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Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2008-09 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Graduate courses in Economics

Primarily for graduate students; undergraduates may enroll with consent of instructor.

ECON 202. Core Economics: Modules 1 and 2

(Non-Economics graduate students register for 202N.) Open to advanced undergraduates with consent of instructors. Theory of the consumer and the implications of constrained maximization; uses of indirect utility and expenditure functions; theory of the producer, profit maximization, and cost minimization; behavior under uncertainty; partial equilibrium analysis and introduction to models of general equilibrium. Limited enrollment. Prerequisite: thorough understanding of the elements of multivariate calculus and linear algebra.

2-5 units, Aut (Pistaferri, L; Segal, I)

ECON 202N. 202 For Non-Economics Ph.D. Students

Core Economics modules 1 and 2 for non-Economics Ph.D. students.

2-5 units, Aut (Stein, L)

ECON 203. Core Economics: Modules 5 and 6

(Non-Economics graduate students register for 203N.) Non-cooperative game theory including normal and extensive forms, solution concepts, games with incomplete information, and repeated games. Externalities and public goods. The theory of imperfect competition: static Bertrand and Cournot competition, dynamic oligopoly, entry decisions, entry deterrence, strategic behavior to alter market conditions. Limited enrollment. Prerequisite: 202.

2-5 units, Win (Bernheim, D)

ECON 203N. 203 For Non-Economics Ph.D. Students

2-5 units, Win (Priebsch, M)

ECON 204. Core Economics: Modules 9 and 10

The theory of contracts, emphasizing contractual incompleteness and the problem of moral hazard. Incentive regulation. Competition with imperfect information, including signaling and adverse selection. The theory of resource allocation over time, competitive equilibrium, and intertemporal efficiency. Limited enrollment. Prerequisite: 203.

2-5 units, Spr (Milgrom, P)

ECON 210. Core Economics: Modules 3 and 7

Dynamic economics applied to aggregate economic fluctuations and economic growth. Solving dynamic, stochastic rational expectation models using discrete time dynamic programming. Growth theory (neoclassical models, growth accounting, technical change, endogenous growth) using optimal control theory. Limited enrollment.

2-5 units, Aut (Jaimovich, N; Amador, M)

ECON 211. Core Economics: Modules 11 and 12

Capital asset pricing models, equilibrium with securities, pricing of securities, and arbitrage. Overlapping generations models with incomplete market structure and sunspots. Foundations of Bayesian dynamic learning. Investment theory and empirics, including adjustment costs and the q theory; consumption theory and empirics, focusing on the life-cycle model; and the labor market. Limited enrollment. Prerequisite: 210.

2-5 units, Win (Tertilt, M)

ECON 212. Core Economics: Modules 4 and 8

Monetary theory: economic fluctuations, the role of money (overlapping generations, cash in advance, money in the utility function), dynamic impact of changes in money on the economy, natural rate of unemployment and job creation/destruction, exchange rate determination, international transmission of money, dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models. Macroeconomic policy: rationale for central bank independence, time inconsistency, the impact of public debt, rules versus discretion, interest rate versus money rules, international monetary policy coordination, rational expectations, econometric policy evaluation. Limited enrollment. Prerequisites: 203, 211.

2-5 units, Spr (Taylor, J; Piazzesi, M)

ECON 214. Development Economics I

Microeconomic analysis of markets and institutions in developing countries. Topics: the role of the household; models of savings, credit, and risk; adjustment to aggregate shocks; occupational choice, credit constraints, and credit market imperfections; health and nutrition; new technology; and education. Emphasis is on empirical tests of and evidence for theoretical models. Prerequisites: 202 or 202N, 270.

2-5 units, Aut (Jayachandran, S)

ECON 216. Development Economics II

Consumption smoothing and insurance. Lack of enforceability and imperfect (partial) insurance. Social networks and informal institutions. Evaluation of policy interventions in developing countries. Joint liability and micro-credit. Institutions and the process of development.

