2014-2015

Course Listings

Economics

ECON 132 (US) Introduction to Economic Inquiry (1)

This course introduces students to economic inquiry. We will address questions such as: What kinds of questions do economists ask? How do they go about trying to answer those questions? Why do economists disagree with one another? and How does this conversation connect to current public discourse? Drawing on the work of important figures in the history of economic thought, students will encounter the arguments of two major approaches to economic analysis as developed by E. K. Hunt in History of Economic Thought: A Critical Perspective.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Understanding Society
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

ECON 230 (QA*) Economic Statistics (1)

This course is an introduction to the statistical techniques used in economics. It covers descriptive statistics, probability, statistical estimation and inference, hypothesis testing, and simple and multiple regression. ECON 230 counts for only one half credit if the student has completed MATH 138, MATH 266 or similar Statistics courses.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Quantitative and Analytical Reasoning (*)
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Mascarenhas, Negri. Sivers Boyce

ECON 330 Financial Markets and Institutions (1)

In this course students are introduced to the major financial institutions and markets, and the role they play in the U.S. economy. Topics addressed include: the functions of financial institutions and markets; the arguments of major financial theories such as the Efficient Market Hypothesis; the linkages between financial markets and the macroeconomy; the regulatory oversight of financial markets; and the relationship between monetary policy and financial markets.

  • Prerequisite:  ECON 132 or ECON 122 or ECON 123
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Liang, Taylor

ECON 340 Labor Economics (1)

This course examines competing views concerning the fundamental determinants of labor market outcomes. The course explores the role of the labor market and other institutional factors in determining wages, employment and the distribution of income. Special consideration will be devoted to topics of poverty, underemployment and labor market discrimination.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 132 or ECON 122
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Gray

ECON 341 Industrial Organization and Public Policy (1)

This course examines the relationship between market structure, conduct of firms, and market performance. Emphasis is on determining optimal public policy toward mergers, concentrated markets, and anticompetitive practices. Conflicting schools of thought and their implications for public policy are examined. Topics include specific monopoly and oligopoly behaviors, cartel theory, public policy toward mergers among large corporations, and antitrust case history.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 132 or ECON 122
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Whiting

ECON 345 Environmental Economics (1)

The economic paradigm can make important contributions to understanding and alleviating environmental problems. This course examines the shortcomings of the market mechanism for allocating environmental resources and of public policies for mitigating environmental degradation. Topics include externalities, common property resources, public goods, property rights and cost-benefit analysis. Special consideration will be given to several contemporary environmental problems.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 132 or ECON 122
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Negri, Sivers Boyce

ECON 347 Public Finance (1)

This course provides an examination of the government's role in the U.S. economy with an emphasis on policy analysis using the criteria of efficiency and equity. Typical coverage includes the rational for government intervention, theory of public goods, externalities, public choice, impact of government upon the distribution of income, transfer programs, taxation, and the economic consequences of a federalist system.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 132 or ECON 122
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Mascarenhas

ECON 351 Comparative Economic Systems (1)

This course examines the nature and performance of different economic systems in theory and practice. Included are capitalist market economies, centrally planned economies, socialist market economies and the economic systems utilized in various utopian writings and experimental communities. The challenges of reforming the economies of the People's Republic of China, East European countries and the republics of the former Soviet Union serve as a contemporary theme for this course.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 132 or ECON 122
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Taylor

ECON 352 The Economics of Developing Countries (1)

This course examines the structural characteristics of developing countries and major theories of economic development. Specific topics will include land reform, agriculture and industrialization, population and employment policies, the role of money and capital markets in development, trade and development, the impact of aid and foreign investment, and strategies for development planning.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 132 or ECON 122
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Liang, Mascarenhas

ECON 353 International Economics (1)

This course examines the workings of the international economy with an emphasis on current policy issues. Economic theory will be used to study the effects of trade among nations, the factors which influence trading patterns and the effects of trade restrictions such as tariffs. Financial relationships among nations and the functioning of the international monetary system will also be explored. Other topics include the role of trade in economic growth and development and the impact of foreign investment and the multinational corporation in both advanced and developing nations.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 132 or ECON 122 required; ECON 123 preferred
  • Offering: Every fall
  • Instructor: Liang, Mascarenhas

ECON 357 Intermediate Microeconomics (1)

This course explores modern theories of the behavior of households and business firms in determining prices, the mix of goods and services produced in the economy, the allocation of scarce resources and the distribution of income and wealth among the participants in a market economy. The successes and failures of different types of markets are considered along with public policies aimed at improving the performance of markets. No longer offered starting Spring 2015.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 122, MATH 140 or equivalent
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Sivers Boyce, Whiting

