Course #

This class builds on some of the concepts you’ve learned in Micro I and II to study at a deeper level a variety of topics relevant to students of public policy. We will build foundations for understanding risk, uncertainty, market failures, public goods, and discrimination. These foundations will be a necessary precursor to interesting applications. One example will be the study of health insurance markets. News coverage often warns of health insurance “death spirals.” What is a death spiral? How can subsidized exchanges and mandates stop death spirals? Why didn’t agents have insurance in the private market without intervention? How may reducing the ability of insurance companies to discriminate based on health status exacerbate the problem of missing insurance markets, rather than alleviate the problem? You will be able to answer these questions by the end of the course, but to do that we will first spend time modeling utility over risky outcomes. Throughout the course, we will have a few discussions of “policy-in-depth”—examples of recent evidence-based policy which deals with the theoretical issues we’ve been discussing in class. Anywhere other than a Public Policy school, this course would be completely theoretical, but since you are future policy makers, theory and evidence should always go hand in hand.

Course Sections

Quarter Instructor(s) Day(s) Time(s)
Winter 2018 M, W 10:30 AM - 11:50 AM