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Econ 431 Syllabus Winter 2012 Updated 2

Econ 431 Syllabus Winter 2012 Updated 2 - Economics 431...

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Economics 431 Winter Semester 2012 Instructor : David Hansen Office : 150 FOB Office Hours : Wednesday: 4-5 pm Thursday: 1-2 pm Friday: 10-11 am Office Phone : 801-422-5308 Email : [email protected] Course Information Time and Location: Monday and Wednesday, 2:00 to 3:15 pm, 368 MARB Teaching Assistant: Bryan Hardy ( [email protected] ) TA Office Hours: To be announced Course Objectives: This course will focus on diagnosing problems that occur in less developed areas, understanding their causes, and analyzing potential solutions for these problems. Some areas that we will focus on include market failures, government failures, and issues relating to health, education, families, gender, inequality, the environment, technology, and so on. My goal for this course is that you o Learn facts about topics in development o Understand current debates in development economics o Learn how to advance governmental, inter-governmental, and non- governmental efforts to understand and promote economic development o Build econometric skills, including programming and interpretive skills o Learn to write better in an academic research setting o Become better model builders and theoretical thinkers o Become better researchers Course Materials Few textbooks exist in the field of development economics, so this class will be taught primarily from academic papers in the field and my lecture notes. There are also two required books for the course: The Economics of Microfinance (2 nd edition) by Beatriz Armendáriz and Jonathan Morduch (also available in electronic form on the BYU library website) and Poor Economics by Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee. We will be using these books for several readings each. You are expected to read the relevant readings before each class period, as it will be hard for you to keep up and contribute to the discussion otherwise.
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Prerequisites You absolutely must have already passed Econ 380. Most of what we are doing is modifying neoclassical assumptions, used in 380, to make a model that better fits particular situations, and seeing what we learn. You will not be prepared to do this unless you are familiar with microeconomics. You would also benefit from Econ 382 (Intermediate Price Theory II) but you may try the class without it as in past semesters students have indicated that it was not needed as a prerequisite. Econ 388 or Poli Sci 328 is required as well. If you wish to take Econ 431 concurrently with 388 you are welcome to try that approach, as it seems to work fine for some students. Grading Criteria Component Percentage Midterms 30% Final 30% Paper 20% Homework 15% Participation 5% There will be two midterms and a final. Both midterms will be held in the Testing Center. The final will be in the usual classroom on Tuesday, April 17, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. You will have the option to drop your lowest midterm score.
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