Undergraduate Spring Course Descriptions

Spring 2021

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. 

Category:
YCSO, Public, Education
Term Code:
202101

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. 

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, Public
Term Code:
202101

Introductory microeconomics with a special emphasis on quantitative methods and examples. Intended for students with limited or no experience with calculus.

Instructor(s):
Category:
Introductory, Microtheory
Term Code:
202101

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

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCQR, YCSO, Microtheory, Introductory
Term Code:
202101

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

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCQR, YCSO, Microtheory, Introductory
Term Code:
202101

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

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCQR, YCSO, Microtheory, Introductory
Term Code:
202101

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

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCQR, YCSO, Microtheory, Introductory
Term Code:
202101

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

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCQR, YCSO, Microtheory, Introductory
Term Code:
202101

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

Instructor(s):
Category:
Introductory, Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202101

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

Instructor(s):
Category:
Introductory, Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
Introductory, Microtheory
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
Introductory, Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
Core, Methodology
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
Core, Microtheory
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
Core, Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCQR, YCSO, Methodology, Core
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCQR, YCSO, Core, Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCQR, YCSO, Methodology, Core
Term Code:
202101

An introduction to game theory and strategic thinking. Ideas such as dominance, backward induction, Nash equilibrium, evolutionary stability, commitment, credibility, asymmetric information, adverse selection, and signaling are applied to games played in class and to examples drawn from economics, politics, the movies, and elsewhere.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCQR, YCSO, Methodology
Term Code:
202101

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. 

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, Public, Education
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, YCWR, History
Term Code:
202101

An overview of the ideas, methods, and institutions that permit human society to manage risks and foster enterprise. Description of practices today and analysis of prospects for the future. Introduction to risk management and behavioral finance principles to understand the functioning of securities, insurance, and banking industries.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, Finance
Term Code:
202101

The goal of this course is to provide students with rigorous theoretical and empirical tools to analyze questions of current interest in international trade. The emphasis is on applying economic concepts to international trade data, using both computable economic models and empirical regression methods.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, International, Methodology
Term Code:
202101

The aim of the course is to build up a sufficiently strong foundation in the philosophy of science to allow students to critically assess the challenge posed to the rational choice framework in social science by evidence of human irrationality. Readings are drawn from philosophy, economics (including behavioral economics), and psychology. 

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCHU, YCSO
Term Code:
202101

Analysis of current problems of developing countries. Emphasis on the role of economic theory in informing public policies to achieve improvements in poverty and inequality, and on empirical analysis to understand markets and responses to poverty. Topics include microfinance, education, health, agriculture, intrahousehold allocations, gender, and corruption.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, Developent
Term Code:
202101

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 epigenetic adaptation to economic conditions in the pre-modern economy can determine nutritional status and health in developing economies. Apart from providing a particular perspective on development, an additional objective of this course is to demonstrate the use of economic theory in informing empirical research.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, Public, Developent
Term Code:
202101

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:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCQR, YCSO, Microtheory
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
Finance
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
Finance
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
Finance
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCQR
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCQR
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, YCWR, Finance, Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202101

For some developing countries, international trade has brought about rapid growth and large-scale reductions in poverty. Meanwhile for other developing countries, international trade has simply increased inequality and brought little growth. This course draws on both theoretical models and empirical evidence to better understand the reasons for these very different experiences. Topics include: standard models of trade, trade and poverty in developing countries, the impact of trade on inequality and growth, the role of firms and multinationals in developing countries, trade policy, foreign direct investment, trade and technology transfer, the Chinese and Indian experience.
 

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, International, Developent
Term Code:
202101

Analysis of issues concerning international trade policy and agreements, including recent academic research. Welfare analysis of trade policy; the political economy of trade policy; international trade agreements. Attention to both theoretical methods and empirical research.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, International
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
Industrial Organization
Term Code:
202101

Individual and collective choice in the presence of uncertainty and asymmetric information. Implications of such decision making for economic phenomena. Basic analytical tools for studying decisions under uncertainty. Asset markets, adverse selection, screening, signaling, moral hazard, incomplete contracts, bilateral trade with asymmetric information, and mechanism design.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, Microtheory
Term Code:
202101

Introduction to the basic tools of numerical analysis and how to apply them to the study of economic models in a variety of subdisciplines, including macroeconomics, labor economics, industrial organization, public finance, and environmental economics.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, Methodology, Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, Industrial Organization, Developent
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, Industrial Organization, Methodology
Term Code:
202101

This course has an applied econometrics focus. The focus is on forecasting macroeconomic and financial variables. Macroeconomic forecasting concerns forecasting variables like GDP, components of GDP like consumption, investment, and imports, inflation, the unemployment rate, interest rates, the government deficit, and exchange rates. There are various forecasting methods, some purely statistical time series techniques and some using economic theory. We consider both. Financial forecasting is more problematic, since changes in asset prices may be roughly unpredictable. We also examine topics like momentum forecasting to see if some asset prices are predictable.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, Finance, Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202101

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

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO
Term Code:
202101

This course examines the emerging literature on networks and economic development. This course is divided into four sections: (i) Commitment—how communities can harness their pre-existing social connections to circumvent market imperfections in developing economies. (ii) Labor markets and Migration—how community networks can both facilitate and hinder the mobility of their members. (iii)  Inter-group Interactions—how communities interact with each other in developing economies and societies. (iv) How information spreads, through social connections, in developing economies. Apart from providing a particular perspective on development, an additional objective of this course is to demonstrate the use of economic theory in informing empirical research.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO
Term Code:
202101

Introduction to the microeconomic analysis of internal conflict. In particular, how conflict imposes economic costs on the population and how people react to conflict. Topics include the correlates of war; the economic legacies of conflict on human capital, local institutions, households’ income, and firma performance; and the causes and impacts of forced displacement.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, History, Political Economy
Term Code:
202101

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:
202101

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.

Category:
YCSO, Health, Macroeconomics
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, International
Term Code:
202101

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.

Instructor(s):
Category:
YCSO, Developent
Term Code:
202101

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

Instructor(s):
Category:
Microtheory
Term Code:
202101

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:
Term Code:
202101

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 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 meet the requirement for a department seminar.

Instructor(s):
Category:
Term Code:
202101