Courses

pROGRAMs


ALL COURSES

ECON-001 Principles of Microeconomics

Fall and Spring
This course first develops simple graphical and mathematical models of decision-making by individual economic agents: consumers, workers, and businesses. We analyze interactions between these agents in product and factor markets using concepts of market demand, supply, and equilibrium. Finally, we demonstrate the efficiency of perfectly competitive markets, describe the conditions under which that efficiency arises, and examine market failures that occur when those conditions are not met.

ECON-002 Principles of Macroeconomics

Fall and Spring
This course provides an introduction to macroeconomics. The first part of the course explores how GDP, inflation, unemployment, and other macroeconomic aggregates are measured in practice. The second part develops analytical models of macroeconomic performance and growth in the long run. The third part focuses on short-run (business-cycle) fluctuations and fiscal and monetary policies.

ECON-003 Principles of Economics: Micro & Macro (combined)

This course covers the Principles of Micro and Macro Economics (001 and 002) in one semester at an accelerated/compressed pace, and is intended for students who have had some prior economics, but not ECON001 or ECON002. It satisfies all distribution requirements and prerequisites that those two courses satisfy. Students who take 003 and elect to major or minor in economics will take an additional elective so as to be credited with the appropriate ten courses for the major or six courses for the minor. You may not take this course if you have AP credit for ECON 001 and/or ECON 002.

ECON-101 Intermediate Micro

Fall
This course covers the basic elements of microeconomic theory including consumer choice, the impact on resource allocation of different market structures ranging from competition to monopoly, game theory, general equilibrium analysis, and asymmetric information.  We will focus on equilibrium and optimization throughout

ECON-102 Intermediate Macro

Fall and Spring
This course first develops simple graphical and mathematical models of decision-making by individual economic agents: consumers, workers, and businesses. We analyze interactions between these agents in product and factor markets using concepts of market demand, supply, and equilibrium. Finally, we demonstrate the efficiency of perfectly competitive markets, describe the conditions under which that efficiency arises, and examine market failures that occur when those conditions are not met.

ECON-121 Economic Statistics

Fall and Spring
After overviewing descriptive statistics, and the theory of probability and random variables, this course covers statistical inference in detail. Students receive the firm foundation needed for Introduction to Econometrics. Regression analysis, the primary tool for empirical work in economics, is introduced. Electronic data acquisition and computer applications receive hands-on treatment. Lab sessions meet weekly to discuss homework and the use of computer. 

ECON-122 Introduction to Econometrics

Fall and Spring
This course develops the theory and applications of regression analysis, which is the primary tool for empirical work in economics. Emphasis is placed on techniques for estimating economic relationships and testing economic hypotheses.

ECON-156 Poverty & Inequality

Fall
The course will provide a thorough introduction to economic thinking on poverty in the world and the policies used to fight poverty, from early times to the present day, spanning both (present-day) developed and developing countries. Students will learn about many key ideas of economic and philosophical thought—through the lens of understanding poverty.  And they will learn how those ideas are put into practice.While the course is offered by the Economics Department, no prior knowledge of economics will be assumed, and students can come from any academic field. While economics is important to understanding and fighting poverty, the course will also draw insights from many other fields, including philosophy, the social and political sciences, statistics, health, nutrition science and education.The course counts as a lower level elective towards the econ major and minor.

ECON-211 Economic Development

Spring
This course will focus on the following central questions in the field of economic development: 1. How is economic development measured and what are the development facts? 2. What causes economic growth? 3. What accounts for the historical record and for the vast differences in economic development across countries? 4. Policy. 5. Microfinance. This course also reviews the history of development policy in regards to the goals of promoting growth and reducing poverty. In addition to examinations, requirements might include a paper, book report, and/or class presentation.

ECON-243 International Trade

Fall and Spring
This course covers the theory and practice of international trade. The first part of the course develops the classical and modern theories of the determination of the pattern of commodity trade between nations. The second part of the course covers trade policy and the role of institutions in managing world trade. Fall and Spring.

ECON-244 International Finance

Fall and Spring
This course deals with the theory and practice of international macroeconomics and finance. Concepts of balance of payments and exchange rates are developed, followed by macroeconomic tools in an open economy. Balance of payments adjustments will be analyzed under fixed and flexible exchange rate systems. Macroeconomic topics -- such as inflation, growth, unemployment, the roles of monetary and fiscal policies -- will be discussed using examples from developed and/or developing countries.