ECON 358 Intermediate Macroeconomics (1)

This course examines theories of how consumption, investment and government spending behavior influence the total level of economic activity in an economic system and the impact of foreign trade on the national economy. Also explored are the ways in which government spending, taxation and monetary policies influence unemployment, inflation and the rate of economic growth. No longer offered starting Spring 2015.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 123
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Gray, Liang, Taylor

ECON 363 Microeconomic Theory (1)

Formal models are an important way in which economists develop and communicate their arguments. This course builds on Introduction to Economic Inquiry, introducing students to the formal tools, models and methods from two major approaches to economic analysis. Students will explore theories that seek to explain the formation and meaning of prices, individual and firm decision-making, the mix of goods and services produced in the economy, and the distribution of income and wealth among the participants in a capitalist economy.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 132
  • Offering: Every semester (starting Spring 2015)
  • Instructor: Mascarenhas, Negri, Sivers Boyce

ECON 364 Macroeconomic Theory (1)

Formal models are an important way in which economists develop and communicate their arguments. This course builds on Introduction to Economic Inquiry, introducing students to the formal tools, models and methods from two major approaches to economic analysis. Students will explore theories that seek to explain the total level of economic activity in an economic system with special attention to the business cycle and the ways in which government spending, taxation and monetary policies influence unemployment, inflation and the rate of economic growth.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 132
  • Offering: Every semester (starting Spring 2015)
  • Instructor: Gray, Knight, Liang, Taylor, Whiting

ECON 394-395 Major Program Internship (1 or 2)

Supervised interns apply and extend principles developed in the Economics majors in public and private sector placements. Students accepted for this course will normally have second-semester Junior or Senior standing and will have completed most of the courses required for the Economics major. Interns work 10-12 hours a week at the internship site, complete an analytical paper based on a project under the guidance of the instructor and the off-campus internship supervisor, and attend periodic class meetings with other interns. Two credits are granted only in exceptional circumstances.

  • Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Gray, Negri

ECON 448 History of Economic Thought (1)

This course will trace the development of economic thought from the decline of feudalism to the present while investigating Classical, Marxist, Neoclassical, Keynesian and Modern Heterodox theories. The goal will be to understand the various theories as well as the historical context in which they became important.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 132 or ECON 122 and ECON 123
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Gray

ECON 451 Economic Simulation (.5)

Students enrolled in this course participate in the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition. This course provides students with a hands-on understanding of economic analysis and business management through business simulation models. Students in this course will manage a business in a computer-simulated industry. Participation in the course requires that students put into practice the tools of economic analysis they have acquired in other courses. This course does not count toward the Economics major or minor.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 357 and consent of instructor.
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Negri

ECON 452 (QA) Introduction to Econometrics and Forecasting (1)

This course examines advanced statistical methods used to quantify economic and business phenomena. Topics include regression, regression specification and functional form, multicolinearity, serial correlation, heteroskedasticity. Skill in combining economic theory and available data to produce estimates using computer statistical routines will be developed.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Quantitative and Analytical Reasoning
  • Prerequisite: ECON 132 or ECON 122 and ECON 123, and ECON 230, MATH 140 or equivalent.
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Negri, Sivers Boyce

ECON 458 Mathematical Economics (1)

In this course students work independently to explore the ways in which formal mathematical models can be used to analyze and interpret microeconomic and macroeconomic relationships and phenomena.

  • Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Sivers Boyce

ECON 470W Advanced Topics in Economics (1)

This course examines an economic theme or topic using the analytical and empirical skills developed at the intermediate theory level. The course culminates in a project proposal for the Economics Senior Seminar course and in a major paper which develops core components of the proposal. Assignments include written and oral evaluation of the work of both peers and professionals, multiple drafts of the research paper and classroom presentation of principal methods and conclusions.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered
  • Prerequisite: ECON 230, ECON 357 or ECON 358 (determined by instructor) and MATH 140 or equivalent
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

ECON 490 Independent Study (.5 or 1)

This offering is designed to enable a qualified student to engage in supervised study in topics not covered in other departmental courses.

  • Prerequisite: Approval of instructor
  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

ECON 496W Senior Research Seminar (1)

Each student completes a research paper that builds on analytical methods from the required courses in the major. Other activities include written and oral evaluation of the work of both peers and professionals, development and presentation of a research paper and presentation of principal methods and conclusions.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered
  • Prerequisite: ECON 357, ECON 358 and ECON 470W
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

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