COURSE SYLLABUS

School of Management

The University of Texas at Dallas

 

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FIN 3340.002 25873- REGULATION OF BUSINESS

Peter Lewin 

http://www.utdallas.edu/~plewin/        

Spring 2013

January 14 – May 12, 2013

Mon & Wed : 10:00am-11:15am/JSOM 2.115

 

| Course Info | Tech Requirements | Access and Navigation | Communications | ResourcesAssessments | Course Outline  | Scholastic Honesty | Course Evaluation | UTD Policies

 

Course Information

 

Course Description

 

All business occurs within a particular legal and regulatory environment. This course will examine the structure and effects of that environment. The general theory of government regulation will be explained as it applies to various specific cases. Included will be such topics as the analysis of government regulations concerning safety, the environment, anti-trust, anti-discrimination, financial trading, health care and price controls. These topics will be examined within a general theoretical framework paying particular attention to comparisons between the impact of these laws and their apparent intent. The role of changes in technology, the political environment and other macro-global influences will be addressed. Prerequisite: MECO 6201/6303.

 

My goal is to have students emerge from this course with a critical understanding of the regulatory environment in which business occurs. This environment is the result of the interaction between the legal structure and economic realities. Such a critical understanding would consist of the ability to assess the particular legal and regulatory structure and to understand how it works to achieve or fail to achieve its apparent purpose and how it affects other aspects of business life.

 

Course Format

 

The course material consists of 8 lessons. See Course Outline for details. Some of the lessons are longer than others. Please consult the accompanying instructions to determine how to listen to the online lessons and view the PowerPoint slides.

 

Instructor Information

 

   Dr. Peter Lewin

   Email:                              [email protected]

   Instructor's Web Site:     http://www.utdallas.edu/~plewin

   Online Course Site:         http:/elearning.utdallas.edu/  (requires login, see instructions below)

 

You can contact me anytime by phone or email, or by appointment in my office.

 

Instructor Information 

 

1.   Instructor brief biography 

I was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. I received a BA (honors) degree in Economic and History from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in 1969. In September 1972, after teaching at the business school there, I left to study at the University of Chicago. I received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1979. I was fortunate to have had four Nobel prize winners as teachers. In January 1979 I moved with my family to Dallas, where we have lived ever since. After seven years as an academic, I tried my hand in an entrepreneurial venture and joined a friend in a startup business called Soft Warehouse. Today it is called CompUSA. I was one of its founding shareholders. It was a difficult but very enlightening experience. In 1992 I decided to return to academics and have been with the UTD School of Management since 1997. I love my job. I have a passion for teaching and for economics. 

 

My wife and I were married in December 1969. We have four children and seven grandchildren.  

 

To see more about my professional and personal life visit my website at http://www.utdallas.edu/~plewin/

 

2.  Contact Information

My full contact information is: 
Email:  [email protected]

Phone: 972-883-2729
Office:  SM 3.223

You can contact me anytime by phone or email, and see me by appointment in my office. Under normal circumstances I prefer email.

 

Course Materials

 

I have supplied some audio files for your convenience. These were developed some years ago for an online version of this course. Each audio lesson is accompanied by complementary visual material (in PowerPoint format). These materials contain lesson objectives, information on recommended reading and provide required formulas, diagrams, tables and outlines.

 

The following texts will serve as a guide to discussions and are required.

 

·         The Economics of Public Issues by Roger Leroy Miller et. al., Seventeenth edition, Addison Wesley, 2012.  ISBN # 0-23-802113-9 or 978-13-802113-9

·         The Antitrust Religion by Edwin S. Rockefeller Cato Institute 2007. ISBN # 1933995092 or 978-1933995090 (also available in kindle edition 193-3995092).

·         Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman, Paperback - 2nd edition (February 1963) University of Chicago Press; ISBN: # 0-226-264-01-7

·         Give Me a Break by John Stossel  Harper Collins or Perennial Currents, 2004/5. ISBN:# 0060529156 or # 0060529148

·         Note also Stossel’s other book which I highly recommend for enjoyable and informative, albeit alarming, reading: Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel--Why Everything You Know is Wrong (Hyperion, 2006) ISBN: #1401302548.

Some online materials will be included in the PowerPoint presentations and the suggested reading for each lesson will be indicated.