ECON-256 Poverty, Growth and Inequality

Spring
This class will explore inequality within and across countries, what poverty means for a country's citizens, and what strategies countries might be able to follow to stimulate economic growth along with why economists believe that is a desirable outcome. Our focus will be on the theoretical, quantitative, and empirical aspects of these questions, with a significant portion of the course devoted to working data to better understand these topics and how they are interrelated. We will discuss and apply methods for measuring poverty and inequality and cover methodological issues related to measuring economic growth and the effectiveness of economic policy reforms. We will also touch on historical approaches to development and explore why some countries have experienced tremendous growth over the past 30 years while others have remained stagnant.

ECON-401 Tutorial: Economics

Fall and Spring
Independent Study

ECON-411 The Economics and Strategy of Sports

Spring
This course will apply concepts from microeconomics to issues that arise in professional and amateur sports. Among the topics covered in the course will be: the organization of leagues, competitive balance, cooperative and collusive behavior, measurement of productivity, the market for franchises, sale and resale of tickets, and public financing of facilities. The course will also devote significant time to the analysis of strategy in sports. Do coaches and players optimize or do they deviate systematically from optimal behavior? The availability of performance data make sports a fruitful area for applying microeconomic concepts.

ECON-416 Market Design

Fall
Market design studies how the allocation of resources can be improved when market failures occur.  The 2012 Nobel Prize was awarded to Al Roth and Lloyd Shapley for their work on market design.  The reach of market design has grown to include the assignment of students to public schools, medical residents to hospitals, and operating licenses to telecommunications companies.  It also informs the design of internet auctions and financial markets.  The course begins with a study of matching.  We will examine why centralized schemes such as the National Resident Matching Program may be beneficial, and we will compare different schemes.  We then turn to auctions.  A seller may have a single item for sale or many.  The items could be homogeneous or heterogeneous (e.g., a government may be selling identical treasury bonds or licenses to operate in heterogeneous markets).  We will find the profit-maximizing and welfare-maximizing auction formats.  The course will conclude with an examination of two-sided markets in which an intermediary brings together buyers and sellers.  Notable examples include eBay, Uber and Airbnb.  The course will involve theory and empirical work (case studies and results from regression analysis).  Elements of game theory will also be introduced. 

ECON-425 Mathematics for Economics

Spring
This course will focus on the empirical estimation of dynamic programming (DP) and equilibrium models. It will present state of the art methods for solving and simulating DP models and estimating them econometrically. The course will also provide many empirical applications to illustrate how these tools and methods are used in practice. In addition, the course will examine the formulation and solution of dynamic equilibrium models and dynamic games and provide state of the art algorithms for finding equilibria and simulating and estimating such models. It will also discuss a growing line of research on behavioural models and ways to deal with some of the limitations of models of "full rationality”. These include the curse of dimensionality, the identification problem, and the problem of multiplicity of equilibria.

ECON-429 Topics in Competition and Regulation

Spring
This course focuses on government policy towards market power broadly defined. The relevant theory will be reviewed, followed by applications. One broad set of issues involve efforts to introduce more competition into industries (such as telecom and electricity) traditionally viewed as natural monopolies: preventing a bottleneck monopolist from distorting competition in related, potentially competitive segments; dealing with cross-subsidies and alleged cream-skimming; and improving the regulation of remaining monopoly segments. The course will also address selected aspects of antitrust in unregulated industries, such as vertical control and exclusion. In addition to lectures, we will have occasional outside speakers who are experts in their fields.

ECON-442 Quantitative Trade Methods

Spring
This course  will  cover  theoretical  and  quantitative  aspects  of  international  trade.  The goal of the semester will be to learn how to solve modern trade models computationally and calibrate them using data in order to perform counterfactuals. We will start by reviewing Ricardian and (briefly) Heckscher-Ohlin theories of trade before moving on to more modern models featuring monopolistic competition and firm-level heterogeneity. We will review the gravity literature, familiarize ourselves with  datasources for  international  trade  flows,  and discuss  international  trade agreements and optimal trade policy.

ECON-452 Behavioral Economics

Fall and Spring
This course explores the relatively new field of Behavioral Economics. We will examine parsimonious models that attempt to explain systematic departures from economic behavior generated by classical preferences and rationality. The scope of the course is articulated into four segments. We begin with economic behavior that pertains to a single agent in a static set up, and then move to examine behavior concerning a single agent in a dynamic environment. The course then proceeds to consider models of multiple (strategic) agents, first in static and then in a dynamic environment

ECON-459 Game Theory

Fall and Spring
This course will cover the theory of decisions and games, both coalition-form and strategic, at an advanced level. It will use substantial mathematics and microeconomics, and will focus on the application of decision and game theory to economics. We will delve into detailed proofs of existence, computer modeling and simulation.

