporate Restructuring(SA)This course applies topics from microeconomics (ECO 310) and corporate finance (ECO 363) to study corporate restructuring. Topics include mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, divestiture and share repurchases. Each of these is discussed in the context of the relevant economic theory, institutional and regulatory environment, and with a focus on shareholder value.O. Griffith Sexton
ECO 466Fixed Income: Models and Applications(SA)This course will deal with no-arbitrage models of contracts based on interest rates including bonds, forward and future contracts, swaps, options and other derivatives. We will develop the theory of arbitrage-free pricing of financial assets in discrete and continuous time, as well as many special models that can be used to price and hedge fixed income securities.Yacine Aït-SahaliaMin Wei
ECO 467Institutional Finance, Trading, and MarketsThis course covers important theoretical concepts and recent developments in asset pricing under asymmetric information, financial intermediation, behavioral finance and market microstructure. Topics include market efficiency, liquidity crises, asset price bubbles, herding, risk management, market design and financial regulation. The course examines these concepts theoretically as well as via a simulation software, whereby classic decision-making settings are realistically revisited in a competitive classroom environment.Stephan Luck
ECO 468Behavioral FinanceTraditional finance typically considers that financial markets are efficient because investors are rational and maximize their expected utility from consumption. This course departs from this view and discusses how inefficiencies arise due to psychology and limits to arbitrage. The psychology of investors shapes their preferences and may impair their judgment. Whether these psychological factors have an impact on financial markets ultimately depends on arbitrageurs' ability to fight against mispricings. These issues will be covered through lectures and class games and will allow discussions about cognitive illusions and speculative bubbles.Harrison Hong
ECO 494Chinese Financial and Monetary Systems(SA)With its rapid economic growth in the past three decades, China already has the world's second largest economy. Meanwhile its financial markets are also being quickly liberalized and integrated with the rest of the world. As the current trend continues, there are growing interests to learn and understand the workings of China's financial and monetary systems. This course aims to serve this objective with a particular emphasis on understanding the role provided by the financial system in facilitating China's economic development, in addition to the investment opportunities and risk presented by the system to the outside world.Wei XiongYaxin Duan
ENV 304/ECO 328/EEB 304/WWS 455Disease Ecology, Economics, and Policy(STN)The dynamics of the emergence and spread of disease arise from a complex interplay between disease ecology, economics, and human behavior. Lectures will provide an introduction to complementarities between economic and epidemiological approaches to understanding the emergence, spread, and control of infectious diseases. The course will cover topics such as drug-resistance in bacterial and parasitic infections, individual incentives to vaccinate, the role of information in the transmission of infectious diseases, and the evolution of social norms in healthcare practices.Bryan T. GrenfellC. Jessica E. Metcalf
WWS 301/ECO 352International Trade(SA)This course examines the causes and consequences of international trade. Why do countries trade? What determines the goods that a country exports and imports? Why do only some firms export? Who gains and who loses from trade? To address these questions, the course develops a number of models, which shed light on several related public policy issues: What are the implications of the growing trade from China and other developing countries? Does international trade explain rising wage inequality? Should governments use trade policy to "pick winners"?Stephen J. Redding
WWS 302/ECO 359International Development(SA)This course will focus on less developed countries and will consider topics such as economic growth and personal well-being; economic inequality and poverty; intra-household resource allocation and gender inequality; fertility and population change, credit markets and microfinance; labor markets and trade policy. The course will tackle these issues both theoretically and empirically.Alicia Adsera
WWS 306/ECO 329/ENV 319Environmental Economics(SA)Course introduces use of economics in understanding both the sources of and the remedies to environmental and resource allocation problems. It emphasizes the reoccurrence of economic phenomena like public goods, externalities, market failure and imperfect information. Students learn about the design and evaluation of environmental policy instruments, the political economy of environmental policy, and the valuation of environmental and natural resource services. The concepts are illustrated in a variety of applications from domestic pollution of air, water and land to international issues such as global warming and sustainable development.Smita B. Brunnermeier
WWS 307/ECO 349Public Economics(SA)The role of government in promoting efficiency and equity in the U.S. economy. Conditions when markets fail to be efficient. Problems with government allocation of resources. Economic analysis and public policies regarding health care, education, poverty, the environment, financial regulations and other important issues.Elizabeth C. Bogan