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Undergraduate Economics Courses

Economics courses are of three types: Foundation courses , Compulsory courses and  Elective courses. Below is an indicative list and final details about course contents are available in the course handbook.

Foundation Courses

 

Economic Ideas from Smith to Sen

This course is intended as an introduction to the main currents of economic thought. It commences with the ideas of Adam Smith, moves on to those of the other members of the Classical School such as Malthus and Ricardo, and ends this section with the writings of Marx. It next journeys to the works of the economists of the early twentieth century including Marshall, Hayek and Keynes whose work continues to matter in policymaking today. Finally, we study the rise after 1945 of Development Economics, focussed on the economic problems of Africa, Asia and Latin America, which it was considered required a treatment on its own. In this section the course engages in particular with the ideas of Amartya Sen who opened up a new view of development, and applied it to an understanding of India’s progress since 1947. As the course progresses it will reveal the various modes of reasoning that have been deployed in economics and also serve as a brief economic history of the world in the past two centuries.

 

The Global Economy, Pre-Columbus to Post-Covid: An Analytical Tour

The aim of this course will be to familiarize students with the important facts/events that have shaped economic development around the world, including India, China, Europe, America, and Africa. These include: the slave trade and the Colombian exchange; the opium wars, colonization, US and Chinese civil wars, the Bretton Woods conference, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Global Financial Crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic. This historical tour will be grounded in a framework for understanding development: how have geography, history and institutions influenced the trajectory of nations? What has been the role of states and markets? How have ideas, interests, institutions, inheritances and individuals interacted in the course of economic history? Over the last few decades, and especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, should we think about development as compartmentalized between distinct geographies? The work of Jared Diamond, Ian Morris, Kenneth Pomeranz, Thomas Piketty, Acemoglu and Robinson, Karl Polanyi among others will be covered in the course.

 

Compulsory Courses

 

Introduction to Economics (Spring semester)

This course is compulsory for all Economics Majors, PPE as well as Economics Minor.

The course is intended to introduce you to the way economists think, and provide you with some of the tools, language, and rigour to assess and understand the world around us. You will be introduced to certain aspects of economic history, principles of decision making in a world marked by scarcity, strategic interaction, the behaviour of firms and consumers, and the concept of a market.  We will also go on to cover other topics, including economic fluctuations and their impact on unemployment, globalisation and trade, inequality and poverty. By the end of the course, you should be able to critically think from an economist’s point of view about a number of topics and policy questions facing economies around the world.

 

Microeconomic Theory I (Monsoon Semester)

This course is compulsory for all Economics Majors, PPE as well as Economics Minor. 

Microeconomics studies the decision making mechanism of individual participants in a market economy. This course is designed to impart an understanding of the fundamental principles and rationale underlying such decision making by individuals. Topics include consumer and producer theory, choice under uncertainty, competitive equilibrium, market structure and welfare economics.

Pre-reqs: ECO-1001 (Introduction to Economics), ECO-1010 (Mathematics for Economists)

 

Macroeconomic Theory I (Monsoon Semester)

This course is compulsory for all Economics Majors, PPE as well as Economics Minor. 

This course takes the student to the next level of macroeconomics after the introduction s/he would have obtained in the Principles course of the first year.  The focus is on the three equation model (IS-Monetary Rule-Phillips Curve) and how that plays out in a closed and in an open economy.  The analysis of business cycles is introduced. 

Pre-reqs: ECO-1001 (Introduction to Economics), ECO-1010 (Mathematics for Economist

 

Statistics for Economics (Monsoon Semester)

This course is compulsory for all Economics Majors as well as Economics Minor, with a slight exception for PPE. This course is not compulsory for PPE students with Philosophy or Political Science concentration.

This course covers elementary probability theory, random variables and distributions, sampling distributions, point and interval estimation and hypothesis testing.

