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OpenCourseWare from MIT Economics and teh Sloan School of Management.
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    This half-semester course provides an introduction to microeconomic theory designed to meet the needs of students in the economics Ph.D. program. Some parts of the course are designed to teach material that all graduate students should know. Others are used to introduce methodologies. Topics include consumer and producer theory, markets and competition, general equilibrium, and tools of comparative statics and their application to price theory. Some topics of recent interest may also be covered.

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    This course focuses on dynamic optimization methods, both in discrete and in continuous time. We approach these problems from a dynamic programming and optimal control perspective. We also study the dynamic systems that come from the solutions to these problems. The course will illustrate how these techniques are useful in various applications, drawing on many economic examples. However, the focus will remain on gaining a general command of the tools so that they can be applied later in other classes.

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  • 07/17/12--01:50: 14.15J Networks (MIT)
  • Networks are ubiquitous in our modern society. The World Wide Web that links us to and enables information flows with the rest of the world is the most visible example. It is, however, only one of many networks within which we are situated. Our social life is organized around networks of friends and colleagues. These networks determine our information, influence our opinions, and shape our political attitudes. They also link us, often through important but weak ties, to everybody else in the United States and in the world. Economic and financial markets also look much more like networks than anonymous marketplaces. Firms interact with the same suppliers and customers and use Web-like supply chains. Financial linkages, both among banks and between consumers, companies and banks, also form a network over which funds flow and risks are shared. Systemic risk in financial markets often results from the counterparty risks created within this financial network. Food chains, interacting biological systems and the spread and containment of epidemics are some of the other natural and social phenomena that exhibit a marked networked structure. This course will introduce the tools for the study of networks. It will show how certain common principles permeate the functioning of these diverse networks and how the same issues related to robustness, fragility, and interlinkages arise in several different types of networks.

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    This course is designed to introduce classic macroeconomic issues such as growth, inflation, unemployment, interest rates, exchange rates, technological progress, and budget deficits. The course will provide a unified framework to address these issues and to study the impact of different policies, such as monetary and fiscal policies, on the aggregate behavior of individuals. These analytical tools will be used to understand the recent experience of the United States and other countries and to address how current policy initiatives affect their macroeconomic performance.

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    This course covers three sets of topics. The first part will cover business cycle models with imperfect information. We will ask questions such as: What shocks drive business cycles? What is the relative role of shocks to fundamentals and shocks affecting expectations about (current and future) economic developments? How do informational frictions affect the shape of the responses to various shocks? The second part will cover models of investment with credit constraints. We will ask questions such as: What is the transmission mechanism from shocks to the financial sector to the real economy? What determines optimal decisions about capitalization at the individual and at the social level? The third part will cover search models of decentralized trade applied both to labor markets and to financial markets. In particular, the models will have informational imperfections.

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    This is a half-semester course which covers the topics in Microeconomic Theory that everybody with a Ph.D. from MIT Economics Department should know but that have not yet been covered in the Micro sequence. Hence, it covers several unrelated topics. The topics come from three general areas: Decision Theory, Game Theory, and Behaviorla Economics.  I will try my best to put them in a coherent narrative, but there will be inherent jumps from topic to topic.

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  • 07/17/12--01:50: 14.126 Game Theory (MIT)
  • This course is a rigorous investigation of the evolutionary and epistemic foundations of solution concepts, such as rationalizability and Nash equilibrium. It covers classical topics, such as repeated games, bargaining, and supermodular games as well as new topics such as global games, heterogeneous priors, psychological games, and games without expected utility maximization. Applications are provided when available.

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    This is a course for those who are interested in the challenge posed by massive and persistent world poverty, and are hopeful that economists might have something useful to say about this challenge. The questions we will take up include: Is extreme poverty a thing of the past? What is economic life like when living under a dollar per day? Why do some countries grow fast and others fall further behind? Does growth help the poor? Are famines unavoidable? How can we end child labor—or should we? How do we make schools work for poor citizens? How do we deal with the disease burden? Is micro finance invaluable or overrated? Without property rights, is life destined to be "nasty, brutish and short"? Has globalization been good to the poor? Should we leave economic development to the market? Should we leave economic development to non-governmental organizations (NGOs)? Does foreign aid help or hinder? Where is the best place to intervene?

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    This course will guide students through the process of forming economic hypotheses, gathering the appropriate data, analyzing them, and effectively communicating their results.