ECON-461 Industrial Organization

Fall
This course examines the behavior of business firms and the performance of markets in monopoly and imperfectly competitive settings. Aspects of strategic decision-making that will be studied include price discrimination, product selection, intellectual property, and investment decisions. Public policy toward industry (e.g., antitrust and regulation) will also be discussed, with a focus on its effect on firm behavior and consumer welfare.

ECON-463 Theory of Financial Markets

Fall
This course introduces the financial market functions, institutions and instruments: stocks, bonds, derivatives. It develops a formal pricing theory for fixed income securities, as well as no-arbitrage pricing for risky assets. The course also discusses investors’ portfolio decisions based on a mean-variance criterion and the basic risk-return trade-off established in market equilibrium.

ECON-465 Money, Banking and Financial Markets

Fall
This course provides an overview of the U.S. financial system. We consider the financial decision problems faced by individuals, firms, financial institutions, and the government. These decisions when aggregated will determine prices including interest rates and stock prices, and the allocation of funds. The course material is relevant for (i) personal financial decisions, such as saving for retirement and investment portfolio choice, (ii) financial decisions by businesses such as their financial structure, i.e., debt versus equity, (iii) financial instruments issued by financial institutions, and (iv) the role of public policies such as monetary, fiscal policies and financial regulations in dealing with and preventing financial crises.

ECON-471 Unemployment, Search and Matching

Spring
Matching frictions are important in many markets. In the labor market, workers search for suitable jobs and firms try to hire suitable workers. Some workers can't find a job while at the same time some vacancies remain unfilled. In this course, we will analyze markets with matching frictions with a particular emphasis on understanding unemployment.

ECON-475 Environmental Economics

Spring
How much should we pay to improve air quality or to protect endangered species?  Which is better: pollution taxes or cap-and-trade?  How concerned should we be about climate change damages that may occur 100 years from now?  Does economic growth help or hurt the environment?  What about international trade?  What about international trade in endangered species?  This course is designed to frame economic answers to those questions and more.  Readings will include a textbook, several Kennedy School case studies, and articles in leading academic economics journals.  Students will be assigned problem-set based homework, short policy memos based on the case studies, and a final exam. 

ECON-481 Labor Economics

Spring
This course will examine the main theoretical and empirical issues regarding how labor markets work. The material will cover standard topics such as labor demand, the decision to work, human capital, discrimination, migration, unions, wage setting practices within a firm, and unemployment. The course will also examine how human capital and labor market outcomes interact with marriage, divorce, fertility, and crime.  An emphasis will be placed on the dramatic changes in the wage and employment structure of the labor market over the last four decades. Empirical techniques will be covered to enable students to evaluate and conduct an empirical analysis.

ECON-483 Development Economics: Micro and Policy Issues

Spring
The purpose of this course is to provide you with a basic understanding of a number of important concepts and theories in the literature on economic development. Topics to be discussed include growth, human capital, inequality, poverty and nutrition, rural credit market, tenancy and land markets. The strongest emphasis will be placed on a firm grasp of the conceptual issues involved. In addition, I will often cite data and discuss case studies. At the end of the course, I'd like you to be in a position were you can read about (or directly experience) development issues.

ECON-484 Political Economy of Trade Policy

Fall
This course focuses on the political economy of international economic integration, in particular trade and migration policies. The course begins with an overview of the effect of free trade on welfare and income distribution in standard trade models. Next, we study trade policy in theory and in practice, which leads to an inquiry into the processes by which trade policies are formed. We examine both domestic political determinants of trade policy and models of international trade relations. The second part of the course focuses on the political economy of migration policy. We first investigate the relationship that links the two dimensions of globalization, trade and immigration. Next, we explain the role of migration policy in shaping international migration flows. Finally, we develop a political-economy model of migration policy and investigate its components.

ECON-491 Development Impact Evaluation

Fall
The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of program evaluation in the context of development policy. How we learn what works, what does not work, and why? The course will cover impact evaluation theory (causal inference, experimental design and basic statistics) as well as methods (randomization, difference-in-difference, regression discontinuity, and propensity score matching). The curriculum will be applied, with weekly case studies of field research drawn from the international development literature. Students who complete this course will be prepared to:  1) distinguish research-based “best practices” from those that have not been rigorously evaluated;  2) design an impact evaluation of a policy or intervention, and  3) evaluate data using a statistical software package.

ECON-492 The Development Incubator

Spring
This one-credit course aims to engage students in empirical research and innovation in development economics and impact evaluation.  Mentored learning will be offered under the direction of the two co-directors of the Georgetown University Initiative on Innovation, Development and Evaluation (gui2de), which conducts development research in East and West Africa, India, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Students will learn about experimental methods of impact evaluation, project management, survey design and implementation, and data analysis.  They will also work in small teams to design innovative solutions to development challenges that might include mobile apps, engineering solutions, information campaigns, social marketing interventions, and more, and that could later be tested in the field.

