COURSE OUTLINES

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Dr. John Cobin teaches the following courses

Public Choice | Macroeconomics | Economic Geography | Business Economics | Transnational Economics | Economics for Decision Making | Economic Theory and Issues

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Public Choice

The King's College NYC

Semester-length course

Required Texts:

[A] Textbook: John Cobin, A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics and Policy, Alertness Books, 2003. Amazon link [B&N link].
Note: Click on book name to order downloadable and searchable (PDF) version of book

[B] 2nd Textbook: John Cobin, Christian Theology of Public Policy: Highlighting the American Experience, Alertness Books, 2006. Amazon link
Professor will also assign additional online readings each week as he sees fit.

Additional materials for classroom and other uses may be sought on the Policy of Liberty website.

Important Written Assignments: Each student will be responsible to answer the assigned numbered questions from Ludwig von Mises's famous, classic book, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, 3rd Edition, at the end of chapters 7, 8, 9, and 10 of textbook [A] (Cobin, A Primer). Most of the time will be spent in (a) looking up the answers (usually two to five sentences per response) in the online text from Mises by using the PDF or webpage search feature (Ctrl-F) and copying & pasting the information, (b) compiling and preparing the written answers (or ideas/charts/tables), and finally (c) to email the assignment to the professor each week on Friday at 6pm. Question numbers to do include: set 1 "work/entrepreneurship" (week 10) [12-17, 19-20, 95, 112, 114-116, 119, 165]; set 2 "intervention" (week 11) [23-25, 30-32, 37, 42-43, 56, 108, 147-151, 163-164]; set 3 "monopoly" (week 2) [22, 38-41, 44-45, 47-49, 129]; Group 4 "economic method" (week 3) [9, 21, 57-59, 63-66, 74-75, 84, 109, 111]; set 5 "land & external costs" (week 9) [34, 97, 99-100, 128, 154, 157-159]; set 6 "knowledge & value" (week 8) [69-71, 78, 83, 93, 96, 98, 121, 126, 161-162]; set 7 "society, planning & cooperation" (week 13) [85, 87-88, 103, 105-107]; set 8 "law & economics" (week 14) [101-102, 131-134, 136-144] (approx. 9-18 questions to be done PRIOR to each of the assigned sessions) [16% of the course grade]. Students must also submit an 8-12 page TERM PAPER due in WEEK 12 [24% of the course grade], with proper form, footnotes or endnotes and bibliography, covering in-depth any theme in the course. There will be a MID-TERM EXAM [30% of the course grade] and a FINAL EXAM [30% of the course grade] each containing objective, short answer and essay portions.

Course Description:

This course will broadly consider macroeconomic theory with special emphasis on public policy and the Christian theology of public policy, market failure theory, and property rights. Class participation is encouraged and students will be evaluated on how well they understand the course content and cogently articulate that knowledge. Topics in government policy will also be a central motif running through the course. Other motifs will include basic economic concepts underlying the market economy, developing economies, law and economics, public policy, and externalities.

Readings and Topics:

Class Day 1
1. Chapter 1 [A] Interest Groups and Ideas
2. Chapter 2 [A] Capture Theory and Antitrust Policy


3. Introduction and Chapter 2 [B] Key Passages Regarding the Christians and the State

Class Day 2
1. Chapter 3 [A] Rent Seeking
2. Mises questions (set 3)
In-class discussion on readings from Dr. Cobin's past columns for discussion on immigration issues
Privatizing U.S. Border Offers a Good Solution
The Real Problem with the FTAA and Immigration
Free-Market Solutions for Immigration Problems
Government Aid for Tsunami Victims Is Wrong

Class Day 3
1. Chapter 4 [A] Calculus of consent and vote-seeking
2. Special focus on Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Ciudad del Este, Chile, Andean Indians, New Zealand: Weber, Mises and public choice issues
3. Mises questions (set 4)
Additional required reading — online article Cobin, The Andean Altiplano: Lessons for the Mises-Tullock View of Development
In-class discussion on readings from Dr. Cobin's past columns for discussion on immigration issues
Ciudad del Este: a Free-Market Spectacle
Hong Kong and Macau: Icons of Freedom
Thailand: Friendly, Fun, and Becoming Less Free
Brave New Singapore

Class Day 4
1. Chapter 5 [A] Public Policy
2. Chapter 1 [B] Economics for the Theology of Public Policy

Class Day 5
1. Chapters 3, 4, 5, Apx. 2 [B] Nature of the State and the Theology of Public Policy
In-class discussion on readings from Dr. Cobin's past columns for discussion on immigration issues
Rogue Judge Falsely Imprisons Man for 8 Months

Class Day 6
1. Chapter 6 [A] Public Choice Issues for Regulation
2. Chapter 13 [B] Theology of Nations and Nationalism

Class Day 7
Mid-Term Exam

Class Day 8
1. Review of Mid Term Exam
2. Chapter 7 [A] Ludwig von Mises
3. Chapters 7-12 & inside dust jacket [B] Proper Christian Resistance
4. Mises questions (set 6)

Class Day 9
1. Property Rights: Feudal, Allodial, (Mercantilist, Free-market views)
2. Handouts: readings from Cobin's work on American Allodialism (ch. 4) and Richard Pipes, Property and Freedom
3. Chapter 15 [A] Allodialism as Economic Policy
4. Mises questions (set 5)

Class Day 10
1. Chapter 8 [A] Knowledge problem & Austrian method
2. Chapter 9 [A] Entrepreneurship
3. Mises questions (set 1)

Class Day 11
1. Chapter 10 [A] Interventionism
2. Chapter 14 [B] Public Finance Using State Lotteries
3. Mises questions (set 2)
In-class discussion on readings from Dr. Cobin's past columns for discussion on immigration issues
Privatizing Social Security Via the Macabre

Class Day 12
1. Term Papers Due
2. Chapter 11 [A] Business Cycle and Free Banking
3. Chapter 12 [A] Market Failure Theory
4. Mises questions (set 7)

Class Day 13
1. Chapters 13 & 14 [A] Law & Economics
2. Mises questions (set 8)

Class Day 14
Final Exam

Extra credit opportunity: Might be considered as the course progresses.

Grading:

1. Eight Mises assignments (submitted in various weeks) » 16% (2 points X 8 assignments = 16 points total)
2. Mid-Term Exam » 30% (30 points)
3. Final Exam » 30% (30 points)
4. Term Paper » 24% (24 points)
Final Grade Basis: 90%-100%=A, 80%-89%=B, 70%-79%=C, 60%-69%=D, <=59%=F




Macroeconomics

The King's College NYC

Semester-length course

Required Texts:

[A] Textbook: Macroeconomics: Public and Private Choice James D. Gwartney, Richard L. Stroup, Russell S. Sobel, and David Macpherson, South-Western College Pub; 11 edition (March 23, 2005) [B&N link].
Note: Click on book name to order book from Amazon.com

[B] 2nd Textbook (downloadable PDF or paperback in TKC bookstore): John Cobin, A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics and Policy, Alertness Books, 2003. Amazon link

[C] 3rd Textbook (downloadable PDF or hardback in TKC bookstore): John Cobin, Christian Theology of Public Policy: Highlighting the American Experience, Alertness Books, 2006. Amazon link

[D] 4th book: Frederic Bastiat, The Law. Amazon link. This little book can also be read for free online (do a Google search to find it).

[E] 5th book: G. Edward Griffin, The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve , American Media, 1998. Amazon link.

[F] 6th book: Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson:: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics , Three Rivers Press, 1988. Amazon link.

Book Sharing and copying: Students are encouraged to use the most economical means of acquiring and sharing the supplemental texts, including downloading and photocopying relevant sections of [B] [C] and [D] if desired, but are encouraged to get these texts as early as possible in order to be organized in how to use them effectively in completing assignments. Of course, students are welcome to buy hard copies of all the books as well since they will prove excellent references in their libraries. Note that [B] and [C] are the textbooks for another course of mine at The King's College, Public Choice, so those books will likely be used again by students who do decide to purchase them.

Professor will also assign additional online readings each week as he sees fit.

Additional materials for classroom and other uses may be sought on the Policy of Liberty website.

Important Written Assignments: Each student will be responsible to answer the assigned numbered questions from Ludwig von Mises's famous, classic book, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, 3rd Edition, at the end of chapters 7, 8, 9, and 10 of textbook [B] (Cobin, A Primer). Most of the time will be spent in (a) looking up the answers (usually two to five sentences per response) in the online text from Mises by using the PDF or webpage search feature (Ctrl-F) and copying & pasting the information, (b) compiling and preparing the written answers (or ideas/charts/tables) to email the assignment to the professor each week on Friday before 6pm. Question numbers to do include: Set 1 [1-4, 6-7, 9]; Set 2 [10-14, 20-21]; Set 3 [24, 29-34]; Set 4 [51-53, 60-63]; Set 5 [64-66, 72, 85-87]; Set 6 [88-89, 96, 99-100, 107-108]; Set 7 [128-133, 136]; Set 8 [138-141, 147-148, 152, 157, 159] (approx. 7-8 questions to be done PRIOR to each of the non-exam sessions after the FOURTH class) [16% of the course grade]. Students must also submit an 8-12 page TERM PAPER due in WEEK 12 [24% of the course grade], with proper form, footnotes or endnotes and bibliography, covering in-depth any theme in the course. There will be two MID-TERM EXAMS [30% of the course grade] and a FINAL EXAM [30% of the course grade] each containing objective, short answer and essay portions.

More about the term paper: In taking a key theme from the course, students are free to choose their own bibliography and specific application. However, every paper must significantly draw from at least some part from each supplementary textbook [B] [C] [D] [E] and [F], as well as Mises's Human Action which is used for the aforementioned eight assignments, which will comprise one-third to one-half of the overall bibliography. In one sense, doing so makes the student's task that much easier since his topic and search time will be automatically narrowed down. On the other hand, the student's creativity in forming his thesis and conclusion becomes somewhat more of a challenge. In the end, however, there is a solid learning opportunity to integrate economic theory, history, public policy, and Christian theology in completing the assignment. Note: students are also encouraged to consider Dr. Schansberg's book Poor Policy in preparing their papers.

Course Description:

This course will broadly consider macroeconomic theory with special emphasis on public policy and the Christian theology of public policy, market failure theory, and property rights. Class participation is encouraged and students will be evaluated on how well they understand the course content and cogently articulate that knowledge. Topics in government policy will also be a central motif running through the course. Other motifs will include basic economic concepts underlying the market economy, developing economies, law and economics, public policy, and externalities.

Formal (Catalog) Description: An introduction to macroeconomics focusing on aggregate economic relationships and measures such as gross national product, inflation, unemployment and fiscal and monetary policy. Specific economic issues and policy alternatives are discussed and differences among the key schools of economic thought in addressing these issues are highlighted.

Relation of Course to College Mission and Career: This course will help prepare students for leadership and career opportunities consistent with the mission of The King's College-both in terms of developing critical thinking skills and learning more about economics and politics.

Course objectives: (1) to increase one's understanding of macroeconomics-in particular, fiscal and monetary policy, international trade and finance, money and banking, the role of government; (2) to build human capital; to enhance institutional knowledge; (3) to promote critical and creative thinking; see: Bloom's taxonomy (knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation); and (4) to address some "general education goals": oral communication skills, quantitative reasoning, reasoning about moral/ethical questions, critical thinking, etc.

Prerequisite: MAT 117 Mathematical Ideas and Practice (the original pre-req of ECO217 has been waived).

Philosophy of teaching: Congruent with my colleague Dr. Schansberg's courses, my courses are constructed assuming that a student will read the material before class (first exposure), absorb the material covered in class (second exposure), and review the material after class (third exposure). Failure to prepare for class diligently, to attend class attentively, and to revisit materially wisely will diminish your understanding of the material, your ability to apply the material in future courses, and your grade in the course.

Readings and Topics:

Class Day 1
1. Chapter 1 [A]
2. Chapter 2 [A]
3. Chapter 3 (57-75) [A]

Class Day 2
1. Chapter 3 (75-80) [A]
2. Chapter 4 (86-104) [A]
3. Hazlitt book [F]

Class Day 3
1. Chapter 4 (84-85) [A]
2. Chapter 7 [A]
3. Chapter 8 [A]
4. Special focus on Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Ciudad del Este, and Chile
In-class discussion on readings from Dr. Cobin's past columns for discussion on immigration issues
Ciudad del Este: a Free-Market Spectacle
Hong Kong and Macau: Icons of Freedom
Thailand: Friendly, Fun, and Becoming Less Free
Brave New Singapore

Class Day 4
1. Mid-term Exam #1

Class Day 5
1. Chapter 9 (190-205) [A]
2. Chapter 10 [A]

Class Day 6
1. Chapter 11 (237-239, 246-253) [A]
2. Chapter 12 (257-260, 267-274) [A]
3. Mises questions (Set 1)

Class Day 7
1. Chapter 13 [A]
2. Chapter 14 (303-308, 311-323) [A]
3. Griffin book [E]
4. Mises questions (Set 2)

Class Day 8
1. Chapter 14 (308-311, 315, 319) [A]
2. Chapter 15 (328-329, 332-343) [A]
3. Mises questions (Set 3)

Class Day 9
1. Mid-term Exam #2
2. Bastiat book [D] [may be next class instead]
3. Mises questions (Set 4) [may be next class instead]

Class Day 10
1. Chapter 5 [A]
3. Mises questions (Set 5)

Class Day 11
1. Chapter 6 [A]
2. Chapter 17 (370-378) [A]
3. Chapter 18 [A]
4. Cobin book [B]
5. Mises questions (Set 6)

Class Day 12
1. Chapter 16 [A]
2. Chapter 17 (379-388) [A]
3. Mises questions (Set 7)

Class Day 13
1. Term Papers Due
2. Review
3. Cobin book [C]
4. Mises questions (Set 8)

Class Day 14
Final Exam

Extra credit opportunity: Might be considered as the course progresses.

Grading:

1. Eight Mises assignments (submitted weekly in the second half of the course) » 16% (2 points X 8 assignments = 16 points total)
2. Mid-Term Exams (2) » 15% (15 points) each
3. Final Exam » 30% (30 points)
4. Term Paper » 24% (24 points)
Final Grade Basis: 90%-100%=A, 80%-89%=B, 70%-79%=C, 60%-69%=D, <=59%=F

Likely format and expectations re exam questions: (a) short answer, short essay, graphical, and perhaps some multiple choice; (b) think through questions that I might ask over the material to be tested; (c) final exam will be comprehensive but the questions over the old material will be nearly identical to those on the previous tests; (d) note that tests cannot cover every question; they are always a survey of what we've covered.



Economic Geography

Limestone College

Intensive course with duration of one month

Required Texts:

Textbook: James Rubenstein, An Introduction to Human Geography: The Cultural Landscape, Eighth Edition, Prentice-Hall, 2005 [B&N link].
Note: Click on book name to order book from Amazon.com

2nd Textbook (downloadable PDF): John Cobin (1), A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics, Alertness Books, 2003. Amazon link

3rd Textbook (downloadable PDF): John Cobin (2), Building Regulation, Market Alternatives, and Allodial Policy, Alertness Books, 2002. Amazon link
Professor will also assign additional online readings each week as he sees fit.

Additional materials for classroom and other uses may be sought on the Policy of Liberty website.

Important Written Assignments: Each student will be responsible to answer the assigned numbered questions from Ludwig von Mises's famous, classic book, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, at the end of chapters 7, 8, 9, and 10 of the 2nd textbook (Cobin, A Primer). Most of the time will be spent in (a) looking up the answers (usually two to five sentences per response) in the online text from Mises by using the PDF or webpage search feature (Ctrl-F) and copying & pasting the information, (b) compiling and preparing the written answers (or ideas/charts/tables), and finally (c) to email the professor each week on Friday morning. Question numbers to do include: [1-4, 6-7, 9]; [10-14, 20-21]; [24, 29-34]; [51-53, 60-63]; [64-66, 72, 85-87]; [88-89, 96, 99-100, 107-108]; [128-133, 136]; [138-141, 147-148, 152, 157, 159] (approx. 7 questions to be done PRIOR to each of the 8 non-exam sessions after the first night's class)

Course Description:

This course will broadly consider aspects of economic theory which are relevant to a basic understaning of economic geography, population, resource allocation, economic development, market failure theory, and property rights. Class participation is encouraged and students will be evaluated on how well they understand the course content and cogently articulate that knowledge. Topics in government policy will also be a central motif running through the course. Other motifs will include basic economic concepts underlying the market economy, developing economies, law and economics, public policy, and externalities.

Readings and Topics:

Session 1
1. Chapter 1 (Thinking Geographically)
2. Chapter 2 (Population)
Required reading — Rubenstein chapters 1 (pp.25-40), 2
In-class readings from Dr. Cobin's column for discussion on population
The Overpopulation Myth

Session 2
1. Chapter 3 (Migration)
2. Chapter 5 (Language)
Required reading — Rubenstein chapters 3, 5
In-class readings from Dr. Cobin's column for discussion on immigration issues
The Real Problem with the FTAA and Immigration
Free-Market Solutions for Immigration Problems
Government Aid for Tsunami Victims Is Wrong

Session 3
1. Chapter 6 (Religion)
2. Chapter 8 (Political Geography)
Required reading — Rubenstein chapters 6, 8

Session 4
1. Chapter 9 (Development)
2. Chapter 10 (Agriculture)
3. Special focus on Chile, Andean Indians, New Zealand: Weber, Mises and public choice issues
Required reading — online article Cobin, The Andean Altiplano: Lessons for the Mises-Tullock View of Development
Required reading — Rubenstein chapters 9, 10

Session 5
1. Chapter 11 (Industry)
2. Chapter 12 (Urban Patterns)
Required reading — Rubenstein chapters 11, 12

Session 6
1. Chapter 13 (Urban Patterns)
2. Chapter 14 (Resource Ideas)
Required reading — Rubenstein chapters 13, 14

Session 7
Mid-Term Exam

Session 8
1. Review of Mid Terem Exam and key themes in Economic Geography (Rubenstein 1, 2, 3, 5)
2. Market Failure Theory (Chapter 12)
3. Market-based Grading (Chapter 3)
Required reading — Cobin2 chapter 3, Cobin1 chapter 12

Session 9
1. Review of key themes in Economic Geography (Rubenstein 6, 8, 9, 10)
2. Property Rights: Feudal, Allodial, (Mercantilist, Free-market views)
3. Allodialism as Economic Policy (Chapter 15)
Required reading — Cobin1 chapter 15

Session 10
1. Review of key themes in Economic Geography (Rubenstein 11, 12, 13, 14)
2. Allodialism in America—highlighting the Founding Fathers and the antebellum period (Chapter 4)
3. Review
Required reading — Cobin2 chapter 4

Session 11
Final Exam

Extra credit opportunity: Students who desire some extra credit (probably from 1-5 points, with 10 points being the maximum for exceptional cases), especially after the mid-term exam, may listen online to Dr. Cobin's radio webcast weekday mornings from 7:30 to 9:00. To get credit, students will have to both listen to at least FIVE SHOWS and either call-in (864-201-6955 or 864-849-0277 or 864-244-8177) or send an email (AT LEAST ONE TIME) to the show. A question should have something to do with the course material: e.g., overpopulation, allodial property rights, a favorite Mises question, economic development and cultural influences, market failure theory, urban problems, market-based regulation, etc. The amount of credit earned will be subjectively determined by the professor according to (1) the number of questions submitted and (2) the quality of each question.

Grading:

1. Eight Mises assignments (submitted weekly) » 20% (2.5 points X 8 assignments = 20 points total)
2. Mid-Term Exam » 30% (30 points)
3. Final Exam » 50% (50 points)
4. Final Grade Basis: 90%-100%=A, 80%-89%=B, 70%-79%=C, 60%-69%=D, <=59%=F

Business Economics

UCSB Extension in Ventura

Traditional course with duration of eleven weeks (one academic quarter)

Required Texts:

Textbook: Paul Heyne, The Economic Way of Thinking, Ninth Edition, Prentice-Hall, 2000 [B&N link].
Note: Click on book name to order book from Amazon.com
Professor will also assign additional online readings each week as he sees fit.

Course Description:

This course will broadly consider many aspects of economic theory which are relevant to business by reading and discussing the textbook and various online readings. Class participation is encouraged and students will be evaluated on how well they understand the course content and cogently articulate that knowledge. Topics in government policy will also be a central motif running through the course. Other motifs will include basic economic concepts underlying the market economy, supply and demand, monetary policy, developing economies, law and economics, public policy and markets, and externalities. The course will also have a financial services component, which will include 30-45 minutes each class on various practical, real-world topics, and students are expected to master this material from the class notes.

In weekly written assignments, which will be sent via email to the instructor, emphasis will be placed on analysis and critical thinking.

Readings and Topics:

Session 1
1. Basic Economic Principles
2. Overview of the Stock Market, equities fundamentals, and long and short positions
Required reading — Heyne chapters 1, 2 & 3

Session 2
1. Supply and Demand
2. Overview of Options
Required reading — Heyne chapters 4 & 5

Session 3
1. Exchange, the price system, and information
2. Options Strategies
Required reading — Heyne chapters 6, 7 & 8

Session 4
1. Competition, price discrimination, pricing policies, and profit
2. Mutual Funds
Required reading — Heyne chapters 9, 10 & 11

Session 5
1. Government policy and externalities
2. Variable Annuities
Required reading — Heyne chapters 12, 13 & 14

Session 6
1. Comparative economic systems and political economy
2. Life Insurance options
Required reading — Heyne chapters 15 & 21

Session 7
Mid-Term Exam

Session 8
1. Monetary policy
2. Estate planning, CRTs, and pension maximization
Required reading — Heyne chapters 16 & 17

Session 9
1. National policy, international exchange, and employment issues
2. Disability insurance
Required reading — Heyne chapters 18 & 19

Session 10
1. Promoting economic growth and the limitations of economics
2. Financial services licensing procedure and selection of affiliation
Required reading — Heyne chapters 20 & 22

Session 11
Final Exam

Additional materials for classroom and other uses may be sought on the Policy of Liberty website.

Grading:

1. Chapter assignments to be sent by email each week » 20%
2. Mid-Term Exam » 30%
3. Final Exam » 50%

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Transnational Economics

Antioch University, Santa Barbara

An eleven-week online graduate course with three in-class meetings

Required Texts:

Textbook A: Paul Heyne, The Economic Way of Thinking, Ninth Edition, Prentice-Hall, 2000 [B&N link].
Textbook B: Ball, McCulloch, et al, International Business: The Challenge of Global Competition, Eighth Edition, McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2002 [B&N link].
Note: Click on book name to order book from Amazon.com
Professor will also assign additional online readings each week as he deems appropriate.

Course Description:

This course will consider economic theory and government policy that is relevant to international public policy and transnational economics. In particular, relevant concepts and actions (with emphasis on the pressing issues of the day) will be donecomparing/contrasting the U.S. with others in the global economy, with occasional emphasis on Latin America. Basic economic concepts underlying capitalism; including supply and demand, banking and the role of money in national and international exchanges, national and international debt management, underdeveloped and developing economies, U.S. hegemony, law and economics, public policy and markets, externalities, the use and distribution of basic resources such as food and technology, energy and oil will be topics of interest and discussion. We will explore issues that flow from economic policy or have an effect upon it such as; trade, immigration, social justice, the environment, health and welfare and economic development, making use of may standard theories, as well as newer ones like public choice theory.

In written assignments, which will be emailed to the instructor, emphasis will be placed on analysis and critical thinking. Special attention will be paid to the global implications of U.S. economic policy and practice. For example, the inter-relationship between interest rates, debt and the value of the dollar on foreign exchanges; third world indebtedness problems and the fact and fiction associated with the transnational movement of resources (human, intellectual capital and development). Given the nature of online instruction, other topics will be determined (spontaneously) by the instructor as the course progresses.

Readings and Topics Schedule:

Week 1 (in classroom October 6th) and Week 2
1. Review of Economic Fundamentals
2. Inflation
3. Foreign exchange and tariffs
Required reading — Heyne chapters 1, 2, 3 & 4; plus pp. 272-276 (Review for some perhaps, but should be completed prior to first in-class meeting
Required reading — Ball, McCulloch, et al chapter 6
"Threaded Discussion" day on Saturday

Week 3
1. National and international economic policies
2. Introduction to international business
Required reading — Heyne chapter 18
Required reading — Ball, McCulloch, et al chapter 1
"Synchronous Classroom" meeting online

Week 4 and Week 5 (in classroom November 3rd)
1. Economic theories of transnational economics
2. International policy organizations
3. Comparative advantage and exchange
4. Comparison of economic systems and promoting economic growth
5. Public policy: ideologies, privatization, etc.
Required reading — Heyne chapters 6, 15 & 20
Required reading — Ball, McCulloch, et al chapters 3, 4 & 10
"Synchronous Classroom" meeting online

Week 6
1. Sociocultural forces that affect transnational economic behavior
2. Special focus on Chile, Andean Indians, New Zealand: Weber, Mises and public choice issues
3. Competition and government policy
Required reading — Heyne chapter 10
Required reading — Ball, McCulloch, et al chapter 9
"Threaded Discussion" day on Saturday

Week 7
1. Money, monetary policy, and fiscal policy
2. International monetary system
Required reading — Heyne chapters 16 & 17
Required reading — Ball, McCulloch, et al chapter 5
"Synchronous Classroom" meeting online

Week 8 and Week 9
1. Markets and government policy
2. Economic performance and political economy
Required reading — Heyne chapters 13, 14 & 21
"Threaded Discussion" day on Saturday

Week 10 (in classroom December 8th)
1. Externalities
2. Law and transnational economics
Required reading — Heyne chapter 13
Required reading — Ball, McCulloch, et al chapter 11

Finals period (Week 11)
Turn in final assignments by December 11th and receive course evaluation by December 15th

Assignments:

There will be a weekly project from the textbooks and online readings posted on the Blackboard site which are due each Friday at 2pm. There will be no written examinations or term papers. Students will be evaluated by the quality of their postings, in terms of their (1) understanding of the material (whether or not one agrees with it) [40%], (2) willingness to participate and interact with other students and the professor [20%], (3) and ability to think critically and present a cogent position [40%]. Students should be prepared to read a considerable amount of material each week and to write a fair amount as well.

Additional materials for classroom and other uses may be sought on the Policy of Liberty website.

Evaluation:

At the completion of the course, each student will be given a 1-2 page (pass/fail) written evaluation, with the instructor's opinion of what grade would have been assigned if the course were graded.

______________________________________________________________________________

Economics for Decision Making

University of La Verne, Ventura County Campus, Oxnard

Thursday 5pm-10pm, January 10, 2001 through March 14, 2001

A ten-week graduate course [ECBU 500B]

Required Texts:

Textbook: David Hyman, Economics, Fourth Edition, MCG, 1997 [B&N link].
Note: Click on book name to order book from Amazon.com ($15 used price)

Textbook: John Cobin, A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics and Policy, Universal Publishers, 1999.
Note: Click on book name to order book online direct from publisher $6 PDF format or $30 paperback. [Also available from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble].

Professor will also assign additional online readings each week as he deems appropriate.
Recommended Text: Paul Heyne, The Economic Way of Thinking, Ninth Edition, Prentice-Hall, 2000 [B&N link].
Note: Click on book name to order book from Amazon.com

Course Description:

This course will consider economic theory and government policy that is relevant to public policy and economics. It examines those economic principles that can assist management in long-term and short-term decision-making. Topics will include the fuctioning of supply and demand, the role of government and fiscal policy, business cycles, the banking system and monetary policy, pricing, competition, monopoly, regulation, opportunity cost analysis, and some topics pertaining to international trade and companies. Special topics taken from basic law and economics theory, public policy and markets, externalities, the use and distribution of basic resources such as food and technology, energy and oil will be topics of interest to the students and thus part of the classroom discussion. We will explore issues that flow from economic policy or have an effect upon it such as; trade, immigration, social justice, the environment, health and welfare and economic development, making use of may standard theories, as well as newer ones like public choice theory. The professor will endeavor to cover most of the topics covered in the text but much will be left to the student to digest during his own reading. Students are encouraged to use some of the chapter problems to test their own knowledge each week. Economics is typically a difficult course and students should be prepared to spend at least 12 hours per week in reading or other class preparation. It is strongly suggested that assigned readings be completed prior to attending the class sessions.

All written assignments and any questions may be addressed to the professor by email.

Readings and Topics Schedule:

Session 1
1. Basic Economic Principles: Scarcity; Opportunity Cost; Marginal Cost; Production Possibilities Curve; Division of Labor
2. How an Economy Grows; the Wealth Spiral; Capitalism
3. Role of Ideas; the Human Mind as the "Ultimate Resource"; Immigration
4. Special Interest Groups
5. Lobbying; Logrolling; Vote-Seeking; and Transfers-Seeking
6. Market Failure and Government Failure Motifs
Required reading — Hyman chapters 1 & 2, plus pp. 209-211; Cobin chapters 1 & 4a, plus pp. 176-180, 335-340

Session 2
1. Utility and Preference Theory
2. Supply and Demand Theory; Equilibrium
3. Competition and Business
4. Price Fixing & Shortages
5. Exchange, the Price System, Middlemen, and Information
6. Entrepreneurship; Short-Term Monopoly Power
Required reading — Hyman chapters 3, 4, 5 (only pp. 102-110), 6 & 7; Cobin chapter 9, plus pp. 175-176

Session 3
1. Monopoly; Market Power; Price Discrimination; Barriers to Entry
2. Rent Seeking; Transitional Gains Trap
3. Cost-Benefit Analysis; Fair Market Value
4. Interventionism; Idea of Society; Democide (see Dr. Rummel's page).
5. Marxian Stages of History Theory; Rothbard's "Postmillennial" Analysis of Marxism; Socialism
6. The Knowledge Problem (Hayek)
Required reading — Hyman chapters 10 & 12, plus pp. 826-831; Cobin chapters 3, 8b & 10b, plus pp. 168-172, 184-185; also see the links under here.

Session 4
1. Regulation; Market Regulatory Alternatives
2. Capture Theory; Perverse Incentives
3. Externalities; Transactions Costs; The Rule of Law; Private Property
4. Environmentalist Issues; Pollution
5. Illegal Drug Prohibition; Vice Controls; Other Public Policy Issues
Required reading — Hyman chapters 14, 15 & 16; Cobin chapters 2 & 6, plus pp. 103-112, 341-355; also see the links under here.

Session 5
1. Inflation
2. Employment
3. Money (Development and Uses); Banking
4. Consumption
5. Investment
Required reading — Hyman chapters 18, 23, 26, 28, 29 & 34; Cobin pp. 303-306

Session 6
Mid-Term Exam
1. Role of Insurance; Options; Futures
2. Monetary and Fiscal Policies
3. Overview of Key Economists: Smith, Marx, Ricardo, Menger/Walrus/Jevons, Keynes, Hayek, Mises, Friedman, Samuelson, Stigler, Buchanan, Hayek, Coase [Note: looking here and here would be beneficial, as well as Policy of Liberty's Famous Economists page].
Required reading — Hyman chapters 31 & 32

Session 7
1. Equities Markets; Long and Short Positions in the Market
2. Business Cycles; Recessions; Depressions
3. Tariffs; Farm Policies
4. Central Banking; Gold Standard
5. Free Banking; 100% Reserves Banking
Required reading — Hyman chapters 22 & 30; Cobin chapter 11

Session 8
1. Public Policy Theory
2. Public Sector Economics
3. GNP, GDP, and Other Macro Measures
4. Building Regulation; Land Use Planning; Zoning; Private Roads
Required reading — Hyman chapters 21 & 25 (sections); Cobin chapters 5 & 12 (some review)

Session 9
1. International Economics
2. International Trade
3. Global Public Policies
4. Economic Development; LDCs; Backwardsness; Climate, Culture or Government Failure?
Required reading — Hyman chapters 35 & 36, plus pp. 831-835, and the online article Cobin, The Andean Altiplano: Lessons for the Mises-Tullock View of Development

Session 10
Final Exam

Additional materials for classroom and other uses may be sought on the Policy of Liberty website.

Group Project with Oral Presentation:

Groups will consist of three students. One student from each group will be responsible for giving the oral presentation. All group members will be responsible to answer questions after the oral presentation (10-15 minutes). Each group will be responsible to answer a proportionate number of the numbered questions from Ludwig von Mises's famous, classic book, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, at the end of chapters 7, 8, 9, and 10 of the Cobin textbook. Representatives from each group will meet to decide which questions each group will do such that all of the numbered questions are assigned. This division of labor should be done before the second class meeting. It is best to have each group read all the questions and then each group select questions that focus on two or three overarching themes. Each group will then meet to decide how the workload will be shared. Most of the time will be spent in (a) looking up the answers (usually two to five sentences per response) in the online text from Mises, Human Action, (b) compiling and preparing the written answers (or ideas/charts/tables) to give to the professor and/or other groups during the oral presentation, and (c) doing the 20-30 minute oral presentation. The presentation should not be a mere summary of some of the questions selected or some important topics that they pertain to. Alternatively, the group should identify two to four key, related, contemporary public policy issues identified by Mises (i.e., private property rights, monopoly power, labor unions, etc.), note his opinion, find a few other relevant opinions to the contrary (if any) elsewhere [note: students might start by looking here and here], and note what insights the group would offer for modern day business practice.

Grading:

1. Mid-Term Exam (multiple choice 75% and short answer/diagrams/terms 25%) » 35%
2. Group Projects and Oral Presentations » 25%
3. Final Exam (comprehensive, multiple choice 60% and short answer/diagrams/terms 40%) » 40%

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Economic Theories and Issues

University of La Verne, Ventura County Campus, Oxnard

Monday 5pm-10pm, January 7, 2001 through March 18, 2001

A ten-week undergraduate course [ECBU 328]

Required Texts:

Textbook: Bradley Schiller, The Economy Today, Eighth Edition, MCG, 2000 (July 1999) [B&N link].
Note: Click on book name to order book from Amazon.com (used price $45)

Textbook: John Cobin, A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics, Universal Publishers, 1999.
Note: Click on book name to order book online direct from publisher $6 PDF format or $30 paperback. [Also available from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble].

Professor will also assign additional online readings each week as he sees fit.
Recommended Text: Paul Heyne, The Economic Way of Thinking, Ninth Edition, Prentice-Hall, 2000 [B&N link].
Note: Click on book name to order book from Amazon.com

Course Description:

This course will broadly consider many aspects of economic theory which are relevant to business by reading and discussing the textbooks and other readings. Class participation is encouraged and students will be evaluated on how well they understand the course content and cogently articulate that knowledge. Topics in government policy will also be a central motif running through the course. Other motifs will include basic economic concepts underlying the market economy, supply and demand, monetary policy, developing economies, law and economics, public policy and markets, and externalities. The overall goal of this course is to offer student the opportunity to examine the foundations, challenges of economic opportunity and its impact on quality of life processes, and to contemplate the economic factors affecting global decision-making. It evaluates appropriateness of criteria and strategies for relations between individuals and nations. Specific focuses will be resource allocation, the economic way of thinking, how economic problems affect managerial decisions, and how major macroeconomic policies and variables affect business. The professor will endeavor to cover most of the topics covered in the text but much will be left to the student to digest during his own reading. Students are encouraged to use some of the chapter problems to test their own knowledge each week. Economics is typically a difficult course and students should be prepared to spend at least 15 hours per week in reading or other class preparation. It is strongly suggested that assigned readings be completed prior to attending the class sessions.

