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Spring 2012 - 62145 - PA393L - Advanced Policy Economics

Human Capital Theory and Applications

Instructor(s): King, Christopher
Unique Number: 62145
Day & Time: W 9:00 - 12:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.221/212
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

Students are required to take an additional three-hour course in policy economics, selected from among a set of courses focusing on the application of economic theory and techniques to a specific area of public policy. Course options include macroeconomics, public finance, regulation, international trade and finance, natural resources and environmental policy, health policy, transportation policy, human resource development, urban and regional economic development, international development, education policy, social policy, and labor economics. Not all options are offered every year. This course is usually taken in the second year. 

Section Description

The primary purpose of this course is to provide students with a thorough grounding in human capital theory and its applications to contemporary policy issues and problems. The course will be run as a seminar with heavy reliance on weekly student presentations and student-led discussions, as well the preparation of a major paper on a human capital topic (e.g., financing or transitions to postsecondary education, apprenticeship, dual-generation investment strategies, employer/worker investments in job training) to be jointly determined. Successful course completion should prepare students to perform advanced human capital analysis and pursue further study in related courses. 

Required textbooks will include the following, among others:

  • Christopher J. O’Leary, Robert A. Straits, and Stephen A. Wandner, Eds., Job Training Policy in the United States (Kalamazoo, MI: W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2004)
  • David Finegold, et al., Eds., Transforming the U.S. Workforce Development System, (Champaign, IL: Labor and Employment Relations Association, 2010)

Extensive additional readings from economics and policy journals will be assigned as well. 

Grades will be based on class participation and presentations (30%), a midterm exam (35%), and a term paper (35%).