ECON-493 Insurance Markets and Government Intervention

Fall
In developed countries, governments engage in substantial intervention in providing insurance against a wide range of risks, including health, retirement, unemployment, and work injury. In this course, we will use tools from microeconomics to understand why private insurance markets may fail, and how government intervention could potentially improve efficiency. Topics covered include adverse selection and moral hazard in insurance markets, the economics of the Affordable Care Act (and its potential replacements), and other social insurance programs such as social security and unemployment insurance. 

ECON-501 Intermediate Microeconomics

Fall
This course covers the basic elements of microeconomic theory including consumer choice, the impact on resource allocation of different market structures ranging from competition to monopoly, game theory, general equilibrium analysis, and asymmetric information. We will focus on equilibrium and optimization throughout. 

ECON-502 Intermediate Macroeconomics

Fall and Spring This course covers the measurement of output and prices, theory of economic growth, business cycle theory, fiscal policy, monetary policy.

ECON-521 Economic Statistics

Fall and Spring
​After overviewing descriptive statistics, and the theory of probability and random variables, this course covers statistical inference in detail. Students receive the firm foundation needed for Introduction to Econometrics. Regression analysis, the primary tool for empirical work in economics, is introduced. Electronic data acquisition and computer applications receive hands-on treatment.Lab sessions meet weekly to discuss homework and the use of computer software.

ECON-522 Intro to Econometrics

Fall and Spring
This course develops the theory and applications of regression analysis, which is the primary tool for empirical work in economics. Emphasis is placed on techniques for estimating economic relationships and testing economic hypotheses. 

ECON-541 International Finance

This course examines macroeconomics in open economies that are linked by trade, capital flows, and exchange rate policies. The goal is to provide an analytical framework for understanding current events and major challenges facing the world economy. The course will develop theoretical tools that can be used to analyze the economic performance of open economies and to evaluate alternative policy options for macroeconomic management. Topics include balance of payments accounts, foreign exchange and money markets, monetary and stabilization policies, exchange rate regimes, economic growth, currency and financial crises, and the international financial architecture. Examples from both developed and developing country experiences will be discussed.

ECON-542 International Trade

Major topics covered include: comparative and absolute advantage; production, trade, and consumption; equilibrium in the international market; trade and factors of production; modern theories of trade; commercial policy; factor movements; U.S. trade policy; and trade problems of developing countries, current trade issues and WTO.

Econ 551-Microeconomics

Fall
This course covers elements of modern microeconomics. It emphasizes the development of skills needed to evaluate the new generation of economic models, tools, and ideas as they apply to recent changes in our economy. Basic tools of game theory, asymmetric information, and modern general equilibrium price formation are introduced and applied to various topics. These topics include consumer and producer choice,decision under uncertainty, and resource allocation under different market structures such as competition, monopoly, and oligopoly. The course also focuses on some newer innovations to the theory, including the role of politics in the determination of economic policy, the impact of spillovers and network externalities in the information economy, and psychological and behavioral factors in individual decision making.

Econ 552-Macroeconomics

Fall
This course develops a coherent framework for analyzing the determination of macroeconomic variables such as national output, unemployment, interest rates, government debt and inflation. The course will also develop the skills needed for interpreting macroeconomic data and macroeconomic policy. One objective of the course is to provide a link between economic theory and current economic policy. Another objective is to provide students with the tools to analyze current macroeconomic policies.

Econ 553 Econometrics

Fall
This course is an introduction to Econometrics which is the study of statistical tools used to estimate economic relationships. The course begins with a discussion of the linear regression model. It then proceeds to introduce a number of topics relevant to the analysis of economic data. These include instrumental variables, discrete choice modeling, panel data analysis and program evaluation.

Econ 554 Data Analysis

Fall
This course is an introduction to the basic concepts and tools of data analysis. Its goal is to enable students to conduct their own empirical research using a standard statistical package. The fi rst part of the course (Lectures 1-7) focuses on data description and summarization using a speci fic statistical software (Stata), while the second part (Lectures 8-12) focuses on fundamental ideas such as sampling and nonsampling error, statistical modeling, estimation and inference. Hands-on exercises and a group research project using actual economic data represent an integral part of the course.

