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Fall 2013 - 63790 - PA393K - Applied Microeconomics for Policy Analysis

Instructor(s): Boske, Leigh B.
Unique Number: 63790
Day & Time: M 9:00 am -12:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.360
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
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

This is a graduate level introduction to microeconomics for students with little or no prior background in economics. The course provides an analytic framework for policy analysis with a focus on understanding economic issues in both international and domestic U.S. policy contexts. Lectures will entail minimal mathematics.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Apply economic theory and methodologies to international and domestic policy issues and problems
  • Use efficiency and equity criteria for evaluating governmental interventions in markets; and
  • Identify sources of market failure and appropriate interventions

Required Textbook:

Robert S. Pindyck and Daniel L. Rubinfeld, Microeconomics, 7th Edition (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009)

All other assigned readings can be accessed via Blackboard or internet links.

Grading: Students will be responsible for materials covered in class and all assigned readings. Students are to prepare, present in class, and complete a report on a group project analyzing a public policy issue. Each group will consist of 3 or 4 students. Final grades, using pluses and minuses (e.g., A+, A, A-,B+….) will be based on:

  • Group Class Presentation&    20%
  • Problem Sets    20%
  • Midterm Exam&    30%
  • Group Project Report    30%