 

Textbooks and some other bookstore materials can be ordered online through a vendor of your choice or from Off-Campus Books or the UTD Bookstore. They are also available in stock at both bookstores.

 

 

In addition here are some helpful links

 

1.    to articles relevant to our discussion of monopoly and anti-trust.

·   Notes on monopoly (mine).

·   Barriers to entry by D. T. Armentano

·   Dismal Science Fictions: Network Effect, Microsoft, and Antitrust Speculation by Stan Liebowitz and Steve Margolis.

·   Articles by Armentano and others in the Freeman on Antitrust – worth reading!

 

2.    to articles relevant to School Choice

·   The Milton and rose Friedman foundation on educational choice

·   Milton Friedman editorial on Vouchers in the WSJ 06/09/2005

·   School Choice in Washington DC

 

3.    to other stuff in general.

·   Armen Alchian on Property Rights

·   Russel Roberts on the FDA

·   Hernando de Soto on Capitalism and Poverty

·   Read John Stossel on his book “Give me a Break”

·   Listen to  John Stossel on his book “Give me a Break”

·   Milton Friedman on the power of ideas

·   Cato conference on educational choice (2003)

·   The Coming Doctor Shortage!!

·   John Goodman on Health Care 

·   Richard Epstein on Takings

·   How does regulation affect women in the labor market?

·   Our Population is now 300 Million !!

·   The FDA and the approval of pain medications (2007)

·   The Terrible Unintended Consequences of the Drug War

 

4.    to the Environment

·   To Drill or Not to Drill: Let the Environmentalists Decide

·   The Environment and Policy Priorities (Bjorn Lomborg)

·   Editorial on Global Warming and Alarmism (2006) – must read !!

·   Maybe it is true. What then?

 

I will add links relevant to our discussions to the Reading Resources section as we go along.

 

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READING GUIDE

 

A.    Introduction

 

There is no traditional “textbook” for this course. You are encouraged to read freely in the four texts provided, to seek out the material relevant to the issues in the lectures and the discussions.

 

This Guide is designed to introduce you to the texts and to suggest some associations between the lessons and the reading material.

 

B.     The Texts

 

·         The Economics of Public Issues by Roger Leroy Miller et. al., Thirteenth edition, Addison Wesley 2012 edition.

 

This is our most widely used text. It is clearly written and very accessible. It consists of a series of chapter-long issues or “cases.” I suggest reading the relevant chapters once through before the lecture and discussion, once again after listening to the lecture and participating in the discussion and perhaps going over it before the tests.

 

·         The Antitrust Religion by Edwin S. Rockefeller. Cato Institute, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-1933995090

 

This is a sustained and trenchant analysis of current and past antitrust law as it actually works in practice and how it is inappropriately modeled on irrelevant neoclassical economic models.

 

·         Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman, Paperback - any edition (originally 1963) University of Chicago Press; ISBN: # 0-226-264-01-7

 

Milton Friedman is perhaps the most well-known economist of the 20th century. He is also a political commentator of sorts. This book is a classic, worth reading and rereading over long periods of time. It is written in the time-honored tradition of British Liberal thought – the same ideas that inspired the founders of this nation. Not all students find it easy reading, but I urge you to persevere.

 

·         Give Me a Break by John Stossel, Harper Collins or Perennial Currents, 2004/5. ISBN:#0060529156

 

This is a popular book and should be very easy reading. It may infuriate some of you. That’s ok, get mad. But then try and see if you can point out where Stossel is wrong. If you can’t, then maybe you ought to rethink getting mad. I urge you to read this book right through. I believe it to be a rare and refreshing look at some of the current follies that beset our society and our thinking. But whether you agree or not its worth thinking about.

 

General Outline

 

The table below outlines the reading assignments for each class according to the following key

 

M. is Miller et. al.,

R, is Rockefeller,

F. is Friedman

S. is Stossel

The numbers refer to the chapters.

 

Lesson

Theme

Reading

Notes.

Lesson 1

General Introduction

F. Preface, 1, 2

M. 1, 4 , 5.

S. 5,6.7.

Friedman provides the general background values for the course. The Miller and Stossel chapters are applications suggested by the lectures.

Lesson 2

Elementary Regulation

M. 6,7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 22, 29

S. 8

The issues here are price-controls, taxes, subsidies, tariffs, free trade.

Lesson 3

Regulation of Monopoly

R. all chapters.

M. part 4, +  29

Rockefeller provides the detailed arguments and background. The Miller chapters are applications.

