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Stanford ECON 101 - Syllabus

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COURSE INFORMATION AND OVERVIEWINSTRUCTORMEETING TIME AND PLACEOVERVIEW AND COURSE DESCRIPTIONREADINGSCOURSE REQUIREMENTSFall 2001GRADINGTEACHING ASSISTANT HELPIMPORTANT DATESECONOMICS 101: Topics in Labor MarketsFall 2001Page 3GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONSTHINK TANKSPage 4(1) Schmitt, 2000. “The Impact of the Minimum Wage: Policy Lifts Wages, Maintains Floor for Low-Wage Labor Market,” Economic Policy Institute Briefing Paper.(3) Heritage Foundation Briefing, “The Folly of Increasing the Minimum Wage.”Class 7 – Policy Discussion (October 23): The Effectiveness of Welfare Reform – Early EvidenceClass 9 – Group Project – Group B (October 30): A Report on the State of Welfare Caseloads in The U.S. Today – “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”Page 7III. THE LABOR MARKET TODAY – TOPICS FOR THE FUTUREClass 13 – Policy Discussion (November 13): A Labor Market in Transition – Group DifferencesECONOMICS 101Economic Policy Analysis – Labor Market Consequences of Public Policy DecisionsFall Quarter 2001COURSE INFORMATION AND OVERVIEWINSTRUCTORProfessor Linda BellEcon [email protected]: 723-3251Office Hours: Tuesday 9:30-11:00 and Thursday 1:15-2:15MEETING TIME AND PLACETuesday/Thursday 11:00-12:50 Room 60-61GOVERVIEW AND COURSE DESCRIPTIONPublic policy has two complementary constructs -- one driven by ethical, moral, and political dogma, the other by technique, and analysis. As policy makers we must have an appreciation forthe necessity of technical expertise and sophisticated analysis while pursuing goals often led by ideology. Likewise, as economists we must consider the social and political consequences of the policies our science may advocate. This course will focus on the economics of labor markets and the public policy decisions that impact these analyses. We will begin by reviewing and developing the theoretical tools of analyses based on labor supply, labor demand, and elasticity, and continue to explore the institutional evolution of U.S. labor markets today. Specific topics covered will be: (1) minimum wage legislation and its impact on work-choice, inequality, poverty, and employment with a focus on whether or not to discard the minimum wage or increase its potency; (2) welfare reform and itsimpact on the labor market, inequality, poverty, and unemployment, with a focus on the decisions facing the Bush Administration as the original legislation expires, and; (3) the evolving and changing 21st century U.S. labor market and its consequences for efficiency, work hours, women’swork, and the quality or our lives. READINGSRequired (and certain optional) readings are available in a binder available for purchase through the bookstore. Please note that not all readings in the binder are required; included optional readings are deemed to be helpful to group presentations and lectures.COURSE REQUIREMENTS1. Students are required to attend all classes and to come to class prepared to discuss the assigned readings. Students are expected to inform the professor in advance of an anticipated class absence. 2. Each student will be required to complete an individual research paper on a topic related to labor markets and public policy and of the student’s choosing. Students must submit aresearch prospectus and partial bibliography on their research project. The timeline for these submissions is listed below. This 10-to-15-page research policy paper will be due at the end of the quarter. Students will present their research during specially assigned classes at the end of the quarter. 3. Students will also participate in a group project during the quarter. In each project, groups of 2 or more students will prepare a class presentation and written policy brief on an assigned labor market topic. Policy briefs will be limited to 6 pages.ECONOMICS 100: Topics in Labor MarketsFall 2001Page 24. Students will be assigned as discussion leaders for in class papers. Students should read these papers carefully and come to class prepared to lead discussion. Handouts and over-head slides are encouraged as a tool for facilitating discussion. It is expected that students will use properly documented on-line materials in preparing their group policy brief and individual research paper. Several key sites for accessing information follow the course overview. Students are encouraged to check these sites on a regular basis as away of preparing for classes as well as group and individual projects. On indicated dates, internetmaterial may be required for class discussion.GRADINGGrades for the class will be based on the individual research project and presentation (worth 40%of the final grade), the group research brief and presentation (worth 25% of the final grade), their role as discussion leader (worth 10% of the grade) and their active classroom participation throughout the semester (worth 25% of the grade). TEACHING ASSISTANT HELP There will be a teaching assistant assigned to this course to help you with questions you may have regarding the course material and in choosing research topics and research methods. The graduate student teaching assistant will schedule regular weekly office hours for this purpose.IMPORTANT DATESa. Written Research Prospectus for Individual Project: Thursday, October 18b. Group Project Reports: Due 1 Week After In-Class Presentationc. Individual Research Presentations: Final Week of Classes in Decemberd. Research Paper Due Date:December 7, by 12:00 NoonPlease note that these dates are firm. You should expect to meet all course deadlines. Detailed instruction will be given on paper and presentation requirements.ECONOMICS 101: Topics in Labor MarketsFall 2001Page 3 USEFUL INTERNET SITESGOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONSBureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/The BLS keeps a variety of recent and historical statistics relating to the labor market. Economic Report of the President, 2000: http://www.umsl.edu/services/govdocs/erp/2000/index.html/This summarizes key aspects of the U.S. economy and offers good data.United States Census Bureau: http://www.census.govThis offers lots of government statistics and briefing papers.White House Economic Statistics Briefing Room: http://www1.whitehouse.gov/fsbr/esbr.html/There is easy access here to current Federal economic indicators.Bureau of Labor Statistics Most Requested Series: http://www.bls.gov/top20.html/Data on national and regional employment and unemployment, prices and


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