All Graduate Courses

Most graduate course are one term in length and are awarded three credits. The majority of the courses meet for three hours a week. While most courses are offered annually, it is not possible to offer all courses every year.

500 Level Courses

An introduction to microeconomic theory. Topics include consumer and producer theory, partial equilibrium, and general equilibrium with an introduction to game theory, imperfect competition, and models with incomplete information. Note: For economics M.A. students only.

An introduction to macroeconomics: topics include dynamic models of capital accumulation and their implications for growth, the balance of trade and fiscal policy; empirical methods of identifying business cycles and alternative explanations for these cycles. Note: For economics M.A. students only.

This course considers several issues in the theory of information and incentives. The first part of the course will focus on mechanism design and the second on contract theory. Mechanism design topics include the revelation principle, strategy-proof social choice, and implementation theory. Contract theory topics may include principal-agent models, adverse selection, moral hazard, and signaling. Students are expected to have some familiarity with the main solution concepts in noncooperative game theory before taking this course.

Course content changes from year to year.

Selected topics in theoretical and empirical macroeconomics. Topics may include: various theories of macroeconomic equilibria, time consistency and credibility of policy, measurement of productivity, business cycles and growth, equilibrium theories of aggregate fluctuations.

Introduction to social choice theory. Topics include Arrow's Theorem and its extensions, social choice with interpersonal utility comparisons, social choice in economic and political environments and strategic social choice.

This course is concerned with the application of the theory of noncooperative games to multi-person decision problems in economics. Games in extensive and normal forms, with complete and incomplete information will be considered, as will different refinements of Nash equilibrium, such as subgame perfection, "trembling hand" perfection, sequential equilibrium, and strategic stability. The classes of games covered includes Bayesian games, games of timing, signaling games, and repeated games.

What happens when economic theory meets the experimental lab and field? As economists devote more attention to insights provided by Psychologists, and with the development of experimental economics, economic theory has taken a keen interest in explaining these observations. The students in the course will discuss some of the fascinating and fruitful interactions between the two, including: choice under risk and uncertainty, the endowment effect, intertemporal choice, temptation and self control, other-regarding preferences, bounded rationality in games and more.

The course will cover some topics in matrix algebra and advanced calculus that will be useful in statistics and economics. Random variables, density and distribution functions. Estimation and hypothesis testing in the linear model. Prerequisites: ECON 320, or the equivalent. Note: For economics M.A. students only.

The uses, strengths, and weaknesses of regression analysis, including autocorrelation, heteroskedasticity, generalized least squares, nonlinearity, systems of simultaneous and nonsimultaneous equations, and limited dependent variable models. Prerequisites: Economics 526 or the equivalent. For economics M.A. students only.

What every economist should know about economic history. The course will discuss issues like growth, income distribution, invention, technical change, globalization, international convergence and divergence, famines, demographic transitions, property rights, planning, socialism, and the history of natural resources and the environment. Students will be encouraged to ponder the relationship between theories they study and the history of the world.

From the perspective of the firm as a business organization, this course will examine the evolution of the corporate form in North America. International comparisons will also be made. The history of the firm and its market will be analyzed in terms of: agriculture, imperial trading ventures, natural resource exploitation, technical change, corporate concentration, the Chandler thesis, overseas investment, transport development, and the emergence of the service sector.

The determinants of economic growth, the role of human capital and income distribution, and problems related to the coordination of economic activity will be discussed. The course will also examine the micro-structure of various markets such as land, labour and credit, focusing on problems of information, contracting, enforcement, and market failure.

Human capital and economic development. Endogenous growth models. Technical change. Trade regimes and technical progress in LDCs. Role of multinationals in the industrialization of LDCs. Theory of population growth. Problem of LDC debt. Famines.

The focus of the course is non-market economic systems, and its content has historically been drawn largely from the process of central planning in the Soviet Union and China. With the collapse of the Soviet system and the very extensive reforms in the Chinese system, the courseƕs content is drawn from the Russian (and other former Soviet bloc countries) and Chinese experience in the process of reform and transition to market-like economic structures.

This course addresses the interactions between profit-maximizing firms and a vast class of non-market agents, such as governments, political, legal and regulatory institutions, and the public. The focus of the class is on both international and domestic environments. The class emphasizes the operative implications of non-market institutions in affecting and constraining firm strategy. Topics and cases cover the analysis of economic and political institutions, economics policy, lobbying and special interest activity, regulation and antitrust, activism and media. We corroborate the analytical framework with real-world applications, ranging from the Canadian and the United States' historical experience to cross-country comparisons, to develop insight in interpreting fundamental politico-economic constraints.

