Economics 224: Regulation and Antitrust

Professor Christiaan Hogendorn

Prof. Hogendorn's Homepage Course Syllabus

Course Policies

Time and Place: MW 2:40-4:00 PAC 004
Office Hours: T 1:30-3:30, Th 10-12

If door is open, I may be available, please knock. I also encourage appointments: talk to me before or after class, or call x2108 or e-mail.
E-mail: chogendorn
Problem Sets: There are review problems in the book and review problem sets. These do not have to be turned in, but you are responsible for understanding them.
Exams: There will be three short quizzes with problems similar to the problem sets.
Paper: There will be a term paper in this class. The term paper should examine arguments around an antitrust case or regulatory issue.

Prior to sring break, prepare a 1-2 page descritpion of a position paper that makes arguments for or against the case or policy issue. The description does not have to evaluate these arguments, but simply identifies them as interesting material for further investigation.

The final paper should begin with a 1-2 page rewrite of the description, giving the source of the position paper, and describing 2-4 interrelated arguments that the position paper makes with regard to the case.

The middle sections of the term paper should evaluate these arguments in an unbiased, social scientific manner. Questions and answers that will help with the evaluation may include: (i) What is the size of the market, the size of firms in the market, prices in the market, and other empirical data that pertain to the argument? (ii) Does the argument you are evaluating depend in a specific way on a citation to a previous cases or economic study? If so, is the characterization of this case or study consistent with the actual case or study (in other words, go look it up!)? (iii) Most important, is the argument consistent with economic theory? Your textbook is a good source for answering this question, as are the articles cited there, and other economics articles you may find by using Google Scholar, Econlit, ABI/Inform, and so on. Articles published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives may be particularly helpful to you because they summarize issues in a less technical manner. It is more important that you thoughtfully consider the economic issues involved than that you review a large number of economics papers or other sources.
Grading: 15% First Quiz
15% Second Quiz
15% Third Quiz
10% Summary of paper
35% Paper
10% Adjustment for class participation

Each exam question will receive a grade of 0, 1, 2 (the "hurdle" level of understanding), 3, 4 (minor errors), or 5. Papers will receive 0-5 points for each of three criteria: writing, organization, and value added. To find your letter grade equivalent, divide by the number of questions to get your average score on a 0-5 scale. Then convert according to:
4.5=A, 4.0=A-, 3.7=B+, 3.3=B, 3.0=B-, 2.7=C+. 2.3=C, 2.0=C-, 1.7=D+, 1.3=D, 1.0=D-.

Attendance: Please attend classes regularly (your attendance is the most important component of "class participation"). If you know in advance that you will be late or have to leave early, please let me know. Please avoid coming in late so as not to disturb the rest of the class.