ECON-561 Labor Economics 

Spring
This course aims to introduce the main research areas in labor economics, and to provide a foundation for original research in the field. This course, as well as a similar course on Public Economics to be offered in the Summer 2014 semester, stresses the interaction between theory and empirical work, and emphasize estimation strategies, introducing theory as necessary. The material covered deals with labor supply decisions made by individuals, labor demand of firms, and the equilibrium wage and employment patterns implied by these decisions when markets are competitive or nearly so. Applications include the analysis of wage differentials, life-cycle age-earnings profiles, and returns to human capital investments. Topics will include efficiency wages, discrimination, bargaining, minimum wages, tax incidence, and unemployment. By the end of the course, students should be discriminating consumers of empirical work in labor economics, and have ideas about possible research topics for future self-directed empirical projects. Students will make a classroom presentation during the semester, on a paper (or papers) from the reading list, with a discussion of connections with related work on the reading list. Grades will be based on a final exam, homework assignments, and participation and presentations.

ECON-562 Industrial Organization

Spring
This course is a survey of modern economic analysis of industrial organization. Emphasis will be on theory but with some coverage of empirical topics. Topics to be covered include theory of the firm, transaction cost economics, contract theory, static analysis of imperfect competition, dynamic competition and collusion, antitrust, entry and entry deterrence, product differentiation, price discrimination, incomplete information, bargaining and auctions. This is a hands-on course, and students will critically review the theoretical and empirical literature for in-class presentation and discussion.

ECON-563 Public Economics

Summer
This course will cover the major topics in public economics—that is, public sector taxation and expenditures. It will encompass normative and positive theories of public economics and a broad range of empirical work. The course will use a well-known textbook in public economics. In addition, optional readings from the economics literature will be assigned every week. A series of problem sets using publicly available data and a major econometric software package will be assigned. A major empirical project will constitute a large portion of the grade.

ECON 564-Environmental Economics 

Summer
This course focuses on the application of economics to environmental problems, both in theory and in practice. It covers the market failures that contribute to environmental degradation by air and water pollution, excessive extraction of nonrenewable resources such as fossil fuels, and over-harvesting of re- newable resources such as forests and sheries. The course also studies the design and performance of various market-based and other types of policies that may be used to address such problems. Students are introduced to the basic microeconomic and statistical methods that economists use to study relationships between the economy and the environment, including benet-cost analysis and other aspects of applied welfare economics, theory of environmental policy design, non-market valuation methods, and basic el- ements of general equilibrium theory. The first half of the course focuses on basic theory, non-market valuation, and natural resources. The second half analyzes policy design, distorted markets, and applied case studies of topical issues such as climate change and energy policy..

ECON-565 Law and Economics

Summer
This course offers an introduction to the burgeoning field of law and economics, or the application of microeconomic theory to positively and normatively assess various legal rules, regulations, and institutions as well as the incentives of economic agents (such as judges and criminals) operating within the legal system. Specific topics to be covered include the common law, contracts, torts, property, crime, and antitrust. Each of these topics will be supplemented with insights from the recent empirical literature. A significant portion of class assignments will involve collecting and analyzing real-world datasets. Readings will be drawn from several sources including the text, legal statues, court decisions, and the academic literature. The prerequisite for the course is Econ 551; previous coursework in law is neither assumed nor required.

ECON-567 Decision and Game theory

Spring
This course will cover the theory of decisions and games, both coalition-form and strategic, at an advanced level. It will use substantial mathematics and microeconomics, and will focus on the application of decision and game theory to economics. We will cover topics such as static and dynamic games, repeated games, and games of incomplete information.

ECON-569 Energy Economics and Policy

Summer
We are in a very dynamic period in our domestic and global energy markets. This course aims to develop an understanding of the economic fundamentals of crude oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, power, renewables and emerging technologies such smart grid, energy storage and electric vehicles and energy transportation (pipelines, railroad, power transmission), which are all going through substantial transformations. The course will develop an understanding of the regulatory oversight, geopolitical and energy security implications. This course will demonstrate the importance of the energy industry to the economy, energy infrastructure developments and energy and the environment considerations. The course will provide the U.S. perspective as well as selected discussions from other countries, Asia, Europe and others, to understand the global nature of the energy industry. The course will equip the students with the necessary skillset to critically think about our current and prospective energy industry, the economy and the environment.

ECON-570 HeaLTh, Aging & Insurance Markets

Fall
In developed countries, governments engage in substantial intervention in providing insurance against a wide range of risks, including health, retirement, unemployment, and work injury. In this course, we will use tools from microeconomics to understand why private insurance markets may fail, and how government intervention could potentially improve efficiency. Topics covered include adverse selection and moral hazard in insurance markets, the economics of the Affordable Care Act (and its potential replacements), and other social insurance programs such as social security and unemployment insurance.

