Adam Stevenson:  Teaching Max Ernst - Fireside Angel

Econ 102:  Principles of Economics II:  Macroeconomics
Syllabus, Fall 2015     Course intro lecture

Macroeconomics is the study of economic behavior in aggregate.  Using the most common macroeconomic models, we will examine how aggregate wealth and well-being are determined and ask what we can do to guide and adjust our aggregate economic fate.  Along the way, we will consider theories of money, production, unemployment, business cycles and growth.  Econ 102 is traditionally taken as the second of two principles courses at UM.  Past experience in Econ 101 (microeconomics) is strongly recommended, but it is not necessary for success in the class.

Econ 325:  The Economics of Education

Syllabus, Winter 2016      Course intro lecture

Starting in Winter 2016, successful completion of this course will satisfy LSA's Upper Level Writing  Requirement (ULWR).

In this course, we study the economic approach to the analysis of education.  This course is designed to increase your comfort in interacting with and evaluating the merits and demerits of proposed policies (educational or otherwise). This class is useful for students who want to have a firm background in one of the most important ongoing public policy arenas, and for educators who want to serve as better advocates for effective educational reform.  The economic study of education is heavily empirical, so we will spend some time introducing the statistical tools most commonly used by economists, and we will spend large amounts of time discussing the state of the art of the evidence in favor of, and against, many current educational practices.

Some topics we will cover are: economic theories of educational investment and production, the interaction of markets with educational provision, and the role of education as the “great equalizer”.  A few current policy debates we will delve into include: the effects of class size and teacher credentials on student success, the effects “No Child Left Behind” and standards-based educational reform, the use of incentive pay for teachers, and the practice of issuing vouchers as a means to encouraging greater school choice. 

Documents I've written which may be of general use to undergraduates in economics, or those who are considering economics:

Econ 323:  The Economics of Gender
Syllabus, Summer 2010     Course intro lecture 

In this class, I use economic analysis as a lens to investigate and explain the many ways in which men and women are similar, and those ways in which they differ.  We explore the extent to which a “rational actors” model can explain both the existence of gender roles within society, and the large inequalities that exist as a result of these gender roles.  We consider market outcomes like educational attainment, participation in the labor force, and the income generated by that participation.  The course also discusses a number of more "nonmarket" outcomes like marriage and divorce, child-rearing, and housework.   Throughout, we discuss the facts of the matter, describing recent trends and statistics of gender equality and inequality.  We also analyze a number of potential policy responses to the observed inequalities.