2-5 units, Win (DeGiorgi, G)

ECON 220. Political Economy I

Positive and normative theories of political economy. Positive topics include direct democracy, electoral competition, legislative policy making, agenda setting, lobbying, comparative constitutions, and intergenerational politics, with applications to income taxation, redistribution, and the size of government. Normative topics include social choice theory with and without interpersonal comparisons, Pareto efficiency with public goods, potential Pareto improvements, welfare measurement, cost benefit analysis, and analysis of economic policy reform.

2-5 units, Aut (Jackson, M)

ECON 221. Political Economy II

Continuation of 220. Preparation for advanced research in applied political economy. Focus is on econometric methods (panel data, IV, treatment estimation, nonlinear models, random coefficients, duration models, factor analysis) with applications to economic and political development, economic voting, war and economic interdependence, corruption, legislative behavior, and social networks.

2-5 units, Win (Harding, M)

ECON 224. Science, Technology, and Economic Growth

Upper-division undergraduates may enroll with consent of instructor. The roles played by the growth of scientific knowledge and technical progress in the development of industrial societies. Emphasis is on the interactions between science and technology, and the organizational factors which have influenced their effectiveness in contributing to productivity growth.

2-5 units, not given this year

ECON 225. Economics of Technology and Innovation

The feedback structure of how technological change affects economic transformations and how scientific progress and economic change shape technological progress; conceptual and formal approaches for analyzing these relationships. Forecasting, economic history, and current techno-economic developments.

2-5 units, Spr (Moser, P)

ECON 226. U.S. Economic History

The role of economic history as a distinctive approach to the study of economics, using illustrations from U.S. history. Topics: historical and institutional foundations of the U.S. rise to world economic preeminence; economic causes and consequences of slavery; the origins and character of national systems of technology; the Great Depression of the 30s.

2-5 units, Aut (David, P)

ECON 227. European Economic History

From the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Topics include competing hypotheses in explaining cross-country differences in long-term economic growth; the formation, function, and persistence of institutions and organizations; the role of institutions and organizations, such as apprenticeship, servitude, partnerships, cooperatives, social networks, share cropping, and communes, as solutions to contractual problems; the economics of migration; the economics of the family. The use of economic theory in guiding hypothesis testing, the construction of new datasets, and the execution of empirical research.

2-5 units, Aut (Abramitzky, R)

ECON 228. Institutions and Organizations in Historical Perspective

Emphasis is on the formative period from the 11th to 18th centuries. Formation, function, and evolution of institutions; alternative conceptual frameworks such as neoclassical, transaction cost economics, institutionalism, and Marxism and neo-Marxism; game theory, mechanism design, and contract theory. Institutions related to trade organization, the organization of production, feudalism, mercantilism, and the state.

2-5 units, Win (Greif, A)

ECON 229. Topics in Economic History

Emphasis is on institutions and organizations, such as risk-sharing organizations, and property rights, such as patent laws and their effects on technological change and economic growth. Topics include: competing hypotheses for cross-country differences in long-term growth; the importance of institutions to economic growth; formation, function, and persistence of institutions and organizations; role of patent laws in creating incentives for innovation; informal networks as a mechanism to trade property rights; causes and effects of institutional change; tests of contract theory in history; and long-term migration and its effect on economic development.

2-5 units, not given this year

ECON 233. Advanced Macroeconomics I

Topics in the theory of fluctuations and growth.

2-5 units, Aut (Tertilt, M)

ECON 234. Advanced Macroeconomics II

Tools: solving choice problems and equilibrium models with multiple risky assets, many agents, and frictions. Applications: household finance including housing and mortgage choice; risk sharing and financial innovation; asset pricing in production economies; trading volume; international capital flows and financial market integration.

2-5 units, Win (Schneider, K)

ECON 235. Advanced Macroeconomics III

Current topics to prepare student for research in the field. Recent research in labor-market friction, reallocation, fluctuations, wage and price determination, innovation, and productivity growth. Research methods, presentations skills, and writing in advanced economics.

2-5 units, Spr (Bloom, N; Hall, R)

ECON 239D. Directed Reading

May be repeated for credit.

