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​​​​​Courses


Economics 382 - Intermediate Price Theory II (Micro)​


Helpful Texts:        
Walter Nicholson & Christopher Snyder, Microeconomic Theory, 10th Ed.; Robert H. Frank,Microeconomics and Behavior, 6th Ed.

Prerequisites:
Econ 380

Course Description and Objectives:
Microeconomic theory is the heart and soul of modern economics.  A thorough understanding of the most commonly used theoretical models in microeconomics is essential for a professional economist.  Econ 380 taught the basic principles of consumer and producer theory using both graphical and calculus based methods.  The framework was one of perfect competition and no uncertainty.  In this course (Econ 382), this neoclassical framework provides a benchmark from which the topics of general equilibrium and welfare, externalities and public goods, political economics and government, behavioral economics, imperfect competition, uncertainty and risk aversion, and information economics can be contrasted.  Ideally, a student that completes this course will be able to apply the theoretical models from these topics to the functioning of a wide variety of markets, individuals and organizations in the world around them.  Both the theory and the application of the theory will be highlighted in this course.

Grading Weights:
Idea Notebook / Seminars…………….10%
Problem Sets……………….................30%
Midterm Exam ………………………...20% or 30%
Cumulative Final Exam…………….30% or 40%

Idea Notebook:
Successful students (and professors) in economics approach schooling and the happenings in the world around them with an inquisitive mind.  They are constantly asking why do certain economic phenomena occur, how do these relate to economic theory, and what are the causal relationships between economic inputs and economic outcomes.  To foster this exploration in economic and empirical thought, each student will be given an idea notebook.  This notebook is to be used by the student throughout the semester to catalog research ideas related to the class and economics in general.  Each student should be prepared to be called on at the beginning of class to present one of their ideas.  Furthermore, each student should provide a short write-up about one of their ideas at the end of most problem sets.  Attendance at two department or college seminars is also required for full credit.  The idea notebook will be used to take notes at the seminar.

Problem sets:
There will be 11 problem sets that I will hand out throughout the semester.  However, the problem set with the lowest score will be dropped so that only 10 of the problem sets will count towards your grade.  Students are encouraged to try to do the problems first on their own, and then to work in small groups to help one another better understand how to solve the problems.  Referring to answers from previous students' homework is not acceptable.  Not only will this be considered an honor code violation for this course, it typically hinders a student's progress and performance on exams.  Typically one week will be given to complete each problem set.  Problem sets are due at the beginning of class and late problem sets will not be accepted.

Exams:
The midterm exam will be given in the testing center approximately midway through the semester.  The cumulative final exam will take place in the testing center at the end of the semester at the university assigned time and location.  Previous exams will be posted on my website.

Grading Procedure:
Grades will be calculated as follows:  (1) Scores from the idea notebook / seminars, problem sets, midterm exam and cumulative final exam will be totaled and weighted according to the "grading weights" described above.  (2) A distribution of grades will be determined by the professor and grades will be assigned based on natural breaks in the distribution.



Economics 440 Natural Resources and Environmental Economics
 

Helpful Texts:
Nathaniel O. Keohane & Sheila M. Olmstead, Markets and the Environment; Charles D. Kolstad, Environmental Economics, 1st or 2nd Ed.

Prerequisites:
Econ 380, Econ 388

Course Description and Objectives:
This course is an advanced treatment of environmental economics for advanced undergraduate students.  The course focuses on the impact that the environment has on the economy and the ways economics can be used to resolve problems of environmental management.  The course has two primary sections.  The first section tries to resolve the following question:  What is the efficient balance between environmental protections and use of environmental resources?  The second section tries to resolve the additional question:  How do we induce economic agents to use the environment in an efficient way?  The course uses intermediate economic theory to frame these questions, and also uses examples and applications to see how these questions are resolved in practice.  Ideally, students that complete this course will be able to use economic theory and the policy applications studied in class to understand potential solutions to environmental problems in the world around them.  Students will also know which type of non-market valuation techniques can be used to estimate the value of environmental improvements.

Grading Weights:
Idea Notebook / Seminars …………..10%
Extended Problem Set.………………...20%
Midterm Exam..………………………......35%
Final Research Paper………………....…35%

Idea Notebook / Seminars:
Successful students (and professors) in economics approach schooling and the happenings in the world around them with an inquisitive mind.  They are constantly asking why do certain economic phenomena occur, how do these relate to economic theory, and what are the causal relationships between economic inputs and economic outcomes.  To foster this exploration in economic and empirical thought, each student will be given an idea notebook.  This notebook is to be used by the student throughout the semester to catalog research ideas related to the class and economics in general.  Each student should be prepared to be called on at the beginning of class to present one of their ideas.  Furthermore, each student should provide a short write-up about one of their ideas at the end of each problem set.  Attendance at two department or college seminars is also required for full credit.  The idea notebook will be used to take notes at the seminar.

Extended Problem Set:
The problem set will be handed out throughout the semester.  It will consist of traditional analytical work, short written assignments and empirical problems.  When a new part of the extended problem set is handed out, I will also announce the due date for that section of the problem set.  Typically one week will be given to complete each section of the extended problem set.

Midterm Exam:
The midterm exam will be given in the testing center approximately midway through the semester.

Final Research Paper:
For the final research paper you will be expected to implement the hedonic non-market valuation technique that will be discussed in this course.  The professor will provide housing data for this project.  More information on the format and length of the final research paper will be given in class.

Grading Procedure:
Grades will be calculated as follows:  (1) Scores for the idea notebook / seminars, extended problem set, midterm exam and final research paper will be totaled and weighted according to the "grading weights" described above.  (2) A distribution of grades will be determined by the professor and grades will be assigned based on natural breaks in the distribution.​

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     Jaren C. Pope​