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Jason Abrevaya, Chair 2225 Speedway, Stop C3100, Austin, TX 78712 • Admin: 512-471-3211 & Advising: 512-471-2973

Gerald S Oettinger

Associate Professor Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Assoc Professor
Gerald S Oettinger

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ECO 420K • Microeconomic Theory

34410-34414 • Fall 2014
Meets WF 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.112
show description

A SURVEY OF NEOCLASSICAL AND CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF THE PRINCIPAL DETERMINANTS OF PRICES AND OF THE ROLE OF PRICES IN ECONOMIC ORGANIZATION. REQUIRED OF STUDENTS MAJORING IN ECONOMICS. STUDENTS MAY NOT ATTEMPT ECONOMICS 420K MORE THAN TWICE.

PREREQUISITE: ECONOMICS 304K AND 304L WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C- IN EACH, AND MATHEMATICS 408C AND 408D, OR MATHEMATICS 408K AND 408L, WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C- IN EACH.

The primary objective of the course is to study contemporary theories of the principal determinants of prices and the role of prices in economic organization. The course will emphasize the fundamental concepts of microeconomics and provide concrete examples of their application. The course will cover the demand and supply theories for competitive markets, some instances of market power, basics of the game theory, choice under uncertainty, and equilibrium in an exchange and production economy.

ECO 420K • Microeconomic Theory

34445-34460 • Fall 2014
Meets WF 200pm-330pm JGB 2.324
show description

A SURVEY OF NEOCLASSICAL AND CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF THE PRINCIPAL DETERMINANTS OF PRICES AND OF THE ROLE OF PRICES IN ECONOMIC ORGANIZATION. REQUIRED OF STUDENTS MAJORING IN ECONOMICS. STUDENTS MAY NOT ATTEMPT ECONOMICS 420K MORE THAN TWICE.

PREREQUISITE: ECONOMICS 304K AND 304L WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C- IN EACH, AND MATHEMATICS 408C AND 408D, OR MATHEMATICS 408K AND 408L, WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C- IN EACH.

The primary objective of the course is to study contemporary theories of the principal determinants of prices and the role of prices in economic organization. The course will emphasize the fundamental concepts of microeconomics and provide concrete examples of their application. The course will cover the demand and supply theories for competitive markets, some instances of market power, basics of the game theory, choice under uncertainty, and equilibrium in an exchange and production economy.

ECO 304K • Introduction To Microeconomics

34665 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am SAC 1.402
show description

ANALYSIS OF THE ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR OF INDIVIDUAL CONSUMERS, FIRMS, AND WORKERS; SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE ROLE OF MARKETS.

DESIGNED TO ACCOMMODATE 100 OR MORE STUDENTS.

This course provides an introduction to the theory of how consumers and business firms behave in the market economy. The topics include demand and supply in a competitive market, optimal consumption choice by the individual household given its budget constraint, the producer's costs and output decisions, the demand for labor and other inputs, and economic outcomes under product demand structures ranging from perfect competition to pure monopoly. For specific instructor syllabi and requirements, contact individual instructor.

ECO 420K • Microeconomic Theory

34455-34480 • Fall 2013
Meets WF 200pm-330pm JGB 2.324
show description

A SURVEY OF NEOCLASSICAL AND CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF THE PRINCIPAL DETERMINANTS OF PRICES AND OF THE ROLE OF PRICES IN ECONOMIC ORGANIZATION. REQUIRED OF STUDENTS MAJORING IN ECONOMICS. STUDENTS MAY NOT ATTEMPT ECONOMICS 420K MORE THAN TWICE.

PREREQUISITE: ECONOMICS 304K AND 304L WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C- IN EACH, AND MATHEMATICS 408C AND 408D, OR MATHEMATICS 408K AND 408L, WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C- IN EACH.

The primary objective of the course is to study contemporary theories of the principal determinants of prices and the role of prices in economic organization. The course will emphasize the fundamental concepts of microeconomics and provide concrete examples of their application. The course will cover the demand and supply theories for competitive markets, some instances of market power, basics of the game theory, choice under uncertainty, and equilibrium in an exchange and production economy.

