FRSEMR 42C: The Role of Government [Spring 2020 - Freshman Seminar]
Location: Littauer M-42
Meeting Time: Monday 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Description: Economists have a very positive view of the role of markets. The intellectual foundations of this are the first and second theorems of welfare economics. The purpose of the seminar is to introduce the students to these results but also to their limitations. For example, for markets to work well it is essential to have a legal system that upholds contracts and protects property rights. The legal system is also important to deter crime. But who can provide the legal system other than a government that has the coercive power to raise taxes? The legal system is an example of a public good, but of course there are many others including national defense, clean air, etc. Markets under-provide public goods and they also do not work well in the presence of externalities, a highly topical example of which is global warming resulting from carbon emissions. Another very topical issue is inequality. There is no particular reason to think that a market economy will yield an equitable distribution of income, and given this what is the appropriate government response? Throughout the seminar the analysis of ideas and concepts will be interspersed with policy issues such as whether and what limitations should be placed on the right to smoke or consume drugs, the right to marry, the right to buy and sell organs, the right to bear arms, and the freedom of businesses to decide whom to serve. We will also consider the pros and cons of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the role of government nudges, and whether goods or services paid for by the government need to be produced by the government or can be outsourced: the issue of privatization.
Ec 2010b Economic Theory [Spring 2020 - Course]
Location: Harvard Hall 105
Meeting Time: Tuesday & Thursday 10:30pm - 11:45pm
Description: Topics include social choice theory, signaling, mechanism design, general equilibrium, the core, externalities, and public goods.
Ec 3013 Graduate Student Workshop in Contracts and Organization (Spring 2020 - Graduate Research Meeting)
Meeting Time: Tuesday 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: Littauer, Hansen-Mason Room, North Yard
Description: Participants discuss recent research in contracts and organizations and present their own work in progress. Open to doctoral students in economics.
Ec 3114 Seminar in Law, Economics, and Organizations (2019-2020 - Seminar)
Meeting Time: Monday 12:30-2:00pm
Location: HLS, Hauser 105
Description: The presentation of work in progress in the field of law, economics, and organizations. Presentations by members of the various Harvard faculties, outside speakers, and graduate students. Offered jointly with the Law School as 96250-11 and with the Business School as 4670.