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.


Mar 8 Exercise 6 will be handed out after Spring Break. 
Jan 25 Office hours today (1/25) will be 10-11 due to a faculty meeting. 
Jan 18 Welcome! 


Exercise 1 Due 1/25. Math exercise. 
Exercise 2 Due 2/1. Finding and analyzing market equilibria. 
Exercise 3 Due 2/8. The consequences of raising the gas tax in Washington, DC. 
Exercise 4 Due 2/15. An analysis of US restrictions on sugar imports. 
Memo 1 Due 2/27. Policy memo. 
Exercise 5 Due 3/8. Indifference curves and budget constraints. 
Exercise 6 Due 3/27. Household equilibrium, utility functions and demand curves. 
Exercise 7 Due 4/3. Evaluating climate change policy. 
Exercise 8 Due 4/12. Present value of research on fuel cells. 
Memo 2 Due 4/21. Choosing among brownfield redevelopment projects. 
Exercise 9 Due 4/26. Value of information and risk aversion. 

Solution Keys

Exercise 1 Solution
Exercise 2 Solution
Exercise 3 Solution
Exercise 4 Solution
Exercise 5 Solution
Exercise 6 Solution
Exercise 7 Solution
Exercise 8 Solution
Memo 2 Solution


A quick reference list of names, abbreviations and symbols.

Previous Exams
Previous exams, with solutions.
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.

Other Information

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
Optional exercises you may want to do to help prepare for exams.
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Peter J Wilcoxen, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 04/24/2017