We shall discuss controversial topics relevant to modern economics from an interdisciplinary perspective and explore the role of information, transaction costs, oligopolies, psychology, political power, and social norms in economic theory and policy. The course also offers a wide perspective on the psychological foundations of economic activity by introducing the students to the new field of behavioral economics and discussing such concepts as bounded rationality and satisfying. We explore the main outlines of decision making under uncertainty and enrich the standard neo-classical model by analyzing the issues associated with rising inequality, alternative welfare indicator such as subjective life satisfaction, the problem of moral hazard in the financial bailouts, the principal-agent problem in industrial organization, adverse selection in insurance markets, opportunistic behavior in consumer theory, unemployment as it relates to our current account deficits, monopolistic competition and post-Keynesian macroeconomics. We shall apply these concepts to current economic issues such as raising the minimum wage, the bailout of Wall Street, the falling median household income, CEO pay, income inequality, the concentration of economic power, and much more.
Special Topics - Real World Economics
Monday, March 13, 2017 to Friday, May 26, 2017