PAM 3400 - The Economics of Consumer Policy

(crosslisted) ECON 3610  
Fall. 4 credits. Student option grading.

Prerequisite: PAM 2000  or equivalent or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to: undergraduate students. Co-meets with PAM 5400 .

S. Tennyson.

Familiarizes students with the economic analysis of consumer policy issues. Uses the tools of microeconomic analysis to investigate the interaction between government and the marketplace, with an emphasis on how that interaction affects consumers. Examines the rationale for and effects of regulation of industry. Considers alternative theories of regulation, including the capture, economic, and public interest theories. Applies those theories to specific types of regulation, including economic regulation of specific industries (e.g., telecommunications, electricity, trucking, railroads, postal services) as well as to broader social regulation (e.g., health, safety, environmental). The effects of regulatory reform in numerous industries are also examined. An attempt is made to examine current topics relating to consumer policy.

Outcome 1: Describe specific consumer protection regulations in place in a variety of markets; compare policies across markets and across government jurisdictions.

Outcome 2: Use concepts from information economics and behavioral economics to explain the rationale for specific types of consumer protection regulations.

Outcome 3: Analyze the predicted efficiency and distributional consequences of consumer protection regulations, using the tools of microeconomics.

Outcome 4: Use empirical evidence to critically analyze the performance of regulations.

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