Comparing Course Workload – Economic Analysis

Week-by-week comparison of course content for the introductory economic analysis course at Harvard, Michigan, NYU, and Wisconsin

There is little publicly available information on course and/or program workload in MPP and MPA programs. Very few programs provide information on their public websites about the expectations for hours of study. This is likely due at least in part to the imperfect relationship between hours of instruction or hours of study and demonstrable learning. Teaching and learning are complex phenomena that include many factors that cannot be captured in contact hours and study times, including quality of instruction, nature of students, interaction among courses, and co-curricular activities. The comparisons on this page should therefore be treated as suggestive rather than definitive.

The table below compares the first-year, one-semester courses in microeconomics for the Harvard MPP, the Michigan MPP, the NYU MPA, the Wisconsin MPA, and the Toronto MPP.

Harvard HKS
Michigan Ford
NYU Wagner
Wisconsin La Follette
API101 Markets and Market Failure
PubPol555
Microeconomics A
GP1018 Microeconomics
PA880 Microeconomic Policy Analysis
Text Book
(Fall 2014)

Text: Microeconomics, Eighth Edition, by Robert S. Pindyck and Daniel L. Rubinfeld (Prentice-Hall, 2012) However, students are encouraged to use external texts/materials of their choosing to meet their own needs.

(Fall 2014)

Text: Microeconomics, Eighth Edition, by Robert S. Pindyck and Daniel L. Rubinfeld (Prentice-Hall, 2012)

(Fall 2015)

Text: P. Krugman and R. Wells, Microeconomics, 3rd edition.

 

Supplement: Elizabeth S. Kelly, Study Guide to Microeconomics, 3rd edition

 

COURSE PACKET: (Krugman and Wells, Macroeconomics, 3rd edition, Ch 6, 7 and parts of Ch 8, 11, 13) ; (Mankiw, Principles of Microeconomics, 6th edition, Ch 10 and 21.); (Pindyck and Rubinfeld, Microeconomics, 7th edition, Ch 17)

(Fall 2014)

Text: Jeffrey M. Perloff, Microeconomics, 7th Edition, Pearson/Addison-Wesley, 2014

Hours/ week of class:
Lecture: Mon & Wed 1:10 to 2:30

Total: (160 minutes x 12)

Lecture: Tue/Thur @ 10 AM ~ 11:30 AM = 180 minutes

Section: Friday @ 1PM ~ 2:30PM = 90 minutes

Total: (270 minutes x 14)

Lecture: 9:30 to 12:15 Total: (165 minutes x 14) Lecture: Mon/Wed @ 11AM ~ 12:15 = 150 minutes

Discussion: Wed @ 4~4:50PM = 50 minutes

Total: (200 minutes x 15)

Eval- uation
Problem sets (10%) + midterm (40%) + Final Exam (50%) Participation and i-Clickers (10%) + Problem sets (22.5%) + First exam (22.5%) + Second exam (22.5%) + Third exam (22.5%) 11 Written Assignments (10%) + Midterm (40%) + Final Exam (50%) 2 Mid-term Exams (25% each) + Final Exam (40%) + Homework & Participation (10%)
Week 1: Topic: Intro + Taxes + Min Wage & Rent Control Work Load: [Read 2 Chapters of Text] Topic: Introduction to microeconomics (why does microeconomics matter for policy) + Supply and Demand Basics Part 1 (Supply and demand curves, equilibrium, changes in equilibrium, elasticities)

Work Load: [Read 2 Chapters of Text]

Topic: Introduction to microeconomics and why it matters for public service

Work Load: [Read 2.5 Chapters of Text] + [Study Guide Problems] + [Assignment 1 Assigned]

Topic: Introduction to the Course: The Economic Problem: Production Possibilities, Concept of Tradeoffs

Work Load: [Reading 2 articles] + [1 Kahn Academy Videos]

Week 2: Topic: Indifference Curves, The law of Demand: Income & Substitution Effects, Market Demand

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 1 Due]

Topic: Supply and Demand Basics Part 2 (Introduce consumer and producer surplus, impact of market shifts, price controls) + Consumer Behaviour Part 1 (Preferences, budget constraints, MRS, choice, revealed preference, marginal utility) Work Load: [Read 2 Chapters of Text] + [Problem Set 1 Assigned] Topic: Demand & Supply Basics Work Load: [Read 1 Chapte of Text r] + [Study Guide Problems] + [Assignment 1 Due] + [Assignment 2 Assigned] Topic: Marginal Analysis, Supply, Demand, and Market Equilibrium + Shifts in Supply and Demand; Government Market Interventions (Quotas, Price Floors and Ceilings)

Work Load: [Read 5 articles] + [Read 2.5 Chapters of text] + [4 Kahn Academy Videos] + [2 Weekly Assignment readings & Assignment]

Week 3: Topic: Policy applications: Vouchers versus subsidies + Taxes, lump sum transfers, kinked budget lines.

