Fall2011Killingsworth364

Fall2011Killingsworth364 - RUTGERS UNIVERSITY . Department...

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Unformatted text preview: RUTGERS UNIVERSITY . Department of Economics Fall semester, Economics 364: 2011-2012 Personal Economics and Public Policy Mr. Killingsworth 201-B New Jersey Hall Objectives: In the course, you will learn about some of the major economic decisions you'll need to make throughout life (your education, getting auto loans and a home mortgage, borrowing money, finding health and life insurance, saving for retirement, and making other decisions affecting your consumption, financial status and lifestyle); how economic analysis is relevant to these decisions; the costs and benefits of different public policies affecting these decisions (e.g., the tax deductibility of mortgage interest, state and local taxes and charitable contributions; proposed reforms of the health care system and the educational system); and how such public policy decisions affect and are affected by individuals' economic decisions and actions. PLEASE NOTE: Laptops and cell phones may not be used at any time, for any purpose, during lectures or exams. Anyone who does not conform to this requirement will be removed from the classroom. Likewise, anyone talking to other members of the class during lectures or exams will be removed from the classroom. Anyone removed fiom the classroom will not be readmitted to the classroom without prior consultation with the instructor and the dean of students. Office hours: Tuesdays, 1-3 pm in 201-B New Jersey Hall, CAC (732—932-7794); or by appointment. Feel free to make an appointment for another time if regular office hours are not convenient. You can leave messages for me at 732-932-7794 or at the Economics Department at 732-932-7363. Office hours are an INTEGRAL part of the course! My e-mail address is mrk@rci.rutgers.edu. Quizzes, exams and grades: Grades will be based on a midterm exam (35%), a final exam (35%), and two quizzes (15% each). The quizzes: Four quizzes will be given during the semester; your best two quiz scores will be used in computing your course grade. Dates of quizzes will not be announced in advance. Anyone absent from a quiz will receive a score of zero for that quiz. There will be no makeups for any quiz. (In lieu of makeups, you get to drop your two lowest quiz scores.) Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, consist of multiple-choice questions, and take no more than 30 minutes. Please note that latecomers to class will not be able to take any quizzes. The exams: The midterm date will be announced in advance. The final exam will be given on Thursday, Dec. 22, between 8-11 am. Review questions and answers will be distributed before each exam. Students who miss the midterm exam or the final exam are required to take a makeup exam. Also, students who take an exam but want to improve their grade may, at their option, take the makeup to that exam. In this case, your grade will be based on the better of the two exams (i.e., if the makeup score is higher than the original exam score, the makeup score will be used; otherwise, the original exam score will be used). (For students who take the exam but not the makeup, the original exam grade will count as the actual exam grade.) The midterm and final exams will (i) consist entirely of essay questions that will stress the ability to apply principles of economics developed in the readings and lectures; and (ii) be open-book/open-notes (so that memorization and rote learning will be deempha- sized). ‘ Readings: The required text for the course is Blumenthal, The Wall Street Journal Guide to Starting Your Financial Life ("Blumenthal"). Other readings for the course are given in the syllabus, below; virtually all of these readings will be available from the Library's Electronic Reserve. In addition to these readings, please contact the Internal Revenue Service and request certain documents (see the last page of this outline for details). Finally, you'll need a calculator that can compute exponents (103‘25 , e'4'10, etc.) and common and natural logarithms. Student subscriptions: You should regularly read one or more publications in economics and business (e.g., The New York Times; The Wall Street Journal; Business Week; Fortune, The Economist; etc.). You can order some of these publications at steeply-discounted student rates; see the course website for details. Website for the course: You can download the syllabus, lecture notes and other materials for this course by visiting the course website: fl’gggfii_[_@§i§yi§lg;£g£:EEIELLIEAJZLLQEE. Check the website every Friday afternoon to get the reading assignment and lecture notes for the coming week. Prerequisites: Econ. 203 (Intermediate Microeconomics) and Econ. 322 (Econometrics). Helpful hints: o The midterm and final exams (1) consist of essay questions, (2) are open-book/open-notes, (3) do NOT require memorization and (4) emphasize clear thinking and application of economic analysis to economic questions (including questions that may n_ot have been discussed in lectures). 