ECON-572 Monetary Theory and Policy

Summer
This is a course in monetary theory and policy. It surveys some of the key theoretical and empirical literature in monetary economics. It also considers the conduct of monetary policy and other aspects of central banking both in relatively normal circumstances and in crisis conditions. The course begins by reviewing the structure and functions of central banks and surveying some of the principal macroeconomic analytical tools for monetary policymaking. Then empirical evidence on the monetary aggregates is reviewed. Next, several models of the demand for money for transaction purposes are considered. The interactions between monetary policy and fiscal policy are studied next. Attention then turns to sticky price and wage models and related analyses. Based on the analytical tools developed earlier in the course, more immediate monetary and financial policy questions are analyzed, including monetary policy formulation, communication, and implementation, with a particular view to issues raised by the recent financial crisis. An important aspect of Econ 572 is a focus on current U.S. and international monetary policy and central banking policy.

ECON-576 International Trade 

Spring
This course covers the basic elements of microeconomic theory including consumer choice, the impact on resource allocation of different market structures ranging from competition to monopoly, game theory, general equilibrium analysis, and asymmetric information. We will focus on equilibrium and optimization throughout. 

ECON-577 International Finance

Spring
This course covers the basic elements of microeconomic theory including consumer choice, the impact on resource allocation of different market structures ranging from competition to monopoly, game theory, general equilibrium analysis, and asymmetric information. We will focus on equilibrium and optimization throughout. 

ECON-578 Development Economics 

Summer
This course covers the basic elements of microeconomic theory including consumer choice, the impact on resource allocation of different market structures ranging from competition to monopoly, game theory, general equilibrium analysis, and asymmetric information. We will focus on equilibrium and optimization throughout. 

ECON-579 Open Economy Macroeconomics

Summer
This course covers the basic elements of microeconomic theory including consumer choice, the impact on resource allocation of different market structures ranging from competition to monopoly, game theory, general equilibrium analysis, and asymmetric information. We will focus on equilibrium and optimization throughout. 

ECON-582 Empirical Industrial Organization

Summer
This course covers the basic elements of microeconomic theory including consumer choice, the impact on resource allocation of different market structures ranging from competition to monopoly, game theory, general equilibrium analysis, and asymmetric information. We will focus on equilibrium and optimization throughout. 

ECON-585 Behavioral Economics and Finance

Spring
This course covers the basic elements of microeconomic theory including consumer choice, the impact on resource allocation of different market structures ranging from competition to monopoly, game theory, general equilibrium analysis, and asymmetric information. We will focus on equilibrium and optimization throughout. 

ECON-586 Microeconometrics  

Spring
This course covers the basic elements of microeconomic theory including consumer choice, the impact on resource allocation of different market structures ranging from competition to monopoly, game theory, general equilibrium analysis, and asymmetric information. We will focus on equilibrium and optimization throughout. 

ECON-587 Macroeconometrics

Spring
This course covers the basic elements of microeconomic theory including consumer choice, the impact on resource allocation of different market structures ranging from competition to monopoly, game theory, general equilibrium analysis, and asymmetric information. We will focus on equilibrium and optimization throughout. 

ECON-601 Microeconomics I

This is the first semester of the microeconomic theory sequence for Ph.D. students. The topics covered are Consumer and Producer Theory, Choice Under Uncertainty, General Equilibrium, and General Equilibrium with Asset Markets.

ECON-602 Microeconomics II

This is the Game Theory part of the compulsory Micro sequence. The course begins with Normal Form Games, rationalizability and Nash equilibrium. It then covers Extensive Form Games and a variety of refinements of Nash equilibrium, including Sequential Equilibrium. A module of the class is spent focusing on Auction Theory, before moving to finitely and infinitely Repeated Games. Both Nash Bargaining and alternating-offers bargaining are covered in some depth, while Principal-Agent theory is covered as time permits from year to year.

ECON-605 Macroeconomics I

This course provides an introduction to the techniques of modern macroeconomic analysis that are needed by all graduate students in economics. Intertemporal frameworks are developed to discuss modern theories of consumption, saving, and growth. Other applications include the analysis of business cycles, models of the labor market and search frictions, theories of asset pricing and fiscal policies. Dynamic programming will be emphasized as a method for formulatng and solving problems with these features.

ECON-606 Macroeconomics II

This course presents the standard frameworks used in the literatures on consumption, asset pricing and growth. These literatures feature decision making over time and under uncertainty. Dynamic programming will be emphasized as a method for formulating and solving decision problems with these features. Dynamic programming will also influence how we define notions of equilibrium. Several homeworks will involve using standard programming languages (e.g. Matlab) to compute equilibria or solutions to dynamic programming problems. You should get to know one of these languages quickly. Prerequisite ECON-605

ECON-611 Math for Economics

This is a front-loaded class that introduces advanced mathematical techniques used in first year PhD courses. These include, topics in Logic, Real Analysis, Optimization, Matrix Algebra, Differential Equations, Probability Theory and Stochastic Processes.

