Fall 2016 - 60875 - PA393K - Applied Microeconomics for Policy Analysis

This is a core course on the use of microeconomics concepts in policy analysis. It is NOT a course on economic policy. While the neoclassical framework will be the main organizing theme of the course, we will also give attention to the intellectual origin of economic thinking, Old and New Institutionalism as well as modern Behavioral Economics, and most importantly, the application of all these perspectives to issues of market failure and distributional equity. 

Students successfully completing this course will have acquired the basic language of microeconomics, an exposure to the logic of economic thinking, skills to apply the language and logic to policy issues, as well as an appreciation of the limitation of this logic. This course is a general prerequisite to PA 393L, Advanced Policy Economics. 

This section is taught with the use of mathematical language. Proficiency in the ability to think in differential calculus is required. While a previous undergraduate course on microeconomics is helpful, this course is designed with no assumption on prior economics background.


Final grade is based on projects, plus class participation and team coordination, according to weights listed below. Project 4 is graded on a team basis. All other projects are graded on an individual basis. 

Project 0: Pre-semester Background Exercise 0% 

Project 1: Analytic Problem-Solving (Consumer) 10% 

Project 2: Analytic Problem-Solving (Producer) 10% 

Project 3: Friday Learning Experience 20% 

Project 4: Economics Background Paper 15% 

Project 5: Teaching Session 15% 

Project 6: Reaction Paper 15% 

Class Participation, Contribution, and Progress 15%