This seminar will introduce students to the basic principles of economic analysis as well as encourage engagement in public debates on economic policy. The focus of the course will be to develop critical thinking via economic reasoning including concepts such as scarcity, opportunity costs, and marginal benefit-cost analysis. These tools will be used to analyze the objectives, strategies, tradeoffs, and tools of policy makers who seek to modify economic conditions and the impact upon consumers and firms. Some of the issues that will be examined include taxation and subsidization, globalization and free trade, environmental policy, antitrust concerns, government debt, and the housing and financial crisis. Evaluation will be based on out-of-class assignments, in-class discussion and participation, short policy papers, a final paper, and midterm and final examinations. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for ECON 151 and satisfy one half of the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement.
Benjamin Anderson is an Assistant Professor of Economics and received his PhD in Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics from The Ohio State University in 2011. His research combines theoretical models with empirical investigations in areas such as industrial organization, development economics, agricultural economics, and the economics of sports.