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 on-line discussions will use "Discussions" in Canvas. I will post articles and kickoff questions, and you will suggest answers, ask new questions, and comment on other aspects of the article.
I am happy to talk about the answers to any test questions if regrading is not the subject, but if you think that something was graded wrongly, even something as trivial as that points were added wrong, write me a memo rather than speaking to me about it.
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.
January 19, 21. Market failure. Chapter 2 .
January 26, 28. Government failure.
February 2,4, 9. Government design. Chapter 4.
February 11, 16. Time and life. Chapter 5 .
February 18, 23,25. Externalities. Chapter 6 .
March 1. Midterm.
March 3, 15. Conservation. Chapter 7.
March 17,22,24. Monopolizing. Chapter 8.
March 29, 31. Natural Monopoly. Chapter 9.
April 5, 7, 12. Information. Chapter 10.
April 14,19,21. Regulating labor. Chapter 11 .
April 26, 28. Regulating capital. 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.