Economics

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COURSE OFFERINGS
 
[115]    Chinese Economy Book Seminar    Preparation for and a prerequisite to Economics 215 in January. Reinforces fundamental economic concepts introduced in introductory microeconomics and exposes students to challenges and opportunities faced by entrepreneurs in China. We will read a variety of books on the Chinese economy and visit one factory in Maine. Prerequisite: Economics 133 and permission of the instructor. One credit hour.    

133fs    Principles of Microeconomics    Principles of microeconomics and their applications to price determination, industrial structure, environmental protection, poverty and discrimination, international trade, and public policy. Four credit hours.  S.    FACULTY

134fs    Principles of Macroeconomics    Principles of macroeconomics and their applications: national product and income accounting, monetary and fiscal policy, inflation, international finance, unemployment, and growth. Prerequisite: Economics 133. Four credit hours.  S.    LONG, TARHAN, VULETIN

214s    Economic Policy and Performance in Contemporary Latin America    Analysis of macroeconomic stabilization policies and microeconomic issues such as regional trade, agriculture, health, education, the environment, and labor markets in contemporary Latin America. Prerequisite: Economics 133 and 134. Four credit hours.  I.    FRANKO

[215]    Made in China: Economic Organization from Mao to Now     U.S. firms increasingly see the Chinese market as important, and multinationals employ millions of Chinese in labor-intensive production, yet economic opportunities have disproportionately benefited coastal areas and social problems are on the rise. Examines the economic, political, and social issues associated with China's rapid growth. Offered on site in China, fees to be announced. Prerequisite: Economics 133 and permission of the instructor. Priority to students who have taken Economics 292, or East Asian Studies 254, 257, or 353, or Government 338 or 355. Three credit hours.  S, I.    

[219]    A Statistical Abstract for Central Maine     Basic methods of data analysis and database construction. Students will participate in the design and creation of a Statistical Abstract for the Greater Waterville Area, an online resource for policymakers and community development professionals. Each year a policy issue of regional interest is analyzed and featured in the statistical abstract. Prerequisite: Economics 133 or 134. Three credit hours.    

223fs    Microeconomic Theory    The theory of the pricing, distribution, and allocation of resources in a market economy. Emphasis placed on the various meanings of economic efficiency. Prerequisite: Economics 133 and 134, and Mathematics 121, 161, or equivalent. Four credit hours.    HANSSEN, YU

224fs    Macroeconomic Theory    Analysis of the theories of national income determination, the role of financial markets, the factors affecting employment, and the price level, international trade, exchange rates, and economic growth. Emphasis placed on the choice of fiscal and monetary policies and current issues in the conduct of stabilization policy. Prerequisite: Economics 223. Four credit hours.    FINDLAY, TARHAN

231f    Environmental and Natural Resource Economics    An introductory survey course using economic analysis to explain the underlying behavioral causes of environmental and natural resource problems and to evaluate the policy responses to them. Topics include air and water pollution, toxic substances, the allocation of renewable and exhaustible resources, and sustainable development. Prerequisite: Economics 133. Three credit hours.    YU

[252]    Presidential Economics    An analysis of key fiscal and monetary policies from the Hoover to the Clinton administrations. Topics include macroeconomic policies of the Great Depression, the gold standard, wage and price controls, the Kennedy tax cuts, and supply-side economics. The effects of economic events on political outcomes (e.g., presidential elections) and the effects of political factors on economic policies (e.g., the political business cycle) will also be examined. Prerequisite: Economics 133, 134. Three credit hours.  H.    

[254]    The Economics of Women, Men, and Work    An examination of the past, present, and future economic status of women. Topics include the implications of changing economic and social roles of women for the division of labor in the family; the allocation of time of husband and wife between the household and the labor market; the impact of rising female labor force participation on marriage, childbearing, and divorce; and economic explanations of gender differences in earnings and occupation, including the role of labor market discrimination in observed gender differences in market outcomes. Prerequisite: Economics 133. Four credit hours.  U.    

256s    Economics of Crime    An examination of economic models of criminal behavior and law enforcement. Emphasis on incentives that affect decisions to engage in crime and how market forces and government policies alter those incentives. Students will analyze crime and anti-crime programs using graphical models and by writing analyses of policy goals, policy evaluation techniques, and policy effectiveness. Topics considered include organized vs. disorganized crime, violent and property crime, white collar crime, markets for illegal goods and services, and aspects of law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Prerequisite: Economics 133 and 134 and sophomore or higher standing. Four credit hours.    GUNTER

271s    International Economic Integration    An examination of the history, current state, and future of international economic integration. Topics include the theory of regional and multilateral integration, European integration over the last half century, an evaluation of North American and Western Hemispheric free trade agreements, an analysis of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and the World Trade Organization. Prerequisite: Economics 133 and 134. Four credit hours.    WALDKIRCH

273f    Economics of Globalization     An examination of key dilemmas in the global economy. After an overview of stylized characteristics of economies by region and by type (e.g. natural resource based, agricultural, industrialized, emerging markets, chronically poor), we analyze the way these differences play out in trade, finance, and development arenas. Specific topics include the Doha development round, the emergence of sovereign wealth funds, the global food crisis, the changing role of multinationals (including emerging market giants), and the role of corporate social responsibility in addressing poverty. Formerly offered as Economics 297. Prerequisite: Economics 133 and 134. Four credit hours.    FRANKO

[292]    Economic Transition in China    The evolution of the Chinese economy from pre-industry to market economy with socialist characteristics. Emphasis on central planning under Mao, market liberalization under Deng, integration into the global economy under Jiang, and contemporary economic policy. Topics include ownership and incentives, the rural-urban divide, and China's emergence as a global trade power. Prerequisite: Economics 133 or 134. Four credit hours.  I.    

