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Spring 2015 - 61355 - PA393L - Advanced Policy Economics

Human Capital

Instructor(s): King, Christopher
Unique Number: 61355
Day & Time: W 9:00 am -12:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.124
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, its applications to contemporary policy issues and problems, as well as human capital critiques and alternative views. The course will be conducted as a seminar relying heavily on weekly student presentations, student-led discussions, and preparation of a major paper on a human capital topic—e.g., financing postsecondary education, employer/worker investments in job training, early childhood development—to be jointly determined. Successful course completion should prepare students to perform human capital analysis, contribute to informed policymaking and pursue further study in related courses. 

Required textbooks will include the following, among others:

Peter Auer, Umit Efendioglu & Janine Leschke, Active Labour Market Policies Around the World: Coping with the Consequences of Globalization (International Labour Office, 2008, 2nd Ed.)

Peter Cappelli, Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It, The Wharton Digital Press, 2012)

Maureen Conway and Robert Giloth, Eds., Connecting People to Work: Workforce Intermediaries and Sector Strategies (American Assembly, 2014)

Harry J. Holzer, Julia I. Lane, David B. Rosenblum & Frederick Andersson, Where Are All the Good Jobs Going? What National and Local Job Quality and Dynamics Mean for U.S. Workers (Russell Sage Foundation, 2011)

Carl Van Horn, Working Scared (or Not at All): The Lost Decade, Great Recession, and Restoring the Shattered American Dream (Roman & Littlefield, 2013)

Zeynep Ton, The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profits (Houghton Mifflin, 2014)

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 research paper (35%).