I. First Year Courses
Microeconomic Theory I
This course develops theories of the behavior of micro-units in the economy--firm and consumers--and uses these theories to gain insights about behavior at the market level. Required topics covered include supply of products and the theory of the firm under competition and monopoly; the theory of consumer behavior; and production functions, cost curves, and derived demand for factors of production. Optional topics include the distinction between the short run and the long run and externalities. The focus of the course is on using theory to solve problems.
Microeconomic Theory II
This course covers advanced topics in modern economic theory. The topics include product differentiation and competitive pricing of attributes, duality theory, surplus accounting, intertemporal choice, intertemporal arbitrage and asset pricing, investment dynamics, risk and expected utility, moral hazard, adverse selection, and signaling in insurance markets, employment contracts, game theory, general equilibrium theory, social welfare theory, externalities, and public goods.
Macroeconomic Theory I
The aim of this course is to provide a solid foundation for the tools and techniques needed to conduct research in macroeconomics. We will understand in detail two widely used workhorse models of modern macroeconomic theory, the neo-classical growth model and the overlapping generations' model. In doing so, we will study dynamic programming theory and techniques. We will then use these models to study problems of growth, business cycles, consumption and investment.
Macroeconomic Theory II
The course covers demand-side topics, not generally taught in Macroeconomics I, starting from a basic review of IS-LM at the level of Sargent (1987) then progressing to the original or "classic" articles which developed rational expectations under flexible and fixed prices, modern consumption theory, money demand and seigniorage, and the New Keynesian Model and its policy implications.
This is an introduction to econometric theory. The approach adopts momemnts estimation and Maximum likelihood estimation as two general theories by which one can generate estimators for cases of interest. OLS, GLS, Logit, Probit, Serial correlation and heteroscedasticity are all dealt with as examples of maximum likelihood and/or moments estimation. Various examples are shown and numerical methods to obtain MLE are discussed.
This is the second part of the standard first year graduate econometrics class.
Topics include: instrumental variables estimation, generalized method of moments, static and dynamic panel data, specification tests, limited dependent variables models, selection models, count data models and (time permitting) duration models. Examples from the literature are discussed and students gain practice in estimating and interpreting empirical results.
II. Field Courses
Labor Economics I
This course focuses on the working of labor markets and their interaction with various institutions. As much of the analysis in labor economics relies on an understanding of supply and demand of labor, we will first lay a foundation of these concepts. During and following this discussion, we will address various topics, such as the impact of the welfare system; labor as a "fixed" input; market equilibrium and job search; occupational safety and health; compensating wage differentials; and earnings risk.
This course surveys selected topics in labor economics, with a focus on human capital. Topics include: returns to education, school quality, signaling, experience and job mobility, migration and immigration, labor demand, minimum wages, technological change and the wage structure, and discrimination. The course focuses on both theoretical models and empirical estimates, with particular attention paid to the identification of causal effects. Work in the class includes an empirical replication study of a published paper
and a final exam.
Monetary Theory and Policy I
This course will assume a background equivalent to the Economics Program's Macroeconomics I and II. After a brief overview of money and banking and monetary policy, topics this semester will include: (1) theory and empirical literature on the demand for money; (2) modern literature on monetary policy rules; (3) theories and empirical evidence on the causes of inflation; (4) issues in the transmission of monetary policy.
Special Topics in Macro Theory
This course surveys several topics on monetary DSGE models. The ultimate goal is to motivate students' interest in these topics and get started in the dessertation. The first half of the course introduces the building blocks of monetary DSGE models, focusing on the role of frictions. The second half covers the recent developments in the DSGE literature with an applied emphasis such as the multisector DSGE models and the empirical literature on the performance of DSGE models. Students will also practice the basic programming skills for replicating the DSGE related papers and prepare for the term paper assignment. Throughout the course, we also discuss how the DSGE models are used in the actual policymaking and what controversies they provide.
This course will cover the analytical methods often used in applied microeconomic research, in areas such as health and labor economics, and is particularly important for students planning to write an empirical dissertation in one of these areas. We will cover discrete choice models, censored regression models, selection models, and panel data models. In addition to covering the statistical properties of these models, the course will emphasize the applications of these models in a variety of studies. Students will be asked to carry out analysis of data using the methods covered by the course, and will also learn to critically analyze empirical studies that implement these methods.
