Undergraduate Spring Course Descriptions

Spring 2022

This course introduces students to a selection of ideas that in the past fifty years have merited a Nobel Prize in economics. The goal of the course is twofold. First, it serves as an introduction to a wide range of economic topics. Second, by studying the most influential economic ideas, students learn firsthand how economic science has evolved. The course is not structured chronologically, but according to economic areas, such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, finance, poverty, and the environment. No prior knowledge of economics or statistics is assumed. 

Prerequisites:

Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Public
  • Education
Term Code:
202201

This seminar investigates how data and economics can be used to understand and solve some of the most pressing contemporary social issues in the United States. Topics include equality of opportunity, education, health, climate change, criminal justice, and discrimination. In the context of these topics, the course provides an introduction to some basic economic concepts and data analysis techniques. No prior knowledge of economics or statistics is assumed. 

Prerequisites:

Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Public
Term Code:
202201

Similar to ECON 115, but taught as a lecture discussion with limited enrollment.

Prerequisites:

Enrollment limited to first-years and sophomores. Online preregistration is required; visit economics.yale.edu/undergraduate-program for more information. May not be taken after ECON 108 or 115.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCQR
  • YCSO
  • Microtheory
  • Introductory
Term Code:
202201

Similar to ECON 115, but taught as a lecture discussion with limited enrollment.

Prerequisites:

Enrollment limited to first-years and sophomores. Online preregistration is required; visit economics.yale.edu/undergraduate-program for more information. May not be taken after ECON 108 or 115.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCQR
  • YCSO
  • Microtheory
  • Introductory
Term Code:
202201

Similar to ECON 115, but taught as a lecture discussion with limited enrollment.

Prerequisites:

Enrollment limited to first-years and sophomores. Online preregistration is required; visit economics.yale.edu/undergraduate-program for more information. May not be taken after ECON 108 or 115.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCQR
  • YCSO
  • Microtheory
  • Introductory
Term Code:
202201

Similar to ECON 115, but taught as a lecture discussion with limited enrollment.

Prerequisites:

Enrollment limited to first-years and sophomores. Online preregistration is required; visit economics.yale.edu/undergraduate-program for more information. May not be taken after ECON 108 or 115.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCQR
  • YCSO
  • Microtheory
  • Introductory
Term Code:
202201

Similar to ECON 116, but taught as a lecture discussion with limited enrollment.

Prerequisites:

Enrollment limited to first-years and sophomores. Online preregistration is required; visit economics.yale.edu/undergraduate-program for more information. May not be taken after ECON 116. Prerequisite: ECON 108, 110, or 115.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Introductory
  • Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202201

Similar to ECON 116, but taught as a lecture discussion with limited enrollment.

Prerequisites:

Enrollment limited to first-years and sophomores. Online preregistration is required; visit economics.yale.edu/undergraduate-program for more information. May not be taken after ECON 116. Prerequisite: ECON 108, 110, or 115.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Introductory
  • Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202201

An introduction to the basic tools of microeconomics to provide a rigorous framework for understanding how individuals, firms, markets, and governments allocate scarce resources. The design and evaluation of public policy.

Prerequisites:

May not be taken after ECON 108 or 110. 

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCQR
  • YCSO
  • Microtheory
  • Introductory
Term Code:
202201

An introduction that stresses how the macroeconomy works, including the determination of output, unemployment, inflation, interest rates, and exchange rates. Economic theory is applied to current events.

Prerequisites:

May not be taken after ECON 111. Prerequisite: ECON 108, 110, or 115. 

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Introductory
  • Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202201

Introduction to data analysis from the beginning of the econometrics sequence; exposure to modern empirical economics; and development of credible economic analysis. This course emphasizes working directly and early with data, through such economic examples as studies of environmental/natural resource economics, intergenerational mobility, discrimination, and finance. Topics include: probability, statistics, and sampling; selection, causation and causal inference; regression and model specification; and machine learning and big data.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: ECON 108, 110, 115, or equivalent and familiarity with single variable calculus. Students who have taken ECON 131 may not receive major credit for this course.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCQR
  • YCSO
  • Methodology
  • EconData
  • Core
Term Code:
202201

The theory of resource allocation and its applications. Topics include the theory of choice, consumer and firm behavior, production, price determination in different market structures, welfare, and market failure.

