13 October 2007

Back in Full Swing (of grad school)

As many of you have probably noticed, if you still check this site, posts have dropped dramatically. That is mostly due to a killer courseload of grad classes. Don't worry, i haven't stopped following the FCC auction or worrying myself about economic efficiency of policy. I've just been preoccupied with developing my economic analysis toolbox. This semester I'm taking 4 homework & paper crazed classes. It's a lot of work, but all great material.

I'm in Industrial Organization with Ken Hendricks. We study the operation of markets. Competitive allocations and prices when firms are competing for profits in host of environments; horizontally differentiated goods, vertically differentiated goods, when firms have varying degrees of market power, when there is uncertainty in the environment, in dynamic time settings (when repeated competitions are considered), when goods are complements or subsititutes, and in auction environments. We look primarily at Nash, sub-game perfect, and Perfect Bayesian equilibria allocations and prices. We also are concerned with bringing the theory to data to test whether firms are acting competitively or collusively and the impact on consumer surplus. This class is advanced micro meets game theory meets econometrics.

Also, i'm in Computational Macro with Dean Corbae. In this class, so far we have been occupied with calculating steady state equilibrium of allocations and prices and wealth distributions in intricate dynamic macro-economic models. We will also be solving for dynamic equilibrium, equilibrium tax functions, and social welfare gain in macro and political economy models to asses the economic efficiency of policy. This class is stokey-lucas meets Matlab.

Then, i'm also in Public Finance with Rob Williams. We are studying optimal tax schedule in environments where the government has an exogenous budget requirement for which revenue must be generated. By optimal tax we mean a tax schedule that achieves a desired blend of pareto efficiency and equality. So far we've studied optimal commodity taxes, optimal commodity and income taxes, optimal nonlinear income taxes. Also, we've compared these tax schedule with observed US tax codes and attempted to reconcile the differences. Prof Williams lectures are crystal clear and deliver a great message of the intuition and mathematics.

Last, but not least, I'm also in Econometrics II with Professor Donald. In this class we are achieving skills in statistical inference in nonlinear regression models under only general assumptions on our data set and using advanced estimation techniques. We work on the theory, solve some simple theory exercises on paper, and solve some large scale real-world examples with the help of Stata and Matlab computer code.

Anyway, the point of this post was to just give a brief insight into what i've been up to, what i'm going to be up to, and to show why that does not include a ton of blogging time. Also, i wanted to say that in the off chance I plan to do something fun with some of our austin friends i plan to post some logistics here on this site. Since our group of friends has been growing, and it isn't always feasible to stay in real time phone contact on logistics, i'll just post them here. so, for those loyal econ readers or fcc readers, don't be suprised to see some logistics for some Friday night Texas high school football games posted here. check yall later.