Section 1 (Djerdjian) - Austrian Economics
This seminar investigates an alternative approach to economics, the Austrian School of Economics, which emphasizes methodological individualism and subjectivism. The Austrian School traces its roots back to the works of the Spanish Scholastics of the sixteenth century and stress the importance of the individual, private property, limited government and the organizing power of the free-market. Students will read from authors such as Menger, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard and Hoppe and evaluate various properties of a state-planned economy versus a decentralized free market economy. Prerequisites: Economics 272 (may be taken concurrently) and Economics 250. May not be taken by any student who has taken or is planning on taking Economics 309.
Section 2 (Wandschneider) - Open Economy Macroeconomics
In this section of Economics 495 we will build a theoretical framework and read empirical studies that allow us to understand many interesting questions in international macroeconomics: What is the role of monetary and fiscal policy in open economies? What are the tradeoffs between fixed and flexible exchange rates? How and why did the European Union evolve? How does the international financial system work? How do financial crises emerge and what can we do about them? Should we be concerned about balance of payment imbalances? A variety of class formats will be used, including mini-lectures, classroom discussions, and student presentations. Students write several short papers, participate in the analysis of Harvard Business School Cases and make an individual final presentation based on their final paper. Prerequisites: Economics 272 (may be taken concurrently) and Economics 251.
Section 3 (Mora) - Firm-level International Trade and Investment
This seminar studies firm behavior in the international economy and how it is influenced by government regulations and international trade agreements. Topics discussed include the decision to export, foreign direct investment, outsourcing/offshoring, GATT/WTO and various trade agreements. We use modern trade theory to analyze firm decision-making and also learn how firms engage in international commerce from empirical studies and business case studies. Prerequisites: Economics 272 (may be taken concurrently) and Economics 250. May not be taken by any student who has taken or is planning on taking Economics 352.
Section 4 (Ngo) - Health Economics
This seminar provides an overview of health economics, covering the demographic and socio-economic determinants of health and the design and implementation of health care systems in both domestic and global contexts. Students will apply economic theory to model demand for health and health care, cost-effective intervention choices, the value of a statistical life, and optimal health insurance. Using this grounding, students will read state-of-the-art empirical research on recent policies such as the Oregon Medicaid Experiments, the Affordable Care Act, and pay-for-performance programs in developing countries. Prerequisites: Economics 272 (may be taken concurrently) and Economics 250.
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