Economics 154
Economics of Discrimination
University of California, Berkeley
Spring 2018

Professor Martha Olney

Course Description:
Not all difference results from discrimination.  Not all discrimination results in observable differences.  This course will focus on issues of difference and discrimination associated with race, gender, or nation of birth, focusing particularly on markets other than the labor market.  Is there evidence of discrimination in credit markets?  Housing markets?  In education? How is econometrics used to address questions of discrimination?

Economics 154 is a seminar course with maximum enrollment of 20 students.  The format of a seminar course differs from the format of lecture courses.  Each week, there will be readings which you must complete before coming to class.  In the seminar, we discuss the readings.  Everyone has responsibility for being prepared and participating.  So to be a part of this class, you have to commit to making all class meetings and being present for the full three hours each week.

You must have completed Econ 140 or 141 (or equivalent) before taking this class.  You cannot take econometrics at the same time as you take 154.

Many of you will want to purchase Stata for your computer.  Follow the link below for "purchasing Stata with Student Pricing."  You probably want Stata/IC15.  (If you anticipate using a very large data set (~1,000,000 observations), you'll need Stata/SE15.)  Whether you want a six-month or one-year or perpetual license depends on what you expect to be doing next year.  If you're writing a thesis next year, or working, or going to grad school, then a perpetual license is probably worth the extra money. 

You don't have to purchase Stata; there are free copies available on campus.  But if you want the flexibility of working from home, anytime you want, without an internet connection. You also don't have to purchase Stata.  But it's the program that I know the best, so I can help you with Stata questions but not with questions about R or SAS or SPSS or Gretl or etc.

Meeting Time and Place:  Thursdays, 3:10 - 6:00 p.m., 246 Dwinelle
Prerequisites: Economics 100A, 100B, and 140 or 141
Enrollment:  Class will fill during week 1 of Phase 1.  No further admissions possible.
Final Exam Conflict?  There is no final exam for the course, so no conflicts.

Reader contents
 Reading Guide for articles (.doc file)

Reading Guide for articles  (pdf file)

Reading Guide for O'Flaherty (doc file) website

Purchasing Stata/IC 15 with Student Pricing

Using Stata (free) on campus

Online help for stata

Students' favorite Stata help link

UCLA Stata tutorial

Stata lesson handout (ready in January)
Iowa dataset (txt file)
Iowa dataset (xls file)
Iowa dataset (dta file)
Description of Iowa dataset Iowa dataset (SAS transport file)

Rubric: Article Summary (1/18)
Rubric: Critical Analysis (2/8)
Rubric: Data Analysis (2/22)
Rubric: Take-a-Stand Paper (3/22)
Rubric: Presentations (3/22 & April)
Rubric: Term Paper (5/7)
Olney's bookmarks of data sites Olney's links to useful websites
Library guide for Economics 154

Return to Olney Home Page
Page prepared by Prof. Martha Olney
Last updated 2/9/2018
University of California, Berkeley
Department of Economics
549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley CA  94720-3880
phone: 510-642-6083
fax: 510-642-6615