Economical Ways to Study

Left: Shipping containers from around the world arrive in the port of New York. (Public domain image by the United State Department of Commerce.) Right: The living conditions of the poor in Ghana. (Photo by Jenny Johnston on Flickr.)

Left: Shipping containers from around the world arrive in the port of New York. (Public domain image by the United State Department of Commerce.) Right: The living conditions of the poor in Ghana. (Photo by Jenny Johnston on Flickr.)

By Joe Pickett, OCW Publication Director

OCW currently hosts 77 courses from MIT’s Department of Economics on its site, split almost evenly between graduate and undergraduate offerings.

Most of these courses have lecture notes, and many of these notes are robust study guides with elegantly rendered mathematics and graphs. Some course sites also include lecture slides or lecture summaries.

Here is a brief sampler, along with some descriptive text from the course sites.

14.03 Microeconomic Theory and Public Policy (Fall 2010) with David Autor
“This class presents microeconomic theory and applications of consumer and producer behavior and welfare analysis at an intermediate level . . . We apply this material to policy debates including minimum wage regulations, food stamp provision, trade protection, educational credentials, health insurance markets, and real estate markets.”

14.05 Intermediate Macroeconomics (Spring 2013) with George-Marios Angeletos
“ . . . The problems range from economic growth in the long run, to government finances in the intermediate run, and economic stability in the short run. Many economic models used today are surveyed.”

14.12 Economic Applications of Game Theory (Fall 2012) with Muhamet Yildiz
“Game 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 . . . economics, politics, law, biology, and computer science. In this course, I will introduce the basic tools of game theoretic analysis.”

14.15 Networks (Fall 2009) with Daron Acemoglu and Asu Ozdaglar
“Our social life is organized around networks of friends and colleagues. These networks determine our information, influence our opinions, and shape our political attitudes . . . Economic and financial markets also look much more like networks than anonymous marketplaces.”

14.27 Economics and E-Commerce (Fall 2014) with Sara Ellison
“We will begin with a discussion of relevant topics from industrial organization (IO) including monopoly pricing, price discrimination, product differentiation, and barriers to entry. The main part of the course will be a discussion of a number of online businesses.”

14.73 The Challenge of World Poverty (Spring 2011) with Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee
“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? . . . Has globalization been good to the poor? Should we leave economic development to the market?”

14.581 International Economics I (Spring 2013) with Arnaud Costinot and Dave Donaldson
“. . . Why do countries trade? What goods do countries trade? What are the implications of openness for the location of production, industries, occupations, and innovative activity? And, what impedes trade and why do some countries deliberately erect policy impediments to trade?”

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