Work Load: [Problem Set 2 Due]

Topic: Consumer Behaviour Part 2 (Cont’d) + Individual & Market Demand Part 1 (Individual demand, income and substitution effects, market demand, consumer surplus)

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 1 Due] + [Problem Set 2 Assigned]

Topic: Elasticity, Producer & Consumer Surplus & Price Intervention

Work Load: [Read 2.5 Chapters of Text] + [Video]+ [Study Guide Problems] + [Assignment 2 Due] + [Assignment 3 Assigned]

Topic: the Shapes of the S and D curves; Elasticity; why it matters

+ Concepts of Economic Surplus, Price Floor and Ceilings; Rent Control and Minimum Wages Work Load: [Read 4 articles] + [Read 1 Chapter of text] + [1 Kahn Academy Video] + [4 Weekly Assignment readings & Assignment]

Week 4: Topic: Production theory & Profit maximization and competitive supply

Work Load: [Read 2.5 Chapters of Text]+ [Problem Set 3 Due]

Topic: Consumer Behaviour Part 2 (Possible applications: labor supply, welfare, Food Stamps, retirement savings) + Part 3 (More applications)

Work Load: [Problem Set 2 Due] + [Exam 1 Covering Chap 1~4 Next week]

Topic: Policy interventions that affect price and efficiency: taxes and price controls

Work Load: [Read 1.5 Chapters of Text] + [Video]+ [Study Guide Problems] + [Assignment 3 Due] + [Assignment 4 Assigned]

Topic: The Market and Welfare Effects of Sales/Unit Taxes and Subsidies; Some Applications of Consumer Theory: In-kind Transfers, School Vouchers, Excise Subsidies etc. + Externalities and Public goods

Work Load: [Read 7.5 articles] + [Read 1.5 Chapters of Text] + [2 Kahn Academy Videos] + [2 Weekly Assignment readings & Assignment]

Week 5: Topic: Perfect Competition & Efficiency + Trade

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 4 Due]

Topic: First In-Class Exam + Risk and Uncertainty in Consumer Behaviour Part 1 (Describing risk, preferences towards risk, reducing risk)

Work Load: [Exam] + [Read 1 Chapter of Text]

Topic: Production: framing decisions, costs, profits, competitive markets and supply

Work Load: [Read 2 Chapters of Text] + [Assignment 4 Due] + [Assignment 5 Assigned]

Topic: Cost-Benefit Analysis, Discounting, and Present Value; + Cost-Benefit Analysis and Policy Issues

Work Load: [Exam Prep for next week] + [Read 5 articles] + [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [1 Weekly Assignment reading & Assignment]

Week 6: Topic: Price supports; production quotas & Taxes, subsidies, price controls revisited

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 5 Due]

Topic: Risk and Uncertainty in Consumer Behaviour Part 2 (Cont’d) + Production (Technology of production, production with one and two inputs, APL, MPL, returns to scale)

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 3 Assigned]

Topic: Production (continued); International trade and tariffs

Work Load: [Read 0.5 Chapter of Text] + [Assignment 5 Due] [Study Guide Problems] + [Prepare for Exam Next week]

Topic: Mid-term Exam + From Inputs to Outputs to Costs to Supply: the Short-run Supply Curve of a Firm

Work Load: [Exam] + [Read 2 articles] + [Read 1.5 Chapters of Text] + [1 Kahn Academy Video]

Week 7: Topic: Introduction to market failure. Monopoly & Price discrimination and monopoly regulation

Work Load: [Read 2 Chapters of Text] + [Problem Set 6 Due]

Topic: Cost of production (Defining and measuring costs, short‐run costs, long‐run costs, cost curves)

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 3 Due]

Topic: MIDTERM EXAM

Work Load: [Exam]

Topic: Perfect Competition in the Short- and Long-run; the Process of ‘General Equilibration’ + Monopoly

Work Load: [Read 3 articles] + [Read 2.5 Chapters of Text] + [2 Kahn Academy Videos] + [1 Weekly Assignment reading & Assignment]

Week 8: Topic: Oligopoly; Cournot model. & Prisoner’s dilemma; basics of game theory

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text]

 

Topic: Competitive supply & profit maximization Part 1 (Describing competitive markets, profit maximization (MR=MC=P), output in short‐run, short‐run supply, producer surplus, output in long‐run, industry long‐run supply)

