Courses (CUNY Graduate Center, 2008-present)
This course is the first of a two-semester graduate level study of the theory and practice of econometrics. The course assumes a working knowledge of concepts of econometric analysis. The objective is to work through a common set of principles, to formulate the theoretical underpinnings of various models, to study the workings of many econometric models, to be able to recognize variants of existing models, to develop variations of existing models that fit particular research problems.
This course is the second of a two-semester graduate level study of the theory and practice of econometrics. The course builds on the foundations of Econometrics I and expands the set of econometric tools and techniques that are useful in applied econometric research. The objective is to work through a common set of principles, to formulate the theoretical underpinnings of various models, to study the workings of many econometric models, to be able to recognize variants of existing models, to develop variations of existing models that fit particular research problems.
This course consists of four parts. The first part consists of models of discrete choice and limited variables, including sample selection. The second part is a brief discussion of replicability in economic research. The third part discusses the estimation of treatment effects. Under the right circumstances, these estimation methods can plausibly be interpreted as producing estimates that are free from the effects of confounding influences on the outcome in question. These include propensity score matching, instrumental variables, difference-in-differences and regression discontinuity designs. We also discuss differing views about this estimation approach. The fourth part examines three techniques important in microeconometric analysis: bootstrapping, methods for clustering standard errors, and sampling weights.
This course provides a theoretical and empirical overview of econometric techniques that may be used when studying panel data. Panel data are pooled observations of a cross-section of units such as individuals, households, firms, states, or countries, over time. The number of pooled observations per unit does not have to be the same, but that case does present some further complications. When feasible, the theoretical discussion of econometric techniques will be illustrated with empirical studies that use those same techniques. The techniques can also be used when cross-sectional data consist of groups, for example by city, state, and so forth, rather than of pooled data over several years.
This course provides an introduction to spatial econometrics. Spatial econometrics is concerned with the spatial aspects present in cross-sectional and space-time observations. Space is interpreted not merely in a geographic sense but also in an economic or sociological sense.
Labor Economics I
This course is the first of a two-course sequence in labor economics. It focuses on the working of labor markets and their interaction with various institutions. As much of the analysis in labor economics relies on an understanding of supply and demand of labor, we will first lay a foundation of these concepts, which, since people are complex, turn out to be surprisingly involved. During and following this discussion, we will address various topics, such as (i) The impact of the welfare system; (ii) Labor as a “fixed” input; (iii) Market equilibrium; (iv) Tax structure and employment: the role of government; (v) Job search; (vi) Occupational safety and health; and (vii) Earnings risk.
Development Economics II
This class will provide a joint study environment where we analyze parts of the literature that deals with the microeconomic aspects of development economics, with an emphasis on labor markets and human resources in developing countries. As many contributing economists actually specialize more in labor markets and human resources rather than in development economics, the topics will often overlap with the study of the same issues in industrial countries: the issues are similar but the context differs. This means that the material covered in this course is of interest both to development economists and to labor economists. The topic of “Labor Markets and Human Resources” covers sectoral (or occupational) choice, wage determination, human capital and education, migration, population, health and nutrition, and gender issues. These topics are addressed both in isolation and in the context of the “core” development economics topics of income distribution, poverty, credit allocation, investment, agriculture, globalization, and so forth.
Research Methods and Writing in Economics
This seminar serves two purposes. First, it examines aspects of professionalism in the economists’ world. This has various angles: (i) the art of writing effectively; (ii) the ability to conduct a useful literature survey; (iii) the art of reporting statistical information; (iv) the skill of effective presentation; (v) the role model that is offered by well-known economists. To gain insights, students will make short presentations about these topics, summarizing material found in assigned readings. Second, in this seminar, students work on a research paper on their topic of interest. This is not to be done in isolation: through the presentations that each student makes, this course provides a forum for feedback and joint learning, while at the same time offering a place to build effective presentation skills. The paper must be a new project, not a continuation of a project (i.e., term paper, a literature survey or a research project) from a previous semester, although it may be related to previous work. Therefore, at the start of the semester, the first order of business is to define the project. This is done in coordination with the instructor and/or a faculty member in the field under which the project is headed. During the semester, students make three presentations about their research project, reflecting the progress made towards completion of the project, and a fourth presentation about a topic to be discussed below.