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Course Details

Fall 2014-2015
ECO 343 (SA)   No Pass/D/Fail

Economic Inequality and the Role of Government

Ilyana Kuziemko

In the US and many other developed countries, economic inequality has risen to historic levels in recent decades. What are the causes of this trend -- "natural" market forces (e.g., globalization?) or changes in public policy (e.g., erosion of the minimum wage)? Are measures currently proposed to counteract inequality and poverty -- e.g, progressive taxation, transfer programs to low-income families, public insurance programs such as Medicare -- effective? An emphasis is placed on understanding what basic microeconomic theory as well as empirical evidence can (and cannot) tell us about these questions.

Sample reading list:
Piketty, T. & Saez, E., The Evolution of Top Incomes
Gruber, J., Public Finance and Public Policy: selected chapters
Cutler, D. and Reber, S., Paying for Health Insurance: The Trade-Off
Autor, D., L. Katz and M. Kearney, The Polarization Of The U.S. Labor Market
Friedman, M., Capitalism and Freedom, selected chapters
Cogressional Budget Office, Trends in the Distribution of Income

Reading/Writing assignments:
Two problem sets per week.

Mid Term Exam - 25%
Final Exam - 40%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%
Problem set(s) - 25%

Other Requirements:
Not Open to Freshmen.

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
ECO 300 or 310.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
23713 L01 07:30:00 pm - 10:20:00 pm M        Enrolled:19 Limit:30
24525 P01 10:00:00 am - 10:50:00 am Th   McCosh Hall   2   Enrolled:10 Limit:15
24526 P02 11:00:00 am - 11:50:00 am F   Robertson Hall   015   Enrolled:9 Limit:15
23714 P99 TBA        Enrolled:0 Limit:0 Canceled