I did bad in the class primarily because I had some difficulty staying awake in his 7:30 a.m. lectures, and Galles tends to teach at a relatively fast pace. However, he is a very dynamic speaker, and even with a class that early, I have observed the vast majority of students were wide awake and listened attentatively to his lectures. The things you learn from the public finance course are actually quite profound and interesting. I found Social Security and Medicare to be of great relevance. Study his questions in his course reader for the midterm and final. It certainly helps to read them BEFORE coming to lecture and answer them SOON after he covers it in class. It also helps to have a tape recorder for his class, especially when you start losing track or cannot keep up with what he says. Reading the book can clarify the concepts he covers, but I did not find that alone to be sufficient in preparation for his exams. My advice is to take really good notes in lecture and have a tape recorder as some sort of back-up.
Professor Krop is an awesome professor. He\355s one of the greatest econ professors that I have ever had. He talks about economics in various perspectives, and his lectures can be very interesting at times. Both exams are 50% each. The exams are similar to the previous exams, so study all that, and your lecture notes, and you\355ll be fine. Everyone becomes intrigued when he talks about Social Security. I actually found the class to be very educational. Time well spent.
Fall 2017 - I've had the pleasure of taking this class for my last quarter at UCLA, and I cannot emphasize how much of a fantastic experience I had with this class. For one group presentations and debates are mandatory for you to receive credit for your discussion session. These projects are not super demanding, but you will be required to at least know some intermediate STATA commands to complete. The midterm and final were pretty much identical as the past exams she held. The TA's were the most helpful in the department, and the teacher genuinely cares about the class performance. Study slides religiously and redo the old exams a million times. I have the book for sale if interested email *************
Best Economics professor I have had by far due to her clear and organized lectures. She is very concerned for students to do well, and while her exams can be tough, they are very fair. No tricks, if you pay attention, keep up with the homework, you will do well. Professor McGarry brings outside topics into the class and broadens our understanding of public finance through issues that matter such as the Kyoto Protocol and Medicare. The format I had during Spring 2003 was two midterms and a final. She also gave 1 point for each extra credit assignment, usuallly easy 1-2 page analysis of economic articles and news clippings. Not a whole lot, but those points can matter in the end.
I really enjoyed Prof. McGuire's Econ 130 class. I found the material very interesting, and it one of the better econ classes I've taken. The tests are a bit challenging and require that you keep up with lecture topics and go over them enough to understand them. I wouldn't say that the course was dictated by the book. I didn't read every single chapter assigned, but I did have to go to the book for more information on a lot of topics. This is mainly because the professor just covered SO much material. A lot of people complained that there were too many chapters to read, but again, I didn't find it necessary to read all of every single chapter. There were only a few homework sets, and they are important for the tests. I would have to say though that her course would be best taught over a semester rather than a quarter because there was just a lot of material. However, she makes the material interesting and easier to learn, so I highly recommend her class, but don't expect a really easy A without keeping up and knowing the stuff!