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Fall 2011 - 61390 - PA393K - Applied Microeconomics for Policy Analysis

Instructor(s): Auerbach, Robert D.
Unique Number: 61390
Day & Time: Th 9:00 - 12:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.316/350
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Final Exam Information:December 8, 2011 - 9:00am - 12:00pm SRH 3.122
Course Overview

This course covers microeconomic policy analysis and is usually taken during the first year. It acquaints students with the ways in which economic analysis bears on public policy issues. Students learn to identify the relevant economic analyses for their strengths and weaknesses in relation to the economic principles involved, and to comprehend and assess what professional economists can contribute to the public sector. The first portion of the course covers microeconomic theory with particular emphasis on determining price and output under perfect competition and other forms of market structure; general equilibrium and welfare theory; and the concept of market failure, including public goods, externalities, and imperfect market structure. The second portion of the course provides a rigorous coverage of the methodology of cost-benefit analysis and demonstrates its application through examination of specific case studies.

Section Description

The subjects covered include the economic benefits and problems in several types of economic organization of societies from central control to capitalism. The benefits, recent problems and legislation associated with the corporate organization of businesses will be discussed. The microeconomic analyses of consumer choice, firm profit maximization under competitive and monopolistic competition and measures of consumer welfare will be presented. Throughout the course economic issues facing government legislators and administrators will be interwoven into the lectures including the politics and economic effects of agricultural price supports and payments to refrain from farming, minimum wages and limits to job entry, and sales taxes. Price discrimination will be described with an analysis of asymmetric information in the commercial loan market.

Textbook: Robert S. Pindyck and Daniel L. Rubinfeld, Microeconomics, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Prentice Hall, latest edition.

Requirements: Attendance is necessary. There will be two tests during the semester (each weighted by 25). Should you score less than 25 on either exam you may write a make-up exercise to bring your score up to a maximum of 20. The final examination is weighted by 50. All homework assignments included must be completed with a “satisfactory” as a necessary but not sufficient condition to obtain an A or B.