0 Do the required readings BEFORE they are discussed in class -- DON'T wait until exam time rolls around. (This is particularly important because the dates of quizzes will not be announced. You'll need to be prepared W before you come to class!) w o Read the text at least TWICE — the material is too complicated to grasp fully after only one reading. 0 Above all, if you need help, DO ask questions in class and DO go to office hours (preferably, well before exam time). REMEMBER that your tuition will NOT be increased if you go to office hours! 0 Remember that there will be no makeup for any quiz, and there will be no makeups for any makeup exam. If i you miss a quiz, you will receive a score of zero for that quiz. If you miss both an exam and the makeup to that ' exam, you will receive a score of zero for that exam. Latecomers will not be allowed to take any quizzes. ' o If you encounter problems of any kind — family problems, personal problems, academic problems, emotional problems, health problems, work-related problems, etc. — you should deal with them as soon as they arise by contacting your college dean, by contacting me, etc. Don't wait until the end of the semester to contact me — at that point, it will be much too late to do anything about them! SYLLABUS FOR THE COURSE As soon as possible, please order IRS Publication 17, "Your Federal Income Tax." To do this, go to the IRS website, http://www.irs.go’v/formspubs/indexhtml. Under "Other," you will see a link called "Forms and publications by U.S. mail." Search this link for "Publ 17," put it in your cart, and order it to be sent to your address. 1. Introduction and some preliminaries Blumenthal, pp. 1-37, 53-64 Handouts on econometrics 2. Learning Blumenthal, pp. 114-123 Angrist, Dynarski, Kane, Pathak, and Walters, "Inputs and Impacts in Charter Schools: KIPP Lynn," American Economic Review 100(2) (May 2010), pp. 239-243 J Lavy, "Performance Pay and Teachers' Effort, Productivity and Grading Ethics," American Economic Review 99(5) (December 2009), pp. 1979-2011 Carrell and West, "Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors," Journal of Political Economy 118(3) (June 2010), pp. 409-432 Johnson and Turner, "Faculty Without Students: Resource Allocation in Higher Education," Journal of Economic Perspectives 23(2) (Spring 2009), pp. 169-190 Achen and Courant, "What Are Grades Made Of?" Journal of Economic Perspectives 23(3) (Summer 2009), pp. 77-92 Bar, Kadiyali and Zussman, "Grade Information and Grade Inflation," Journal of Economic Perspectives 23(3) (Summer 2009), pp. 93-108 3. Consuming Blumenthal, pp. 111-113, 124—128, 161-212 Johnson, “‘Petit Déjeuner Compris' — Is It Really Free?“ Journal of Wine Economics 2(1) (May 2007), pp. 2- 23 Lach, "Existence and Persistence of Price Dispersion: An Empirical Analysis," Review of Economics and Statistics 84(3) (August 2002), pp. 433-444 Griffith, Leibtag, Leicester, and Nero, "Consumer Shopping Behavior: How Much Do Consumers Save?“ Journal of Economic Perspectives 23(2) (Spring 2009), p. 99-120 Chevalier and Goolsbee, “Are Durable Goods Consumers Forward-Looking? Evidence from College Textbooks," Quarterly Journal of Economics 124(4) (November 2009), pp. 1853-1884 Abramitzky, Einav and Rigbi, "Is Hanukkah Responsive to Christmas?" Economic Journal 120(545) (June 2010), pp. 612-630 Simonsohn, "Weather to go to College," Economic Journal 120(543) (March 2010), pp. 270-280 Leape, "The London Congestion Charge,“ Journal of Economic Perspectives 20(4) (Fall 2006), pp. 157-176 4. Working (or not) Blumenthal, pp. 65-69, 74-77,100-102 Case and Paxson, "Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy 116(3) (June 2008), pp. 499-533 Hallock, "Job Loss and the Fraying of the Implicit Employment Contract," Journal of Economic Perspectives 23(4) (Fall 2009), pp. 69-94 Nicholson and Needels, "Unemployment Insurance: Strengthening the Relationship Between Theory and Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives 20(3) (Summer 2006), pp. 47-70 Elias and Storrie, "Does Job Loss Shorten Life?" Journal of Human Resources 44(2) (Spring 2009), pp. 277- 302 midterm exam (covering Parts 1-4 above): week of October 24 5. Raising a family Baker, Gruber and Milligan, "Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Journal of Political Economy 1 16(4) (August 2008), pp. 709-745 Loughran and Zissimopoulos, "Why Wait? The Effect of Marriage and Childbearing on the Wages of Men and Women," Journal of Human Resources 44(2) (Spring 2009), pp. 326-349 