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Economics
Analytical Insight, Global Leaders

Course Descriptions

ECON Ph.D. COURSE DESCRIPTIONS – September 2013

 


Econ 606: Microeconomics I
Semester 1. Credit 1 to 3, typically 2. Co-requisite:  Econ 615.

Description: An introduction to basic consumer and producer theory, competitive markets (including using the continuum to model competition), basic general equilibrium theory, and basic risk/uncertainty.


Econ 607: Microeconomics II
Semester 1. Credit 1 to 3 typically 2.  Prerequisite:  Econ 606.

Building on Econ 606, more advanced consumer and producer theory using support functions, risk/uncertainty and information, and basic game theory and oligopoly.


Econ 608: Macroeconomic Theory I
Semester 1. Credit 2 or 3, typically 2.

Description: An introduction to general equilibrium macroeconomic models in both deterministic and stochastic settings. Topics to be studied include: static neoclassical models, social planner problems, dynamic programming, growth and capital accumulation, stochastic economies, asset pricing, and overlapping generations models.


Econ 609: Microeconomics III
Semester 2. Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.   Prerequisite: Econ 606

Description: An advanced course in game theory and general equilibrium theory.  Among the topics covered are:  games in strategic form, games in extensive form, games of incomplete information, cooperative games with side payments, mechanism design, consumer choice theory, Perato optimality, the Arrow-Debreu-McKenzie model, and the existence and stability of competitive equilibria.


Econ 610: Game Theory
Semester 1 or 2. Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.    Prerequisite: Econ 606.

Description: An advanced course building on the game theory introduced in ECON 60900. Among the topics covered are: refinements of Nash equilibria, bounded rationality, models of repeated games and the folk theorem, models of learning in games, equilibrium selection with multiple equilibria, models of networks, matching markets and stable matchings.


Econ 611: Macroeconomic Theory II
Semester 2. . Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.    Prerequisite: Econ 608.

Description: An introduction to selected topics in macroeconomics, including theories of business cycles, economic growth, microfoundations of labor markets and some miscellaneous issues. Topics covered include: theories of business cycles (real business cycles, information imperfections, coordination failures), economics of growth (neo-classical model, human capital model, endogenous growth), microfoundations of labor markets (recursive competitive equilibrium models, search and matching models, efficiency wages, implicit contracts, insider-outsider model), miscellaneous issues including monetary economics (cash-in-advance constraint models), the Lucas critique, time inconsistency, and endogenous cycles.


Econ 612: Advanced Macroeconomics
Semester 1 and 2. Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.  
Description: Selected topics in contemporary research in macroeconomic theory. Emphasis on the implications of uncertainty in macroeconomic theory, including such topics as search theory, asset selection under uncertainty, stochastic optimal control, and asymmetric information.


Econ 613: Topics in Economic Theory
Semester 1 and 2. Credit 3. (May be repeated for credit.)

Description: Economic theory workshop. It covers topics from economic theory. Presented by departmental and external speakers.


Econ 614: Economics of Information
Semester 1 and 2. Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.   Prerequisite: Econ 606.

Description:  This course provides an introduction to a variety of issues that fall under the general heading of  the economics of information and uncertainty. Topics include: non-expected utility theory, organizational decision making, herd behavior, principal-agent models (including such issues as multiple agents, multiple tasks, multiple periods, and incomplete contracts),  and adverse selection topics (including such issues as bid-ask spreads, screening, signaling, and mechanism design).  The course considers applications that arise in industrial organization, labor economics, and public economics as well as various areas in management. Course readings are journal articles.


Econ 615: Mathematical Analysis for Economists
Semester 1. Credit 2 or 3, typically 2.   Prerequisite:  Students should be familiar with calculus, linear algebra, basic probability, and have a grasp of microeconomic theory (such as the material covered in Econ 511).

Description: Topics include constrained optimization, comparative statics, and elementary topics in mathematical analysis.


Econ 618: Topics in Macroeconomics
Semester 1 and 2. Credit 3.

Description: Macro/International theory workshop. Topics on macroeconomics and international economics are presented by departmental and external speakers.


Econ 620: Industrial Organization
Semester 1 or 2. Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.  

Description: Description: A survey of the major theoretical models of imperfectly competitive markets employed in industrial organization research. Topics (which vary from offering to offering) may  include: the Cournot and Bertrand models, the theory of contestable markets, capacity constraints, spatial models of product differentiation, vertical product differentiation, and platform markets.


