Offerings

Scroll down below the list of seminars offered and complete the short form to indicate your first and second choices.

Term: Fall

ECON 481 - Stewart. Microeconomics and Public Policy

Instructor: Arthur Stewart
Term: Fall
Summary (click on title for more info)
The general focus of the papers is the application of microeconomics to public policy issues. You may write on the following topics: the economics of professional sports, social policy, tax policy, or health policy. If you have an alternative in mind, please discuss it with me and we may be able to work something out. Your approach to the topics may involve changing an existing theoretical model and working out the implications, an econometric analysis of an issue or a public policy analysis of a topic (to be explained in class). It is up to you to decide upon and define a research question, gather the relevant data and evidence, and write the paper.

ECON 483 - Tusche. Social and affective motivations in decision making

Instructor: Anita Tusche
Term: Fall
Summary (click on title for more info)
The course will explore the social and affective motivations that influence how we make everyday decisions from the diverse perspectives of psychology, economics, and neurobiology. The course will be taught together with psychology students (PSYC 485). A focus of the course will be on social psychological constructs (e.g. conformity, reputation, and social comparisons), feelings (e.g. risk, regret and guilt) and behavior change. We will explore how social influences can be modeled using tools from decision theory (e.g., value and uncertainty) and how these processes might be instantiated in the brain. We will cover the background of the selected topics and reading material to ensure that students without a strong background in psychology (or economics or neuroscience) can do well in the course.

ECON 490 - Longworth. Comparative Credit Cycles and Financial Crises

Instructor: David Longworth
Term: Fall
Summary (click on title for more info)
Financial crises have been a recurring feature of the global economy for well over 200 years. Yet, as the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-2009 shows, they have not become less severe. This crisis also renewed interest in credit cycles and their role in macroeconomic fluctuations. This course will start with two weeks of lectures covering topics such as: (i) a discussion of banks and the financial system, including credit risk and liquidity risk; (ii) relevant macroeconomic models and models of bank runs; (iii) a discussion of credit cycles, credit supply, debt service, and their relationship with business cycles; (iv) the literature on prediction; (v) the literature on central bank policy response, including liquidity policy, conventional monetary policy and unconventional monetary policy; and (vi) an introduction to the macroprudential approach to regulation and macroprudential tools.

ECON 492 - Gregory. Empirical Macroeconomics

Instructor: Allan Gregory
Term: Fall
Summary (click on title for more info)
This seminar and paper course is on empirical macroeconomics. The topics are wide open and I have suggestions as to where you might start the research. All topics must have clearance with me before proceeding. I expect students to have some original empirical work in their paper beyond graphs. This could be as simple as hypothesis tests on means or regression analysis that you studied in introductory econometrics. Students can use whatever software they are most familiar with (Stata or Excel, for example). I will be able to provide assistance in this regard via Stata or some other software.  You will be responsible for getting electronic data and downloading into a program for analysis to support your paper.

ECON 493 - Murray. New and Renewed Debates in Macroeconomics Following the Financial Crisis

Instructor: John Murray
Term: Fall
Summary (click on title for more info)
“The Great Moderation” was not only a period of remarkable growth and stability in the global economy; it was also a period of broad agreement among academics and policymakers about how the macro-economy should function. A great deal has changed since the Global Financial Crisis. Sharp differences in view have emerged, challenging the prevailing orthodoxy and reopening old questions that many thought had long been settled. Students are invited to choose a topic that interests them and to write a paper about the competing views that are at play. They should identify and carefully weigh the relevant literature, and provide their own perspective and analysis -- supplemented, if possible, by some empirical work or data-based evidence. These issues are currently in play and there is no necessarily correct answer.

Term: Winter

ECON 480 - de Souza. Philosophical Issues in Economics

Instructor: Fr. Raymond de Souza
Term: Winter
Summary (click on title for more info)
This seminar seeks to examine the philosophical issues raised by standard economic analysis, as well as the nature of the discipline itself. The seminar will cover three broad areas. First, what image of the human person emerges from standard economic premises? Does that comport with how people actually act, or, perhaps more provocatively, should act? Concepts such as rationality, scarcity and utility-maximization will be looked at. Are standard economic arguments for free exchanges rooted only in efficiency grounds, or is there also implied a certain desirable compatibility with human liberty?

ECON 482 - Garvie. Advanced Topics in Environmental Economics

Instructor: Devon Garvie
Term: Winter
Summary (click on title for more info)
This seminar provides students with an opportunity to research and write a case study on an environmental problem/policy or a landmark environmental judicial decision. Key learning goals of the course are to (i) develop and improve microeconomics analytical and reasoning skills, (ii) develop and improve ability to apply theoretical microeconomics to understand, explain, and critically assess real world situations, and (iii) develop and improve written and oral communication skills, all using a field of economics which provides a rich set of fascinating and accessible topics.

ECON 484 - Stewart. Microeconomics and Public Policy

Instructor: Arthur Stewart
Term: Winter
Summary (click on title for more info)
The general focus of the papers is the application of microeconomics to public policy issues. You may write on the following topics: the economics of professional sports, social policy, tax policy, or health policy. If you have an alternative in mind, please discuss it with me and we may be able to work something out. Your approach to the topics may involve changing an existing theoretical model and working out the implications, an econometric analysis of an issue or a public policy analysis of a topic (to be explained in class). It is up to you to decide upon and define a research question, gather the relevant data and evidence, and write the paper.

ECON 491 - Kennedy. Understanding the 2008-09 Financial Crisis

Instructor: Mike Kennedy
Term: Winter
Summary (click on title for more info)
The world economy in 2008-09 experienced its most severe recession since the Second World War - actually since the Great Depression - and this has presented the economics profession with a number of unprecedented challenges. From a cross-country perspective, this course will ask students to use their knowledge of macro and financial-market economics, as well as econometrics if desired/needed, to evaluate a number of facets of these developments, the various policy responses as well as the recommendations being made regarding future prevention.

ECON 494 - Gregory. 2019 Predicted Key Economic Relations

Instructor: Allan Gregory
Term: Winter
Summary (click on title for more info)
This seminar and paper course aims to evaluate key economic relations that were predicted to be important for the year 2019. The idea arises from a MacLean’s piece “The most important charts to watch in 2019”. There you will find 70 charts where economists both academic and private sector plotted data for variables that they thought were going to be critical in 2019. Were they right? The topics are numerous and varied so that students should find a suitable starting point to proceed with a deeper investigation. The details of your study are individual and wide open but you must have clearance with me before proceeding. I expect students to have some empirical work in their paper beyond these graphs. This could be as simple as hypothesis tests on means or regression analysis that you studied in introductory econometrics. Students can use whatever software they are most familiar with (Stata or Excel, for example). I will be able to provide assistance in this regard via Stata or some other software.  You will be responsible for getting electronic data and downloading into a program for analysis to support your paper.