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ECON 147: The Economics of Labor Markets

This course will cover the economics of labor markets. Topics include: determinants of employment and unemployment; job creation and job destruction. The effects of technological change on the labor market. The effects of a universal basic income. There is a final exam. Prerequisites: ECON 51 (Public Policy majors may take PUBLPOL 51 as a substitute for ECON 51), Econ 52, Econ 102B.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI
Instructors: Sorkin, I. (PI)

ECON 149: The Modern Firm in Theory and Practice

Examines the empirics on the economics, management and strategy of organizations (e.g. firms). Topics include the organization of firms in US and internationally. Management practices around information systems, target setting and human resources. Focus on management practices in manufacturing, but also analyze retail, hospitals and schools, plus some recent field-experiments in developing countries. Prerequisites: ECON 51 (Public Policy majors may take PUBLPOL 51 as a substitute for ECON 51), ECON 102B.
Last offered: Winter 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI

ECON 154: Law and Economics (PUBLPOL 106, PUBLPOL 206)

This course explores the role of law in promoting social well-being (happiness). Law, among its other functions, can serve as a mechanism to harmonize private incentives with cooperative gains, to support an equitable division of those gains, and to deter "cheating" and dystopia. Law is thus essential to civilization. Economic analysis of law focuses on the welfare-enhancing incentive effects of law and its enforcement and on law's role in reducing the risks of cooperation, achieved by fixing expectations of what courts or the state will do in various futures. Specific topics include welfare economics, torts, property, contracts, regulation, process and antitrust. Requires a term paper applying economic analysis to a case, procedure, or law. Prerequisite: ECON 50.
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI
Instructors: Owen, B. (PI)

ECON 155: Environmental Economics and Policy

Economic sources of environmental problems and alternative policies for dealing with them (technology standards, emissions taxes, and marketable pollution permits). Evaluation of policies addressing local air pollution, global climate change, and the use of renewable resources. Connections between population growth, economic output, environmental quality, sustainable development, and human welfare. Prerequisite: ECON 50. May be taken concurrently with consent of the instructor.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SI
Instructors: Goulder, L. (PI)

ECON 157: Imperfect Competition

The interaction between firms and consumers in markets that fall outside the benchmark competitive model. How firms acquire and exploit market power. Game theory and information economics to analyze how firms interact strategically. Topics include monopoly, price discrimination, advertising, oligopoly pricing, product differentiation, collusion and cartel behaviour, and anti competitive behavior. Sources include theoretical models, real-world examples, and empirical papers. Prerequisite: ECON 51 (Public Policy majors may take PUBLPOL 51 as a substitute for ECON 51).
Last offered: Autumn 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI

ECON 158: Regulatory Economics

Economics 158 examines public policies for dealing with problems arising in markets in which competitive forces are weak. The focus is on monopolies, oligopolies, cartels, and other environments where market mechanisms are unlikely to produce outcomes that benefit consumers more than the alternatives involving costly government intervention. The two main areas examined are competition policy and economic regulation. Competition policy refers to laws that define certain market behavior as illegal because it is harmful to competition or fails to provide consumer benefits that justify its costs to consumers. Economic regulation refers to policies in which government controls prices and/or decides the terms and conditions under which firms can participate in a market. A growing area of study and policy design is the introduction of market mechanisms into formerly regulated industries such as: telecommunications, electricity, airlines, railroads, postal delivery services and environmental regulation. Cross-listed with Law 1056. Prerequisites: Econ 51 or equivalent.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI
Instructors: Wolak, F. (PI)

ECON 159: Economic, Legal, and Political Analysis of Climate-Change Policy (EARTHSYS 159, ECON 209, PUBLPOL 159)

This course will advance students understanding of economic, legal, and political approaches to avoiding or managing the problem of global climate change. Theoretical contributions as well as empirical analyses will be considered. It will address economic issues, legal constraints, and political challenges associated with various emissions-reduction and adaptation strategies, and it will consider policy efforts at the local, national, and international levels. Specific topics include: interactions among overlapping climate policies, the strengths and weaknesses of alternative policy instruments, trade-offs among alternative policy objectives, and decision making under uncertainty. Prerequisites: Econ 50 or its equivalent.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI

ECON 160: Game Theory and Economic Applications

Introduction to game theory and its applications to economics. Topics: strategic and extensive form games, dominant strategies, Nash equilibrium, subgame-perfect equilibrium, and Bayesian equilibrium. The theory is applied to repeated games, voting, auctions, and bargaining with examples from economics and political science. Prerequisites: Working knowledge of calculus and basic probability theory.
Last offered: Winter 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-FR, WAY-SI

ECON 162: Games Developing Nations Play (POLISCI 247A, POLISCI 347A)

If, as economists argue, development can make everyone in a society better off, why do leaders fail to pursue policies that promote development? The course uses game theoretic approaches from both economics and political science to address this question. Incentive problems are at the heart of explanations for development failure. Specifically, the course focuses on a series of questions central to the development problem: Why do developing countries have weak and often counterproductive political institutions? Why is violence (civil wars, ethnic conflict, military coups) so prevalent in the developing world, and how does it interact with development? Why do developing economies fail to generate high levels of income and wealth? We study how various kinds of development traps arise, preventing development for most countries. We also explain how some countries have overcome such traps. This approach emphasizes the importance of simultaneous economic and political development as two different facets of the same developmental process. No background in game theory is required.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-AQR, WAY-SI
Instructors: Weingast, B. (PI)

ECON 164: The Law and Economics of the World Trading System

This course focuses on the purpose and design of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The course begins with a discussion of the economics of trade agreements and a brief introduction to the WTO as an institution. The course then considers a series of topics, which may include: the dispute resolution system; the choice between multilateral and regional or bilateral trade agreements; the international regulation of subsidies; the interface between international trade obligations and domestic regulation; safeguard measures; and trade preferences for developing countries in the WTO. Prerequisite: Econ 51.
Last offered: Spring 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI
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