Econ 621: Advanced Topics in Industrial Organization
Semester 1 or 2. Credit 1 to 3. Prerequisite: Econ 620.

Description: Topics vary from offering to offering, and may include models of leadership and strategic behavior, tacit and overt collusion, the determinants of market structure, the determinants of firm structure, mergers, the economics of innovation, information sharing, models of competition policy and regulation.


Econ 622: Public Economics I
Semester 1 and 2.  Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.     Prerequisite:  Econ 607.

Description: An introduction to public economics, with emphasis on the literature concerning taxation. Topics include: social welfare concepts and measurement, project evaluation, externalities and public goods, commodity taxation, poll taxes, income taxation, corporate taxation, optimal income and commodity taxation, taxation under uncertainty, fiscal federalism, social insurance, and fundamental tax reform. Students will prepare a report or presentation on a policy area of interest.


Econ 630: Advanced Monetary Theory
Semester 1 or 2. Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.   Prerequisite: Econ 530.

Description: Covers current literature on decentralized monetary economies. Topics are selected from recent research publications that include: studies related to endogenous determination of pattern of exchange, valuation of assets and currencies, price determination and dispersion, and international finance. The material is selected from current journal articles.


Econ 631: Empirical Industrial Organization
Semester 1 or 2.  Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.   Prerequisite: Econ 620, Econ 671.
 
Description: The purpose of this course is to introduce recent empirical studies based on modern theoretical approaches, i.e., structural modeling.  The material is selected from current journal articles. The course covers topics such as estimation of cost and production functions, structural demand and structural supply estimation, strategic alliances (Research Joint Ventures, Licensing, Mergers), entry and exit, firm and market dynamics, experimental industrial organization.


Econ 634: International Trade
Semester 1 or 2. Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.   Prerequisite: Econ 607.

Description: Econ 634 is the first of the 3-class sequence designed to enable students to conduct state-of-the-art research in international trade. As a field, international trade is the microeconomic aspect of international economics. Econ 634 covers the trade theories based on factor proportions, scale economies and product differentiation, as well as productivities. Econ 634 discusses state-of-the-art research on the home-market effects and how trade affects wages. The class emphasizes the integration of theory and empirics, and the material is selected from current journal articles.


Econ 636: Topics and Research in International Trade
Semester 1 or 2. Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.   Prerequisite: Econ 607.

Description: A course in international trade theory and empirics with emphasis on surveying the recent developments in the field. While specific subject matter may vary from year to year, likely topics include: theory and empirics on intra-industry trade and monopolistic competition, product differentiation models of trade and firm heterogeneity, trade in the presence of multinational firms, empirical evaluation of the positive theories of trade, and the identification and measurement of gains from trade through statistical and numerical analysis. Material is selected from current journal articles.


Econ 640: Economics and Social Policy
Semester 1, 2 or 3. Credit 2 or 3, typically 2.  Prerequisite:  Econ 513, Master’s student standing or higher and Management majors only.

Description: The role of government in the American economy. Policies relating to the environment, energy, transportation, labor markets, the distribution of income, macrostability, and international trade are analyzed.


Econ 650: Labor Economics
Semester 1 or 2. Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.  Prerequisite:  Econ 671 and 672.

Description: Empirical labor economics. The emphasis is on econometric techniques used in applied labor research and other applied microeconomics fields. Topics include: instrumental variables estimation, matching methods, panel data methods, differences-in-differences, regression discontinuity, heterogeneity in response, and correlated errors.  Material is selected from current journal articles on labor demand, labor supply, human capital, immigration, labor policy, and family economics.


Econ 652: The Economics of Labor Markets
Semester 1 or 2. Credit 3. 

Description: Study of labor force concepts and measurements, the macroeconomic behavior of employment and earnings, and the functioning of labor markets. Emphasis is placed on empirical findings and research methods.


Econ 660: Mathematical Economics I
Semester 1 or 2. Credit 2 or 3, typically 2.  Prerequisite: Econ 609.

Description: A rigorous presentation of the basic mathematical material and tools used in theoretical economics with applications. Mathematical topics covered include: infinite series, continuity of vector-valued functions, semi-continuous functions, linear spaces (finite- and infinite-dimensional), convex analysis and optimization theory. Application topics include: efficiency in growth models, duality of production and cost functions, and optimality analysis of the competitive mechanism.


