Spring 2020 - 58625 - PA 393K - Applied Microeconomics for Policy Analysis

Applied Microeconomics for Policy Analysis

This is an introductory microeconomics course with an emphasis on public policy applications, both international and domestic. Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources. The course will illustrate how private markets work to do this efficiently, from the perspective of both consumers and firms. We will then spend the second half of the course learning about “market failures,” the conditions under which freely functioning markets generally do not allocate goods and services efficiently. Much of public policy analysis focuses on situations of market failure, since these are common justifications for government intervention. While the course will strongly emphasize mastery of the basic “building blocks” of microeconomics, particularly at the beginning, we’ll talk as often as we can about specific public policy applications and examples. Our goal is for you to become a fluent consumer of economic information and analysis, and for you to develop the skills to contribute confidently to basic microeconomic policy discussions in your careers.