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Spring 2012 - 62125 - PA393K - Applied Microeconomics for Policy Analysis

Economics for Policy

Instructor(s): Galbraith, James K.
Unique Number: 62125
Day & Time: Th 9:00 - 12:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.220
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Final Exam Information:May 10, 2012 - 2:00pm - 5:00pm SRH 3.124
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 class will provide an introduction to the theory and practice of economics relevant to policy. It will be taught from a classical, institutional and Keynesian perspective, in a sequence partly governed by the evolution of major issues in the history of economic thought.;

Topics to be covered will include: value; distribution; growth and trade, development and technological change; firms, corporations and regulation; money and finance; national income accounting and basic Keynesian theory; expectations and uncertainty; public deficits and debt; inequality; financial instability and fraud; resource scarcity and climate change.

The course will provide a broad exposure to the issues that have concerned leading political economists over three centuries, including Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, Thorstein Veblen, John Maynard Keynes, Joseph Schumpeter, Joan Robinson, J. K. Galbraith and Hyman Minsky, ending with critical questions that confront the national and world economies today. .;

Mathematics will be deployed freely, assuming basic calculus, proficient elementary algebra and geometry, and the ability to program and graph simple dynamic functions in a spreadsheet. Students will be expected to reproduce technical arguments from their lecture notes; faithful reading and good note-taking skills will be highly rewarded.

There is no textbook for this class. Instead there will be weekly lecture and readings, using Blackboard. There will be homework, a mid-term and a final exam.

This course is experimental. Students seeking a course on neoclassical price theory, the theory of consumer choice, production functions, welfare economics and general equilibrium, cost-benefit analysis, and game theory, etc., should choose one of the other sections.