Fall  2018– click here for the academic calendar

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 and successful 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 nine grandchildren.  

 

Semester Start/End Date:

August 20 – December 8

Final exam week:

December 11 -17

Instructor:

Peter Lewin

 

My Information

Email[email protected] 

Office:  SM 3.223

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

 

      

CAFÉ course 2 – Comparative institutions of production and distribution I - general outline

 

Course Description: Economic history of civilization and history of political-economic-business ideas as they impact production and distribution systems. Related examination of the ideas and canonical texts in the development of classical liberalism and its critics. Critical analysis of the principles and methods of current mainstream economics in understanding the business world

Course objectives:

To equip students with an understanding  of (the ability to analyze and explain) the business world as it has developed since the Industrial Revolution

       Its origins is the classical liberal system of production and exchange and how it has changed.

       The structure of the current business environment, domestically and abroad.

       The effects of current economic policies on business performance.

 

Course Format:

The course will be in two parts. Part 1 will be lecture based – devoted to topics not covered in CAFÉ 1. Part 2 will be project driven. Each student will select a countries or group of countries to examine and will present a report for discussion The report will be the basis of the term paper

 

Course Materials:

Each student has a copy of Milton Friedman’s Capital and Freedom. [read the short article here]

The other text we will use as a basic work is The Economic Way of Thinking, by Paul Heyne, Peter Boettke and David Prychitko. You can obtain it online in various formats. The most inexpensive is to rent it for about $40 for the semester. The 12th edition will also suffice and may be considerably cheaper to buy.

 

Evaluation:

Students will be evaluated on their presentations, on two tests – a midterm and a final, and on a term paper.

 

 

Weekly outline:

 

Class

 Topic

Students

1.       

23-Aug

Introduction, review and housekeeping

 

2.       

30-Aug

Economics of the environment

 

3.       

6-Sep

Network economics and IP

 

4.       

13-Sep

Immigration and social security

 

5.       

20-Sep

No class – CAFÉ event at 7 pm.

 

6.       

27-Sep

The drug war

 

7.       

4-Oct

Introduction to Macroeconomic political economy – the global financial situation

 

8.       

11-Oct

Monetary policy in historical context from A. Smith to today, bitcoin and crypto currencies – part 1

 

9.       

18-Oct

Monetary policy in historical context from A. Smith to today, bitcoin and crypto currencies – part 2

 

10.   

25-Oct

Mid-term test

 

11.   

1-Oct

Country studies – N/S Korea; Venezuela

Tallen, Edward

12.   

8-Nov

Country studies – China/Taiwan

 Cynthia

13.   

15-Nov

Country studies – E/W Germany

 Anny

 

22-Nov

Fall break

 

14.   

29-Nov

Country studies – Cuba, Argentina

 Meher, Patrick

15.   

6-Dec

Country studies -

 

 

TBA

Final exam

 

 

Topical outline

1.      

 

Week

Topics and basic reading

Additional Reading

Issues

2.      

23-Aug

Introduction, brief review and housekeeping

Revision – basic regulation and effects, static and dynamic. Ex. Price controls, taxes and subsidies.

 

3.      

30-Aug

Economics of the environment. Air and water pollution, Depletable resources, endangered species, climate change - Lewin class notes and slides

Market failures? Externalities: Tragedy of the commons; Ronald Coase “The Problem of Social Cost” Journal of Law and Economics, 1960. link - Hardin, Garrett. "The Tragedy of the Commons." Science 162, no. 3859 (1968): 1243-1248. link  Elinor Ostrom “tragedy of the commons” The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008 link ; “Clio and the Economics of QWERTY” Paul A. David , The American Economic Review, Vol. 75, No. 2, (May, 1985), pp. 332-337 link . Liebowitz, Stan J., and Stephen E. Margolis. "The fable of the keys." The Journal of Law and Economics 33, no. 1 (1990): 1-25. link

Externalities, public goods, market-failure, economic policy.

Demsetz on property rights

Alchain, Barzel.

Which of the usual suspects are/are not real environmental problems?

4.      

6-Sep

Network economics and IP. Network effects and IP? The modern history of network effects. Articles by Liebowitz and Margolis, and Lewin (Chapter 1  Introduction - Chapter 11  The Current State of the Debate)

 

 

Are network effects policy relevant?

5.      

13-Sep

Immigration and Social Security Friedman ch. --

Article by Ben Powell - immigration

Interview with Friedman; article by Ben Powell – the drug war

 

6.      

20-Sep

No class – CAFÉ event.

 

 

7.      

27-Sep

 The drug war.  

Knowledge and incentive problems, type I/II errors, unintended consequences, costs and benefits, burden of proof – what is the default?

8.      

4-Oct

Monetary policy in historical context from A. Smith to today, bitcoin and crypto currencies – part 1

 

 

9.      

11-Oct

Monetary policy in historical context from A. Smith to today, bitcoin and crypto currencies – part 2

 

 

10.   

18-Oct

Monetary policy in historical context from A. Smith to today, bitcoin and crypto currencies – part 1

 

Is education a public good?

 

25-Oct

Mid-term test

11.   

1-Oct

Country studies

Possible examples.

1.      N/S Korea √

2.      E/W Germany √

3.      Cuba, before and after √

4.      Argentina, what happened?

5.      Venezuela √

6.      Chile

7.      Soviet Union/Russia

8.      China/Taiwan √

9.      Puerto Rico

10.  Mexico v. Texas.

Comparing similar countries “choosing” different systems: N and S Korea after war; E and W Germany after WWII; Mainland China versus Taiwan after WWII; Cuba after Castro; Countries that changed systems Venezuela before and after Chavez; Soviet Union before and after New Economic Policy; Cuba before and after the end of Soviet support (the “Special Period”).

Political and Economics systems – liberty and democracy (what kind of democracy?).

 

12.   

8-Nov

Country studies

13.   

15-Nov

Country studies

 

22-Nov

Fall break

14.   

29-Nov

Country studies

15.   

6-Dec

Country studies

 

TBA

Final test