This course examines how monetary policy affects macroeconomic performance. The course begins by determining the empirical difficulties associated with identifying the effects of monetary policy and discusses methodological issues associated with structural inference in dynamic environments. The core section of the course critically compares several dynamic general equilibrium models of monetary economies.

Risk bearing, portfolio theory and the valuation of financial assets. Role and function of financial and future markets. Connection of financial markets to investment and corporate activities. Monetary policy and government participation.

A survey of public expenditure theory, including discussions of rational collective choice, benefit and sacrifice theories of optimal government expenditure, Lindahl and Bowen equilibria, incentive compatibility, and cost-benefit analysis.

This course investigates the efficiency, incidence, and equity aspects of taxation in a general equilibrium context. Both linear and nonlinear taxes are considered as well as quotas as means of achieving a second-best outcome.

International trade theory and policy. Topics include explanations of the pattern of trade, the analysis of various trade policies in both competitive and imperfectly competitive markets, and the environmental consequences of international trade.

This course examines recent issues in international finance and open economy macroeconomics. Topics covered will include: (1) the interaction of international capital markets and aggregate fluctuations, (2) the consequences of alternative international asset market structures, (3) models of current account determination, (4) models of nominal and real exchange rate determination and the international monetary transmission mechanism, and (5) models of (speculative) currency attacks, current account crises, and the impact of institutional design on the stability of international capital markets.

What determines the pattern of trade? Can relative factor abundance explain why countries are net exporters of some goods and net importers of others? How do scale economies and imperfect competition influence trade flows? This course investigates the evidence in support of each theory. What barriers impede the free flow of goods between countries? The gravity equation has been used to relate variation in bilateral trade volumes to impediments such as transportation costs, tariffs, and currency volatility. The evidence on whether the degree of openness to international trade affects the rate of economic growth are reviewed. Multinational enterprises occupy a central role in globalization. What determines the pattern of Foreign Direct Investment? This course emphasizes the difficulties in taking trade theory to the data. The issues of formulating falsifiable predictions, obtaining appropriate data, and deciding on the right estimation method are considered.

The course will pursue three main objectives: first, to give a picture of the main facts about American and European labour markets; second, to establish theoretical frameworks needed to explain those facts, and more generally to study labour market issues; and third, to use these frameworks to evaluate debates in the labour economics literature as well as issues of policy concern. The emphasis will be primarily on the macroeconomics of labour markets.

Economic aspects of industrial relations in Canada. The growth of trade unions. The theory of union behavior. Wage and employment determination under collective bargaining. Bargaining theory. The causes of strikes and lockouts. Government policy in labour disputes: arbitration, mediation, and conciliation. Effects of unions on relative wages, productivity, resource allocation, and income distribution. Wage and price inflation, unemployment, and unions. Income policies. Public sector unionism. Risk, incentives, and employment contracts.

This course in applied econometrics is suitable for M.A. students who have completed Econ 527 and who seek a foundation in the modern methods of policy evaluation. It will also be of interest to Ph.D. students with interests in applied microeconomics. Important developments have recently taken place in the econometrics of policy evaluation. This course provides an overview of this area. It also examines the experience with various research designs, both experimental and non-experimental methods.

This course examines the organization of industry into markets and firms and the ways in which the firms in a market interact. Possible topics include tacit and overt coordination and collusion, entry and exit, product selection and differentiation, R&D, advertising, and vertical control. An attempt is made to unify traditional IO concerns with modern game-theoretic analysis.

Optimal pricing in legal monopolies. Normative criteria for regulation. Natural monopoly and sustainability. Patents and innovation. Rate of return regulation. Effects of regulation. Deregulation in traditionally regulated industries (e.g. telecommunications, airlines, etc.). Positive theories of regulation. Anti-trust policy for monopolization and for vertical restraints.

This course is concerned with the internal organization of firms. Topics to be covered may include reasons for the existence of firms, vertical integration, separation of ownership and control in the modern corporation, stock-market takeovers, short and long-term contracts, incomplete contracts, hierarchical and other forms of organization, management-compensation schemes, and employer/employee relationships.

Renewable resources and sustainability. Employs inter-temporal economic analysis to examine policy problems surrounding the management of renewable natural resources, such as fisheries, forestry and the environment.

