Rice Economics Spring 2018 Newsletter

RICE ECON Spring 2018 News and Views from the Economics Department at Rice Spring Break! We hope you have a wonderful spring break and return refreshed and ready to knock out the rest of the semester. And that the Astros are diligently utilizing their spring break to prepare a reprise of last year’s amazing championship season. information below about the next in our series of lectures by winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics, coming up on Thursday, March 8. Finally, in response to requests from students and to address some of our own concerns, we have made a few changes in course requirements, pre- requisites, etc., effective Fall 2018. These changes are: (1) ECON 100: Students who have (a) received a score of 5 on the AP Micro exam or a score of 6 or 7 on the IB high level Micro exam, (b) received a score of 5 on the AP Macro exam or a score of 6 or 7 on the IB high level Macro exam, and (c) In this issue of our newsletter, we continue featuring some of the new courses that we have added in recent years. “Great Course on the Menu!” below highlights one of these offerings, ECON 462, Economics of Human Capital, which will be taught next semester by Professor Flávio Cunha. And be sure to check out the made a grade of B- or better in MATH 102 (taken at Rice), may substitute any Economics major elective for ECON 100; (2) ECON 203: ECON 200 is now a co-requisite rather than a pre- requisite; (3) ECON 209: ECON 100 replaces ECON 200 as a pre-requisite; and (4) ECON 308: New pre-requisite: A grade of B- or higher in MATH 212, either taken at Rice or transfer credit for MATH 212 subject to approval of the course instructor. We hope the rest of your spring semester goes well! George Zodrow Director of Undergraduate Studies Great Course on the Menu! Menu Main Course: ECON 462 Economics of Human Capital Appetizers: ECON 200 & ECON 209 Master Chef: Professor Flávio Cunha Dinner is Served: Fall 2018, Tues and Thurs, 10:50 am - 12:05 pm; Tues, 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Come enjoy a gastroeconomical delight! When shopping for Fall 2018 economics courses, be sure to consider ECON 462, Economics of Human Capital. The course will be taught by Professor Flávio Cunha, who came to Rice in 2014 and is an internationally renowned expert in labor economics (he won the Econometric Society’s Frisch medal in 2014 for his work on cognitive and noncognitive skill formation). ECON 462 covers the theory of the role of human capital in determining economic growth as well as societal inequality. It is especially geared towards learning techniques related to the evaluation of public policy and developing related computational skills so that students can simulate complex economic models that address these problems. Students interested in studying the sources of long-run economic growth and acquiring skills in policy evaluation will especially enjoy the material covered in the class. A broad range of topics related to human capital will be discussed, including economic development, models of growth, education of young children, and agglomeration economies, among others. Economics of Human Capital will also utilize econometric techniques to test theories and to provide insights on what policies can improve human capital formation while also aiding growth and reducing inequality. The course emphasizes experimental design and methods of testing the efficacy of policies, pilot programs, and interventions. The major topics of the course are divided into two sections, both of which cover important papers on human capital. The first is macro- based and discusses theory and empirical studies about the role of human capital in the determination of long-run economic growth. The second half, which is micro-based, covers theory and empirical studies that examine how to foster human capital formation. 1