2190 Special Topics in Economic Policy: Women in the Economy
Prof. Elizabeth T. Powers, Ph.D.
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
10/31/18 to 11/07/18
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Bachelor Programs
Day Date Time Room
Monday 11/12/18 09:00 AM - 01:15 PM TC.3.06
Tuesday 11/13/18 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D1.1.074
Wednesday 11/14/18 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM EA.5.040
Thursday 11/15/18 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM TC.3.06
Monday 11/19/18 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM EA.5.040
Tuesday 11/20/18 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM EA.5.040
Wednesday 11/21/18 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.0.127
Thursday 11/22/18 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.3.06

“Women in the Economy” exposes students to the body of established thought on women’s participation in the economy and exciting recent developments in the field. Students are introduced to the seminal work of leading scholars Gary Becker, Barbara Bergmann, and Claudia Goldin. The first half of the course overviews the rapid development of women’s mass labor market attachment and their current status in the labor market, as viewed through the lenses of neoclassical, heterodox, and behavioral economics. In the second half, we examine exciting new methods, questions, and insights from behavioral economics.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to extend the basic microeconomic theory of the consumer to a rich model of labor supply. They will be able to manipulate this labor supply model to explain changes in labor hours and other activities as basic parameters (wages and family structure) change. Students will be able to describe the basic history of women’s entry into the labor market and apply the labor supply model to generate hypotheses about why women’s labor force participation changed as it did. Students will understand theories of discrimination from the neoclassical and heterodox viewpoints and be able to apply these theories to real-world issues. Students will be able to explain the experimental methods applied in the field of behavioral economics, how experiments are designed and carried out, and give examples of behavioral economics studies in this field.

Attendance requirements

Attendance is required. In general, I do not allow the use of electronic devices in the classroom.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The class is a combination of lecture and discussion, employing the Socratic method. There will be intermittent problem-solving, either alone or in small groups, to ensure mastery of the material.


Students will be assessed with two quizzes, a writing assignment, and a final exam. Quiz 1 is worth 15% of the grade, quiz 2 is worth 20%, the writing assignment is worth 25% and the final comprises 40% of the course grade. See the exact course schedule for further descriptions of the assessments.

1 Author: Goldin, C.

“The Quiet Revolution.”

Publisher: Richard T. Ely Lecture
Edition: May 2006
2 Author: Olson, P.I.

“On the Contributions of Barbara Bergmann to Economics”

Publisher: Review of Political Economy 19:4, 475-496
Year: 2007
3 Author: Powers, E.T.

Written overview of Croson & Gneezy (“Gender Differences in Preferences.” Journal of Economic Literature, 2009), Deryugina, T., & Shurchkov, O. (“Now You See It, Now You Don’t: The Vanishing Beauty Premium. Forthcoming, The Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization), and Flory, Lebbrandt, & List (“Do Competitive Workplaces Deter Female Workers? A Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment on Job Entry Decisions.” Review of Economic Studies. 2015)

Year: 2018
4 Author: Goldin, C.

“A Grand Gender Gap Convergence: Its Last Chapter.”

Publisher: American Economic Review, 104(4):1091-1119
Year: 2014
Recommended previous knowledge and skills

This is an advanced undergraduate course.

Basic knowledge of the theory of consumer choice (indifference curves, budget constraints, and optimization) is expected. Completion of intermediate microeconomics is recommended.

Availability of lecturer(s)

Professor Elizabeth T. Powers:

For all administrative matters please contact Christina Plieschounig via

Last edited: 2018-05-25