Economic analysis of various issues relating to the use of nonrenewable natural resources. Topics can include scarcity and growth, long-run pricing of resource commodities, tests of the Hotelling model, short-run pricing on commodity futures markets, uncertainty and exploration, auctioning mineral-exploration and extraction rights, valuing risky natural-resource assets, and contracting in natural-resource markets. The course attempts to integrate economic theory with econometric tests and public-policy applications of that theory.

Theory of externalities, comparative analysis of various environmental policies. Much of the course will focus on international trade and the environment, growth and the environment, and global environmental issues.

Course content changes from year to year.

Index number theory (test, economic and other approaches); productivity indexes, hedonic indexes. National income accounting. Selected topics including aggregation across goods, firms and consumers; the measurement of poverty and inequality; the theory of international comparisons.

Techniques and problems in cost-benefit analysis. The evaluation of public and private projects. Topics may include shadow pricing, discounting and present-value calculations, surplus measurement, valuation of non-marketed goods and bads, value judgments in social cost-benefit analysis, and the evaluation of projects involving uncertainty, loss of life, and/or population change.

Course content changes from year to year.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with experience in applied research. A number of empirical studies are examined. Attention is devoted to problems encountered in combing economic theory with econometric methods in empirical research. Each student is required to undertake an empirical research project and to write an essay. Note: For economics M.A. students only. Offered intersessionally, May-July.

600 Level Courses

An advanced course in microeconomic theory. Topics include consumer theory, the competitive theory of the firm, general equilibrium, and welfare economics. Note: For economics Ph.D. students only.

An advanced course in microeconomic theory. Topics include strategic models of economic interaction; uncertainty, information, and incentives; and social choice. Prerequisite: ECON 600. For economics Ph.D. students only.

This course is an introduction to advanced techniques and topics in macroeconomic theory. The focus is on the solution of dynamic optimization problems and equilibrium macroeconomic models. The topics covered will include consumption and investment theory, theory of economic growth, business cycle theory, and dynamic issues in monetary and fiscal policy. Note: For economics Ph.D. students only.

The course examines how best to answer questions related to the behaviour of agents in an intertemporal environment. The first objective is to highlight why dynamic elements can fundamentally change methods for policy analysis. The second objective is to present a menu of operational dynamic general equilibrium models. The third objective is to use these dynamic equilibrium models to offer insight regarding the traditional macroeconomic questions associated with growth, fluctuations and unemployment. Prerequisite : ECON 602. For economics Ph.D. students only.

An introduction to a variety of mathematical techniques with applications to economic problems. Note: This course is intended for Ph.D. students. M.A. students require the permission of the instructor to enroll in this course.

An introduction to mathematical techniques of analyzing dynamical systems with applications to economic growth theory. Topics include local and global stability, cycles, chaotic behaviour, bifurcations, and structural stability in both discrete and continuous time differential equation systems. Applications include representative consumer growth models, competitive equilibrium growth models, and overlapping generations models. Note: This course is intended for Ph.D. students. M.A. students require the permission of the instructor to enroll in this course.

Techniques and methods of econometrics, concentrating on estimation and inference in standard models using least squares, maximum likelihood and minimum chi-square. Asymptotic theory and small sample techniques. Model formulation and identification. Prerequisite: Economics 527 or the equivalent. Note: For economics Ph.D. students only.

A continuation of Economics 626. The course will branch out to such topics as dependence, ARIMA models, unit roots and cointegration, nonparametric estimation, further limited dependent variable models and possibly an introduction to hazard and/or panel data models. Prerequisite: Economics 626. For economics Ph.D. students only.

Course content will include cross section econometrics. Students will complete a major empirical project. Prerequisite: ECON 627 or the equivalent. For economics Ph.D. students only.

Course content will include time-series econometrics. Students will complete a major empirical project. Prerequisite: ECON 627 and 628, or the equivalent. For Ph.D. students only.

A seminar course to assist students in identifying a viable research topic for a Ph.D. dissertation. Students who have passed the comprehensive examinations must be registered in Econ 640 until a dissertation prospectus has been successfully presented. In each year in which the student is enrolled in 640, a research or survey paper must be submitted for approval to two faculty members, one of which is the faculty member in charge of 640. For economics Ph.D. students only.

Workshops on current research topics will be offered in several fields in economics each year. A list of workshops offered each year is available on our website. For economics Ph.D. students only.