1-10 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

ECON 241. Public Economics and Political Economy I: Public Policy

Welfare economics. Effects of tax policy, including incidence and efficiency costs. Design of tax systems. Externalities, public goods, and clubs. Cost-benefit analysis. Prerequisites: 202-204, 210, 270, 271, or equivalent with consent of instructor.

2-5 units, Win (Hoxby, C)

ECON 242. Public Finance and Taxation II

Social insurance, comparative political institutions, and federalism. Prerequisites: 202, 203, 204, 210, 270, 271, or equivalent with consent of instructor. Recommended: 241.

2-5 units, Spr (Bernheim, D; Fitzpatrick, M)

ECON 244. Psychology and Economics

Experimental and field evidence related to the psychological mechanisms behind static choice, intertemporal choice, choice under risk and uncertainty, choice in social situations, and hedonics. Models of economic choice based on these findings, and how they improve the explanatory and predictive value of standard theories. Prerequisites: 204, 271, or consent of instructor.

2-5 units, not given this year

ECON 246. Labor Economics I

The demand for workers and hours of work, substitution among different types of labor in production, technological change, adjustment costs, restrictions on layoffs. The supply of labor, hours of work, participation, life-cycle models of behavior, welfare programs. Wage differentials by schooling, age, cohort, gender, and race. Changes in these wage differentials and differences across countries. Economics of discrimination. Income inequality. Employment contracts and turnover. Models of labor union behavior. Bargaining. Worker-owned enterprises.

2-5 units, Aut (Pencavel, J)

ECON 247. Labor Economics II

Topics in current applied microeconomic research including skill-biased technical change, income distribution, program evaluation, job search, migration, discrimination, consumption behavior, media bias, and management practices. Student and faculty presentations. Additional sessions on general presentation, paper writing, and research skills.

2-5 units, Spr (Pistaferri, L; Bloom, N)

ECON 250. Environmental Economics

Sources of environmental problems in market economies; policy options for addressing these problems. Topics include: alternative environmental policy instruments such as taxes, standards, and tradable permits; valuation of non-marketed commodities such as environmental amenities and biodiversity; and environmental policy making under uncertainty. Applications include global climate change and green tax reform. Prerequisites: 202, 203, 204, and 271, or equivalents with consent of instructor.

2-500 units, Aut (Goulder, L)

ECON 251. Natural Resource and Energy Economics

Issues in provision and management of non-renewable and renewable natural resources, and energy products and services. Theory and empirical methods related to: market structure, pricing, and performance of important energy and resource industries; sources of market failure in these industries; and alternative regulatory approaches. Prerequisites: 202, 203, 204, 271, and 272, or equivalents with consent of instructor.

2-5 units, Win (Wolak, F)

ECON 257. Industrial Organization 1

Theoretical and empirical analyses of the determinants of market structure; firm behavior and market efficiency in oligopolies; price discrimination; price dispersion and consumer search; differentiated products; the role of information in markets, including insurance and adverse selection; auctions; collusion and cartel behavior; advertising; entry and market structure; market dynamics; strategic behavior.

2-5 units, Aut (Einav, L; Kastl, J)

ECON 258. Industrial Organization 2

Theoretical and empirical analyses of the determinants of market structure; firm behavior and market efficiency in oligopolies; price discrimination; price dispersion and consumer search; differentiated products; the role of information in markets, including insurance and adverse selection; auctions; collusion and cartel behavior; advertising; entry and market structure; market dynamics; strategic behavior.

2-5 units, Win (Wolak, F; Kastl, J)

ECON 260. Industrial Organization 3

Current research and policy interest. Topics may include: empirical tests of oligopoly theories; non-price competition; entry and market structure; the role of information in markets; auctions; e-commerce; dynamics of change in regulatory policy; theory of economics institutions; antitrust status of joint ventures; and use of capacity, innovation, and product variety as a barrier to entry. Significant unresolved research issues and promising ways to attack them. Prerequisites: 257, 258.

2-5 units, Spr (Levin, J; Einav, L)

ECON 265. International Economics I

International macroeconomics and finance, emphasizing current research. Prerequisites: 202, 203, 204, 210, 211, 212.