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    This course examines the choices and constraints regarding sources and uses of energy by households, firms, and governments through a number of frameworks to describe and explain behavior at various levels of aggregation. Examples include a wide range of countries, scope, settings, and analytical approaches. This course is one of many OCW Energy Courses, and it is a core subject in MIT's undergraduate Energy Studies Minor. This Institute-wide program complements the deep expertise obtained in any major with a broad understanding of the interlinked realms of science, technology, and social sciences as they relate to energy and associated environmental challenges.

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    Prediction is at the heart of almost every scientific discipline, and the study of generalization (that is, prediction) from data is the central topic of machine learning and statistics, and more generally, data mining. Machine learning and statistical methods are used throughout the scientific world for their use in handling the "information overload" that characterizes our current digital age. Machine learning developed from the artificial intelligence community, mainly within the last 30 years, at the same time that statistics has made major advances due to the availability of modern computing. However, parts of these two fields aim at the same goal, that is, of prediction from data. This course provides a selection of the most important topics from both of these subjects.

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    This is a course for those who are interested in the challenge posed by massive and persistent world poverty, and are hopeful that economists might have something useful to say about this challenge. The questions we will take up include: Is extreme poverty a thing of the past? What is economic life like when living under a dollar per day? Why do some countries grow fast and others fall further behind? Does growth help the poor? Are famines unavoidable? How can we end child labor—or should we? How do we make schools work for poor citizens? How do we deal with the disease burden? Is micro finance invaluable or overrated? Without property rights, is life destined to be "nasty, brutish and short"? Has globalization been good to the poor? Should we leave economic development to the market? Should we leave economic development to non-governmental organizations (NGOs)? Does foreign aid help or hinder? Where is the best place to intervene?

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    The goal of this course is to help students learn to communicate strategically within a professional setting. Students are asked to analyze their intended audience, the purpose of their communication, and the context in which they are operating before developing the message. The course focuses specifically on improving students’ ability to write, speak, work in a team, and communicate across cultures in their roles as future managers.

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    This subject focuses on the specifics of strategy and organization of the multinational company, and provides a framework for formulating successful and adaptive strategies in an increasingly complex world economy. Topics include the globalization of industries, the continuing role of country factors in competition, organization of multinational enterprises, and building global networks. This particular version of the subject is taught and tailored specifically to those enrolled in the MIT Sloan Fellows Program.

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    This course introduces the core theory of modern financial economics and financial management, with a focus on capital markets and investments. Topics include functions of capital markets and financial intermediaries, asset valuation, fixed-income securities, common stocks, capital budgeting, diversification and portfolio selection, equilibrium pricing of risky assets, the theory of efficient markets, and an introduction to derivatives and options.

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    This course on global integration brings together matters of global markets and institutions, global strategy, organization, and leadership. Global integration, the process by which an organization with units around the world becomes united, will be presented as a link to entrepreneurship and general management. The seminar is offered only to those enrolled in the MIT Sloan Fellows Program and challenges the participants to draw upon their past managerial experiences, especially those affiliated with multinational companies.

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    This course provides students with concepts, techniques and tools to design, analyze, and improve core operational capabilities, and apply them to a broad range of application domains and industries. It emphasizes the effect of uncertainty in decision-making, as well as the interplay between high-level financial objectives and operational capabilities. Topics covered include production control, risk pooling, quality management, process design, and revenue management. Also included are case studies, guest lectures, and simulation games which demonstrate central concepts.

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    14.461 is an advanced course in macroeconomics that seeks to bring students to the research frontier. The course is divided into two sections. The first half is taught by Prof. Iván Werning and covers topics such as how to formulate and solve optimal problems. Students will study fiscal and monetary policy, among other issues. The second half, taught by Prof. George-Marios Angeletos, covers recent work on multiple equilibria, global games, and informational fictions.

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    Game Theory, also known as Multiperson Decision Theory, is the analysis of situations in which the payoff of a decision maker depends not only on his own actions but also on those of others. Game Theory has applications in several fi…elds, such as economics, politics, law, biology, and computer science. In this course, I will introduce the basic tools of game theoretic analysis. In the process, I will outline some of the many applications of Game Theory, primarily in economics.

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    This course covers theory and evidence on government taxation policy. Topics include tax incidence, optimal tax theory, the effect of taxation on labor supply and savings, taxation and corporate behavior, and tax expenditure policy.