This course is waived off for students who have done two courses, Probability and Statistics (MAT 201) and Statistical Inference (MAT 311), taught by the Maths faculty. However, the two Maths courses should be taken before the students register for Econometrics in the Spring semester.

Pre-reqs: None

 

Mathematics for Economics (Spring Semester)

This course is compulsory for all Economics Majors, PPE as well as Economics Minor.

This course is compulsory for all Economics Majors, PPE as well as Economics Minor. This course introduces students to the mathematical techniques necessary for the study of economics at the undergraduate level. In particular, the course will cover univariate and multivariate calculus, optimization techniques and linear algebra. By the end of the course students should be adept at calculating derivatives, slopes of different graphs, concavity and convexity, single variable and multivariable optimization, Lagrange method.

Pre-reqs:  None

 

Microeconomic Theory II (Spring Semester)

This course is compulsory for all Economics Majors. 

The course is the second part of the microeconomic theory sequence. This course will take off by discussing various forms of market failures, including dealing with questions of externalities and public goods.  The course also analyzes non-competitive market structures such as monopoly, oligopoly and monopolistic competition. As we will discover, a systematic treatment of many of these topics requires us to develop an understanding of strategic reasoning.  The formal tool kit that economists use to study strategic reasoning is game theory. The course will introduce you to game theory and its two building blocks— normal and extensive form games. In the second half of the course we will deal with information asymmetry and market failure and introduce the concept of adverse selection and moral hazard. This will lead to the discussion of how game theory gives us insights about dealing with situations of information asymmetries in the market.

Pre-reqs:  ECO-2101 (Microeconomic Theory I)

 

Macroeconomic Theory II (Spring Semester)

This course is compulsory for all Economics Majors and is offered to the cohort of 2017-2020 onwards.

The focus of this course is on economic outcomes in the long run. Its core comprises models of economic growth - namely the Harrod-Domar, Solow and endogenous growth models of Lucas and Romer – and country evidence on its determinants. Particular issues that would be addressed are trade and growth, technology and the role of institutions.

Pre-reqs:  ECO-2201 (Macroeconomic Theory I)

 

Econometrics (Spring Semester)

This course is compulsory for all Economics Majors as well as Economics Minor, with a slight exception for PPE. This course is not compulsory for PPE students with Philosophy or Political Science concentration.

This course is an introduction to the methods of data analysis commonly used in economics.  Building on the basic concepts of statistical inference, the course will examine how data can inform economic models, relationships and public policy analysis. The course will have both a theoretical and an application based part. The theory will involve understanding the method of least squares estimation and the application part will involve data visualization and analyses using Stata computing software.

Pre-reqs:  ECO-1400 (Statistics for Economists)

 

Development Economics (Monsoon Semester)

This course is compulsory for all Economics Majors as well as Economics Minor, with a slight exception for PPE. This course is not compulsory for PPE students with Philosophy or Political Science concentration.

Why are some countries so poor and others so rich? Can governments act to eliminate poverty or must the poor remain poor? What sorts of interventions work and how do we evaluate them? Through this course, you will question the meaning of economic development and identify the factors that affect growth, poverty and inequality. You will engage with contemporary research on markets, institutions, education and health. You will analyse these questions by using both theoretical frameworks as well as empirical evidence based on survey data. In doing so, you will gain an insight into the challenges and constraints faced by developing countries in their quest to improve the quality of human life.

 

 

Elective Courses

 

Monsoon Semester (2020)

 

Economics of Information

Prior knowledge of basic game theory will be assumed. We want to understand outcomes in environments where some players have more information than others. For example, a car salesman knows more about the value of the car than a customer, a person buying car insurance knows more than the insurance provider about his/her driving style, a job applicant is more aware of her abilities than the interviewer. The objective of this course is to understand player incentives and strategies in such environments with the use of formal economic models. We will highlight the role played by asymmetric information and study how it changes outcomes compared to an environment where everyone has the same information. Specific topics include models involving adverse selection, moral hazard, signalling, cheap talk, reputation and information cascades.

