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ECON 1: Principles of Economics

This is an introductory course in economics. We will cover both microeconomics (investigating decisions by individuals and firms) and macroeconomics (examining the economy as a whole). The primary goal is to develop and then build on your understanding of the analytical tools and approaches used by economists. This will help you to interpret economic news and economic data at a much deeper level while also forming your own opinions on economic issues. The course will also provide a strong foundation for those of you who want to continue on with intermediate microeconomics and/or intermediate macroeconomics and possibly beyond. In Spring 2017-2018 Econ 1 will use all class time for team-based learning instead of lectures; class attendance will be mandatory, and enrollment will be limited to 120 students.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ECON 11N: Understanding the Welfare System

Welfare-reform legislation passed by the federal government in the mid-1990s heralded a dramatic step in the movement that has been termed the devolution revolution, which is again being discussed in the context of healthcare reform. The centerpiece of devolution is the transfer of more responsibilities for antipoverty programs to the states. We will explore the effects of these reforms and the role that devolution plays in the ongoing debates over the designs of programs that make up America's social safety net. In addition to discussing conventional welfare programs (e.g., Medicaid, food stamps, TANF, SSI) and other governmental policies assisting low-income families (EITC, minimum wages), we will examine the trends in governmental spending on anti-poverty programs and how our nation defines poverty and eligibility for income support. We will apply economics principles throughout to understand the effectiveness of America's antipoverty programs and their consequences on the behavior and circumstances of families. Prerequisites: A basic understanding/knowledge of introductory economics is recommended.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; MaCurdy, T. (PI)

ECON 143: Finance and Society for non-MBAs (IPS 227, MS&E 147, POLISCI 127A, PUBLPOL 143)

The financial system is meant to help people, businesses, and governments fund, invest, and manage risks, but it is rife with conflicts of interests and may allow people with more information and control to harm those with less of both. In this interdisciplinary course we explore the forces that shape the financial system and how individuals and society can benefit most from this system without being unnecessarily harmed and endangered. Topics include the basic principles of investment, the role and ¿dark side¿ of debt, corporations and their governance, banks and other financial institutions, why effective financial regulations are essential yet often fail, and political and ethical issues in finance. The approach will be rigorous and analytical but not overly technical mathematically. Prerequisite: Econ 1
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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