Ford Professor of Economics David Autor at work in his office on the MIT campus.
Below, Professor David Autor describes various aspects of how he teaches 14.03 Microeconomic Theory and Public Policy.
- Learning to Think Like an Economist
- Offering Multiple Tools for Mastery
- Common Misconceptions about Economics
- A Roundabout Path to Labor Economics
14.01 Principles of Microeconomics or permission of instructor.
Every spring and fall semester
The students’ grades were based on the following activities:
- 30% Best five out of six problem set grades
- 60% Three exams
- 5% Best of six in-class quizzes
- 5% Class participation
Breakdown by Year
Mostly undergraduates and master’s degree students
Breakdown by Major
1/4 Technology and Public Policy graduate program
Typical Student Background
Many students in the Technology and Public Policy graduate program come to the course with extremely varied backgrounds. Many have some professional experience.
In the course, we discuss several empirical applications of economic theory in the developing world. We often have students from the focal areas, which enriches our discussions.
How Student Time Was Spent
During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:
- Met 2 times per week for 1.5 hours per session; 28 sessions total.
- Students discussed applications from empirical and theoretical papers published in leading journals.
- There were six unannounced quizzes during lecture sessions.
- Teaching assistants helped students think through problem sets and conducted exam reviews.
Out of Class
- Students conducted readings, completed problem sets, prepared for exams, and attended optional office hours offered by the instructor.