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 4]

Topic: Consumer choice and decision-making

Work Load: [Read 2.5 Chapters of Text] + [Study Guide Problems] + [Assignment 6 Assigned]

Topic: Natural Monopoly and Price Regulations. Price Discrimination, Oligopoly + Game Theory/Strategy

Work Load: [Read 1 article] + [Read 2.5 Chapters of Text] + [2 Kahn Academy Videos] + [4 Weekly Assignment reading & Assignment]

Week 9: Topic: Asymmetric information: lemons and signaling. & Additional Topics in imperfect condition

Work Load: [Read 0.5 Chapter of Text]

Topic: Analysis of competitive markets Part 1 (Consumer and producer surplus, DWL, efficiency and limitations of competitive market)

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Exam 2 Covering Chapter 5~9 next week]

Topic: Labor Markets

Work Load: [Read 2 Chapters of Text] + [Study Guide Problems] + [Assignment 6 Due] + [Assignment 7 Assigned]

Topic: Cartels, More Oligopoly + Risk and Expected Value

Work Load: [Read 4 articles] + [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Case Study Reading]

Week 10: Topic: Externalities. & Applications of externalities; pollution control Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 7 Due] Topic: Analysis of competitive markets Part 2 (minimum prices, price supports and production quotas, quotas and tariffs, taxes and subsidies) + Exam 2 Work Load: [Exam] + [Problem Set 4 Due] Topic: Imperfect competition Work Load: [Read 2 Chapters of Text] + [Study Guide Problems] + [Assignment 7 Due] + [Assignment 8 Assigned] Topic: Adverse Selection, Moral Hazard, Lemons + Review, Finish Asymmetric Information

Work Load: [Exam Prep for next week] + [Read 6 articles] + [Read 1.5 Chapters of Text] + [1 MIT YouTube Video]

Week 11: Topic: The labor-leisure model. & Labor-leisure applications Work Load: [Problem Set 8 Due] Topic: Market Power (Monopoly, monopoly power and sources, social costs of monopoly, monopsony, limiting market power) Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 5 Assigned] Topic: Asymmetric information and incentives Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Study Guide Problems] + [Assignment 8 Due] + [Assignment 9 Assigned] Topic: Mid-Term Exam #2 + Haveman Guest Lecture on Policies toward Environmental Pollution: Emissions Charges and Tradable Permits

Work Load: [Exam] + [Read 4 articles] + [Read 0.5 Chapters of Text]

Week 12: Topic: Review Class

Work Load: [Final Exam Prep]

Topic: Pricing with Market Power (Capturing consumer surplus, price discrimination, intertemporal price discrimination, peak‐load pricing, two-part tariffs) Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] Topic: Externalities Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Study Guide Problems] + [Video] + [Assignment 9 Due] + [Assignment 10 Assigned] Topic: International Trade in the Partial Equilibrium Framework: Gains from Trade, Welfare Effects of Tariffs, Quotas, and Import Controls, Two country welfare analysis + Guest Lecture on Economics of Higher Education

Work Load: [Read 7 articles] + [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [1 Kahn Academy Video]

Week 13:   Topic: Monopolistic Competition & Oligopoly (Monopolistic competition, oligopoly, price competition, prisoners’ dilemma, cartels)

Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 5 Due]

Topic: Public goods; Introduction to macroeconomics Work Load: [Read 2.5 Chapters of Text] + [Study Guide Problems] + [Assignment 10 Due] + [Assignment 11 Assigned] Topic: Guest Lecture on Economics of Higher Education—Payback Website + Canceled Class

Work Load:

Week 14:   Topic: Game Theory (Gaming and strategic decisions, dominant strategies, Nash equilibrium, repeated games, sequential games) Work Load: [Read 1 Chapter of Text] + [Problem Set 6 Assigned] + [Exam 3 Covering Chapter 10~13 next week] Topic: Short-run fiscal stimulus; Review of economic applications Work Load: [Read 1.25 Chapters of Text] + [Study Guide Problems] + [Assignment 11 Due] + [Prepare for Final Exam Next week] Topic: Discussion of the ACA + Guest Lecture on US Labor Market

Work Load: [Read 2 Articles] + [1 YouTube Video] + [Unspecified amount of readings for ACA Class]

Week 15:       Topic: Inequality + Applying Concepts to Policy Analysis

Work Load: [Read 3 Articles] + [Cumulative Final Exam Prep]

Page created by: Ian Clark, based on work of James Ban, last updated 15 December 2015.

Image: CBSE Portal, at http://cbseportal.com/exam/Help/Tips-And-Study-Schedule-to-Crack-Board-Exams, accessed 15 December 2015.