Econ 475a. Discrimination in Law: Theory, and Practice

Day / time: 
W 9:25 - 11:15 am
Course Type: 
Course term: 

Permission of instructor required.

This seminar seeks to sharpen students’ research, writing, and oral presentation skills through examination of several related questions:

  • How do law and economic theory define and conceptualize economic discrimination.
  • How adequately does the behavior of discriminators implied by economic models describe behaviors documented in court cases and government hearings?
  •  To what extent do economic theory and econometric techniques aid our understanding of marketplace discrimination in actual practice?

Topics include: Racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination in labor markets, housing markets, education, and financial services such as mortgage lending and insurance redlining. Demographic groups covered in the case material include Asian-, African-, Hispanic-, and Native Americans. Reading materials are drawn from written court opinions, congressional hearings, and academic literatures including economics, law, history, African American Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Gender Studies.

Assignments & Grades: Students’ grades will be based on three criteria:

  1. Aterm paper of 10 to 15 pages due at the end of the semester reading period
  2. Each student (once during the semester and likely teaming with another student), will (following instructor’s remarks) open a general discussion of that week’s assignments; student’s opening remarks will be based on a written two page critique of week’s assignment with a set of written questions student will use to lead the general discussion during that class session, written critique and questions to be turned in to the professor at beginning of class;
  3. Attendance and participation in seminar discussions throughout the semester. The final paper will account for 50% of the course grade, each of the other factors 25%.

Prerequisites: 1. Economics 115 or equivalent; 2. any 200 level course or higher in any of following: Economics, African American studies, Ethnicity, Race, & Migration, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies

[Also EP&E286b]

Semester offered: 
Undergrad Course Category: