ECON 7238 - Challenges in Economic Policy and Applied Research
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015
General Course Information
Course Code ECON 7238 Course Challenges in Economic Policy and Applied Research Coordinating Unit School of Economics Term Semester 2 Level Postgraduate Coursework Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 6 Contact Up to 4 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites ECON 7001 Incompatible ECON 7220 Assumed Knowledge 12 units of Economics PG, or higher, courses Restrictions Available to MAppEc, MAppEc(Int), MAppEc(PubPolicy) & MHlthEco&Pol students only Course Description The course deals with controversial aspects of economic policy faced by governments, focusing on real-world applications of economic insights. Policy challenges addressed in the course will range across different areas of policy. Issues of relevance to both domestic and international policy will be explored as will topics of particular importance in developing countries.
This exploration also involves the development of relevant research skills and students undertaking an individual research project that exhibits original investigation, critical reflection and interpretation.
Course Coordinator: Dr Florian PloecklCourse Lecturer: Dr Eran Binenbaum
Workshop Lecturer: Athena Kerley
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesOn successful completion of this course students will be able to:
- Understand economic insights relevant to policy issues
- Apply economic analysis to local, state, national and international policy issues
- Prepare material on and present economic insights with policy relevance
- Provide and respond to constructive criticism of economic policy analysis
- Evaluate and synthesize research-based and scholarly literature
- Demonstrate specialist knowledge in an area of economic policy and research
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2,5,6 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2,3,4,5 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2,3,4,5 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3,4 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3,4,5,6 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1,2,3,4,5,6 A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1,2,3,4,5,6 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,2,3,4,5,6
Recommended ResourcesAccess to textbooks from Intermediate Microeconomics and Intermediate Macroeconomics may be helpful. The content of these two courses is the assumed knowledge of this course.
An additional useful resource is: Jean Hindriks & Gareth D. Myles, Intermediate Public Economics, 2nd edition, MIT Press, 2013. The book contains excellent background discussions (although all necessary materials will be provided by the lecturer).
Online LearningThe course makes extensive use of MyUni to post notes, task assignments, and student project papers, and for communication with the students.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThe contact time in this course is made up of three hours of lecture and one hour of workshop per week.
Given the small class size and important role of student projects, the "lecture" time will also have significant student input, including discussion of task assignments and projects and the presentations of projects.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This translates to 24 hours per week for a 6-unit semester course.
Learning Activities Summary
Early in the course, the lecturer will introduce key themes such as incentive problems, market failure, government failure, and potential remedies for these failures. The lecturer will also provide examples of economic analysis yielding policy recommendations and tasks directing students to analyse a set of policy issues on their own. As the course progresses, student input into the course will increase, through student projects and class participation.
Policy challenges addressed in the course will range widely across different areas of policy. The lecturer will introduce policy issues such as welfare policy, feeding the world, the tragedy of the commons (e.g. global warming, or over-fishing), the role of the government in promoting innovation, etc.
The course's agenda of policy issues will be influenced by the news and by student interests. Through this flexibility we aim to maximise the course's core objective of real-world relevance. From the beginning of the course, students are encouraged to think about their projects. After the mid-semester break, the course will focus on student projects.
Student presentations will be scheduled as the course progresses and held in the final weeks of the course. Every student will be a presenter and a discussant. Every presenter will be matched with a discussant.
Students present the current stand of their policy project before finalizing it with the feedback from the presentation and discussion.
The workshop sessions will be devoted to the development of students’ research communication skills, both oral and written. These sessions will be highly interactive and will enable students to practise these skills and enhance their learning and assessment outcomes. Such skills include synthesising information from different sources and integrating it into a logical well-linked argument, writing a literature review, delivering an engaging presentation and leading discussion in an academic seminar.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment SummaryAnalytical Assignment: 45%
Policy Project: 45%
Class participation: 10%
This assignment challenges you to gain an understanding of a range of real-world policy issues by:
* tracking down and discussing relevant economic literature
* summarizing and synthesizing the state of knowledge on a particular topic
* contributing your own judgement and insights
Policy project (written and oral presentation)
The project focuses on a key policy issue. Your aim should be to become a "house expert" on that particular issue.
Your project comprises:
* a written report about a particular policy question
* an associated presentation
This consists of review of another student's project, and contribution to classroom discussion. It is important to give useful feedback on other students' projects. The peer review consists of verbal comments after the author's presentation, plus a peer review document containing comments on the report. All students - not only the reviewer - are expected to prepare for the presentation sessions by reading all the papers that are presented, and to be active participants in the discussions providing feedback to the presenters.
The exact details for each assessment will be posted on MyUni.
SubmissionThe exact due dates of the analytical assignment, peer review document and policy project will be posted on MyUni before the start of the course.
Dates for presentations will be coordinated in class. The first version of your paper is expected to be ready in time one week before your presentation. This will give your fellow students - especially your discussant - time to read it before your presentation.
Late submissions will be subject to a 20% penalty per business day late. Lateness due to medical or compassionate reasons, supported by appropriate documents, will not be subject to penalty.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.
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