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Course Descriptions


Courses in Graduate Programs in Applied Economics offer exactly the same curriculum in both the WDC and the UMCP formats. All courses are 3-credit masters-level courses. Course syllabi may be viewed at the Department of Economics’ website.

ECON641 Microeconomic Analysis (3 credits).
Microeconomic analysis applied to public policy problems with an emphasis on practical examples and how they illustrate microeconomic theories. Policy issues such as pollution, welfare and income distribution, market design, industry regulation, price controls, tax policy and health insurance are practical examples used to illustrate the abstract principles of microeconomics.

ECON642 Topics in Applied Macroeconomics (3 credits).
Focus is on applied macroeconomic models used by federal agencies to explain and predict economic behavior. Course emphasizes macroeconomic data: NIPA accounts, GDP, construction and application of CPI, labor force data and economic indicators. Students will also study a selected set of current macroeconomic topics including models of economic growth, economic fluctuations, monetary policy, inflation and financial markets.

ECON643 Empirical Analysis I: Foundations of Empirical Research (3 credits).
Fundamental aspects of data management and interpretation emphasizing sampling, descriptive statistics, index numbers and construction of aggregated variables. Students will learn basic probability theory and statistics. The course will include an introduction to simple regression analysis using STATA statistical software.

ECON644 Empirical Analysis II: Introduction to Economic Models (3 credits). Prerequisite: ECON643.
An introduction to econometric methods with applications to public policy analysis. Primary focus on application and interpretation of multiple regression analysis.

ECON645 Empirical Analysis III: Econometric Modeling and Forecasting. (3 credits). Prerequisite: ECON644.
Study of empirical techniques that are particularly relevant to the analysis of microeconomic models. Emphasis is on advanced panel data methods, time series regressions, instrumental variables, limited dependent variables, and sample selection corrections.

ECON670 Financial Economics (3 credits).Prerequisite: ECON641. Completed or concurrently enrolled in ECON644.
This course applies microeconomic theory and applied econometric techniques to the study of financial institutions and markets for financial assets. Students will learn how economists model and estimate the value of financial assets. The economic and empirical models are of interest to public policy makers and private wealth managers. Specific topics can include financial intermediation, the regulation of financial institutions, risk management, portfolio theory, the capital asset pricing model and the efficient markets hypothesis.

ECON671 Economics of Health Care (3 credits). Prerequisite: ECON641. Completed or concurrently enrolled in ECON645.
An examination of the structure, conduct and performance of the health care market, including a study of physician services, the pharmaceutical industry, the hospital market and health insurance. Extensive use of quantitative and analytic economic tools with special emphasis on regulatory response to market imperfections.

ECON672 Program Analysis and Evaluation (3 credits). Prerequisite: ECON641 and ECON645.
Students study the tools used to evaluate the effectiveness of public policies. All evaluations have weaknesses, and some have more weaknesses than others. You will learn how to distinguish high from low quality evaluations. We will discuss the basic economics and econometrics of program evaluation, focusing on the application of methods used for causal inference and cost-benefit analyses in public policy contexts. We will examine published evaluation research with the intent of showing how the research does or does not lead to clear conclusions regarding program performance.

ECON673 Information, Game Theory and Market Design (3 credits). Prerequisite: ECON641. Completed or concurrently enrolled in ECON644.
A study of the strategic decision-making and the theory and practice of market design. Focus is on the design of organized market and incentives created by market rules. Topics include online auction markets, government auctions procurement auctions and matching markets. The analysis includes documenting the rules of real-world markets, game theoretic analysis, empirical analysis, and experimental work.

ECON674 Economic Analysis of Law (3 credits). Prerequisite: ECON641. Completed or concurrently enrolled in ECON644.
A study of the application of economics to law with a focus on game theory, strategic behavior and public policy.

ECON675 Environmental Economics (3 credits). Prerequisite: ECON641; Completed or concurrently enrolled in ECON645.
A study of the nature of environmental regulation focusing on U.S. environmental policies and policy debates.

ECON676 Economic Development (3 credits). Prerequisite: ECON641 and ECON642. Completed or concurrently enrolled in ECON644.
Analysis of economic development. The course will focus on the consequences of poverty and poor institutions for the behavior and welfare of individuals, households, firms and the aggregate economy in developing countries. Theoretical models and empirical evidence will be used to understand the intended and unintended consequences of policies designed to enhance economic development.

ECON683 International Macroeconomics and Finance (3 credits). Prerequisite: ECON641 and ECON642. Completed or concurrently enrolled in ECON644.
Economic analysis of international macroeconomic issues and policy. Topics can include the study of exchange rates, balance of payments, international financial markets, international business cycles, contagion, and the roles played by international economic institutions.

ECON684 Applied Time Series Analysis and Forecasting (3 credits). Prerequisite: ECON 642 and ECON 645.
This course builds on the brief introduction to time series econometrics offered in ECON 645. Students will learn the theory of stationary processes and how it applies to econometric techniques for estimation and forecasting based on time series data. The techniques will be applied in macroeconomic, financial and business applications.

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