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European Economic History (Graduate Course)

Covers topics in Economic History from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century (but does not cover detailed economic history of particular European countries). Topics include competing hypotheses in explaining long term trends in economic growth and cross-country differences in long-term economic growth; the diffusion of knowledge; the formation, function, and persistence of institutions and organizations; the role of institutions and organizations (for example, apprenticeship, servitude, partnerships, cooperatives, social networks, share cropping, and communes) as solutions to contractual problems; the causes and consequences of income inequality; the economics of migration; the changing economic role of the family. The course will highlight the use of economic theory in guiding hypothesis testing, as well as the construction of new datasets and the execution of empirical analysis.

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The Economics of Immigration in the US: Past and Presence (Sophomore seminar)

The United States is often perceived as a land of opportunity for immigrants. Yet, both in the past and today, policy makers have expressed concerns that immigrants fail to integrate into US society and lower wages for existing workers. There is an increasingly heated debate about how strict migration policy should be. This debate is rarely based on discussion of facts. This class will review the evidence on historical and contemporary migrant flows. We will discuss some of the major issues in the economics of immigration: who chooses to move to the US; who returns home; the lives of immigrants once they enter the US economy and society; the processes of economic and cultural assimilation; and what effects immigration may have on the local economy, including the effect of immigration on native employment and wages. In each case, we will present studies covering the two main eras of US immigration history, the Age of Mass Migration from Europe (1850-1920) and the recent period of renewed mass migration from Asia and Latin America.

Intermediate Microeconomics (Undergraduate Course)

Microeconomics is the study of how individuals and firms make decisions in a world of scarcity and how these decisions affect markets. We will deal with questions such as how do people decide what goods to buy? How do firms decide how much to produce and how many workers to hire? Why do some industries grow while others decline? Is monopoly power harmful? When is government regulation useful and when is it harmful? The objective of this course is to equip students with a set of concepts and analytical tools that will help them answer these and other important economic questions.

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