Pre-reqs:  ECO-2101 (Microeconomic Theory I), ECO 2102: Microeconomic Theory II

 

Axiomatic Methods, Fair Division Problems and Welfare Economics

This course will focus on the axiomatic approach in the first half which will include reading papers on voting and social choice theory. The second half of the course will be devoted to the study of Fair Division Problems, which incorporates the four principles of distributive justice: compensation, reward, exogenous rights, and fitness. The concepts of equal gains, equal losses, and proportional gains and losses will be described.  The course will also discuss three cardinal measures of collective welfare: Bentham's "utilitarian" proposal to maximize the sum of individual utilities, the Nash product, and the egalitarian leximin ordering. The market outcome as a solution to inefficiencies caused by externalities (tragedy of the commons) will be discussed, along with fair trade, two-sided matching market where we will discuss the top-trading cycle and the deferred acceptance algorithm to achieve an efficient allocation.

Prereqs:   ECO 2101 (Microeconomic Theory I),  ECO-1010 (Mathematics for Economists)



 

International Trade

This course will provide an overview of world trade. It will cover theories of trade including the Ricardian model, specific factors, and Heckscher-Ohlin models; new trade theories. Other topics include  the international location of production; firms in the global economy and outsourcing and multinational enterprises, trade policies and international macroeconomic policy. 

Prerequitsites:  ECO 2101 (Microeconomic Theory I), ECO 2201 (Macroeconomic Theory I)


 

Advanced Econometrics 

This course is designed to equip students for analyzing real life data, related to economics in particular and social science in general. It will acquaint the students with advanced techniques in cross-section and panel-data analysis as well as implementation of theory through software applications (STATA) to gear them towards execution of independent research projects. Topics include dealing with model specification, program evaluation, instrumental variables, and limited dependent variables

Pre-req:  ECO-2400 (Econometrics)

 

Social Policy in India

The course scrutinises India as a welfare state, using the lens of applied microeconomics.

We will consider social policy in some key areas: food security, basic education, employment guarantee. In addition, we will analyse policy in three types of rural markets: reforms in the market for land, microfinance initiatives, and publicly funded insurance policies. Finally, we will consider the nature of social exclusion in India, with a special focus on caste.

Through its interactive discussion-based format, as well as by giving you the opportunity of engaging in a substantive empirical research project, this course hopes to give you a deep dive into understanding how economic principles interplay with social forces to shape the Indian development experience.

Pre-requisites: ECO 2101 (Microeconomic Theory I); ECO 2400 (Econometrics)


 

Experimental Economics

This course will be an introduction to experimental economics, its methods, and some of the major subject areas that have been addressed by laboratory experiments. Substantive areas of application in the course will include market equilibrium, individual decision-making, risk and uncertainty, strategic interactions, learning in games, public good provision, and labor market relationships. Additional topics may include field experiments in development economics. The students will also learn the software zTree, which is typically used to design the computer interface of laboratory experiments. The course will be conducted in a seminar fashion with discussions based on the day's readings. The final project for this class will be an experimental design based on an original idea. 

Pre req: EC0-2102: Micro II


 

Health Economics

This is an elective course for students Majoring in Economics.

This course is an introduction to the field of health economics. Health economics is an active field of microeconomics with a large and growing literature and is an important aspect of public policy. The purpose of the course is to understand the microeconomic foundations of health economics and to introduce students to some key research questions and methods in health economics. The course further aims to develop an understanding of a variety of econometric techniques and research designs used by applied microeconomists focusing on causal inference to critically evaluate key research papers in health economics.

The course will cover topics such as measurement and determinants of health, health disparities, relationship between health and economic development, the need for financial risk protection against health shocks, the determinants of fertility and demographic change, economics of nutrition and human capital formation, behavioural insights in health, health and gender, economic evaluation of health and health programs.