ECO 304K • Introduction To Microeconomics

34230 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am SAC 1.402
show description

ANALYSIS OF THE ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR OF INDIVIDUAL CONSUMERS, FIRMS, AND WORKERS; SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE ROLE OF MARKETS.

DESIGNED TO ACCOMMODATE 100 OR MORE STUDENTS.

This course provides an introduction to the theory of how consumers and business firms behave in the market economy. The topics include demand and supply in a competitive market, optimal consumption choice by the individual household given its budget constraint, the producer's costs and output decisions, the demand for labor and other inputs, and economic outcomes under product demand structures ranging from perfect competition to pure monopoly. For specific instructor syllabi and requirements, contact individual instructor.

ECO 376M • Personnel Economics

34405 • Spring 2013
Meets MW 1230pm-200pm BRB 1.120
show description

Prerequisite: Economics 420K with a grade of at least C-.

Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Economics 376M is a course in personnel economics. We will use economic theory to analyze how profit-maximizing firms make decisions involving human resources. Among the topics to be covered are the following: Neoclassical labor demand theory Recruiting, hiring, and job design Training and investment in workers' human capital Compensation, promotion, and provision of incentives Nonwage job attributes and fringe benefits The first unit of the course, covering neoclassical labor demand theory, will use tools familiar from ECO 420K to analyze how firms determine the number and mix of workers to use in production. In this unit of the course, we will assume that labor markets are perfectly competitive and all agents have perfect information. In much of the rest of the course, we will relax these assumptions. For example, to understand firms' recruiting behavior, we will consider models in which workers have private information about their ability or in which it takes time for firms to locate workers who are good matches with the firm. To understand the consequences of firm-provided training, we will consider models in which a worker's productivity at the current firm grows with job seniority. And to understand how compensation methods and promotion ladders can provide work incentives, we will consider models in which firms cannot observe workers' choices of effort. This course is a writing component course and therefore a large proportion of your course grade will be determined by your performance on various writing assignments.

ECO 420K • Microeconomic Theory

34180-34185 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.124
show description

A SURVEY OF NEOCLASSICAL AND CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF THE PRINCIPAL DETERMINANTS OF PRICES AND OF THE ROLE OF PRICES IN ECONOMIC ORGANIZATION. REQUIRED OF STUDENTS MAJORING IN ECONOMICS. STUDENTS MAY NOT ATTEMPT ECONOMICS 420K MORE THAN TWICE.

PREREQUISITE: ECONOMICS 304K AND 304L WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C- IN EACH, AND MATHEMATICS 408C AND 408D, OR MATHEMATICS 408K AND 408L, WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C- IN EACH.

The primary objective of the course is to study contemporary theories of the principal determinants of prices and the role of prices in economic organization. The course will emphasize the fundamental concepts of microeconomics and provide concrete examples of their application. The course will cover the demand and supply theories for competitive markets, some instances of market power, basics of the game theory, choice under uncertainty, and equilibrium in an exchange and production economy.

ECO 420K • Microeconomic Theory

34190-34195 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 200pm-330pm UTC 3.124
show description

A SURVEY OF NEOCLASSICAL AND CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF THE PRINCIPAL DETERMINANTS OF PRICES AND OF THE ROLE OF PRICES IN ECONOMIC ORGANIZATION. REQUIRED OF STUDENTS MAJORING IN ECONOMICS. STUDENTS MAY NOT ATTEMPT ECONOMICS 420K MORE THAN TWICE.

PREREQUISITE: ECONOMICS 304K AND 304L WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C- IN EACH, AND MATHEMATICS 408C AND 408D, OR MATHEMATICS 408K AND 408L, WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C- IN EACH.

The primary objective of the course is to study contemporary theories of the principal determinants of prices and the role of prices in economic organization. The course will emphasize the fundamental concepts of microeconomics and provide concrete examples of their application. The course will cover the demand and supply theories for competitive markets, some instances of market power, basics of the game theory, choice under uncertainty, and equilibrium in an exchange and production economy.

