Spring 2010 Course Description

Advanced Policy Economics

Section Title: Political Economy of Poverty: Income Security and Community Asset Building
Instructor(s): Pat Wong
Course: P A 393L - Advanced Policy Economics
(previously Political Economy II)
Unique Number: 62675
Day & Time: Tuesdays, 9:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Room: SRH 3.212
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: Course Objectives: The purpose of Advanced Policy Economics is to apply economic analysis to specific policy topics. This section focuses on poverty issues in the United States. Specifically, the course covers programs to protect income security and encourage asset building. It is both an “analytic course” that applies microeconomics theory and quantitative modeling to policy analysis and a “survey course” on U.S. policy dealing with poverty issues.

Course Structure: Input from members of the class is welcome. The tentative plan at this point is:


Learning Experiences: First, the most important element of learning in this course is the meticulous reading of analytic papers and detailed processing of technical materials on microeconomics logic and statistical analysis. These materials will be part of weekly reading assignments and class discussions for about half of the semester.

Second, members of this class can expect to be acquainted with how selected programs work at the operational level. This will be covered in instructor’s presentations in Module 3 and class presentations in Module 4.

Third, a mid-term exam is proposed to help integrate the learning experiences from the first two modules.

Fourth, participants in this seminar are expected to form research teams. Each team will work independently throughout the semester on a research project. This research process will culminate in a presentation during the last few weeks of the course.

Prerequisites and Expectation: A substantial part of the course is about consumption and analysis of rigorous empirical studies. Habit of meticulous and analytical reading is therefore a must.

Proficiencies in both microeconomic analysis and econometrics are essential. These prerequisites can be fulfilled by successfully completing AMPA and IQA at the LBJ School or their equivalents in other departments. But it is solid conceptual understanding which is important. Previous completion of a section of AEM (“IQA-II”) with an econometrics emphasis is strongly encouraged though not required.

Abstention from note-taking in class is proposed by instructor and subject to approval by class members.

Preparatory Work during the Winter Break: A tentative first draft of the syllabus is available for review and comments upon request.

A packet will be available to all registered members of the class by November 6. The packet will contain the draft of the syllabus, reading list for the winter, and details on syllabus amendment. Registered class members will have the prerogative to amend the the draft syllabus and vote on all learning experiences until the first week of January.

Members of this class should touch base with the instructor before the end of the spring semester to get started on research work for the course.

Return to Spring 2010 Course Schedule