2-5 units, Aut (Fitzgerald, D)

ECON 266. International Economics II

Determinants of trade and comparative advantage. Trade with imperfectly competitive markets. Income distribution and gains from trade. Commercial policies, tariffs, and quotas. Dynamic comparative advantage. Economic geography and trade. Political economy of trade.

2-5 units, Spr (Manova, K)

ECON 267. Topics in International Trade

Firm-level approach to the decision to export focusing on firm heterogeneity. Firms' decision to invest abroad, and causes and effects of horizontal, vertical, and export-platform foreign direct investment. Trade and the organization of the firm: multi-product and multinational firms, and outsourcing. Trade patterns and institutional frictions, including credit constraints and labor market rigidities. Multilateralism versus preferential trade liberalization. Recent theoretical and empirical developments.

2-5 units, not given this year

ECON 268. Topics in International Finance

(Same as ECON 168.) (Graduate students register for 268.) Monetary foundations of international exchange; the rules of the game since Bretton Woods. Foreign exchange risk under the world dollar standard. Hedging, forward covering, and interest parity relationships. International capital flows and the current account. Global trade imbalances; China and Japan versus the U.S. Inflation versus exchange rate targeting in developing countries. Prerequisite for undergraduates: 52; recommended: 165.

5 units, Win (McKinnon, R)

ECON 269. International Financial Markets and Monetary Institutions

(Same as ECON 169.) (Graduate students register for 269.) How nations are linked financially through money, capital, and exchange markets, emphasizing policy issues including the role of the International Monetary Fund, monetary and exchange rate policy, prevention and resolution of financial crises in emerging markets, current account imbalances, and capital mobility. Development and use of macroeconomic models of international financial linkages and microeconomic models of hedging, optimal selection of currencies for invoice and trade credit, and parity relationships in futures, swaps, and options markets. Prerequisite: 165.

5 units, Spr (Taylor, J)

ECON 270. Intermediate Econometrics I

(Same as ECON 170.) (Graduate students register for 270; see 270.) Probability, random variables, and distributions; large sample theory; theory of estimation and hypothesis testing. Limited enrollment. Prerequisites: math and probability at the level of Chapter 2, Paul G. Hoel, Introduction to Mathematical Statistics, 5th ed.

2-5 units, Aut (Hansen, P; Hong, H)

ECON 271. Intermediate Econometrics II

(Same as ECON 171.) (Graduate students register for 271.) Linear regression model, relaxation of classical-regression assumptions, simultaneous equation models, linear time series analysis. Limited enrollment. Prerequisite: 270.

5 units, Aut (Wolak, F)

ECON 272. Intermediate Econometrics III

(Same as ECON 172.) (Graduate students register for 272.) Continuation of 271. Nonlinear estimation, qualitative response models, limited dependent variable (Tobit) models. Limited enrollment. Prerequisite: 271.

2-5 units, Spr (Staff)

ECON 273. Advanced Econometrics I

Possible topics: parametric asymptotic theory. M and Z estimators. General large sample results for maximum likelihood; nonlinear least squares; and nonlinear instrumental variables estimators including the generalized method of moments estimator under general conditions. Model selection test. Consistent model selection criteria. Nonnested hypothesis testing. Markov chain Monte Carlo methods. Asymptotic hypothesis testing procedures derived for each estimation framework.

2-5 units, Aut (Hong, H)

ECON 274. Advanced Econometrics II

(Formerly 273B); Possible topics: nonparametric density estimation and regression analysis; sieve approximation; local polynomial regression; spline regression; cross validation; indirect inference; resampling methods: bootstrap and subsampling; quantile regression; nonstandard asymptotic distribution theory; empirical processes; set identification and inference.

3-4 units, Win (Romano, J)

ECON 276. Limited Dependent Variables

(Formerly 274.) Possible topics: discrete choice models; Tobit models; duration models; semiparametric methods; single index models; rank regression; U-statistics; bounds and incomplete models; linear and nonlinear static and dynamic treatment effects; local instrumental variables; matching; propensity score; inverse probability weighting; models with measurement errors and unobserved heterogeneity; stratified sampling. Discrete endogenous variables. Information theoretic alternative to gmm estimation. Nonlinear panel data. Prerequisite: 273 or consent of instructor.

