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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jason R. Williams
PB AF 499
Seattle Campus

Topics in Public Policy

Examines selected issues of importance in all areas of public policy. Focus on in-depth analysis of vital public policy issues and the integration of economic, political, and administrative perspectives on them. Offered: jointly with POL S 404.

Class description

This course is designed to prepare you for further study of the use of microeconomics in policy analysis (e.g., PBAF 516). A solid grounding in economic theory is essential to providing you with the methodological framework within which a variety of public policy problems can be analyzed. This course will introduce you to the basic neoclassical microeconomic model of the competitive market, providing a foundation for future analysis of interventions in markets or market failures. We will be focusing in this class on the basic analytical tools needed to understand markets, utility, and consumer theory. Those tools include understanding variables and functions, graphing of equations, solving systems of equations, non-linear functions, and the concept of slopes. The latter two concepts demand an introduction to derivatives. We will then turn to basics of supply and demand, dynamics of supply and demand curves, market efficiency, and consumer and producer surplus. Using efficiency as our guide, we will then analyze the potential effects of policy interventions and of violations of the assumptions of the competitive model.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jason R. Williams
Date: 07/21/2011