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 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.
Macroeconomic Theory II
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.
This is an introduction to econometric theory. The approach adopts moments 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
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
The main objective of this course is to provide an overview of important macroeconomic topics. They cover a review of general theories of economic growth, credit market imperfections, imperfect insurance and financial markets liberalization, trade and globalization, political institutions, and policies of structural adjustments. The discussion also touches upon distribution of income, technology adjustment, uneven development and sources of endogenous fluctuations. The emphasis in this course is on economic models and econometric evidence.
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.
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.
This course provides a theoretical and empirical overview of econometric techniques that may be used when studying spatial data. Spatial data consist of observations that interact in some sense: geographically, economically, socially, politically, etc. This interaction may express itself in behavioral patterns or in exposure to common shocks. Lectures cover economic theories that motivate interactive behavioral patterns, examine spatial-econometric techniques of estimation and hypothesis testing, discuss statistical software, and review empirical studies that apply those techniques. Evaluation is based on exams that focus on theory and interpretation, and assignments that focus primarily on empirical implementation.
Financial Markets & Instruments
This course provides an introduction to the quantitative analysis of prices and consequently the risk and return of risky assets. This analysis of asset pricing lies at the heart of virtually all of financial economics. There are currently two approaches towards pricing: absolute (like CAPM and APT) and relative (like Black-Scholes). The first approach is more ambitious since it tries to relate prices to fundamentals. This course will seek to provide a thorough overview of the current state of the art approaches towards asset pricing and will cover both theoretical and empirical work by leading experts in the field. The development of the material is mathematical, but the main objective is to develop intuition, discover empirical predictions and ultimately develop some original research ideas.
Financial Theory & Engineering
The course provides an introduction to the pricing of financial derivatives and is logically split into two parts. The first part deals with basic finance theory and the mechanics of derivative markets and instruments. The second part focuses on the mathematical concepts that are used to price these derivatives.
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.
Economic Development II
This course examines the microeconomic aspects of development economics,
with an emphasis on labor markets and human resources in developing countries. Among the topics to be discussed are sectoral (or occupational) choice, wage determination, human capital and education, migration, population, health and nutrition, and gender issues. These topics are addressed both in isolation and in the context of the “core” development economics topics of income distribution, poverty, credit allocation, investment, agriculture, globalization, and so forth.
International Trade Theory & Policy
This course covers the main theories of international trade, emphasizing their empirical implications. Besides more traditional theories, based on differences in technology or in factor endowments, we study in detail the more recent theories that emphasize endogenous varieties and firm-level heterogeneity. While the emphasis is on the mechanics of the models we also discuss issues related to data, identification, estimation, and testing.
International Macroeconomics and Finance
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.
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.
Labor Economics II
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.
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.
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.