Prerequisites:

After introductory microeconomics and completion of the mathematics requirement for the major or its equivalent. Elementary techniques from multivariate calculus are introduced and applied, but prior knowledge is not assumed. May not be taken after ECON 125.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCQR
  • YCSO
  • Microtheory
  • Core
Term Code:
202201

Contemporary theories of employment, finance, money, business fluctuations, and economic growth. Their implications for monetary and fiscal policy. Emphasis on empirical studies, financial and monetary crises, and recent policies and problems.

Prerequisites:

After two terms of introductory economics and completion of the mathematics requirement for the major or its equivalent. May not be taken after ECON 126.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCQR
  • YCSO
  • Core
  • Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202201

Comprehensive and theoretical examination of econometrics, with further exploration of topics covered in ECON 117. A term research project addresses a research question chosen by the student, and involves the application of learned methods to a relevant data set.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: ECON 108, 110, 115, or equivalent; ECON 117; and familiarity with single variable calculus.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCQR
  • YCSO
  • Methodology
  • EconData
  • Core
Term Code:
202201

Similar to ECON 122 but with a more intensive treatment of the mathematical foundations of macroeconomic modeling, and with rigorous study of additional topics. Recommended for students considering graduate study in economics.

Prerequisites:

After two terms of introductory economics, and MATH 118 or 120 or equivalent. May not be taken after ECON 122.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCQR
  • YCSO
  • Core
  • Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202201

Continuation of ECON 135 with a focus on econometric theory and practice: problems that arise from the specification, estimation, and interpretation of models of economic behavior. Topics include classical regression and simultaneous equations models; panel data; and limited dependent variables. Recommended for students considering graduate study in economics.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: After ECON 135 or STAT 241 and 242. May not be taken concurrently with STAT 242. 

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCQR
  • YCSO
  • Methodology
  • EconData
  • Core
Term Code:
202201

This is a second half of the semester class on applications of game theory. We build on the learnings from introductory game theory courses like ECON/GLBL 159 or MGT 822. The course aims to introduce important ideas and tools from game theory, and use them to answer questions in social sciences, law, and business. For instance, how can we use game theory to design sound environmental policies and formulate environmental treaties? How large should juries be, and should we require unanimous verdicts? Why do bargaining parties sometimes engage in lengthy and costly legal battles? How do sellers decide the best format for an auction to sell a good? When do we see price wars? The topics include basics of mechanism design, bargaining with incomplete information, dynamic pricing, and applications of repeated games.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisite: Any introductory game theory course, e.g., ECON/GLBL 159, MGT 822 or Game Theory in the SOM Core.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
Term Code:
202201

Analysis of contemporary policy problems related to academic under performance in lower income urban schools and the concomitant achievement gaps among various racial and ethnic groups in United States K-12 education. Historical review of opportunity inequalities and policy solutions proposed to ameliorate differences in achievement and job readiness. Students benefit from practical experience and interdisciplinary methods, including a lab component with time spent in a New Haven high school. 

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: Any course offered by Education Studies, or one course in history or any social science, either: Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology.  EDST 110 is preferred, although not required.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Public
  • Education
Term Code:
202201

The growth of the American economy since 1790, both as a unique historical record and as an illustration of factors in the process of economic development. The American experience viewed in the context of its European background and patterns of industrialization overseas.

Prerequisites:

After introductory microeconomics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • YCWR
  • History
Term Code:
202201

The objective of this course is to examine some of the fundamental forces that shape the process of economic development. This course is divided into three sections: (i) Market Failure: with an analysis of credit, labor, and insurance markets in developing countries. (ii) Social Response: how community networks emerge in response to market failure. We study the positive and negative consequences of this community involvement for growth and development; in the short-run and the long-run. We also provide economic foundations for the emergence of social norms and identity, as well as the dynamic inefficiencies that they can generate with economic development. (iii) Biological Response: how biological adaptation to economic conditions in the pre-modern economy can have negative consequences for nutritional status and health in developing economies. Apart from providing a particular perspective on development, an additional objective of this course demonstrates the use of economic theory in informing empirical research.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: Intermediate Microeconomics, Introductory Econometrics and Data Analysis. Students are expected to be familiar with calculus, basic microeconomics, and basic econometrics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Public
  • Developent
Term Code:
202201

