John’s Undergraduate Courses – Social Science (3 courses)


Apr 1999 – May 1999, Grade: A

The course focuses upon the implications of reliance upon markets for the allocation of resources in a society, at the household, firm, and community level. Outcomes of current market systems are examined in terms of the efficient use of natural and other economic resources, as well as their impact upon the environment, fairness, and social welfare. Of special interest in these analyses is the role of prices in the determination of what commodities are produced, their means of production, and distribution among households. In cases where current market outcomes have features subject to widespread criticism, such as the presence of excessive pollution, risk, discrimination, and poverty, the analysis is extended to suggest economic solutions. There are no prerequisites for the course. Microeconomic implications of rapid technological change.


Aug 1997 – Oct 1997, Grade: A

This course is designed to acquaint students with the ways in which macroeconomic variables such as national income, employment and the general level of prices are determined in an economic system. It also includes a study of how the techniques of monetary policy and fiscal policy attempt to achieve stability in the general price level and growth in national income and employment. The problems of achieving these national goals – simultaneously – are also analyzed. The latter half of the course stresses economic issues in public policy and international trade.


Oct 1999 – Dec 1999, Grade: A

The goal of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the field of system dynamics computer simulation modeling.  The course begins with the history of system dynamics and the study of why policy makers can benefit from its use. Next, students systematically examine the various types of dynamic behavior that socioeconomic systems exhibit and learn to identify and model the underlying nonlinear stock-flow-feedback loop structures that cause them. The course concludes with an examination of a set of well-known system dynamics models that have been created to address a variety of socioeconomic problems. Emphasis is placed on how the system dynamics modeling process is used to test proposed policy changes and how the implementation of model-based results can improve the behavior of socioeconomic systems.  Although the course exercises and homework problems in SS 1510 involve computer simulation modeling, there are no computer or math prerequisites beyond the knowledge of basic arithmetic.