Pre-reqs:  ECO-2101 (Microeconomic Theory I), ECO-2400 (Econometrics)


 

Economics of Gender

This course aims at undertaking an economic analysis of the issues affecting women in the economy while also drawing inspiration from the fields of evolutionary biology, feminism and psychology. The discrimination faced by women in market scenarios, such as those of labour and credit, as well as the impact of globalization on women will be studied. Further, the course explores issues that women face in non-market situations such as bargaining within the household, marriage and fertility, discriminatory cultural norms and how market and non-market scenarios interact to influence women’s well-being. Lastly, the role of education, healthcare, property rights, birth control, political franchise and representation in mitigating gender-based inequalities will be studied. Microeconomics and Econometrics are the prerequisites for this course.

Pre-reqs: ECO-2101 (Microeconomic Theory I), ECO-2400 (Econometrics)


 

Economics of Family

In this course, we will use the economic principles to analyze decisions made within a family.

Topics include spousal labor supply, human capital, marriage, divorce, fertility and social

mobility. We will then consider the macroeconomic implications of these family decisions. First,

we will focus on short- and medium-run fluctuations and study how the changing demographic

factors influence aggregate labor supply and savings. Next, we will discuss the importance of

accounting for families in explaining inequality and as determinants of long-run economic

development.

Pre-reqs:  Eco-2101 (Microeconomic Theory I), ECO-2201 (Macroeconomic Theory I), ECO-2202 (Macroeconomic Theory II), ECO-2400 (Econometrics)

 

Environmental Economics

This course will explore concepts in environmental economics  which integrates theory, policy and empirical topics. Focus will be on issues related to externalities and limitations in effective regulation due to poor monitoring, legislation and execution. The course will focus on questions like - what are the environmental problems faced around the world, what are the policy instruments which have been chosen to counter environmental degradation, how do regulations (related to air and water pollution) take different forms in different countries etc. Empirical papers linking environmental degradation with health and economic development will also be covered in this course. 

Pre-reqs:  ECO-2101 (Microeconomic Theory I);  ECO-2400 (Econometrics) is desirable but not a must. 

 

 

Spring Semester (2021)

 

Game Theory and Applications

This course will cover various applications of game theory. Students taking this course would already have studied the basics of game theory like dominant strategy, Nash equilibrium, subgame perfection etc. in their second year Microeconomics 2 course. This course will start with an accelerated revision of these concepts. It will then move to different applications of the theory like oligopoly, contests, voting behaviour, bargaining, strategic moves and brinkmanship. We will also cover two areas of game theory that deal with different forms of long run interaction between agents. These are repeated games and evolutionary games. Finally, time permitting, we will consider certain applications of incomplete information games like price discrimination and contracts. Applications will be drawn not just from economics but also other subjects like political science and biology.

Pre-reqs: ECO 2102 (Microeconomic Theory II)

Macroeconomic Policy

This course will assume a good knowledge of the 3-Equation model covered in Macroeconomic Theory 1.

This is an elective course in advanced macroeconomics that will cover various issues related to the conduct of monetary policy and fiscal policy. The Global Financial Crisis highlighted how important an understanding of the banking sector is for macroeconomic policy makers. 

The first part of this begins with a review of topics in monetary policy specifically issues related to modelling monetary policy conduct, and the Zero Lower Bound problem for monetary policy.

The second part of this course will study a simple question...What is money? After briefly studying the economic justifications for money we will study how the introduction of a banking sector influences monetary policy behaviour. We will then apply this theory to develop a coherent story of the Global Financial Crisis and the attendant monetary policy responses.

Finally, the course will end with a consideration of fiscal policy making and government debt dynamics. We will then apply the theories studied to understand sovereign debt crises, e.g. the Eurozone Crisis that followed the Global Financial Crisis.

Pre-reqs: ECO - 2201 (Macroeconomic Theory I); ECO - 2202 (Macroeconomic Theory II)

 

Economic Forecasting & Analysis

This course is an introduction to forecasting analyses and techniques and dedicated to teach students the latest tools in econometrics to enable them to make knowledgeable judgements about various types of data. This course is especially useful for forecasting business time series such as sales, expenditures, and macroeconomic time series such as GDP, interest rate, inflation, etc. 

