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 19 Office hours today will be 10-11 instead of 10-11:30. 
Mar 9 Check-your-work answers to Exam 1 are now available. 
Mar 7 Photo illustrating Larry Ellison's preferences
Mar 5 The due date for Exercise 5 will be extended to Friday 3/9 at 5:00 pm. [more].  
Feb 12 Office hours today will be 10-11 instead of 10-11:30. 
Jan 24 Magdi Ahmed will be the TA for the course. His contact information is available here
Jan 17 Welcome! 


Exercise 1 Due 1/24. Math exercise. 
Exercise 2 Due 1/31. Finding and analyzing market equilibria. 
Exercise 3 Due 2/7. The consequences of raising the gas tax in Washington, DC. 
Exercise 4 Due 2/14. An analysis of US restrictions on sugar imports. 
Memo 1 Due 2/26. Policy memo. 
Memo 1 Optional Revision Due 3/26 by 11:59 pm. Optional revised policy memo. 
Exercise 5 Due 3/7. Indifference curves and budget constraints. 
Exercise 6 Due 3/28. Household equilibrium, utility functions and demand curves. 

Solution Keys

Exercise 1 Solution
Exercise 2 Solution
Exercise 3 Solution
Exercise 4 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 03/19/2018