The Economics of Human & Organizational Life

Course Number
DYNM 617 001
Course Code
Course Key
Course permits for non-DYNM students:
Primary Program
Course Note
DYNM Category: F; DYNM Concentrations: LMC, SD
Course Description
As a society, we choose many different ways to organize different aspects of our lives. The institutions and organization we choose to provide us with the necessities and comforts of life range from the fundamental institutions of family and religious organizations, to firms in the capitalistic market and democratically elected governments. We respond to this environment in unique ways: we marry, we worship, we buy and sell goods and services, and we vote. The primary goal of this course is an examination of the various aspects of human behavior in the context of organizational and institutional life from an economic perspective. We recognize that the choices we make are sensitive to the costs and benefits of different actions and use this economic perspective to gain insights into social, economic and political behavior in our daily lives. We start the course with an examination of how micro economists view the world and examine their favorite toolkit. We discuss concepts such as: efficiency, opportunity cost, marginal analysis, externalities, incentives, free-riding, rent-seeking, and transaction costs. These concepts are fundamental if an economic perspective and they will be presented using every day examples. Before concluding the course, we will look at several topics such as: Human capital and investment in education (Should you invest in an Ivy League school education?); Law and enforcement (When is it profitable to break the law?); Bribes and gifts (Quid pro quo?); Economics of information (Used cars and the market for "lemons"); Why we discriminate against minorities?; Property rights and externalities (The tragedy of the commons: Should we have smoke-free environments?); and Free-riding (Should I vote in the next election? Should I volunteer to clean up?)
Subject Area Vocab