ECO 304K • Introduction To Microeconomics

34145 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am SAC 1.402
show description

ANALYSIS OF THE ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR OF INDIVIDUAL CONSUMERS, FIRMS, AND WORKERS; SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE ROLE OF MARKETS.

DESIGNED TO ACCOMMODATE 100 OR MORE STUDENTS.

This course provides an introduction to the theory of how consumers and business firms behave in the market economy. The topics include demand and supply in a competitive market, optimal consumption choice by the individual household given its budget constraint, the producer's costs and output decisions, the demand for labor and other inputs, and economic outcomes under product demand structures ranging from perfect competition to pure monopoly. For specific instructor syllabi and requirements, contact individual instructor.

ECO 420K • Microeconomic Theory

34200 • Spring 2012
Meets MW 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.134
show description

A SURVEY OF NEOCLASSICAL AND CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF THE PRINCIPAL DETERMINANTS OF PRICES AND OF THE ROLE OF PRICES IN ECONOMIC ORGANIZATION. REQUIRED OF STUDENTS MAJORING IN ECONOMICS. STUDENTS MAY NOT ATTEMPT ECONOMICS 420K MORE THAN TWICE.

PREREQUISITE: ECONOMICS 304K AND 304L WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C- IN EACH, AND MATHEMATICS 408C AND 408D, OR MATHEMATICS 408K AND 408L, WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C- IN EACH.

The primary objective of the course is to study contemporary theories of the principal determinants of prices and the role of prices in economic organization. The course will emphasize the fundamental concepts of microeconomics and provide concrete examples of their application. The course will cover the demand and supply theories for competitive markets, some instances of market power, basics of the game theory, choice under uncertainty, and equilibrium in an exchange and production economy.

ECO 301 • Introduction To Economics

34010 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 800am-900am CAL 100
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This course will be a mixture of both Micro and Macro Economics.  Students who wish to be an Economics major MAY NOT use this course toward the major and should take ECO 304K and ECO 304L.

  • Students will learn how economists describe and measure the economy, in the aggregate, as well as specific markets such as the labor market, the housing market, financial markets, and international trade.  Concepts for measurement and data will be covered.
  • Students will learn how economists organize their analysis of economic choices by thinking about how individuals (i) respond to incentives, (ii) seek out exchange in markets, and (iii) form, and participate in, various economic institutions.
  • Students will learn how to think about strategic behavior (for example, markets with a small number of firms, or negotiating trade agreements among a small number of countries).
  • Students will learn about “externalities” and “public goods,” which, by conferring costs or benefits that are not appropriated by individuals or that are “non-rival” in nature (for example, once discovered, a technology can be used by many at the same time), provide reasons for government regulation, taxation, and government-provided goods and services.

ECO 324 • Intro To Labor Economics

34150 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am WAG 201
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STUDY OF LABOR IN INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES, WITH EMPHASIS ON PRINCIPLES, INSTITUTIONS, AND POLICIES FOR UNDERSTANDING LABOR AND PERSONNEL PROBLEMS.

PREREQUISITE: ECONOMICS 420K WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C-.

 

ECO 420K • Microeconomic Theory

34370-34375 • Spring 2011
Meets MW 1100am-1230pm UTC 3.102
show description

A SURVEY OF NEOCLASSICAL AND CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF THE PRINCIPAL DETERMINANTS OF PRICES AND OF THE ROLE OF PRICES IN ECONOMIC ORGANIZATION. REQUIRED OF STUDENTS MAJORING IN ECONOMICS. STUDENTS MAY NOT ATTEMPT ECONOMICS 420K MORE THAN TWICE.

PREREQUISITE: ECONOMICS 304K AND 304L WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C- IN EACH, AND MATHEMATICS 408C AND 408D, OR MATHEMATICS 408K AND 408L, WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C- IN EACH.

