Syllabus for Hanson's GMU class:
Economic Problems and Public Policies

Economics 309, meets 7:20-10:00pm, Wednesday, during Fall 2021, Carow Hall, Main Room.

Instructor: Robin D. Hanson, Assoc. Professor, Economics (,
Phone: Office 703-993-2326, Cell 703-201-8129.
Office Hours: Officially Wednesday 5-7p, but I'm available at far more times; email or call.

Catalog Entry:

Economic problems in light of current and proposed public policies. Topics include environmental issues, international trade policies, and regulatory issues and their historical roots. Limited to three attempts. Recommended Prerequisite: ECON 100 or 103 and 104 or permission of instructor.
Class Concept: After reviewing key econ concepts, we will engage with many big policy issues, practicing using econ to identify which way each consideration pushes on each policy question.


Defended Opinion Topics
  1. Should we tax soda more than other food and drink?
  2. Should we adopt a self-set property tax?
  3. Should we switch to bounties and vouchers for crime detection and punishment?
Due Dates: Grade Weights: Class Participate 5%, 13% per Quiz and paper, 17% final.

25 Aug Review of Econ, Humans
1 Sep Paternalism, Talk
8 Sep Insurance
15 Sep Food Quiz
22 Sep Fertility
29 Sep Medicine
6 Oct School Quiz,Paper
13 Oct Jobs
20 Oct Land, Finance
27 Oct Law
3 Nov Discrimination Quiz,Paper
10 Nov Emergencies, Innovation
17 Nov No Class
24 Nov No Class Paper
1 Dec World, Systems
8 Dec Final Exam


Readings are at