This course is no longer being offered.
Do good-looking people earn more? Are `Emily’ and `Greg’ more employable than `Lakisha’ and `Jamal’? Can cancer affect housing prices? Does living near a fast food restaurant cause obesity? Is corruption a cultural trait? This course will examine selected discoveries in empirical economics and explain them in easy-to-understand terms, introducing students to the techniques economists use to solve the riddles of everyday human behavior.
When you think of an economics course, you might guess that you would learn how supply and demand determine market prices, or how you can game the stock market to become a billionaire using clever economics theories. However, recent empirical research in economics has answered interesting questions in many fields, the results of which can be observed in everyday life. This course will examine selected discoveries in empirical economics and explain them in easy-to-understand terms, introducing students to the techniques economists use to solve the riddles of everyday human behavior.
Each day, students will be introduced to different methods that are used in economics to identify causal effects in our everyday life. Some recent and interesting articles will be used to explain the intuition behind each method.
Students will learn how to interpret data, and test hypotheses using that data. They will also set up their own hypotheses and identify possible ways of testing them using the techniques learned in class. In the last hour of class each day we will watch a popular documentary on the economic analysis of how humans respond to incentives, and apply what we learned in class to critique the arguments presented in the film.
This course does not require any prerequisite economics courses but basic understanding of economics principles is helpful.