The primary objective of the course is to study contemporary theories of the principal determinants of prices and the role of prices in economic organization. The course will emphasize the fundamental concepts of microeconomics and provide concrete examples of their application. The course will cover the demand and supply theories for competitive markets, some instances of market power, basics of the game theory, choice under uncertainty, and equilibrium in an exchange and production economy.

ECO 324 • Intro To Labor Economics

34435 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 900am-1000am UTC 3.102
show description

STUDY OF LABOR IN INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES, WITH EMPHASIS ON PRINCIPLES, INSTITUTIONS, AND POLICIES FOR UNDERSTANDING LABOR AND PERSONNEL PROBLEMS.

PREREQUISITE: ECONOMICS 420K WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C-.

 

ECO 301 • Introduction To Economics

33300 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 800am-900am JGB 2.216
show description

This course will be a mixture of both Micro and Macro Economics.  Students who wish to be an Economics major MAY NOT use this course toward the major and should take ECO 304K and ECO 304L.

  • Students will learn how economists describe and measure the economy, in the aggregate, as well as specific markets such as the labor market, the housing market, financial markets, and international trade.  Concepts for measurement and data will be covered.
  • Students will learn how economists organize their analysis of economic choices by thinking about how individuals (i) respond to incentives, (ii) seek out exchange in markets, and (iii) form, and participate in, various economic institutions.
  • Students will learn how to think about strategic behavior (for example, markets with a small number of firms, or negotiating trade agreements among a small number of countries).
  • Students will learn about “externalities” and “public goods,” which, by conferring costs or benefits that are not appropriated by individuals or that are “non-rival” in nature (for example, once discovered, a technology can be used by many at the same time), provide reasons for government regulation, taxation, and government-provided goods and services.

ECO 324 • Intro To Labor Economics

33425 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am JGB 2.102
show description

STUDY OF LABOR IN INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES, WITH EMPHASIS ON PRINCIPLES, INSTITUTIONS, AND POLICIES FOR UNDERSTANDING LABOR AND PERSONNEL PROBLEMS.

PREREQUISITE: ECONOMICS 420K WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C-.

Study of labor in industrial societies with emphasis on principles, institutions, and policies for understanding labor and personnel problems. Please contact Dr. Trejo for additional details on this course.

Contact instructor for details.

ECO 376M • Personnel Economics-W

33728 • Spring 2010
Meets MW 1100-1230pm BRB 2.136
show description

ECO 376M                                                                                                      Professor Oettinger

Personnel Economics                                                                                       Spring 2010

Course Syllabus

Organizational Details

The course meets MW 11:00-12:15 in BRB 2.136. My office hours are MW 8:30-10:00, and by appointment. My office is BRB 2.148. My email is oettinge@eco.utexas.edu

Prerequisites

Economics 420K is a necessary prerequisite for this course. Economics 324 is not a prerequisite for this course.

Teaching Assistant

The TA for the course is Ricki Dolan. Her office location, office hours, and contact information will be made available in the near future.

Readings

The textbook for the course is Personnel Economics in Practice by Edward P. Lazear and Michael Gibbs. This book is available as a hardcover text at the UT Co-op and, as part of the UT Ebook Initiative, is also available in two alternative formats: as electronic copy (an “Ebook”) and as a printed black and white text through the UT Print Shop. Both of the alternative formats offer a huge price discount relative to the hardcover text. Printed directions for downloading the Ebook are attached to this syllabus and also are available on the class Blackboard page.

I will not cover all of the material in the textbook. At the same time, I will present some material not contained in the textbook. In addition, lectures may present some of the material in a different manner than does the textbook. For all these reasons, you should view the textbook as a complement to, rather than a substitute for, lecture.

Several newspaper articles on human resource topics will be handed out in class during the semester, and these will form the basis for some in-class writing assignments (described below).

Since this course involves a lot of writing, you might also find it useful to purchase a writing style handbook if you don’t already have one. An inexpensive classic is The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B. White. Specific compositional advice from the University Writing Center can be found here.