Lesson 4

Regulation of Labor

F. 7

M. 11, 13, 14

Friedman’s chapter was written before the civil rights and affirmative action initiatives. There is a huge literature, but I elected not to burden you with extra material. The lecture will be your main guide.

Lesson 5

Occupational Licensure

F. 9

M.19

S. 9

Friedman’s chapter is the classic statement of this position. The Miller and Stossel chapters provide applications to specific aspects.

Lesson 6

Regulation of Capital

M. 20, 21, 23

Lewin at: http://www.utdallas.edu/~plewin/F&Opaper.pdf

The Miller chapters are applications. You need not read all of my paper – read it lightly to get an idea of the issues involved with inflation.

Lesson 7

Regulation of the Use of the Environment

M. Part 6.

S. 10

The lectures provides the essential framework. Think hard about the upstream-downstream problem and the Coase Theorem. The chapters suggested here provide some illustrative cases.

Lesson 8

Conclusion

M. Part 7.

 

Technical Requirements (provided by UTD eLearning)

 

I make extensive use of E-Learning in this course. In addition to a confident level of computer and Internet literacy, certain minimum technical requirement must be met to enable a successful learning experience. Please review the important technical requirements and the web browser configuration information.

 

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Course Access and Navigation

 

Students will use their UTD NetID account to login to the course at:  http://elearning.utdallas.edu Please see more details on course access and navigation information.

 

If you need a tutorial to use eLearning, please see the Getting Started: Student eLearning Orientation. UTD provides eLearning technical support 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The improved services include a toll free telephone number for immediate assistance (1-866-588-3192), email request service, and an online chat service. The UTD user community can also access the support resources such as self-help resources and a Knowledge Base. Please use this link to access the UTD eLearning Support Center: http://www.utdallas.edu/elearninghelp.

 

Policy on Server Unavailability or Other Technical Difficulties

The university is committed to providing a reliable online course system to all users. However, in the event of any unexpected server outage or any unusual technical difficulty which prevents students from completing a time sensitive assessment activity, the instructor will extend the time windows and provide an appropriate accommodation based on the situation. Students should immediately report any problems to the instructor and also contact the UTD eLearning Help Desk: http://www.utdallas.edu/elearninghelp, 1-866-588-3192. The instructor and the UTD eLearning Help Desk will work with the student to resolve any issues at the earliest possible time.

 

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Communications

 

This eLearning course has built-in communication tools which will be used for interaction and communication. Some external communication tools such as regular email and a web conferencing tool may also be used during the semester..

 

Interaction with Instructor: Students may send personal concerns or questions to me using the course Email tool or, preferably, by private email address, [email protected]. I will reply to student emails or Discussion board messages within 3 working days under normal circumstances.

 

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Student Assessment:  Grading/Evaluation

 

There will be three timed online tests, two midterms (25% each) and a comprehensive final (50%).  The tests will be composed of multiple choice questions. In addition 5% can be added to your grade by participation.

Test 1

25%

Lessons 1, and 2

February 15 (12 am) - 17 (11:59 pm) - 1 hour

Test 2

25%

Lessons 4

March 29 (12 am) - 31 (11:59 pm)  - 1 hour

Test 3 (final)

50%

Lessons , 5 - 8 (25%), All Lessons (25%)

May 10 (12 am) - 12 (11:59 pm) – 2 hours

 

As you can see there is very minimal time available for this course. We will have to stay very close to a tight timetable. The dates of the discussions (which I will provide as we go along) will not track exactly with the dates provided for the online tests, since I have made these available over the weekend for your convenience. So be sure not to fall behind because there is no time to catch up.

 

Makeup tests will be allowed only for very special circumstances. There are NO extra credit assignments.

 

Please see below for further information on the online tests.

 

You can check your grades by accessing “My Grade” icon under My Tools on the Course Menu after the grade for each assessment is released.

Online Testing

You can access tests by clicking the "Assessments" link on the course Menu or the icon on the designated page and then clicking the available test title links. Each test is timed and can only be taken for ONE TIME within the scheduled time window. Please read the on-screen instructions carefully before you click “Begin Assessment”. After each quiz is graded and released, you may go back to the Assessments page and click “View All Submissions” to review your exam results.