2-5 units, Spr (Harding, M)

ECON 279. Experimental Economics

An introduction to experimental economics, its methods, and major subject areas that have been addressed by laboratory experiments. Focus is on a series of experiments that build on one another, and allow researchers with different theoretical dispositions to narrow the range of potential disagreement. Prerequisites: 202, 203, 204, or consent of instructor.

2-5 units, Win (Niederle, M)

ECON 281. Normative Decision Theory and Social Choice

Normative principles of behavior, especially in single-person decision trees. Objective and subjective expected utility. Savage, Anscombe-Aumann, and consequentialist axioms. State dependence. Multi-person extensions: social choice, ethics, opinion pooling, and rationalizability in non-cooperative games. Prerequisite: 202 or equivalent. (Hammond)

2-5 units, not given this year

ECON 282. Contracts, Information, and Incentives

Issues and recent developments in mechanism design and the theory of contracts. Topics include: hidden characteristics and hidden action models with one and many agents, role of commitment and renegotiation in long-term relationships, incomplete contracts and applications to the theory of the firm.

2-5 units, Win (Segal, I)

ECON 283. Advanced Topics in Contracts and Organization

Recent developments and promising research. Topics change from year to year, and may include: reputational concerns and implicit contracts in long-term relationships, property rights and the hold-up problem, multilateral contracting, communication requirements of allocation problems, communication without full commitment. Prerequisite: 282 or consent of instructors.

2-5 units, not given this year

ECON 285. Auctions, Bargaining, and Pricing

(Same as MGTECON 602.) Theory of auctions and related literature in bargaining and pricing. Key papers include Myerson and Satterthwaite on bargaining, Myerson on optimal auctions, and Milgrom and Weber's classic work. How markets with complicated preferences and constraints, limitations on the use of cash, or variations in contract details among bidders decisively impair the performance of simple market rules. Emphasis on matching markets such as the National Resident Matching Program, asset auctions such as the spectrum auctions. Literature on dynamic bargaining.

4 units, Win (Skrzypacz, A)

ECON 286. Game Theory and Economic Application

Solution concepts for non-cooperative games, repeated games, games of incomplete information, reputation, and experiments. Standard results and current research topics. Prerequisite: 203 or consent of instructor.

2-5 units, not given this year

ECON 287. General Equilibrium Theory

Existence, efficiency, and Walrasian equilibrium in exchange economies. Production, financial markets, incomplete markets, sequence economies with infinitely-lived agents. Prerequisites: 204 or consent of instructor.

2-5 units, not given this year

ECON 290. Multiperson Decision Theory

(Same as MGTECON 608.) Students and faculty review and present recent research papers on basic theories and economic applications of decision theory, game theory and mechanism design. Applications include market design and analyses of incentives and strategic behavior in markets, and selected topics such as auctions, bargaining, contracting, and computation.

4 units, Spr (Wilson, R)

ECON 291. Social and Economic Networks

Models and techniques for analyzing social and economic networks; how they are measured; and how to represent them. Models to understand how networks are formed; implications of network structure in social and economic behavior, including applications to labor markets, social mobility, crime, and consumer behavior.

2-5 units, given next year

ECON 299. Practical Training

Students obtain employment in a relevant research or industrial activity to enhance their professional experience consistent with their degree programs. At the start of the quarter, students must submit a one page statement showing the relevance of the employment to the degree program along with an offer letter. At the end of the quarter, a three page final report must be supplied documenting work done and relevance to degree program. May be repeated for credit.

1-10 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

ECON 300. Third-Year Seminar

Restricted to Economics Ph.D. students. Students present current research. May be repeated for credit.