The course will introduce some of the basics of statistics before moving on to main topics in forecasting. You will learn the ways to examine and prepare data before forecasting. Various useful techniques will be taught about improving the precision of forecasting. Time series topics will include linear regression, ARIMA models, trend modeling, seasonal adjustments, etc. With an emphasis on applications with statistical software, this course will walk you through the methods of analyses of both macro and micro level data. 

Pre-reqs: Mathematics for Economics, Statistics for Economists, Macroeconomics I, Macroeconomics II, Econometrics. This course should be accessible to students with basic knowledge in algebra, statistics and linear regression.

 


The Indian Economy

This course will offer a macro-economic-cum-development perspective on the Indian economy. Following a historical understanding of India’s early development policy choices,  growth trajectory, and the distinctive Indian development model, the course will cover a number of topics such as trade and financial globalization, fiscal and monetary policies, agriculture, infrastructure, tax reform, including GST, federal structure, economic and social inequality, financial system, regional convergence and divergence, migration, demonetization etc. The approach will be to start from the present, using contemporary themes and priorities as the perspective and springboard to understand underlying analytical concepts and India’s experience and distinctiveness from a cross-country perspective, as well as to think about avenues for future reforms.  

Pre-reqs:  ECO-2101 (Microeconomic Theory), ECO-2201 (Macroeconomic Theory I)

 

Behavioral Economics

This course will introduce theories and paradigms that address the concerns  raised by evidence that neoclassical models of decision making may be inadequate positive descriptions of human behavior. 

We will study behavior under nonstandard preferences, e.g. present bias, nonstandard beliefs, e.g., optimism, and nonstandard decision making, e.g., costly attention.  These theories will deal with both single person decision problems as well as strategic interactions. We will also study evidence of nonstandard behavior in both the field and the lab, and relevant policy discussions.

Pre-reqs: ECO 2400 (Econometrics). [Psych and CS major should contact me directly, if interested]


 

Public Economics

This course will cover the role of government in modern economies. We will dig deep into the study of various instruments used to generate government revenue and analyze efficient ways to spend government monies. You will also be exposed to microeconomic models that are used to study the reaction of agents to government policies.  This course will serve as an introduction to various empirical tools used in modern public economics. Government expenditure, externalities, public goods, taxation, social security programs,  are some of the topics that will be covered in this course. Abstract concepts will be mapped to real-world examples to develop your public economics intuition. 

Pre-reqs:  ECO-2101 (Microeconomic Theory I), Desirable but not essential: ECO-2400 (Econometrics)

 

Economics of Food Security

This course will introduce, analyse and debate food security through an economics lens. Famines, chronic food insufficiency, vulnerability and under-nutrition are some of the instances of food insecurity. The objective of the course is to understand the factors that underlie food insecurity and their consequences. Students will read comparative development case studies and learn about food markets, policy issues and governance in specific contexts.

Pre-reqs:  ECO-2101 (Microeconomic Theory I), ECO-2400 (Econometrics)

 

Environmental Economics

Environmental Economics course will introduce students to the economic methods used to analyze issues related to the environment. Some of the key topics that will be discussed include the positive and normative aspects of environmental economics, common pool resources, externalities and Coase theorem, cost benefit analysis, contingent valuation and revealed preference techniques that are used to value the environment, environmental regulations that are used to control pollution and economics of non-renewable resources. This course is taught with the expectation that students have completed Microeconomics and Econometrics.

Pre-reqs:  ECO-2101 (Microeconomic Theory I), ECO-2400 (Econometrics)

 

Economics of Technology

Technology giants like Amazon, today have hundreds of economists working for them. What is it that these economists do? And what will the impact of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (more specifically Machine Learning) on our economy and society be? These are perhaps some of the most important questions facing us today. 

