Peter J Wilcoxen

PAI 723 Economics for Public Decisions

General Information About the Course

General Information, Textbook and Requirements
General information that you may need at the beginning of the semester.
Course Outline
The list of the topics to be covered in class this semester including links to optional exercises.
Materials from Class
Copies of handouts not posted elsewhere plus topics covered each day.


Oct 9 Due to a CPR event on Friday 10/13, the lab session that day will be in the PAIA conference room: 209 Eggers.  
Oct 9 The final exam will be Monday 12/11 8-11 am. 
Sep 12 The equilibrium price in the waiver market is $32 with 1 waiver trading. 
Sep 11 Lab session will be on Thu 9/14 from 3:00-4:30 instead of Fri 9/15; the location will be 426 Eggers (same as usual). 
Aug 27 Welcome! 


Exercise 1 Due 9/6. Math exercise. 
Exercise 2 Due 9/13. Finding and analyzing market equilibria. 
Exercise 3 Due 9/20. The consequences of raising the gas tax in Washington, DC. 
Exercise 4 Due 9/27. An analysis of US restrictions on sugar imports. 
Memo 1 Due 10/9. Policy memo. 
Exercise 5 Due 10/18. Indifference curves and budget constraints. 
Exercise 6 Due 10/25. Household equilibrium, utility functions and demand curves. 

Solution Keys

Exercise 1 Solution
Exercise 2 Solution
Exercise 3 Solution
Exercise 4 Solution
Exercise 5 Solution

Old Exams

Exams from Previous Semesters
These exams are a good guide to the questions that will be asked on exams this semester. Most people find it very helpful to do some of them for practice. They include "check your work" answers or detailed solutions.

Optional Exercises

The exercises available from the links below are also available through the "Course Outline" page under individual topics.  That's probably a better way to get to them. They're listed here as well in case that's convenient.

Online Economics Project
Exercises with detailed explanations and some videos.
Five Minute Exercises
Very short practice exercises designed to be done in 5 minutes or so.
Supplementary Exercises
Other exercises you may want to do to help prepare for exams.

Other Resources

A quick reference list of names, abbreviations and symbols.

Tips on Writing a Policy Memo
There's no single formula for writing an effective policy memo because every policy is different. However, here are a few guidelines that may help.
More Tips on Writing a Policy Memo
Here are a few additional Do's and Don'ts about writing policy memos.
An interactive monopoly simulation game.
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Peter J Wilcoxen, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 10/20/2017