This course is currently at the planning stage. If you are interested in taking it, please contact me. Input as to what material would be of interest is welcome.
My current plan is to focus the course on inequality in wealth and income, mostly within countries.
The objectives would be:
The organization would be similar to a reading group. I envision a few lectures to provide background material and review classic papers from the literature. But mainly student presentations that would be structured like discussions at a conference. The assumption would be that everyone has read the papers discussed in each class meeting (probably 4 papers a week). The presenters would offer insights into what makes each paper tick, what is compelling and what is not. Much of the time would be spent on simply discussing each paper.
Over time, students would come up with project ideas. Once a promising idea is identified, each student develops it as far as possible. This would at least entail placing the idea into the context of the literature, identifying the contribution, and outlining a model. The end product would be a fully written up research proposal.
In the past, this course covered computational methods as well. I have come to the conclusion that mixing these with the economic material is not productive. The department needs a dedicated course on computing structural models, but Econ821 is not that.