This course will use tools learnt in earlier courses in macro and micro economics to develop an understanding of the economics of automation and emerging technologies. This understanding will then be used to study the effect of such technologies on a range of topics such as employment and the future of jobs, economic growth, organisation of businesses etc. We will also look at how machine learning can affect the discipline of economics itself.

The students should have completed courses in microeconomics, game theory, and growth theory. Knowledge of differential calculus and basics of integration will also be required. Some knowledge of regression analysis will be useful.

Pre-reqs:  ECO-2101 (Microeconomic Theory I), ECO-2201 (Macroeconomic Theory I), ECO-2202 (Macroeconomic Theory II).  Some econometrics is desirable but not required.

Finance Courses

Introduction to Finance 

This is a compulsory course for Second-year students Majoring in Economics and Finance.

 

This is a compulsory course for Second-year students Majoring in Economics and Finance.
The aim of this course is to introduce students to a broad range of financial markets operating in a modern economy and to provide you with a basic understanding of these markets. At the end of the module, students should develop a basic awareness of the day-to-day workings of such markets and an informed understanding of key events, such as the recent financial crisis. The topics covered include the role and types of various financial markets; the role and function of financial institutions and their regulation; and the conduct of monetary policy. Various financial markets such as the bond markets, government as well as corporate bonds; the money markets; the stock markets; and the markets for financial futures and options will be covered. The role of central banks and other regulatory institutions in ensuring the smooth functioning of these markets will be explored

Pre-req:  ECO 2101 (Microeconomic Theory I), ECO 2201 (Macroeconomic Theory I)

 

 

Financial Markets and Asset Pricing

This is an elective course in Finance offered to the third years.

 

This is a compulsory course for all Economics and Finance Majors. This course is designed to introduce students to some of the foundational ideas and theories in financial economics. It has two broad components. The first component develops the core ideas of modern portfolio theory. The second component focuses on security valuation. The course covers some of the most vital and influential concepts in financial economics: the Markowitz Portfolio Selection Model, Index Models, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and its variants, Arbitrage Pricing Theory, the Efficient Market Hypothesis and the Black-Scholes option pricing formula.

Pre-reqs: Statistics for Economics (ECO-1400), and Econometrics (ECO 2400)

 

 

 

Finance and the Economy

This is an elective course in Finance offered to the third years.

 

This course will explore the role of financial institutions in the process of economic growth and development. The first half of the course will explore the trajectory of financial development across both developed, and emerging economies through select case studies. The second half of the course will focus on various policies involving both formal and informal financial institutions in facilitating households and firms’ access to finance. The final part of the course will discuss the regulation of financial institutions and policy responses to financial crises.

Pre-req:  FIN 2001 (Introduction to Finance), ECO 2101 (Microeconomic Theory I), ECO 2201 (Macroeconomic Theory II), ECO 2400 (Econometrics)

 

 

International Finance

This is an elective course in Finance offered to the third years.

 

The objective of this course is to provide a framework for making corporate financial decisions in an international context. Managing an international business or one exposed to global competition requires an understanding of international financial instruments, markets, and institutions. This course seeks to provide a working knowledge of these issues. The stress will be on an understanding of the intuition behind the theories, not on mathematical proofs or on replicating empirical results from the literature. The course will not shy away from complex ideas but will try to make the ideas as accessible as possible. Solving mathematical financial problems is an important part of the course.

The course will address the following main topics: national income accounting and balance of payments; foreign exchange market and exchange rate determination; foreign currency derivative instruments; arbitrage and international parity conditions; risks in global finance (e.g., foreign exchange risk and country risk), the management of foreign exchange risk with forwards and options; basic characteristics of trade finance and investment instruments; international capital flows and markets; and globalization and its outlook. 

Pre-req:  ECO 2101 (Microeconomic Theory I), ECO 2201 (Macroeconomic Theory I), ECO 2400 (Econometrics)