ECON-612 Econometrics I

The first part of this course is devoted to fundamental ideas and results from probability and statistics. The second part applies these ideas and results to the linear regression model and the ordinary least squares estimator, the two workhorses of empirical work in economics. It also addresses some of the problems that arise when the standard assumptions of the linear regression model are violated.

ECON-613 Econometrics II

This course covers the classical statistical methods of estimation and inference for econometrics: nonlinear methods (M-estimation, MLE, GMM), systems of equations (OLS, GLS, IV, simultaneous equations), linear panel data models (fixed effects, random effects), binary response models. Prerequisite: ECON 612

ECON-614 Econometrics II

This is the second econometrics course in the Ph.D. sequence focusing on nonlinear and nonparametric econometrics. Topics covered include asymptotic theory, maximum likelihood and generalized method of moments estimation, nonlinear and specification tests, and numerically methods. Students develop their own computer code to implement the latest estimation and testing methodologies. A research paper utilizing these techniques is required to complete the course.

ECON-603 Micro Theory I

This course is designed for graduate students who plan to concentrate in certain areas of microeconomics. Topics covered include: repeated games, bargaining, mechanism design and implementation, the economics of information, and search. Applications will be primarily in the areas of Industrial Organization, Labor, and Public Economics.

ECON-604 Micro Theory II

This is the second part of the Theory Field of the PhD program in Economics. This Class involves some hard math. Though not all topics covered require it, the math used in some parts of the course exceeds that used in Econ 601, 602 1n 603. This does not mean that students are expected to know the mathematical tools involved; we will pick them up as we go along. However, you must be willing to make some fairly heavy investments in this sense.

ECON-607 Macro Topics I

This course is designed for graduate students who plan to concentrate in one of the areas of macroeconomics. It develops further some of the techniques that were introduced in Macroeconomics I and II, and it discusses some of the areas of current macroeconomic research. Topics covered will vary from year to year, but likely topics include: "new" Keynesian models, theories of price determination, real business cycle model techniques, endogenous growth, monetary transmission mechanisms, asset pricing models, and models of banking and finance.

ECON-608 Macro Topics II

This course focuses on the construction of macroeconomic models in which money “matters”. Since monetary policy has fiscal implications, and since fiscal policy has implications for price determination, we also discuss some aspects of fiscal policy. We will begin with IS-LM cum rational expectations models, since some of the intuition for the newer models is easier to understand in terms of these simple models, but we will proceed rather quickly to models based on explicit profit and utility maximization. The first challenge is to get money into such a framework. We focus on models with money in the utility function or “cash in advance” constraints. The next challenge is to make money matter for issues other than public finance. We focus on “limited participation” models and “New Neoclassical Synthesis” (or NNS) models with monopolistic wage/price setting. Students will learn to simulate simple NNS models using dynare.

ECON-615 Micro-Econometrics

Econometric methods for analysis of microeconomic behavior are developed. Topics include panel data analysis and models with discrete or limited dependent variables.

ECON-616 Macro-Econometrics

This course focuses on econometric methods for nonlinear models with particular emphasis on models estimated in the time domain. Topics covered include: general specification tests, non-nested testing and encompassing, the estimation of nonlinear models using conditional and unconditional moment techniques, systems estimation, and time series modeling. Emphasis is placed on understanding the intuition behind the estimation techniques and tests. Students study how recent econometric methods have been applied in the literature to address various economic issues. The course requires students to develop their own computer programs to implement the techniques and to produce an original piece of applied econometric research.

ECON-621 Economic Development I

The purpose of this course is to provide you with a deep understanding of some important theories in the literature on economic development. We will also review the empirical tests of these theories. The topics covered include coordination failures, theories of persistent inequality, credit market, informal insurance, savings, land reform, and institutions. Under each section we will explore different theories and study in detail two or three relevant papers.

ECON-622 Economic Development II

This course will focus primarily on macroeconomic problems and issues in developing countries. The course will begin with a selective review of growth models and empirics, before moving on to macroeconomic questions that are of particular interest in developing countries. Inflation dynamics and anti-inflation programs will be analyzed. The macroeconomic effects of exchange rate policy will be studied in detail, including the potentially contractionary effects of devaluation and issues of the credibility of fixed exchange rate commitments. Models of speculative attacks or balance of payments crises will be covered, as will issues of the sustainability of current account and fiscal deficits. the bulk of the course will follow the structure of the book Development Macroeconomics by Pierre-Richard Agenor and Peter Montiel.