All written assignments and any questions may be addressed to the professor by email.

Readings and Topics:

Session 1
1. Basic Economic Principles: Scarcity; Opportunity Cost; Marginal Cost; Production Possibilities Curve; Division of Labor
2. How an Economy Grows; the Wealth Spiral; Capitalism
3. Role of Ideas; the Human Mind as the "Ultimate Resource"; Immigration
4. Special Interest Groups
5. Lobbying; Logrolling; Vote-Seeking; and Transfers-Seeking
6. Market Failure and Government Failure Motifs
Required reading — Schiller chapters 1, 17 (up to p. 345) & 34, plus pp. 432, 441; Cobin chapters 1 & 4a, plus pp. 176-180, 335-340

Session 2
1. Utility and Preference Theory
2. Supply and Demand Theory; Equilibrium
3. Competition and Business
4. Price Fixing & Shortages
5. Exchange, the Price System, Middlemen, and Information
6. Entrepreneurship; Short-Term Monopoly Power
Required reading — Schiller chapters 3, 7, 20, 22 & 23; Cobin chapter 9, plus pp. 175-176

Session 3
1. Monopoly; Market Power; Price Discrimination; Barriers to Entry
2. Rent Seeking; Transitional Gains Trap
3. Cost-Benefit Analysis; Fair Market Value
4. Interventionism; Idea of Society; Democide (see Dr. Rummel's page).
5. Marxian Stages of History Theory; Rothbard's "Postmillennial" Analysis of Marxism; Socialism
6. The Knowledge Problem (Hayek)
Required reading — Schiller chapter 24, plus pp. 80-82; Cobin chapters 3, 8b & 10b, plus pp. 168-172, 184-185; also see the links under here.

Session 4
1. Regulation; Market Regulatory Alternatives
2. Capture Theory; Perverse Incentives
3. Externalities; Transactions Costs; The Rule of Law; Private Property
4. Environmentalist Issues; Pollution
5. Illegal Drug Prohibition; Vice Controls; Other Public Policy Issues
Required reading — Schiller chapters 27 & 28, plus pp. 36, 69-71, 345-349, 582-584; Cobin chapters 2 & 6, plus pp. 103-112, 341-355; also see the links under here.

Session 5
1. Inflation
2. Employment
3. Money (Development and Uses); Banking
4. Consumption
5. Investment
Required reading — Schiller chapters 6, 7, 9, 10, 13, 30 & 31; Cobin pp. 303-306

Session 6
Mid-Term Exam
1. Role of Insurance; Options; Futures
2. Monetary and Fiscal Policies
3. Overview of Key Economists: Smith, Marx, Ricardo, Menger/Walrus/Jevons, Keynes, Hayek, Mises, Friedman, Samuelson, Stigler, Buchanan, Hayek, Coase [Note: looking here and here would be beneficial, as well as Policy of Liberty's Famous Economists page].
Required reading — Schiller chapters 11, 15 & 16

Session 7
1. Equities Markets; Long and Short Positions in the Market
2. Business Cycles; Recessions; Depressions
3. Tariffs; Farm Policies
4. Central Banking; Gold Standard
5. Free Banking; 100% Reserves Banking
Required reading — Schiller chapters 8, 14, 29, & 32; Cobin chapter 11

Session 8
Group Projects Due; Group Oral Presentations
1. Public Policy Theory
2. Public Sector Economics
3. GNP, GDP, and Other Macro Measures
4. Building Regulation; Land Use Planning; Zoning; Private Roads
Required reading — Schiller chapters 4, 5, 11, 12 & 19; Cobin chapters 5 & 12 (some review)

Session 9
1. International Economics
2. International Trade
3. Global Public Policies
4. Economic Development; LDCs; Backwardness; Climate, Culture or Government Failure?
Required reading — Schiller chapters 2, 18, 35 & 37 and the online article Cobin, The Andean Altiplano: Lessons for the Mises-Tullock View of Development

Session 10
Final Exam

Additional materials for classroom and other uses may be sought on the Policy of Liberty website.

Minor Research Project:

Groups will consist of three students. The assignment is simply to find (online or in books or articles) 12 quotations of the same quality as those on the Policy of Liberty quotations page. Full bibliographic references will be required. Hint: students might search for quotations from one of the many economists cited in the Cobin textbook.

Grading:

1. Mid-Term Exam (multiple choice 75% and short answer/diagrams/terms 25%) » 30%
2. Minor Research Project » 10%
3. Class participation (purely subjective) » 10%
4. Final Exam (comprehensive, multiple choice 60% and short answer/diagrams/terms 40%) » 50%

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