Fall 2007 Course Description

Applied Microeconomics for Policy Analysis

Instructor(s): Kenneth Flamm
Course: P A 393K - Applied Microeconomics for Policy Analysis
(previously Political Economy I)
Unique Number: 65745
Day & Time: Tuesdays, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.109
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

Description: The objective of this class is to familiarize the student with basic concepts and tools of microeconomic analysis used to frame public policy debate. At a minimum, the student will have an understanding of the basic economic arguments encountered in policy debates and how to apply economic tools to simple policy analysis. The approach followed in this class will be to present a rapid, spare and concise description of the theory, then show how it can be applied to practical policy issues. Themes to be given particular attention will include the impact of government policy and regulation on corporate behavior, industrial organization, the operation of imperfectly competitive markets, and the global system of international trade and investment.

Approximately the first 2/3 of this class will be an exposition of basic microeconomic concepts. The remaining 1/3 of the class will be organized around student presentations designed to explore how these concepts can be applied to real world policy problems. These policy problems will be oriented toward international trade and technology issues.
The course will consist mainly of lectures and discussion, supplemented by problems, and student presentations. In addition to the required text, additional materials will be placed on reserve. To the maximum extent possible, all materials will be distributed and graded electronically, via the Blackboard system. See http://courses.utexas.edu for further information.

This class is a prerequisite for Advanced Policy Economics (PA 393L).

Problems, Presentations, and Study Groups
Doing assigned problems in the texts is mandatory, and essential to grasp the material we will cover. In-class presentations on two applied microeconomic policy problems will also be a part of the class requirements. It is suggested (but not required) that you form (or join) a study group to produce the presentations. All study group members will participate in a single in-class presentation, and receive a single grade for that presentation. Study groups can be as large as 3 students, or as small as a single student. Membership in a study group is allowed to change over the semester, and is entirely at the discretion of study group members.

Tests & Grades
There will be two in-class mid-term exams covering the first and second third of the class, and a final exam covering the entire class. Grades will be a weighted average of problems, presentations, mid-terms, and final. The weights are:
Problems?20%, presentations?30%, midterms?20%, final?30%.

Policy on Scholastic Dishonesty
Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from the University. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of the University, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. For further information, please visit the Student Judicial Services web site at: www.utexas.edu/depts/dos/sjs/ .

Required text: Cabral, Introduction to Industrial Organization (MIT Press). Additional topical readings will be placed on reserve, including selections from Pindyck and Rubinfeld (P&R), Microeconomics; Wessels, Microeconomics the Easy Way; Kreps, Microeconomics for Managers (K).

Return to Fall 2007 Course Schedule