 

Description of Course Topics Economics 376M is a course in personnel economics. We will use economic theory to analyze how profit-maximizing firms make decisions involving human resources. I plan to cover the following topics (with associated readings shown in parentheses):

                        Neoclassical theory of labor demand (ch. 1 of text, plus supplementary reading)

                        Recruiting and hiring strategies (ch. 2 of the text)

                        Training and investment in workers’ human capital (ch. 3 of the text)

                        Organizational design and job design (ch. 5-7 of the text)

                        Evaluating and motivating employee performance (pp. 231-235 and ch. 9-11 of the text)

 

The first unit of the course, covering neoclassical labor demand theory, uses tools that should be familiar from ECO 420K to analyze how firms determine the number and mix of workers to use in production. We will apply the theory to understand current labor market issues such as firms’ decisions to outsource production to low wage foreign labor markets. In this unit of the course, we assume that labor markets are perfectly competitive and that firms can perfectly observe and/or determine the productivity of their workers. In much of the rest of the course, we seek greater realism by relaxing these assumptions. For example, firms often cannot fully observe the productivity of potential new hires, and therefore they will choose hiring strategies that minimize the cost of this information deficit. As another example, firms often cannot perfectly observe the on-the-job actions of employees, and therefore they must choose compensation methods that induce workers to undertake desired actions.

Course Assignments and Grading

This is a writing component course and therefore your performance on course writing assignments accounts for a large proportion of your grade. There will be four major writing assignments during the semester, each relating to a different topic in the course, with each due approximately one week after being made available. Cumulatively, the four major writing assignments account for 60% of your course grade. In each of these assignments, you will be cast in the role of management consultant for a hypothetical company confronted with a human resource problem. Your job will be to analyze the problem using appropriate economic methods and then produce a written report for company management. Your report must contain your specific recommendations to management and your justifications for these recommendations. Your reports should be typed and double-spaced, should use normal margins and 12-point font, and should be approximately four pages in length. Your grade on each writing assignment is determined by the quality of your economic reasoning and the quality of your written expression. You will receive detailed written feedback on each of these assignments. In particular, each assignment will be returned with: (1) a cover sheet indicating your essay's strengths and weaknesses, (2) a summary comment on the essay's overall quality, and (3) a careful assessment of grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors for a short section of your essay. You should use this feedback to improve your writing on the subsequent writing assignments. For detailed instructions for each course writing assignment, please visit the main course web page on UT Blackboard. These instructions will be posted on the class Blackboard page at least a week before the assignment is due.

 

There also will be several minor writing assignments, each based on a news article related to topics covered in the course. These assignments will be in-class assignments and therefore they partly reward attendance. Cumulatively, the minor writing assignments account for 10% of your course grade. In each of these assignments, you will write a very short (one-half to one full page) essay that summarizes an article and/or answers questions about the article and relates the article to material from lecture.

Finally, there will be 4 in-class quizzes during of the semester. Quizzes will be relatively short (around 50 minutes), will cover only a few weeks of course material, and will be discussed in class the same day. Your lowest quiz grade will be dropped in computing your course grade and each counted quiz will contribute 10% towards your final course grade. Thus, the quizzes will account for 30% of your course grade. A missed quiz will receive a grade of zero (and can be dropped as your lowest grade). Makeup quizzes will not be offered for any reason.

I will use the plus/minus grade options when assigning final course grades.

Topics and Course Schedule

A tentative course schedule, including the dates of quizzes and the due dates for major writing assignments (which are firm), is shown in the following table: Date(s)

Topic or Activity

Jan 20

Syllabus and Introduction

Jan 25-Feb 8

Neoclassical Labor Demand

Feb 10-15

Recruiting and Hiring

Feb 15

Major Writing Assignment #1 due

Feb 17

Quiz #1

Feb 22-Mar 1

Recruiting and Hiring

Mar 3-Mar 8

Investment in Worker Skills

Mar 8

Major Writing Assignment #2 due

Mar 10

Quiz #2

Mar 15-Mar 17

Spring Break

Mar 22-Mar 24

Investment in Worker Skills

Mar 29-Apr 7

Organizational Design and Job Design

Apr 12

Evaluating and Motivating Worker Performance

Apr 12

Major Writing Assignment #3 due

Apr 14

Quiz #3

Apr 19-May 3

Evaluating and Motivating Worker Performance

May 3

Major Writing Assignment #4 due

May 5

Quiz #4

 