Born out of necessity in the post-Cultural Revolution chaos of the late 1970s, modern China is about reforms, opening up, and transition. The “Next China,” driven by a shift from export-led production to consumption, has come into sharp conflict with the United States. This seminar probes the forces giving rise to a trade war, tech war, and early skirmishes of a new Cold War—and concludes with debate over strategies of conflict resolution.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisite: Introductory macroeconomics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
Term Code:
202201

Limits that antitrust laws, as applied and interpreted by agencies, courts, and competitors, place on firm behavior. Economic theories underlying antitrust enforcement. Whether legal rules restricting competitive behavior increase social welfare and how they affect managerial choices. The evidence and reasoning advanced in key antitrust cases; how outcomes may affect social welfare and firm strategies. Goals and procedures of US and EU antitrust agencies.  

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Industrial Organization
Term Code:
202201

This course coves recent scholarship on the political economy of development. It starts with the study of macro-historical facts and move on to micro issues, such as conflict and corruption.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisite: Intermediate microeconomics and Econometrics (ECON 117 or equivalent). 

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • Developent
  • Political Economy
Term Code:
202201

Introduction to game theory and choice under uncertainty. Analysis of the role of information and uncertainty for individual choice behavior, as well as application to the decision theory under uncertainty. Analysis of strategic interaction among economic agents, leading to the theory of auctions and mechanism design. Recommended for students considering graduate study in economics.

Prerequisites:

After MATH 118, 120, and intermediate microeconomics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCQR
  • YCSO
  • Microtheory
  • YGLR
Term Code:
202201

Topics related to capital markets, with emphasis on the financial crisis of 2007–2008. The design, pricing, and trading of corporate bonds, credit derivatives, and money market instruments; bond restructuring, bond ratings, and financial crises; basic tools used to address such issues, including fixed income mathematics, binomial option pricing, and swaps.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: intermediate microeconomics and econometrics. Note: ECON 360a “Capital Markets” is cross-listed with SOM MGT 947a and has space for up to five undergraduates.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • Finance
Term Code:
202201

Topics related to capital markets, with emphasis on the financial crisis of 2007–2008. The design, pricing, and trading of corporate bonds, credit derivatives, and money market instruments; bond restructuring, bond ratings, and financial crises; basic tools used to address such issues, including fixed income mathematics, binomial option pricing, and swaps.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: intermediate microeconomics and econometrics. Note: ECON 360a “Capital Markets” is cross-listed with SOM MGT 947a and has space for up to five undergraduates.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • Finance
Term Code:
202201

Financial management from inside the corporation or operating entity. Topics include capital budgeting and valuation, optimal capital structure, initial public offerings, mergers, and corporate restructuring. Cases and problem sets provide applications.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: intermediate microeconomics and econometrics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • Finance
Term Code:
202201

Paradigms for algorithmic problem solving: greedy algorithms, divide and conquer, dynamic programming, and network flow. NP completeness and approximation algorithms for NP-complete problems. Algorithms for problems from economics, scheduling, network design and navigation, geometry, biology, and optimization. Provides algorithmic background essential to further study of computer science. Either CPSC 365 or CPSC 366 may be taken for credit.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: CPSC 202 and 223.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCQR
Term Code:
202201

Mathematically sophisticated treatment of the design and analysis of algorithms and the theory of NP completeness. Algorithmic paradigms including greedy algorithms, divide and conquer, dynamic programming, network flow, approximation algorithms, and randomized algorithms. Problems drawn from the social sciences, Data Science, Computer Science, and engineering. For students with a flair for proofs and problem solving. Either CPSC 365 or CPSC 366 may be taken for credit.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: MATH 244 and CPSC 223.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCQR
Term Code:
202201

Introduction to modern macroeconomic models and how to use the models to examine some of the key issues that have faced monetary policymakers during and after the global financial crisis of 2008–2009.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: Intermediate level macroeconomics (ECON 122 or 126) and introductory econometrics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • YCWR
  • Finance
  • Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202201

Analysis of imperfectly competitive markets, focusing on the interactions among firm behavior, market structure, and market outcomes. Topics include oligopoly, collusion, predation, firm entry, advertising, and price discrimination as well as public policy implications of market behavior.

