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ECON 417 Information Technology in Economics (3 Credits)

Students will explore how IT reshapes the labor market in America: the mix of occupations, how work is organized, skills required to perform an occupation, wage levels, wage inequality, and labor productivity. Students will investigate the current limitations on the ability of computers as substitute human skills, discuss human skills that technology complements, and evaluate net effect of such forces on the labor market.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand how information technology is reshaping the U.S. labor market.
  • Appreciate the perspective the brain is a wonderful information-processing instrument, but in those cases where a computer and the brain can process information in roughly the same way the computer can often do it at lower cost. '
  • Understand that in both existing and new jobs, information technology is replacing human labor in certain tasks by substituting for other human skills.
  • Analyze the current limits on computer's ability to substitute for human skills, discuss the human skills that computers complement, and assess the net effect of these forces on the labor market.