4 Ground Rules for Writing Assignments

You may discuss the substance of the writing assignments with your classmates but I expect you to write each essay on your own using your own words. I will assign grades of zero to any papers that I determine were written together by multiple class members or were copied from some other source, and I will report the offending students to Student Judicial Services. Furthermore, you must cite the original source if you quote, or if you substantially borrow ideas or arguments from, other written work in your essays. Not doing so constitutes plagiarism, which is a form of scholastic dishonesty. If I determine that any of the written work that you submit has been plagiarized, I will report you Student Judicial Services. For a much more detailed discussion of plagiarism, click here.

Writing Resources

The Undergraduate Writing Center can provide you with assistance in written composition. For more information, click here.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities (471-6259). I will not provide any such accommodations unless I receive an official request to do so from this office.

                                       

ECO 420K • Microeconomic Theory

33715-33720 • Fall 2009
Meets MW 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.124
show description

MEETS WITH ECO 420K UNIQUE#33720

ECO 420K Professor Gerald Oettinger

Microeconomic Theory Fall 2009

Course Description

Economics 420K is a course in microeconomic theory. We will analyze the behavior of individual economic agents (mainly consumers and firms) and the market outcomes that result from the interactions between these individual agents. The course will focus on teaching you the tools and methods of microeconomic analysis and how to apply them. As such, it will involve a lot of problem solving. The analytical skills that you develop will be useful in the subsequent economics courses that you take and will also be helpful in understanding economic issues in the world around you. Strong analytical skills are also highly valued by employers.

Prerequisites

Economics 304K and 304L with grades of at least a C. Mathematics 408C and 408D, or Mathematics 408K, 408L, and 408M, all with grades of at least a C. No exceptions.

Class Web Page

There is a class web page on UT Blackboard (https://courses.utexas.edu). I will post workbook problem solutions, some old exams, and the like on the Blackboard page. I will also use it for class announcements. Please check it regularly.

Required Books

Textbook: Intermediate Microeconomics: A Modern Approach, 7th edition, by Hal Varian.

Workbook: Workouts in Intermediate Microeconomics, 7th edition, by Theodore Bergstrom and Hal Varian.

Office and Office Hours

My office is BRB 2.148. My office hours are M 8:30-10:00 and W 2:00-3:30, and by appointment. My email address is oettinge@eco.utexas.edu

Teaching Assistant

The TA for the course is Kaveh Majlesi (email: kaveh.majlesi@gmail.com). His office location and office hours will be posted when they become available.

Class Meetings

There are two 75 minute lectures each week, which take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:30-1:45 in UTC 3.124. There are two (identical) 50 minute discussion sections each Friday, one meeting from 12:00-12:50 in RAS 313A and the other meeting from 1:00-1:50 in WAG 308. If necessary to ensure adequate seating, we may insist that you attend the discussion section in which you are officially enrolled. Lectures will be devoted primarily to covering new material, though I will try to spend a bit of time working problems from Workouts. The discussion sections, which will be led by the teaching assistant, will be devoted primarily to going over problems in Workouts or, in certain weeks, the solutions to the midterm exams.

Grading

Your course grade will be determined by your performance on three midterm exams and a cumulative final exam. Each midterm counts for 20% of your grade and the final exam counts for the remaining 40% of your grade. Grading will be on a "curve", by which I simply mean that your grade will depend on your cumulative course performance relative to the cumulative performance of the other students in the class. I will use plus/minus grade categories when assigning final grades (i.e., A, A-, B+, B, ..., D-, F).

