Econ 187 - The Economics of Poverty, Inequality, and Discrimination

Professor David Bjerk



No class on Wednesday November 23rd (the day before Thanksgiving). We will make it up later in the term.

No class on Monday December 5th. We will be watching a movie in the evening (either Sunday Dec 4th from 6:30-8:30, or Monday Dec 5th from 6:30-8:30, both in our regular classroom).

Final Papers: I'll push back the due date to Friday December at 5:00PM (must be emailed to me or put under my door/handed to me by then).


Lang, Kevin. (2007). Poverty and Discrimination. Princeton University Press. Princeton , NJ.

Powerpoint Slides and other readings:

Who is Poor? What is Poverty? (Kotlowitz "There Are No Children Here"; Lang - Ch 2)

Labor Demand (Borjas - Ch 4)

Labor Supply (Borjas - Ch 2)

Labor Market Equilibrium (Borjas - Ch 5, Ch 6; Elliot "Guinea Pigging")

Overview of Regression Analysis (Lang Ch 1: 19-28)

Labor Market Regulation (Borjas Ch 4: 136-146; Lang Ch 5: 115-121; Kennan "Elusive Effects of Minimum Wages"; ***optional***DeLeire "Unintended Consequences of Americans With Disabilities Act")

Job Training (Lang Ch 5: 121-133; Schochet, Burghardt, McConnel "Does Job Corps Work? Impact Findings from the National Job Corps Study")

Welfare (Borjas, Ch 2: 54-63; Lang, Ch 3 and Ch 9)

Intergenerational Issues (Leblanc - Random Family (Chapter 1), Solon -Intergenerational Income Mobility;)

Teen Motherhood (Lang Ch 6: 161-172)

High Poverty Neighborhoods

Inequality (Borjas Ch 8; Saez - "Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States"; Frank - "Frame of Reference as a Public Good")

Taxation (Slemrod - Taxing Ourselves Ch 2; Buffet - Stop Coddling the Super Rich; Lowenstein - "The Inequality Conundrum")

Trends in Racial Inequality (Lang Ch 11: 283-293; Heckman and Donohue - "Continuous Versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks.")

Theories of Discrimination (Lang Ch 10)

Empirically Assessing Discrimination (Lang, Chapter 11: 293-305; Bjerk - "The Differing Nature of Black-White Wage Inequality Across Occupational Sectors"; Bertrand and Mullainathan - "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?"; Doleac and Stein - "The Visible Hand")

Eductaion (Hanushek - "Failure of Input-based Schooling Policies"; Fryer and Levitt - "The Black-White Test Score Gap through Third Grade"; Lang Ch 6:177 - 190; Belfield et al "The High/Scope Perry Preschool Program")

Screening of "Waiting for Superman"

Innovations in Eductaion Policy (Dobbie and Fryer "Are High-Quality Schools Enough to Increase Achievment Among The Poor?"; Lang Ch 8)

Problem Sets:

Problem Set 1 (due Monday, Sept 19th) answers

Problem Set 2 (due Monday, Oct 3rd) answers

Problem Set 3 (due Monday, Oct 10th) answers

Problem Set 4 (due Tuesday, Nov 1st at Ath night) answers

Problem Set 5 (due Monday, Nov 14) answers

Problem Set 6 (due Monday, Nov 28th) answers

Additional Materials:

Midterm 1 Review

Midterm 2 Review