Miller, "The Effects of Motherhood Timing on Career Path," working paper, available at 11:pr www.xitginiaogian191319391amorfll‘afllor/iiamuExtitaalgwggglmfiig1.12M; forthcoming, Journal of Population Economics Stevenson and Wolfers, "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and Their Driving Forces," Journal of Economic Perspectives 21(2) (Spring 2007), pp. 27-52 Black, Sanders and Taylor, “The Economics of Gay and Lesbian Families," Journal of Economic Perspectives 21(2) (Spring 2007), pp. 53-70 6. Paying taxes, receiving transfers Blumenthal, pp. 70-73, 103-110, 213-216; Intemal Revenue Service, Publication 1 7 Mankiw, Weinzierl, and Yagan, "Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice," Journal of Economic Perspectives 23(4) (Fall 2009), pp. 147-174 Poterba, "Taxation and Housing: Old Questions, New Answers,“ American Economic Review 82(2) (May, 1992), pp. 237-242 Glaeser and Shapiro, “The Benefits of the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction," pp. 37-82 in Tax Policy and the Economy, Vol. 17 (2003) Slemrod, "Are Estimated Tax Elasticities Really Just Tax Evasion Elasticities? The Case of Charitable Contributions," Review of Economics and Statistics 71(3) (August 1989), pp. 517-522 6. Paying taxes, receiving transfers (continued) Piketty and Saez, "How Progressive is the US. Federal Tax System? A Historical and International Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives 21( 1) (Winter 2007), pp. 3-24 Hines, "Taxing Consumption and Other Sins," Journal of Economic Perspectives 21(1) (Winter 2007), pp. 49- 68 Graetz, "Tax Reform Unraveling," Journal of Economic Perspectives 21(1) (Winter 2007), pp. 69-90 Agarwal, Liu, and Souleles, "The Reaction of Consumer Spending and Debt to Tax Rebates — Evidence from Consumer Credit Data," Journal of Political Economy 115(6) (December 2007), pp. 986-1019 Shapiro and Slemrod, "Did the 2008 Tax Rebates Stimulate Spending?" American Economic Review 99(2) (May 2009), pp. 374-379 Bertrand and Morse, "What Do High-Interest Borrowers Do with Their Tax Rebates?" American Economic Review 99(2) (May 2009), pp. 418-423 Currie and Gahvari, "Transfers in Cash and In-Kind: Theory Meets the Data," Journal of Economic Literature 46(2) (June 2008), pp. 333-3 83 7. Staying healthy Blumenthal, pp. 78-89 Propper and Van Reenen, "Can Pay Regulation Kill? Panel Data Evidence on the Effect of Labor Markets on Hospital Performance," Journal of Political Economy 1 18(2) (April 2010), pp. 222-273 Gruber, "Covering the Uninsured in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature 46(3) (September 2008), pp. 571-606 Garber and Skinner, "Is American Health Care Uniquely Inefficient?" Journal of Economic Perspectives 22(4) (Fall 2008), pp. 27-50 Cebul, Rebitzer, Taylor, and Votruba, "Organizational Fragmentation and Care Quality in the US. Healthcare System," Journal of Economic Perspectives 22(4) (Fall 2008), pp. 93-114 8. Borrowing, saving, investing, and insuring Class handout on compound interest, discounting, and present value Blumenthal, pp. 38-55, 114-123, 78-99, 129-166, 219-268 Stegman, "Payday Lending," Journal of Economic Perspectives 21(1) (Winter 2007), pp. 169-190 Stango and Zinman, "What Do Consumers Really Pay on Their Checking and Credit Card Accounts? Explicit, Implicit, and Avoidable Costs," American Economic Review 99(2) (May 2009), pp. 424-429 Woodward and Hall, "Consumer Confusion in the Mortgage Market: Evidence of Less than a Perfectly Transparent and Competitive Market," American Economic Review 100(2) (May 2010), pp. 511-515 Skinner, "Are You Sure You're Saving Enough for Retirement?" Journal of Economic Perspectives 21(3) (Summer 2007), pp. 59-80 Gustman, Steimneier, and Tabatabai, "What the Stock Market Decline Means for the Financial Security and Retirement Choices of the Near-Retirement Population," Journal of Economic Perspectives 24(1) (Winter 2010), pp.161-182 Feldstein, "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy 82(5) (September-October 1974), pp. 905-926 Leimer and Lesnoy, "Social Security and Private Saving: New Time-Series Evidence," Journal of Political Economy 90(3) (June 1982), pp. 606-629 Feldstein, "Social Security and Private Saving: Reply," Journal of Political Economy 90(3) (June 1982), pp. 630-642 Feldstein, "Structural Reform of Social Security," Journal of Economic Perspectives 19(2) (Spring 2005), pp. 33-55 final exam (covering ONLY Parts 5-8): Thursday. December 22, between 8—11 am ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/23/2011 for the course ECONOMICS 364 taught by Professor Killingsworth during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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Fall2011Killingsworth364 - RUTGERS UNIVERSITY . Department...

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