Why are health care goods and services, such as pharmaceutical drugs, so expensive in the U.S. compared to other countries? Why is the health sector share of the economy rising in all nations? And is this a good thing? What are the consequences of the U.S. health insurance market being so fragmented, and is it a problem that not all people have access to health insurance? The course addresses questions such as these using standard microeconomic theory, as well as extensions to complications that are much more important in health care markets than in many other markets: informational asymmetries, uncertainty, consumer purchase of health goods and services through insurance rather than direct payment, health externalities, and monopoly due to patents.
The human population on Earth is predicted to grow to 9 billion people by 2040, while at the same time, unprecedented numbers of people will be pulled out of poverty by the forces of globalization. This great rise in wealth is fueled by, and largely dependent upon, energy resources. At the same time, consumption of energy — the dominant driver of climate change — threatens to undo the benefits of this economic growth. In this class you will become an expert on energy markets — how they function and how they fail. The focus will be on the United States, with much of the reading drawing upon the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist and other news sources. You will tackle some of the most important questions facing our generation, both domestically and abroad. How many resources should be spent on shifting away from dirty fossil fuels, toward cleaner energy sources? How do we get energy to the people who value it the most? Finally, what are the optimal policies for navigating the tradeoffs between cheap and abundant fossil fuel and more expensive renewable energy sources, and how do these policies compare to those being implemented today?
Regulation is the primary means by which governments influence the business environment. This course presents an introduction to the study of strategy and competition with a particular focus on government policies related to industrial competitiveness. Through a combination of lecture and case discussions, the course gives students a framework for understanding strategic firm behavior as well as how regulation can change the incentives faced by a firm. Students will learn how well-designed regulation can improve economic outcomes while poorly designed regulation can create rather than solve problems.
Since 1990, the number of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than half and the proportion of undernourished people in developing regions has fallen by almost half. Sustained high levels of economic growth have saved lives and given more people in the world an opportunity to thrive.
This course deals with how uncertainty affects the actions and decisions of economic agents and how markets are impacted by the presence of uncertainty. Insurance markets are a typical example of institutions that have arisen to help economic agents deal with uncertainty. There are different forms of uncertainty.
Econometrics is the statistical analysis of economics data. This analysis provides a summary of economic variables, or the relationships between economic variables, that is guided by economic theory while controlling for sampling and model uncertainty. The regression methods emphasized in this course are used extensively in the social and natural sciences and are the basis for the methods used in the emerging fields of data analytics and big data.
Game theory deals with interactive decision making, that is, with situations where two or more individuals (called players) jointly determine the outcome of the interaction and are aware that their decisions affect each other.
Over the last 70 years, East Asia has become a key center for trade, an important engine of global economic growth, and a crucial part of the international financial system.
Banks play a central role in the functioning of the financial system and conduct of monetary policy. Especially critical is the role of informational differences in financial transactions and how banks work to mitigate the challenges these asymmetries present.
Accurate valuation of physical and financial capital is a key task for finance professionals. Economic theory presents a theoretical grounding for many of the concepts used to value financial securities and other assets.
The goal of this course is study international macroeconomic issues such as the trade balance, the exchange rate, national output, and inflation.
An introduction to human capital theory and economics of education, the basic theory of wage differentials, including theories of labor market discrimination, and income distribution.