Prerequisites:

After intermediate microeconomics or equivalent.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCQR
  • YCSO
  • Industrial Organization
Term Code:
202201

Study of forces that drive the process of innovation. Creativity and creative destruction; the innovator’s dilemma; incentives to innovate; competitive advantage; industry evolution; intellectual property. Use of both formal theoretical models and quantitative empirical studies, as well as descriptive studies from management strategy and economic history.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: econometrics and intermediate microeconomics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • Industrial Organization
Term Code:
202201

Why do cities exist? Why do firms cluster? Why some U.S. cities have prospered in recent decades while others have declined? What are the structural roots of our housing crises today? This course takes cities as our laboratory and asks important aspects that are reshaping the very fabric of our cities and neighborhoods.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: ECON 121, ECON 136.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Industrial Organization
  • Developent
Term Code:
202201

Study of systematic thinking about competition and strategy using key concepts of microeconomics. Analysis of data, with consideration of economic theory and statistical methods using tools in Excel and Stata. Topics include logical thinking, empirical analysis, modeling, and estimation.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisite: Introductory Microeconomics; some familiarity with statistics and econometrics is helpful.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Industrial Organization
  • Methodology
  • EconData
Term Code:
202201

The goal of this seminar is to introduce students to algorithms commonly used in commercial applications and to the blockchain technology. Students are asked to program algorithm prototypes and to reflect on existing economic research based on the programming experience gained in the course.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: ECON 121, ECON 117, and programming experience in R or Python.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Methodology
  • Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202201

A theoretical introduction to economic models of social learning and strategic information transmission, using tools from game theory and probability theory. The rationality of individual behavior as affected by pathologies such as herding, informational cascades, or strategic delays; the effectiveness of communication in settings in which an informed agent communicates information to a less informed agent.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: intermediate microeconomics, a course in probability theory, and completion of the mathematics requirement for the Economics major.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Microtheory
  • YGLR
Term Code:
202201

The special functions of banks in the U.S. economy. The benefits but fragile nature of the banking system.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: intermediate macroeconomics, microeconomics, and econometrics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Finance
  • Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202201

Since the end of WWII the overwhelming majority of war casualties have been the result of internal conflict. This includes insurgency situations in which foreign powers prop up a weak internal government. In this course we apply microeconomic techniques, theoretical and empirical, to the analysis of internal conflict, its causes and consequences. Topics include forced migration, ethnic conflict, long-term consequences of war and individual choices to participate in violence. Readings comprise frontier research papers and students will learn to critically engage with cutting-edge research designs.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: Intermediate microeconomics and econometrics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • History
  • Political Economy
  • YEPA
Term Code:
202201

Examination of investment management in theory and practice. Discussion of asset allocation, investment strategy, and manager selection from the perspective of an institutional investor. Focus on the degree of market efficiency and opportunity for generating attractive returns.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Finance
Term Code:
202201

Smoking, alcoholism, illicit drugs, and obesity studied from economic and policy perspectives. Focus on causes of and solutions to problems.

Prerequisites:

After introductory microeconomics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
Term Code:
202201

This multidisciplinary class is an exploration of the background of today’s bestselling medicines, their huge commercial impact, and the companies that created them. It focuses on the most compelling aspects of drug development and company formation in the context of topical issues like cancer treatment, gene editing, stem cell therapy, the opioid epidemic, and drug pricing controversies.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisite: Introductory or intermediate microeconomics, introductory or intermediate Biology, Molecular Biology, Chemistry or Biomedical Engineering.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Public
  • Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202201

Why do cities exist? Why do firms cluster? Why did some U.S. cities prosper in recent decades while others declined? What are the structural roots of our housing crises today? This course takes cities as our laboratory and asks about important aspects that are reshaping the very fabric of our cities and neighborhoods.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: ECON 117 (or ECON 123, 131 or 132 or 136) and ECON 121 (or ECON 125).

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Industrial Organization
  • Public
  • Developent
Term Code:
202201

Facets of contemporary economic globalization, including trade, investment, and migration. Challenges and threats of globalization: inclusion and inequality, emerging global players, global governance, climate change, and nuclear weapons proliferation.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisite: background in international economics and data analysis. Preference to seniors majoring in Economics or EP&E.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • International
Term Code:
202201

Assessment of alternative policies and programs designed to promote economic development; examination of fundamental problems of underdeveloped areas and consideration of how and whether such programs resolve them. The roles of indigenous institutions in low-income countries in alleviating problems of underdevelopment.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: intermediate microeconomics and econometrics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Developent
Term Code:
202201

The theory and applications of cooperative games. Topics include matching, bargaining, cost allocation, market games, voting games, and games on networks.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisite: intermediate microeconomics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • Microtheory
  • YEPA
  • YGLR
Term Code:
202201

Egalitarian theories of justice and their critics. Readings in philosophy are paired with analytic methods from economics. Topics include Rawlsian justice, utilitarianism, the veil of ignorance, Dworkin’s resource egalitarianism, Roemer’s equality of opportunity, Marxian exploitation, and Nozickian procedural justice. Some discussion of American economic inequality, Nordic social democracy, and the politics of inequality.