The goal of this course is to develop students' understanding of the current literature on applied time series econometrics and the tools used for that. Emphasis will be on univariate and multivariate models with stationary and nonstationary time series and applications. The course will cover topics in time series econometrics such as autoregressive moving average, vector auto regression, structural vector autoregression and vector error correction models. Students will learn to apply these tools to examine questions in macroeconomics, finance and international finance.
Economic Development I
Theories and policies of economic growth and structural transformation in less developed countries; problems of development and solutions in the real and financial sectors, in the domestic and foreign sectors; as well as economic liberalization and stabilization in developmental process.
Political Economy of European Union
The Interdisciplinary Seminar on "The Political Economy of the European Union: Past, Present Future" in the spring 2008 semester will deal with the analytical foundation, development, prospects and the salient political-economic issues concerning the European Union (EU). We will examine pertinent theories and the real world of politics and economics that are tightly interlinked in the case of the EU. With the latest enlargements of the EU (ten now Member States on May 1, 2004 and two more on January 1, 2007), European integration has entered a new phase in what has been a remarkable achievement in voluntary reduction of national/nationalistic preferences. The center of decision-making in many policy areas (such as monetary, labor, fiscal, trade and environmental policy, for instance), has partially moved from the national to the transnational (international) level. Participants in the seminar will gain a thorough understanding on "what makes Europe tick" – its successes and challenges. The European Union is a work in progress – how is the European Union responding to globalization, the rise of China and India and the challenges unleashed by a drastically and rapidly depreciating dollar. Is the European currency, the euro, ready to take the dollar's position – has the process already started?
This course gives an overview of the recent topics in international macroeconomics and finance. The lectures strive to keep a balance between theoretical and empirical studies and explore areas of potential research in the field. Some of the topics covered in class include: intertemporal models of the current account, flexible exchange rates and exchange rate dynamics under flexible and sticky prices, the new open economy macroeconomics, financial and balance of payments crises, optimal currency areas and monetary unions.
Economics of Health
This course emphasizes the distinction between health as an output and medical care as one input into the production of health. This distinction leads to a discussion of models of the production of health and the demand for health. Within the context of these models, the demand for medical care is treated as a derived demand for a factor of production. Approaches to optimal infant and child health, the health-schooling causality controversy, and the economic determinants of such unhealthy behaviors as cigarette smoking and alcohol abuse also are covered. In addition, more traditional topics in a course on the economics of health are discussed. These include the demand for and supply of various types of medical care services, the demand for health insurance, and the effects of insurance on the demand for medical care.
Research Methods and Writing in Economics
This seminar serves two purposes. First, it examines aspects of professionalism in the economists' world. This has various angles: (i) the art of writing effectively; (ii) the ability to conduct a useful literature survey; (iii) the art of reporting statistical information; (iv) the skill of effective presentation. To gain insights, students will make short presentations about these topics, summarizing material found in assigned readings. Second, in this seminar, students work on a research paper on their topic of interest. This is not to be done in isolation: through the presentations that each student makes, this course provides a forum for feedback and joint learning, while at the same time offering a place to build effective presentation skills. The paper must be a new project, not a continuation of a project (i.e., term paper, a literature survey or a research project) from a previous semester, although it may be related to previous work. Therefore, at the start of the semester, the first order of business is to define the project. This is done in coordination with both the instructor and a faculty member in the field under which the project is headed. At completion, the paper may become a part of the dissertation; if suitable, it may be submitted for publication. During the semester, students make three presentations about their research project, reflecting the progress made towards completion of the project.
This course provides a theoretical and empirical overview of econometric techniques that may be used when studying panel data. Panel data are pooled observations of a cross-section of units such as individuals, households, firms, states, countries, etc. The number of pooled observations per unit does not have to be the same, but that case does present some further complications. When feasible, the theoretical discussion of econometric techniques will be illustrated with empirical studies that use those same techniques.
Teaching Strategies in Economics
This course will provide an introduction to teaching methods for any graduate student in economics planning to teach and the Graduate Teaching Fellows, in particular. It is intended to be an informal seminar in which students develop syllabi, perform mock lecture presentations and discuss possible issues that may arise in undergraduate teaching. Students are also expected to observe an undergraduate class weekly in one of the CUNY colleges as preparation for their teaching assignment.
Past Course Descriptions
Spring 2008 Course Description
Fall 2006 Course Description
Spring 2006 Course Description