SS280: Topics in Social Science
Fall 2007

MW 2.30-4pm, Baxter 25

Instructor: Colin Camerer
  x4054, Baxter 101
Assistant: Melissa Slemin
  x4089, Baxter 332

Presentation Schedule

COURSE CONTENT
This course is meant to be an anthology of “important articles in economics that were not dealt with in other courses for lack of time.” The goal is to broaden the perspective of students to ensure that they know the most basic important developments in economics that students in all other programs learn in their broader curricula.

COURSE MATERIAL
Copies of the articles can be gotten from Melissa Slemin

COURSE GRADING
Presentations (60%); Nine 1 page synopsis (20%; one per article, which should allow an informed social scientist to figure out what’s going on. Do not simply rewrite the abstract in the paper); class participation (20%).

Synopses are due at the beginning of class on the day the article is covered in class. Write no more than one page (material longer than a page will be ignored). Penalty for late submission: 50% less than 24 hours later, no credit after that.

Bonus Fun: three of you will be assigned to a "forced synopsis schedule" condition. Three of you can choose a "flexible schedule"--before every class you can decide whether you want to write up a synopsis about that article. Three of you have a choice over whether to be given a forced schedule (by me) or to choose before every class.

In the abstracts and presentations, think about the following central questions:
1. What is the basic research question?
2. Why is it important? (i.e. who will care about the results)
3. What did the authors do that was technically impressive and new?
4. What are the most solid conclusions that you believe? What conclusions did you not believe?
5. What research directions follow?

Presentations are assigned first-come, first-served basis on student choices or, failing to find volunteers, based on assignment by the instructor. An equal number of presentations will be required from each student. The number will therefore depend on how many students are enrolled.  (For Fall 2007 it appears there are 9 students, so 2 presentations per person.) Presentaiton must be chosen by Moday October8 (4pm) or I will assign them.

Article List (One Per Session)

Empirical economics

Labor and organizational economics

  • LaFontaine, Francine and Margaret Slade, Incentive Contracting and the Franchise Decision (1998)
  • Nagin, Daniel S.; James B. Rebitzer; Seth Sanders; and Lowell Taylor. Monitoring, motivation and management: The Determinants of Opportunistic Behavior in a Field Experiment (2002) AER vol 92 no 4 (02) 850-873.
  • Bertrand, Marianne and Schoar, Antoinette. The Role of Family in Family Firms. (2002) JEP, vol 20 no 2, pp 73-96.

Macroeconomics

Trade

Growth and development

Public Health

  • Oster, Emily. Hepatitis B and the case of the missing women. JPE vol 113, no 6, pp. 1163-1216.

Financial econometrics

Networks and Social Influence

SCHEDULE

WEEK DATES MON PAPER MON PRESENTER WED PAPER WED PRESENTER
1 10/1
10/3
Fisman CFC Angrist  
2 10/8 Donohue   NO CLASS
3 10/15
10/17
LaFontaine   Nagin  
4 10/22
10/24
Bertrand   Diamond  
5 10/29
10/31
Diam-Dyb   Sargent 2 people
6 11/5
11/7
Driskill Gabriel Romer Marian
7 11/12
11/14
Acemoglu Gabriel Kremer Mohammed
8 11/19
11/21
Oster   Mehra  
9 11/26
11/28
Jackson   Salganik  
10 12/3 TBA   NO CLASS