Based on 4 Users
terrible class, the material is super complicated and the professor explains it super poorly, the problem sets are completely unrelated to anything in class and the TAs are terrible. No one in the class has any idea what is going on. Worst econ class ive taken here.
I don't recommend this class as an economics elective. I was excited to take a class with real world applications and connections to current events, but unfortunately the majority of the class is centered around modeling international trade (with graphs, equations, calculus, etc.) as opposed to learning about how it connects to what's going on in the world. Additionally, the class covers a TON of material at a very fast pace, with multiple deliverables throughout the quarter (two problem sets, midterm, project) and a cumulative final, which was pretty brutal. Pablo definitely curves generously (I got a 73 on the final and got an A-), but I don't think the curve is worth the stress of taking the class. He speaks extremely quickly and makes references to calculations and concepts without walking through the steps, and many of the questions on the second problem set required lengthy mathematical derivations which weren't covered in lecture. I would say that the majority of us had absolutely no idea what was going on in the class up until days before the final. I would say that the only part of the class that I enjoyed was a group project and presentation for an Economics in Action Conference, which was cool because you get to choose a current topic and do research and present to prominent alumni from the UCLA Econ department. If you do take this class, don't leave the problem sets until the last minute (they are lengthy), find a good group that will share the work for the project, and be prepared to put in a ton of work to learn the models that are taught.
I hated this class with a passion. It was the most boring and confusing econ class I have ever taken. It's a very theoretical class that doesn't actually apply to the real world since the assumptions of the models don't hold. Try to avoid this professor because he is super unclear and often confuses you more than if you were to just read the slides and textbook. The tests are also not easy, and the average for the class was quite low (around the low 70).
This class is definitely fair, though it took a lot of effort for me to grasp the international theory concepts. His grading policy was 30% on 2 group problem sets (so 15% each). The midterm and final made up the last 70%. If you did bad in the midterm, then it all depended on your final. Either way, grading works in your favor. So that was really nice because I did horrible in the midterm. He didn't give as many things to really study with for the midterm since there was only the one problem set. In around the middle of the quarter, he sent out a survey for students to give him some suggestions on how to better his lessons, and it really seemed like he took them to heart. One of the complaints was not enough practice problems so for the final, he provided a past final and additional problems, which were extremely helpful. In my opinion, the material itself was confusing, and I would just suggest making sure you have all the models organized in your mind. What you learn is interesting though! The professor is nice and tries to be approachable, encouraging students to ask and participate in discussion.