first day handout Fall 2009

first day handout Fall 2009 - ECON 104: First Day Handout...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
ECON 104: First Day Handout Fall 2009 Course Title: Economics and Government Location: Mon 10:30-12:20 EDB 7618 Professor: Krishna Pendakur WMC4655 Office Hour: Mon 2:30-3:30 pm 778-782-5501 or [email protected] or by appointment Prerequisites: NONE MOST IMPORTANT: TONS OF STUFF IS ON MY WEBSITE, UNDER COURSE TOOLS. The Course: A little bit of economics goes a long way. Politicians may tell you that they can lower your income taxes and increase health care spending. A little bit of economics tells you that if they do those things they must either raise other taxes, cut other expenditures or borrow a bunch of money. Pundits might tell you that markets can give you everything, but a little bit of economics tells you that markets might give you stuff you don’t want as well. Economics underlie the decisions that must be made by government, and a little bit of economics can often help make these decisions more reasonably, or help choose politicians who can make these decisions more reasonably. It only takes a little economics to know that if too much carbon is going in to the atmosphere, then taxing it might help. It only takes a little economics to see that the invisible hand might do a good job at getting us the right amount of fast-food, but will almost surely fail to get us the right amount of pollution abatement or unemployment insurance. The course will focus on various topics, with readings, lectures and tutorials aimed at fleshing out various aspects of each topic. Usually, readings, lectures and tutorials will be complementary to each other, rather than substitutes for each other, so all will be required for successful completion of the course. Topics will include: 1. How big is government? (hint for 1 st midterm—roughly half the economy) 2. What does government do? What should government do? 3. Externalities—why being nice is hard, and why governments can help. 4. The Invisible Hand—why governments are terrible and private markets are great. 5. Social Insurance—why private markets are terrible and governments are great. 6. Global Climate Change—carbon taxes, love ‘em or hate ‘em 7. Public Education 8. Deficits—is it bad to borrow? 9. Finance—why did also those banks collapse? 10. Health Care—greedy doctors, greedy patients and greedy insurance companies, and America the beautiful? Required Reading: 1. ECON104 Reader, available in SFU Bookstore approx 12 Sep, $55. Used copies are identical or nearly identical. 2. Harford, Tim, 2007 (2 nd ed), The Undercover Economist , Oxford University Press, available in SFU Bookstore, $21 Grading and Course Requirements Quiz 10% Midterm Exam 30% Assignments 10% Final Exam 50% Study questions for the quiz, midterm and final are available in advance on my website. Exam questions will be similar in spirit to—but not identical to---study questions. The Quiz is 1 hour, during tutorial, and the Midterm is 2 hours, in-class. Both are mostly short-answer and both are required.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 09/13/2009 for the course ECONOMICS econ 104 taught by Professor Krishnapendakur during the Spring '09 term at Simon Fraser.

Page1 / 4

first day handout Fall 2009 - ECON 104: First Day Handout...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online