Spring 2006 Course Description

Advanced Policy Economics

Section Title: Trade and Technology Policy in Global High Tech Industries
Instructor(s): Kenneth Flamm
Course: P A 393L - Advanced Policy Economics
(previously Political Economy II)
Unique Number: 62660
Day & Time: Tuesdays, 6:15 PM - 9:15 PM
Room: SRH 3.102
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: This applied seminar will examine theories of trade, technology, and industrial policy, and the use and impact of these policies in the real world of high technology industries. Selected economic tools will be used to analyze both the historical antecedents and current state of policy debates over the use of trade and industrial policy by both industrialized and industrializing economies. Students will be asked to apply these frameworks to current policy controversies, and will gain experience in examining a policy issue analytically, defining the issues, formulating a policy recommendation, and defending that analysis and recommendation in both oral and written settings.

Lectures covering basic analytical frameworks or tools used to analyze real world policy problems relevant to high technology industries will be interspersed with detailed case studies in which spreadsheet (Excel) software will be used to analyze and model real world policy issues in real life high technology industries.

The overall goal of the class is to impart a useful working knowledge of policy modeling frameworks and policy issues, and the manner in which simple models are deployed in the real world to win (or lose) intellectual, policy, and legal debates. Every student will leave this class equipped with a basic toolkit of ideas and methods that can be used to analyze real policy issues.

Every student will be asked to make three formal presentations to the class. The first and second exercises will be oral presentations of student analyses and solutions to a detailed policy modeling problem based on the particulars of a real high tech industry. The third presentation will be of a student-chosen technology/intellectual property policy issue in some particular high tech industry and country. The latter topic will also be subject of either a term paper or a web site to be created by the students. The oral presentations will each count for 20% of the final grade, and the paper or project web site for the remaining 40%. Grades will be based on student peer evaluations (50%) and faculty evaluation (50%).

In addition to the required texts, a significant amount of additional reading will be placed on reserve.

Prerequisites: An intermediate microeconomics course.

Return to Spring 2006 Course Schedule