Academic Year 2017-2018 Courses

  1. ECON 17N: Energy, the Environment, and the Economy: Examines the intimate relationship between environmental quality and the production and consumption of energy. Assesses the economics efficiency and political economy implications of a number of current topics in energy and environmental economics. Topics include: the economic theory of exhaustible resources, Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) control (cap and trade mechanisms and carbon fees), GHG emissions offsets, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the "smart" transmission grid for electricity, nuclear energy and nuclear waste, the real cost of renewable energy, natural gas and coal-fired electricity production, the global coal and natural gas markets, Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) and Low-Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS), Energy Efficiency Investments and Demand Response, and Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS). For all topics, there will be reading to explain the economics and engineering behind the topic and class discussion to clarify and elaborate on this interaction.
  2. Econ 121:  Social Science Field Research:  Methods and Applications:  Building on a basic knowledge of statistical methods and economics, the course first introduces observational field research and compares it with experimental field research. Significant attention will be devoted to explaining what can and cannot be learned from each type of field research. The details of designing both types of projects will be discussed. The basic theory of the design of statistical experiments will be introduced and applied. Examples of best practice field research studies will be presented, as well as examples of commonly committed errors. Throughout the course, we will highlight important practical aspects of field work, including efficient and cost-effective data collection, data management, teamwork, and ethical considerations.
  3. ECON 251: Natural Resource and Energy Economics: Economic theory and empirical analysis of non-renewable and renewable natural resources, with considerable attention to energy provision and use. Topics include: exhaustible resources; renewable resources; and energy industry market structure, pricing, and performance. Prerequisites: 202, 203, 204, 271, and 272, or equivalents with consent of instructor.
  4. ECON 271: Intermediate Econometrics II:  Linear regression model, relaxation of classical-regression assumptions, simultaneous equation models, linear time series analysis. Limited enrollment. Prerequisite: 270.
  5. ECON 276: Computational Econometrics: The course material focuses on econometric methods that make intensive use of computational tools. The focus is not only on the numerical implementation of the computational methods,but also on the statistical and inferential issues that arise from these methods.
  6. GSBGEN 336: Energy Markets and Policy: Transforming the global energy system to reduce climate change impacts, ensuring security of supply, and fostering economic development of the world's poorest regions depends on the ability of commercial players to deliver the needed energy at scale. Technological innovation is a necessary but not sufficient condition for this to occur. The complex institutional frameworks that regulate energy markets in the United States and around the world will play a major role in determining the financial viability of firms in the energy sector. In this course we survey the institutional contexts for energy enterprises of all types and consider what kinds of business models work in each setting. We will study the business models pursued by small and large companies to: develop and deploy breakthrough low-carbon energy technology, evolve smart grids, extract energy in politically-unstable regions, support national goals without compromising core businesses (for the case of state-owned enterprises), build out critically-needed electricity and pipeline infrastructure, and bring clean and reliable energy to the poorest populations. Particular attention will be paid to ways in which the institutional environments and challenges in major emerging markets like China and India differ from those in the United States. The objective of the course is to provide a robust intellectual framework for analyzing how a business can most constructively participate in any sector like energy that is heavily affected by government policy.