Part I. Themes: Theory Causal Tests, Evidence, and a First Application
1 Minimum wages and employment: Theory says?  

Testing theory: The fundamental problem of causal evidence

The method of Differences in Differences

3 Minimum wages and employment: Evidence  
Part II. The Foundation of Everything: Consumer Preference, Choice, Optimization, and Demand
4 Introducing consumer theory: The foundation of microeconomics  
5 Consumer sovereignty: The Carte Blanche principle Pset 1 due day after Session 5
6 From preferences to demand curves  
7 Income effects, substitution effects, and the design of anti-poverty programs  
8 Income, substitution, and subsistence Pset 2 due
9 Exam 1  
Part III. From Consumer Demand to Market Demand
10 Applied competitive analysis: The U.S. sugar program  
11 Applied competitive analysis: The market for real estate brokers  
Part IV. Putting Markets Together: General Equilibrium, Exchange, and International Trade
12 Putting markets together: The Edgeworth box  
13 The gains from market integration: "The Digital Provide" Pset 3 due day after Session 13
14 International trade and comparative advantage  

Does trade raise national income?

The method of Instrumental Variables

16 The free trade dilemma  
Part V. Markets Are Not Perfect: Externalities

Externalities: Definition, consequences, and remedies

Guest lecture: Colin Gray or Christina Patterson, Graduate students at MIT's Department of Economics

18 Internalizing externalities: Barbed wire fencing Pset 4 due day after Session 18
19 Prediction is difficult, especially about the future: Choice under uncertainty.  
20 Exam 2  
Part VI. Choice Under Uncertainty: Risk Preference, the Value of Safety, and the Market for Risk
21 Risk preference, the value of time, and the value of statistical life  
22 There's a market for risk? How insurance works  

Moral hazard in the housing market: Subprime lending

The Regression Discontinuity method

Part VII. Markets are Not Perfect: TMI or NEMI?
24 Imperfect information: Signaling in markets Pset 5 due day after Session 24
25 Why do educated people earn more? Signaling vs. human capital  
26 Mandating a pooling equilibrium: "Ban the Box" legislation Pset 6 due day after Session 26
27 Adverse selection and the Lemons Problem  
28 Health insurance in practice: Why it works, why it matters  
  Exam 3 (during exam period)