Course Descriptions

ECON 501 - Microeconomics I

Formal mathematical treatments of the classic topics in microeconomics: consumer and producer theory, choice under risk and uncertainty, revealed preference theory and general equilibrium theory. Introduces and uses mathematical tools that are the workhorses of economic theory: real analysis, constrained optimization, monotone comparative statics and fixed point theorems.


ECON 502 - Macroeconomics

Review of static general equilibrium theory; elements of functional analysis for optimization; deterministic and stochastic difference equations, local stability analysis; introduction to Markov processes; dynamic optimization techniques, including stochastic optimal control theory, dynamic programing, and robust control; applications to growth theory, search, industrial organization, and monetary economics; dynamic stochastic general equilibrium modeling. 


ECON 504 - Computational Economics

Numerical methods most commonly used in economics and their application to frontier research projects in economic modeling. Topics include optimization theory and numerical integration. 

Pre-requisites: ECON 501, 502, 510, 505, 508, 511 and MATH 321 


ECON 505 - Financial Economics

Introduction to asset pricing and portfolio choice theory. Covers mathematical analysis of single-period and dynamic models, including pricing by arbitrage, mean-variance analysis, factor models, dynamic optimization, recursive utility, and an introduction to continuous-time finance. 

Pre-requisites: ECON 501 and ECON 502 


ECON 508 - Microeconomics II

Two modules: (1) Introduces students to the mathematical tools of game theory, and the modeling of economic settings as games. Covers normal form games, extensive form games with perfect information, Bayesian games, and extensive form games with imperfect information; (2) introduces students to information economics and the theory of mechanism design. Applies tools from game theory and linear and non-linear optimization. Develops formal abstract reasoning and communication of ideas using mathematical models.

Pre-requisites: ECON 501, MATH 321 


ECON 509 - Topics in Microeconomics 

Role of private information in mathematical models of collective decision making. Emphasizes information acquisition by voters, and information disclosure by the political parties or media outlets. Topics include: the value of private information in a single-agent decision problem; various statistical concepts of informativeness; Shannon entropy and rational inattention; models of strategic voting; cost-benefit analysis of information acquisition and optimization; deliberation and information transmission; mathematical modeling of information disclosure by media outlets.

Pre-requisites: ECON 508


ECON 510 - Econometrics I

Estimation and inference in single equation regression models, multicollinearity, autocorrelated and heteroskedastic disturbances, distributed lags, asymptotic theory, and maximum likelihood techniques.  Emphasis is placed on critical analysis of the literature. Cross-listed with STAT 610.  


ECON 511 - Econometrics II

Topics in linear and nonlinear simultaneous equations estimation, including panel data, qualitative and categorical dependent variable models, duration analysis, simulation-based estimation, treatment effects, stochastic production frontier estimation. Cross-listed with STAT 611.

Pre-requisites: ECON 510


ECON 514 - Empirical Industrial Organization I 

Topics include structural analysis of auction, nonlinear pricing, insurance and bargaining data.  Emphasizes the use of advanced econometric methods (nonparametric and semiparametric) to estimate and test models under incomplete information.

Pre-requisites: ECON 501, 502, 510, 505, 508, 511 and MATH 321


ECON 515 - Labor Economics 

Mathematical and statistical analysis of empirical evidence and theories relating to several features of labor markets. Topics covered may include fertility, health, criminal behavior, labor force participation, hours of work, education and training, geographical and inter-firm labor mobility, static and dynamic labor demand, unions, discrimination, government intervention in labor markets, and “hedonic” equilibria in labor markets. 

Pre-requisites: ECON 501, 502, 510, 505, 508, 511 and MATH 321 


ECON 517 - Empirical Industrial Organization II

Examines economic models of competition and industry structure. These include models of demand, supply, investment and entry. Special attention is paid to economic statistical modeling of industries and the use of price and game theory in industrial organization. Matching and market design are also covered. 

Pre-requisites: ECON 501, 502, 510, 505, 508, 511 and MATH 321


ECON 519 - Economic Development

Mathematical and statistical analysis of topics in microeconomic development and introduction to some frequently used applied econometric methods.  Topics covered include poverty and inequality, health, education, fertility, marriage markets, and other gender issues. Special focus is given to intra-household bargaining models and their applications. 

Pre-requisites: ECON 501, 510, 508, 511 


ECON 565 - Health Economics 

Application of empirical and theoretical economic models to health and healthcare.  Includes production, cost, demand and supply factors; methods of payment and effects of regulation. Topics include optimal design of health insurance markets, cost-benefit analysis of healthcare technologies, econometric evaluation of government regulations and reimbursement in the healthcare sector, and testing of hypothesis that explain rising prices and costs of healthcare. 


ECON 579 - Topics in Econometrics 

Discussion of selected topics in advanced econometrics that focus on the mathematical and statistical modeling of such phenomena as (1) extended panel data methods; (2) spatial econometrics; (3) bootstrapping;  (4) factor models, wavelets, smoothing-splines, sieves; (5) model averaging; (6)  continuous and discrete dynamic programming models; (7) econometrics of auctions; (8)  BLP methods of demand estimation;  (9) structural and non-structural models of producer behavior; (10) point and set identification; (11) Bayesian Econometrics/ Metropolis-Hastings MCMC algorithms.

Pre-requisites: ECON 511


ECON 593 - Seminar in Economics I

Seminars on advanced topics in macroeconomics, microeconomics, econometrics and applied microeconomic theory, presented through guest lectures by leading researchers. Repeatable for credit.


ECON 594 - Seminar in Economics II

Seminars on advanced topics in macroeconomics, microeconomics, econometrics and applied microeconomic theory, presented through guest lectures by leading researchers. Repeatable for credit.


ECON 596 - Research Seminar

Supervises fourth-year and fifth-year Ph.D. students in their quantitative dissertation research in preparation for graduation. Students must present their own research at least once during the semester.


ECON 597 - Readings in Advanced Topics 

Workshop prepares graduate students for completing innovative and original research. All second year graduate students must attend the workshop. Each week, a faculty member will give a brief lecture about their experience with research. Possible topics include how they came up with ideas, how those ideas evolved and became papers, how these papers proceeded through the publication process, etc. Alternatively, faculty members can present a broad overview of particular research areas and discuss outstanding questions in those areas.

Pre-requisites: Permission of the Instructor 


ECON 598 - Research Methods

Prepares second-year Ph.D. students to conduct quantitative research. After a critical review of existing economic models, statistical analysis of data and economic evaluations, students develop their own research agenda.  


ECON 599 - Seminar Workshop

Promotes graduate students' attendance and active participation in the Econ 593 and Econ 594 seminar workshops. Each student is required to attend at least fifteen ECON 593/594 seminars per semester, write a brief report on each seminar presentation they attend, prepare to present a background paper for three of the seminars they plan to attend, and participate in post seminar discussions. 


ECON 800 - Graduate Research

Assists students in the dissertation writing process. Students must write an independent and original piece of quantitative research that is of sufficient quality to merit publication in an academic economics journal. Towards this objective, faculty mentor evaluate and critique the research of PhD students who are either preparing research before formally selecting a dissertation topic or actively engaged in dissertation research.