This courses teaches how to apply the tools of economic reasoning to a variety of topics in which businesses create or react or public policies. The central ideas are surplus, rent-seeking, and incentives. Changes in economic surplus--- consumer and producer surplus at its simplest--- show who gains and loses from policies, and hence predicts how a business is most likely will react in the public arena. A policy is "efficient" if it maximizes the sum of everyone's surplus, and this is the benchmark for creating policy that maximizes social wealth. Rent-seeking is the attempt by different interest groups to use the political process to transfer surplus from other groups to themselves. Rent-seeking is one source of inefficiency. Any policy provides incentives as a result of its effect on surplus, and care must be taken that these incentives lead to the desired outcome. Understanding how to apply these three ideas is a major objective for an economics education. The hardest part is learning how to apply them in different contexts, which is the aim of this course. In the course of so doing, students will also learn the facts involved in a wide variety of public policy problems in government regulation, ranging from antitrust laws to pollution regulation, public-utility pricing, labor policy, and the safety of consumer products.
The grade will be calculated from problem sets (10%), a regulation comment (10%), participation (10%), 3 quizzes (20%), a midterm test (20%), and a final examination (30%). Do not pay any attention to the automatic grade computation in Canvas or its curve; I will curve everything, including participation and problem sets. Canvas is just for finding your scores on tests and whether I have a record of you turning in assignments. You may turn in assignments late for partial credit. The midterm will be on March 4 and the final will be 10:15-12:15, Mon., April 29 in this room.
Participation will make up 10% of the grade (for details see http://rasmusen.org/g406/scribes.doc) and will be graded at the end of the semester based on class participation, responses to minor assignments, attendance, helpfulness in class, etc. You will also complete a regulation public comment in teams of two. There are two homework problems to do for each chapter. I will check that you hand them in, but they are pass-fail. You may do them in groups, but each person should turn in his own copy.
I am happy to talk about the answers to test questions if regrading is not the subject, but if you think that something was graded wrongly, even something as trivial as that the points were not added up correctly, write me a memo.
Lecture slides are in the directory http://rasmusen.org/g406/slides/.
INTEGRITY AND HONESTY
The Kelley School's Honor Code is something you have all read. It is online at http://www.kelley.iu.edu/ugrad/honorcode.cfm. Living up to the Honor Code's integrity is not hard. Don't cheat, and tell me if you see somebody else cheating. I will take appropriate disciplinary actions against any offenders. Again: Do not cheat! I am strict about that, and have used the official procedures of the Dean of Students before. Cheating is immoral, whether or not you get caught, and despite the careless attitude of some departments at IU. Leave this course with your honor intact.
Market failure. Chapter 2
Government design. Chapter
Time and life. Chapter 5 .
Externalities. Chapter 6 .
Conservation. Chapter 7.
Monopoly. Chapter 8.
Natural monopoly. Chapter 9.
Information. Chapter 10.
Regulating labor. Chapter 11 .
Telecommunications Chapter 12.
Learning Outcomes. What students will learn in this course is how to think logically and follow a sequence of reasoning, how regulations are made and carried out, how they should be made and carried out, and their effects on people and businesses.
Standard Kelley Notice: Portions of this course may be subject to electronic proctoring. Video cameras may be used to monitor the room during student assessment activities, including but not limited to, exams, tests, and quizzes. Video recordings may be used to investigate or support disciplinary action. All access to and use of video equipment and recordings will follow applicable IU policies.
Standard IU Notice: As your instructor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment on our campus. Title IX and our own Sexual Misconduct policy prohibit sexual misconduct. If you have experienced sexual misconduct, or know someone who has, the University can help.
If you are seeking help and would like to speak to someone confidentially, you can make an appointment with:
The Sexual Assault Crisis Service (SACS) at 812-855-8900
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 812-855-5711
Confidential Victim Advocates (CVA) at 812-856-2469
IU Health Center at 812-855-4011