Econ 661: Mathematical Economics II
Semester 1 or 2. Credit 2 or 3, typically 2.  Prerequisite: Econ 660.

Description: A continuation of ECON 660. Mathematical topics include: measure and integration, basic topology, correspondences, Hilbert, Banach, and topological vector spaces, selection and fixed point theorems. Application topics include: existence of competitive equilibrium, the core of an economy, informational efficiency and decentralization in economic systems, incentive compatible mechanisms, models with infinite-dimensional commodity spaces, and game theory.


Econ 668: Topics in Applied Economics
Semester 1 and 2. Credit 3.

Description: Applied micro workshop. Topics on applied microeconomics and microeconometrics are presented by departmental and external speakers.


Econ 670: Probability and Statistics
Semester 1. Credit 2 or 3, typically 2. Prerequisite: Econ 615.

Description: An introduction to probability theory and the basic statistical estimation methods. Topics include: axiomatic development of probability theory, counting methods, conditional probability and Bayes' theorem, random variables and distributions, expectation, variance, covariance and correlation, special distributions, statistical inference, maximum likelihood estimators, unbiased estimation, and testing hypotheses.


Econ 671: Econometrics I
Semester 2. Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.   Prerequisite: Econ 670.

Description: Description: An introduction to linear models in econometrics and their applications. Topics include: the classical linear regression model (specification, estimation, inference, and prediction), specification analysis, functional form, heteroscedasticity, violations of mean-independence and instrumental variables.


Econ 672: Econometrics II
Semester 1.   Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.   Prerequisite: Econ 671.

Description: This is a continuation of ECON 671. Topics include: generalized method of moments, estimation and inference with weak instruments, panel data models and bootstrap methods.


Econ 673: Time Series Econometrics
Semester 1 or 2. Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.   Prerequisite: Econ 672.

Description: Topics include: ARMA processes, forecasting, covariance-stationary vector processes, vector autoregressions, non-stationary time series, cointegration, and time series models of heteroskedasticity.


Econ 674: Microeconometrics
Semester 1 or 2.  Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.    Prerequisite: Econ 670, 671.

Description: This advanced course covers the econometrics and statistical methods needed to analyze cross-sectional  data on individual agents in general qualitative response models and models of limited dependent variables. Special emphasis is placed on applying maximum likelihood estimation and related techniques to actual and/or simulated datasets. Topics include: MLE theory, hypothesis testing, univariate binary models, Tobit (censored) models and, briefly, the EM algorithm.


Econ 676: Economics of Uncertainty and Information I
Semester 1 or 2. Credit 2 to 4. Prerequisite: Econ 607.

Description: This course covers topics in decision theory and the economics of information. Topics include: insurance, non-expected utility theory, capital asset pricing models, stochastic calculus and options pricing models, organizational decision making, herd behavior, search theory and price dispersion models, principal-agent models (including such issues as moral hazard and adverse selection), multiple agents (team production, tournaments, peer pressure, collusion), multiple tasks, multiple periods (reputation, limited commitment, renegotiation), incomplete contracts, and adverse selection topics (including such issues as bid-ask spreads, screening, signaling, and mechanism design). Applications of these models arise in industrial organization, labor economics, and public economics as well as various areas in management. Course readings are primarily from journal articles.


Econ 677: Economics of Uncertainty and Information II
Semester 1 or 2.  Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.   Prerequisite: Econ 676

Description: Continuation of Econ 676.


Econ 685: Experimental Economics I
Semester 1 or 2. Credit 1 to 3, typically 2.   Prerequisite: Econ 607 and 610.

Description: An overview of seminal and recent developments in experimental economic research. Provides practical training in designing and conducting experiments and the analysis of experimental data. Content varies from year to year. Applications include: industrial organization, game theory, behavioral economics, finance, labor, public, information economics, and monetary economics.  Course readings are primarily from journal articles.


Econ 686: Experimental Economics II
Semester 1 or 2. Credit 2 or 3, typically 2. Prerequisite: Econ 607 and 610.


This is a research course intended for graduate students in economics, managerial and organizational behavior, and other related social fields. Ideally, the course is to be taken after ECON 685, but it can be taken either before or after, or as a single course in Experimental Economics. The course covers topics different from those covered in E685. In particular, E686 focus on four main topics:  1) Pro-Social (and/or moral) Behavior; 2) Behavioral Economics of Incentives; 3) Gender differences; 4) Neuroeconomics