Prerequisites:

Recommended preparation: intermediate microeconomics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
Term Code:
202201

Study of online markets with a focus on ongoing policy debates. Students learn about the workings of online markets by studying economic models of platform markets, consumer search, and advertising auctions. Students apply these frameworks to discussions about the regulation of the internet, including net neutrality, privacy, online media bias, and the monopoly power of “big tech.” Readings draw from theoretical and empirical academic studies as well as the popular press.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: Intermediate microeconomics and econometrics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Industrial Organization
  • Microtheory
  • Public
Term Code:
202201

This senior seminar explores potential government responses to recent economic trends. It emphasizes the interplay between economic theory and empirical analysis to make informed policy recommendations.

 

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: ECON 115 or equivalent and ECON 121.  Intermediate macroeconomics (ECON 122 or 126) and introductory econometrics (ECON 117) are recommended.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Political Economy
Term Code:
202201

The seminar introduces students to the basic models in the principal-agent literature, including moral hazard and adverse selection, as well as the legal structures that regulate agents and other fiduciaries.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisite: Intermediate microeconomics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • Public
  • Macroeconomics
  • Law
Term Code:
202201

Some policy makers assert that immigrants hurt existing workers and increase the burden of the welfare state, while others claim that immigrants fill necessary jobs and enhance the creativity and dynamism of the economy. The course examines the historical and econometric evidence that scholars have brought to these debates.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites: Econometrics and either intermediate microeconomics or macroeconomics.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • YCSO
  • International
  • Political Economy
Term Code:
202201

Students wishing to write a senior essay must choose their topics and advisers by Monday, October 5, 2020. One-term senior essays are due on Wednesday December 9 by 4:30 pm. Two-term senior essays are due by 4:30 pm on Wednesday, April 7, 2020. Essays should be submitted electronically to the Economics department (qazi.azam@yale.edu) by the due date. Late essays will not be accepted without a dean’s excuse. Advisers are chosen with the assistance of the DUS, lecturer, and TA. The format and character of the departmental senior essay may vary to suit the interest of the student and the demands of the topic, but it is expected that the tools and concepts of economic analysis will be employed and that the essay will contain original research. Paper lengths may vary; the normal expectation is thirty pages. Students may receive up to two credits for the senior essay, though it counts as only one departmental seminar whether one or two terms are taken. Please see the canvas page for an introductory video. Senior essay Q&A sessions with the DUS, lecturer, and TA for the course will be held on August 13 at 9 am, August 18 at 7 pm and September 1 at 4 pm. RSVP at https://economics.yale.edu/webform/undergrad-info-session to receive the zoom link. You’ll receive the link just prior to the meeting start time. Senior essay prospectus forms are due Monday, October 5, 2020. Students who do not turn the prospectus in on time will not be permitted to write an essay.

Instructor(s):

Category:
  • International
  • Methodology
  • Poverty
  • Public
  • EconData
  • Labor
  • Macroeconomics
  • Neuro
  • Political Economy
  • Law
Term Code:
202201

Junior and senior economics majors desiring a directed reading course in special topics in economics not covered in other graduate or undergraduate courses may elect this course, not more than once, with written permission of the director of undergraduate studies and of the instructor. The instructor must be a member of Yale’s Economics department. The instructor meets with the student regularly, typically for an hour a week, and the student writes a paper or a series of short essays. Junior and senior majors may take this course for a letter grade, but it does not count toward the senior requirements. It can only count as an elective. 

Note: While the DUS is the professor of record (on the transcript) a student who wishes to do a directed reading needs to find an advisor. (Links to an external site.Submit the form to qazi.azam@yale.edu for DUS review. Students will be permitted to enroll after the DUS reviews and approves the course outline.

Instructor(s):

Category:
Term Code:
202201