AEASP: Course Descriptions
ECOG 200 – Microeconomics
Main topics: Consumer theory: Mathematical and graphical analysis. Budget sets, preferences, indifference curves in traditional and atypical cases. Choice and demand. Revealed preference, Slutsky equation, endowment economies and labor supply. Micro applications of consumer theory.
Theory of the firm: profit maximization, cost minimization, cost functions.
Use calculus to determine the optimal price and output combinations in the market structures of perfect competition, monopoly, and oligopoly. Monopolies in factor markets and monopoly behavior including advanced pricing theories of price discrimination.
ECOG 213 – Mathematical Methods
Main topics: Single-variable calculus. Differentiation, chain rule, Taylor approximations, exponential and logarithmic functions. Optimization: Stationary points, first and second derivative tests, concavity and convexity. Multivariate calculus, focusing on two independent variables. Partial derivatives, quadratic forms, homogeneous functions. Constrained and constrained optimization. Maxima, minima, saddle points. Lagrange method.
Integration. Geometric interpretation. Antiderivatives. Integration by parts, changes of variable. Linear algebra. Linear systems of equations. Vectors and matrices. Geometric interpretation and operations. Matrix determinants and inverses. Positive/negative definite and semidefinite matrices.
ECOG 211 – Econometrics
Main topics: This course is designed to provide solid understanding of the fundamentals in econometrics. Topics include regression analysis and testing, basic large sample theory, instrumental variables and 2SLS, simultaneous equations models, time series, and interpretation of econometric models.
ECOG 298 – Research/Topics
Main topics: The goals of this course are to learn the tools to manage, organize, and analyze data and to apply good practices in writing research papers in economics. The course is not simply about applying techniques learned in econometrics courses, although this is part of it. Students will learn about all steps of the applied research process—from identifying topics and finding data to publishing and presenting.
ECOG 201 – Microeconomics
Main topics: Univariate and multivariate profit maximization, comparative statics, and the envelope theorem. Returns to scale, homogeneous, homothetic, concave, and quasi-concave functions. Discriminatory pricing, equivalent, compensating variation. Risk and Uncertainty with applications to finance and insurance. Monopoly and imperfect competition: Strategic complements and substitutes. Elements of game theory, solution concepts. Dynamic games of complete information. Games of incomplete information.
ECOG TBA – Mathematical Methods
Main topics: One Variable Calculus Review. Continuity and differentiability, Implicit Function Theorem, total differentials, linearizing an Equation, Taylor's Theorem, one variable unconstrained optimization, and the Envelope Theorem. Matrix algebra: Determinants, inverses, Cramer's rule. Multivariable optimization, concavity, convexity, Hessians, Jacobians, quasiconcavity, homogeneous, homothetic. Integration, probability, expectations. Optimization with inequality constraints. Kuhn-Tucker conditions, Inada conditions. Dynamic models: Two-period, multi-period, infinite horizon. Initial and terminal/transversality conditions. Difference equations, phase diagrams, stable/unstable fixed points. Dynamic programming and the Bellman equation. Continuous time and the Hamiltonian. Economic examples: Optimal savings, economic growth.
ECOG 212 – Econometrics
Main topics: This course covers probability and statistics to allow for further study of advanced econometrics. The goal is to provide a bridge between undergraduate and Ph.D.-level econometrics. We begin with basic concepts from probability, including random variables, random vectors, conditional distributions, and the multivariate normal distribution. Then important tools for asymptotic analysis, such as the law of large numbers and central limit theorem, are treated in some detail. In the final part of the course, the material on probability and convergence is used to discuss estimation and inference, using both finite-sample and asymptotic analysis.
ECOG 315 – Research/Topics
Main topics: The objective of this course is to expose AEASP students at the Advanced level to different types of applied research in economics and to help students produce an applied economics research paper by the end of the summer program. The course includes a review of basic econometrics, research design, and STATA.