Exam dates, which will not be altered, are as follows:

Midterm 1: Monday, September 21 Midterm 2: Wednesday, October 14 Midterm 3: Wednesday, November 11 Final: Friday, December 11, 2 PM

Please verify now that you will be able to attend class on all of the exam dates. Missed exams will not be rescheduled and will only be excused without penalty if the absence is due to a verifiable emergency or some other reason that the university explicitly accepts as legitimate. In this case, the weight on all future exams in the course will be scaled up proportionately. Exams missed for unexcused reasons will receive a score of zero.

Problems in Workouts

The Workouts in Intermediate Microeconomics workbook contains a large number of problems to help you master the course material. Some of these problems are quite challenging and virtually all of them are useful. You should try to do as many of the problems in the relevant chapters of Workouts as possible, except those dealing with sections of the textbook that we explicitly skip. To help you get started, the introduction of each chapter in Workouts usually contains one or more solved problems. As a further aid, answers (but not the detailed method of solution) to the even-numbered problems are provided in the back of the workbook and answers to the odd-numbered problems are given on the class Blackboard page. Detailed methods of solution for selected problems

(both even-numbered and odd-numbered) from Workouts will be covered in the discussion sections.

 

Workouts

also contains a set of short, multiple-choice quizzes based on each chapter. After you have read a chapter in the textbook and done the problems for that chapter, you should take the corresponding quiz. You can grade it yourself. Answers are given in the very back of Workouts.

 

I cannot overemphasize the importance of doing the problems in Workouts. There is no good substitute for solving problems as a way to master the course material and performing well on the exams will depend critically on your ability to solve problems. Thus, you have ample incentive to do the problems in Workouts, even though they do not contribute directly to your course grade.

I encourage you to form a problem solving study group with a small number of your fellow students, but I also highly recommend that you meet to discuss the problems only after each student in the group has worked seriously on the problems on his/her own. I also strongly encourage you to keep up with the course. Workouts contains a large number of problems and the problems in the later chapters build on concepts developed in the earlier chapters. You likely will find yourself in serious trouble if you postpone working on the problems until shortly before the exams.

Getting the Most out of Lectures

You will find the lectures more useful if you read the chapter beforehand to familiarize yourself with the terminology and the main points to be developed. You will be able to draw better diagrams in your lecture notes if you bring at least two different colored pens or pencils with you to class. I will sometimes go over problems from Workouts in lecture so you will find it useful to bring the workbook with you to class so that you can follow along. Finally, you should stay engaged in lecture and don't be shy about asking questions. Doing so will make the course more interesting for both you and me.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities (471-6259). I will not provide any such accommodations unless I receive an official request to do so from this office.

 

ECO 324 • Intro To Labor Economics

33790 • Fall 2009
Meets MW 1100-1230pm PAR 203
show description

 

ECO 324 Professor Gerald Oettinger

Introduction to Labor Economics Fall 2009

Course Description

 

Economics 324 applies tools from microeconomics to understand the functioning of labor markets. Topics covered will include: individuals' labor supply decisions, firms' labor demand decisions, labor market equilibrium and determination of wages, investment in human capital and wage differentials by education and experience, nonwage job attributes and compensating wage differentials, labor mobility, labor market discrimination and wage differentials by race and gender, and unions.

Prerequisites

 

Economics 420K with a grade of at least a C. No exceptions.

Class Web Page

 

There is a class web page on UT Blackboard (https://courses.utexas.edu). I will post practice problems (and solutions) on the Blackboard page and I will also use it for announcements. Please check it regularly.

 equired TextbookMy office is BRB 2.148. My office hours are M 8:30-10:00 and W 2:00-3:30, and by appointment. My email address is oettinge@eco.utexas.edu

Labor Economics, by George Borjas (McGraw-Hill Irwin, 5th edition, 2010).

My Office and Office Hours

 

 Teaching Assistant

The TA for the course is Benjamin Sperisen (email: sperisen@mail.utexas.edu). His office location and office hours will be posted when they become available.

Class Meetings

 

There are two 75 minute lectures each week, which take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00-12:15 in PAR 203.