ECON-631 Industrial Organization I

The course studies theoretical models of industrial organization that are used to address competition policy and monopoly regulation. Topics covered will include some of the following: monopoly behavior and welfare losses; strategic interaction in oligopoly -- prices, outputs, investments; welfare tradeoffs due to fixed costs, asymmetric costs, and product differentiation; collusion and horizontal mergers; price discrimination; vertical control -- incentives and methods, including integration versus contracting, and vertical control for exclusionary purposes; promoting competition in traditionally regulated network industries; innovation and intellectual property rights.

ECON-632 Industrial Organization II

This course aims to provide an in-depth introduction to several topics in Industrial Organization including auction theory, price discrimination, research and development, and collusion. Along the way, the course will introduce techniques that are useful for conducting research in this and other fields.

ECON-641 International Macroeconomics and Finance I

This course covers topics in macro and international finance. We will focus on quantitative models, on the tools to solve them, and on how they compare to the data. The goal is to introduce topics of current research in these fields. We will cover a variety of topics, including international business cycles, current account dynamics, financial frictions, banks, capital flows, asset pricing and monetary policy. We will also study Structural Vector Autoregression techniques.

ECON-642 International Macroeconomics and Finance II

This is the second PhD course in International Macroeconomics and Finance. Its focus is on the behavior of international financial markets, particularly the foreign exchange market. We will study both traditional macroeconomic models of exchange rate determination, and a new generation of models based on trading behavior in actual markets. This new generation of models can account for must of the observed behavior of exchange rates and offers new insights in many areas of international finance including; the disconnect puzzle, portfolio diversification, forward bias, and foreign exchange intervention. Students should have completed Econ 641 and all first year PhD requirements before taking the course.

ECON-651 International Trade I

This is the introductory graduate course in international trade theory and is intended to give a broad coverage of the field. Topics include: gains from trade and comparative advantage; the Heckscher-Ohlin model and its higher  dimensional extensions; trade and wages; increasing returns and imperfect competition; the Gravity Model; trade policy and political economy.

ECON-652 International Trade II

Topics in International Trade is a PhD-level class. The course is designed primarily for students planning to write dissertations on a topic related to international trade. The main focus of this course will be on empirical trade papers and on the political economy literature of trade. This course will cover selected topics of international trade, including: empirical evidence on trade patterns, volumes and composition; the impact of trade on growth and productivity; political economy models of international trade; international political economy and the world trading system.

ECON-661 Labor Economics I

This course will cover a selection of the major topics in labor economics that are microeconomic in nature. Emphasis is placed on analyzing both the theoretical models in the area and the methods and results in empirical labor market analysis. Topics include: labor demand, labor supply, human capital analysis, equalizing differentials and the analysis of unionized labor markets.

ECON-662 Labor Economics II

This course will survey search, matching, and related models of the labor market. These models are designed to explain the existence of unemployment and of wage dispersion across similar workers. Several policy issues can be addressed using these models, e.g., the design of unemployment insurance systems, the impact of hiring and firing costs, etc. The course will include both theoretical and empirical literature, and it is intended for PhD students interested in research in macro labor economics.

ECON-681 Public Economics and Political Economy I

This course studies the fundamentals of collective action. Topics include social welfare results, Arrow's Theorem, altruism and intergenerational altruism, public goods and externalities, mechanism design and implementation of collective decisions, Gibbard Satterthwaite Theorem, optimal taxation, voting behavior, legislative and bureaucratic models, social norms and the evolution of cooperation, Tiebout results and other models of migration.

ECON-682 Public Economics

This course is designed for 2nd year Ph.D. students in economics. It has two goals: (1) introduce some of the core theoretical and empirical public finance/economics techniques and literature, (2) help students identify thesis topics. Towards those goals, we will read two types of papers: (1) "classics" that every well-trained public finance economist should know, (2) and new papers that represent new trends and ideas in the field. Topics will include, but not be limited to, the following: excess burden, optimal tax theory, tax incidence, behavioral responses to taxes, federalism, and externalities. Prerequisities: ECON-606

ECON-691 Topics

The contents of this course vary depending on faculty and student interests.

Workshops

Workshops meet once a week throughout the academic year. Each student enrolled in a workshop is required to attend all sessions and to participate in the discussion of the papers presented.

ECON-711 & 712 - Workshop in Macroeconomics

ECON-721 & 722 - Workshop in Microeconomics

ECON-731 & 732 - Workshop in International Economics

ECON-741 & 742 - Workshop in Empirical Econometrics

ECON-751 & 752- Workshop in Development

The gui²de Seminar Series is a weekly seminar hosted jointly by the McCourt School of Public Policy and the Economics Department. It features guest speakers presenting cutting edge research in development economics.