Econ 543

Syllabus:

The latest version of the syllabus can be found here.

Objective

This course explores issues of population from an economic perspective. Focus is on the study of household behaviour in both developed and developing countries, although there will be an emphasis on developing countries. We will cover areas like fertility decisions, issues of health and nutrition, investment in education, the intra-household allocation of resources and household structure and marriage.

The course has three objective. First, to provide a critical overview of the recent literature and important debates. Focus is on microeconomic approaches to understanding household behaviour.

The second objective is to introduce ways of tackling methodological issues that arise when doing research on population and household economics. Especially important is how to identify causal relationships and avoiding biases that can arise from behavioural responses and unobserved heterogeneity.

The final objective is to prepare for research in population economics. Hence, one of the requirements of the course is a research paper. We will also discuss potential research topics for each area as we progress.

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