1-10 units, Aut (Hansen, P; Bernheim, D), Spr (Bernheim, D; Hansen, P)

ECON 301. Microeconomic Workshop

1-10 units, not given this year

ECON 305. Economic Applications Workshop

1-10 units, Aut (MaCurdy, T; Pencavel, J; Pistaferri, L; Wolak, F; Bloom, N), Win (Pistaferri, L; MaCurdy, T; Pencavel, J; Wolak, F; Bloom, N; McClellan, M), Spr (MaCurdy, T; Pencavel, J; Pistaferri, L; Wolak, F; Bloom, N; McClellan, M)

ECON 310. Macroeconomic Workshop

1-10 units, Aut (Hall, R; Klenow, P; Taylor, J; Amador, M; Jaimovich, N; Bloom, N; Tertilt, M; Kurz, M; Piazzesi, M; Schneider, K), Win (Hall, R; Klenow, P; Taylor, J; Jaimovich, N; Tertilt, M; Amador, M; Kurz, M; Piazzesi, M; Schneider, K), Spr (Hall,

ECON 315. Development Workshop

1-10 units, Aut (Mahajan, A; Jayachandran, S; DeGiorgi, G), Win (Jayachandran, S; Mahajan, A; DeGiorgi, G), Spr (DeGiorgi, G; Mahajan, A; Jayachandran, S)

ECON 325. Economic History Workshop

May be repeated for credit.

1-10 units, Aut (Greif, A; Wright, G; Abramitzky, R; Moser, P), Win (Greif, A; Wright, G; Moser, P; Abramitzky, R), Spr (Wright, G; Greif, A; Moser, P; Abramitzky, R)

ECON 341. Public Economics and Environmental Economics Seminar

Issues in measuring and evaluating the economic performance of government tax, expenditure, debt, and regulatory policies; their effects on levels and distribution of income, wealth, and environmental quality; alternative policies and methods of evaluation. Workshop format combines student research, faculty presentations, and guest speakers. Prerequisite: 241 or consent of instructor.

1-10 units, Aut (Boskin, M; Shoven, J; Goulder, L; Hoxby, C), Win (Boskin, M; Shoven, J), Spr (Boskin, M; Shoven, J)

ECON 345. Applications Workshop

1-10 units, Aut (MaCurdy, T; Pencavel, J; Pistaferri, L; Wolak, F; Bloom, N), Win (MaCurdy, T; Pencavel, J; Pistaferri, L; Wolak, F; Bloom, N; McClellan, M), Spr (MaCurdy, T; Pencavel, J; Pistaferri, L; Wolak, F; Bloom, N; McClellan, M)

ECON 355. Industrial Organization Workshop

Current research in the field by visitors, presentations by students, and discussion of recent papers. Students write an original research paper, make a formal presentation, and lead a structured discussion.

1-10 units, Aut (Bresnahan, T; Einav, L; Kastl, J; Levin, J), Win (Bresnahan, T; Einav, L), Spr (Bresnahan, T; Einav, L)

ECON 365. International Trade Workshop

1-10 units, Aut (Lau, L; Fitzgerald, D; Manova, K; Staiger, R), Win (Lau, L; Staiger, R; Wright, M; Fitzgerald, D), Spr (Lau, L; Wright, M; Fitzgerald, D; Staiger, R)

ECON 370. Econometrics Workshop

1-10 units, Aut (Hong, H; Hansen, P; Mahajan, A; Harding, M), Win (Hansen, P; Mahajan, A; Han, L; Harding, M), Spr (Hansen, P; Mahajan, A; Hong, H; Harding, M)

ECON 385. Mathematical Economics Workshop

1-10 units, not given this year

ECON 391. Microeconomic Theory Seminar

Game theoretic (classic and evolutionary analysis of institutions as multiple equilibria). Norms, social embeddedness, organizations as conventions, contract enforcement and corporate governance mechanisms, and states. Institutional complementaries and diachronic institutional linkage. May be repeated for credit.

1-10 units, Aut (Segal, I; Levin, J; Milgrom, P; Niederle, M; Bernheim, D; Kurz, M; Jackson, M), Win (Bernheim, D; Levin, J; Milgrom, P; Niederle, M; Segal, I; Jackson, M; Kurz, M), Spr (Bernheim, D; Levin, J; Milgrom, P; Niederle, M; Segal, I; Jackson

ECON 400. Ph.D. Dissertation

1-15 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

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