 

Self-Tests

 

There is a self test available for each lesson module. Those are non-credit quizzes for self assessment. Please take the quiz after you finish each lesson. Please see the instruction above on accessing the self tests.

 

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Course Outline

 

Lesson 1

 

General Introduction: Regulation – its origins and effects. Regulation involves the truncation of ownership. It is both the product and cause of changes in economic incentives. An examination of various theories of government and regulation.

Lesson 2

Elementary Regulation: Price controls, tariffs, taxes, subsidies and quotas. Minimum wages, rent controls, salary caps. Prohibition of certain transactions – drugs, labor immigration, body parts, etc.

Test 1 - Lessons 1 and 2

Lesson 3

Regulation of Monopoly: The development of anti-monopoly law in America. The current anti-trust environment.

Lesson 4

Regulation of Labor: anti-discrimination, equal pay and equal employment opportunity, labor safety laws, unemployment insurance, labor unions.

Lesson 5

Occupational licensure: The economics of health care and other professions.

Test 2 - Lessons 3, 4, and 5

Lesson 6

Regulation of Capital: the regulation of the monetary and financial sectors –the regulation of financial institutions, money, inflation and foreign currencies.

Lesson 7

Regulation of the use of the Natural Environment: The economics of the environment. Air pollution, hazardous materials, preservation of wildlife, depleteable resources.

Lesson 8

General Conclusion: The Ethical Foundations of Business Behavior

Politics, Economics and the way of the world.

Test 3 (final) - Lessons 6, 7, 8 (25%) All Lessons (25%)

 

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Scholastic Honesty

 

The University has policies and discipline procedures regarding scholastic dishonesty. Detailed information is available on the UTD Judicial Affairs web page. All students are expected to maintain a high level of responsibility with respect to academic honesty. Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from the University. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students and the integrity of the University, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced.

 

Course Evaluation

 

As required by UTD academic regulations, every student must complete an evaluation for each enrolled course at the end of the semester. An online instructional assessment form will be made available for your confidential use. Please look for the course evaluation link on the course Homepage towards the end of the course.

 

University Policies Relevant for Students:

Scholastic Honesty

The University has policies and discipline procedures regarding scholastic dishonesty. Detailed information is available on the UTD Judicial Affairs web page. All students are expected to maintain a high level of responsibility with respect to academic honesty. Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from the University. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students and the integrity of the University, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced.

Course Evaluation

As required by UTD academic regulations, every student must complete an evaluation for each enrolled course at the end of the semester. An online instructional assessment form will be made available for your confidential use. A link to an online instructional assessment form will be emailed to you towards the end of the semester.

 

Online behavior - Virtual Classroom Citizenship

The same guidelines that apply to traditional classes should be observed in the virtual classroom environment. Please use proper netiquette when interacting with class members and the professor.

 

Policy on Server Unavailability or Other Technical Difficulties

The university is committed to providing a reliable online course system to all users. However, in the event of any unexpected server outage or any unusual technical difficulty which prevents students from completing a time sensitive assessment activity, the instructor will extend the time windows and provide an appropriate accommodation based on the situation. Students should immediately report any problems to the instructor and also contact the UTD eLearning Help Desk: http://www.utdallas.edu/elearninghelp, 1-866-588-3192. The instructor and the UTD eLearning Help Desk will work with the student to resolve any issues at the earliest possible time.

University Policies

General policies, including policies on Academic Honesty and Integrity.

 

Please go to http://go.utdallas.edu/syllabus-policies for these policies.

 

Student Conduct & Discipline

 

The University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Dallas have rules and regulations for the orderly and efficient conduct of their business. It is the responsibility of each student and each student organization to be knowledgeable about the rules and regulations which govern student conduct and activities.

 

The University of Texas at Dallas administers student discipline within the procedures of recognized and established due process. Procedures are defined and described in the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System, Part 1, Chapter VI, Section 3, and in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities of the Course Syllabus Page 8, University’s Handbook of Operating Procedures. Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations (SSB 4.400, 972/883- 6391).

 

A student at the university neither loses the rights nor escapes the responsibilities of citizenship. He or she is expected to obey federal, state, and local laws as well as the Regents’ Rules, university regulations, and administrative rules. Students are subject to discipline for violating the standards of conduct whether such conduct takes place on or off campus, or whether civil or criminal penalties are also imposed for such conduct.

 

 

© Peter Lewin 2012-3.