Economics/Public Policy

Economics is often defined as the study of how individuals, firms and institutions make choices when resources are scarce.  It is not just a discipline but also a way of thinking. Mastering basic economics can help business school students think through the trade-offs involved in managerial decision-making. Important public policy debates often revolve around basic economic questions as well.  How do government health care programs affect health care spending, access to care, and medical innovation?  How do government-backed home loans affect the incentive to take on real estate risk? Students will get exposure to these types of questions both in core economics classes and in elective health care or real estate courses. In line with the Merage School’s focus on leadership in a digital world, students will also gain an understanding of how the digital world is changing markets. The types of questions that can be addressed include: What are transaction costs and how do digital technologies affect these? What is market clearing and how does surge pricing work? What are sunk costs and how does this help one understand the pricing of software products? Like the digital world itself, the application of economics to these questions will continue to evolve.


Dennis Aigner
Professor Emeritus
PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Ed Coulson
PhD, University of California, San Diego

Paul Feldstein
Professor Emeritus
PhD, University of Chicago

Mireille Jacobson
PhD, Harvard University

Richard McKenzie
Professor Emeritus
PhD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Peter Navarro
Professor Emeritus
PhD, Harvard University

Andy Policano Andy Policano
Professor Emeritus
PhD, Brown University

Judy Rosener Judy Rosener
Professor Emerita
PhD, Claremont Graduate School

Kerry Vandell
Professor Emeritus
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Lecturers and Researchers


Undergraduate business classes may be found through the UCI course catalogue.

MBA Core Course Description

204A. Microeconomics
Provides basic tools for analyzing economic decisions of consumers and firms. Topics include demand and supply analysis, production and cost theory, perfect competition, monopoly, market failures and introductory game theory.

MBA Elective Descriptions

204B. Macroeconomics
Introduces use of macroeconomic analysis to manage the business cycle for competitive advantage. Such "business cycle-sensitive" management is explored within the context of marketing, operations management, HRM, merger and acquisition activity, and capital financing and expenditures.

206. Business and Government
Introduces students to the many non-market issues that affect today's managers, such as: environment protection, health and safety, intellectual property protection, antitrust, and lobbying. Takes an interdisciplinary approach using economics, political science, public policy and law.

246A. Introduction to Real Estate Process
Introductory survey course providing a working knowledge of the real estate market. Topics include real estate economics, valuation, feasibility, investment, tax considerations, financing, development, and corporate real estate asset management. Lectures and cases, with supplemental presentations by real estate professionals.

246B. International Real Estate
Survey of international real estate investment opportunities. Topics include size and breadth; opportunities and challenges (tax treatment, currency/political/market risks, transaction costs, lack of local knowledge); ownership vehicles (REITs, joint ventures, equity funds, etc.). Global cast of guest lecturers supplements lectures.

246C. Real Estate Capital Markets
Understanding the four sectors of real estate capital markets: public debt, private debt, public equity, private equity; fundamental drivers of real estate investment; key players; investment types; underwriting strategies; debt vs. equity source characteristics and implications for returns.

246D. The Real Estate Development Process
Nature and composition of development community and development process. Emphasis on role of conflicting interests, values and goals, and market uncertainty. Special attention paid to deal structuring and risk management. Lectures, guest lecturers, team projects evaluating actual development project.

246E. Mortgage-Backed Securities and Structured Finance
Theory and operation of the residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities markets. Historical introduction, pricing and technical analysis, the securitization process and roles of individual players, investment characteristics, structured finance and derivatives, recent policy.

246F. Seminar in Management of the Real Estate Enterprise
Capstone seminar. Looks beyond "The Deal" to management of the real estate enterprise itself. Explores aspects of decision-making focused upon strategic objectives: goal setting, legal/tax structures, public vs. closely-held entities, corporate ethics, capital structure, managing growth, diversification, technology. Guest professionals.

246G. Applied Real Estate Security Analysis and Portfolio Management
Provides an understanding of the public real estate investment trust (REIT) market and its place in modern investment strategies, presents methods for analyzing and valuing companies, and introduces basic concepts for constructing and managing a real estate investment portfolio.

261A. Physicians, Executives, and Healthcare Law
Elective course offered alternating years, for UCI MBA students. Designed to bring major healthcare law issues to the classroom.

261B. Physicians, Executives, and Health Leadership
Elective course offered alternating years, for the UCI MBA students. Designed to bring to the classroom major healthcare leadership and management issues from both the executive and physician perspective.

262. Managing Nonprofits
Focuses on the similarities and differences between for-profit and nonprofit organizations, with emphasis on the management of nonprofits. Topics include: marketing, fundraising, staffing, management/director relationships, use of volunteers, and emerging career opportunities.

264. US Health Policy
Provides an overview of US health policy with a particular emphasis on current policy developments and debates. Students will be introduced to the basic tools of policy analysis and will apply them to health policy issues.

267. Understanding Managed Care
This course is designed to increase understanding of the various concepts of managed health care with an emphasis on the organizational processes required to make it work, and explore the economics and financial pressures these organizations face.

290. Special Topics in Economics
Studies in selected areas of economics and public policy. Topics addressed vary each quarter. Past courses include: Mixed-Use Community Land Development, Managing in a Global Economy, Economics of Healthcare, Current Topics in US Health Policy, Creating Value in Healthcare.