1

Grading

 

Your course grade will be determined by your performance on two midterm exams and a cumulative final exam. Each midterm counts for 25% of your grade and the final exam counts for the remaining 50% of your grade. Grading will be on a "curve", by which I simply mean that your grade will depend on your cumulative course performance relative to the cumulative performance of the other students in the class. I will use plus/minus grade categories when assigning final grades (i.e., A, A-, B+, B, ..., D-, F).

Exam dates, which I do not plan to alter, are as follows:

Midterm 1: Wednesday, September 30 Midterm 2: Monday, November 2 Final: Wednesday, December 9, 7 PM

Please verify now that you will be able to attend class on each of the exam dates. Missed exams will not be rescheduled and will only be excused without penalty if the absence is due to a verifiable emergency or some other reason that the university explicitly accepts as legitimate. In this case, the weight on the other exams in the course will be scaled up proportionately. Exams missed for unexcused reasons will receive a score of zero.

I will post homework problems on the class Blackboard page periodically and I will subsequently post answers to these problems. Your answers to these problems will not be collected and will not contribute directly to your grade. However, I strongly urge you to work on the problems (before looking at the solutions) as they will be a good indicator of kinds of questions you can expect on exams. There are also many worthwhile problems at the end of each chapter in the textbook. Solutions to the textbook problems also will be posted on the class Blackboard page.

Getting the Most out of Lectures

 

You will find the lectures more useful if you read the relevant textbook sections beforehand to familiarize yourself with the terminology and the main points to be developed. You will be able to draw better diagrams in your lecture notes if you bring at least two different colored pens or pencils with you to class. Finally, you should stay engaged in lecture and don't be shy about asking questions. Doing so will make the course more interesting for both you and me.

2 3

Tentative Course Schedule

 

The following table gives a tentative schedule of the topics to be covered throughout the semester, along with the associated readings in the textbook. If the pace at which I cover topics deviates from what is forecasted in the table, the content of the exams will change accordingly. Dates

Topic or Activity

Reading

August 26

Syllabus and introduction

Chapter 1

August 31; September 2, 9, 14

Labor supply

Chapter 2

September 16, 21, 23, 28

Labor demand

Chapter 3

September 30

MIDTERM 1

October 5

Labor market equilibrium

Chapter 4.1-4.4

October 7, 12, 14

Compensating differentials

Chapter 5

October 19, 21, 26

Human capital

Chapter 6

October 28

Changes in the wage structure

Chapter 7

November 2

MIDTERM 2

November 4, 9, 11

Migration and job mobility

Chapter 8, 4.5-4.6

November 16, 18, 23

Labor market discrimination

Chapter 9

November 25, 30

Unions

Chapter 10

December 2

Unemployment

Chapter 12

December 9

FINAL EXAM

 

 

 

ECO 376M • Personnel Economics-W

33235 • Spring 2009
Meets MW 1100-1230pm BRB 2.136
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Prerequisite: Economics 420K with a grade of at least C-.

Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Economics 376M is a course in personnel economics. We will use economic theory to analyze how profit-maximizing firms make decisions involving human resources. Among the topics to be covered are the following: Neoclassical labor demand theory Recruiting, hiring, and job design Training and investment in workers' human capital Compensation, promotion, and provision of incentives Nonwage job attributes and fringe benefits The first unit of the course, covering neoclassical labor demand theory, will use tools familiar from ECO 420K to analyze how firms determine the number and mix of workers to use in production. In this unit of the course, we will assume that labor markets are perfectly competitive and all agents have perfect information. In much of the rest of the course, we will relax these assumptions. For example, to understand firms' recruiting behavior, we will consider models in which workers have private information about their ability or in which it takes time for firms to locate workers who are good matches with the firm. To understand the consequences of firm-provided training, we will consider models in which a worker's productivity at the current firm grows with job seniority. And to understand how compensation methods and promotion ladders can provide work incentives, we will consider models in which firms cannot observe workers' choices of effort. This course is a writing component course and therefore a large proportion of your course grade will be determined by your performance on various writing assignments.

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