294s    Economic Policy and Performance in East Asia     The causes and consequences of rapid economic growth in East Asia's market economics. Focus on the Japanese development model, the political economy of rapid economic growth in South Korea and Thailand, and the Asian financial crisis. Topics include the East Asian miracle, state intervention in economic markets, the risks and rewards of globalization, and the nature of capitalism. Prerequisite: Economics 133 or 134. Four credit hours.  I.    BROWN

312s    Topics in Law and Economics    A seminar examining the common law and the legal system from the point of view of economic analysis. The focus is on the effect of the legal system on allocation of resources, both as a substitute for and a complement to the market system. Specific topics include the definition and allocation of property rights, the assignment of liability for accidents and defective products, and the role of damage remedies for breach of contract. Prerequisite: Economics 223. Four credit hours.    HANSSEN

331f    Industrial Organization and Antitrust Economics    An examination of the structure, conduct, and performance of American industries to determine if the market process efficiently allocates resources to meet consumer demand. An economic analysis of the antitrust laws and an evaluation of their performances with reference to specific industries and cases. Prerequisite: Economics 223. Four credit hours.    HANSSEN

[332]    Regulated Industries    An examination of specific regulated markets and the rationale for regulation in each. The economic effects of regulation on price, cost of production, and quality of product or service will be explored. The success of regulation will be evaluated relative to the market outcome that would be expected in the absence of regulation. Prerequisite: Economics 223. Four credit hours.    

[333]    Evolution of the Global Economy     An examination of the economic history of the 19th and 20th centuries, during which the size and scope of trade, migration, finance, and other forms of market integration increased dramatically. Topics include the large-scale globalization that occurred from 1800 to 1913; the period between World Wars I and II, a time of international economic disintegration; and the period of reintegration from the end of World War II to the present. Prerequisite: Economics 223, 224. Three credit hours.  H.    

335s    Economic Development    An introduction to economic models used to understand problems faced by developing countries. Topics covered, using both theoretical and empirical frameworks, include economic growth, poverty and inequality, demographic transition, household behavior, and the economic and policy implications of incomplete markets. Prerequisite: Economics 223 and 224. Four credit hours.    BROWN

336f    Mathematical Economics     Advanced economic theory. Designed to provide students the fundamental mathematical tools necessary to prepare for graduate work in economics or business administration. Topics include the development of portions of consumer, producer, and macro (fiscal and monetary) theory. Includes comparative static analysis, single and multiple agent unconstraint and constraint optimization problems, and dynamic analysis. Also listed as Mathematics 336. Prerequisite: Economics 224, Mathematics 253, and either Mathematics 122 or 162. Four credit hours.    VULETIN

338f    Money, Banking, and Monetary Policy    An examination of the monetary system of the United States. Topics include the determination and role of interest rates, the organization and operation of the banking firm, innovations and regulations of the banking industry, and the implementation and evaluation of monetary policies. Particular emphasis on the importance of financial markets in determining interest rates, influencing bank behavior, and affecting monetary policy. Prerequisite: Economics 224 and Mathematics 231 or 382. Four credit hours.    FINDLAY

341s    Natural Resource Economics     An examination of the supply, demand, and allocation of the Earth's natural resources. Topics include renewable resources, non-renewable resources, water, pollution, and other contemporary problems. The first half is devoted to learning the principles, reasoning, and techniques required to analyze and solve a wide range of natural resource allocation problems. The second half consists of case studies of contemporary renewable and nonrenewable natural resource problems. Prerequisite: Economics 223. Four credit hours.    YU

345fs    Research in Economics    An analytical, not descriptive, research paper in economics, to be coordinated with an elective economics course in which the student is concurrently, or previously has been, enrolled. Required of all economics majors. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Two credit hours.    FACULTY

351f    Public Finance     The economic role of government in the United States economy. Three parts: an analysis of market failures, an examination of government social insurance and welfare programs, and an investigation of the federal tax system. Prerequisite: Economics 223, 224. Four credit hours.    GUNTER

[355]    Labor Market Economics    Wage determination and allocation of human resources in union and nonunion labor markets. Theories of labor supply, labor demand, and human capital investment; related public policy issues such as minimum wage laws, income maintenance, and discrimination. The operation of labor markets in the macroeconomy, with particular emphasis on the role of implicit and explicit labor contracts in explaining aggregate wage stickiness, inflation, and unemployment. Prerequisite: Economics 223. Four credit hours.    

373f    Open-Economy Macroeconomics    Develops basic concepts, analytical framework, and relevant policy issues in an open-economy setting: price level and income determination, the choice of exchange rate regime and its impacts on macroeconomic stability, constraints on the formulation and implementation of monetary and fiscal policy. Emphasizes some particular topics on monetary and international capital markets including cyclicality of fiscal and monetary policies, central bank and independence, exchange rate regimes, capital flows, and dollarization. Prerequisite: Economics 224 and Mathematics 231. Four credit hours.    VULETIN

378s    International Trade    An introduction to international trade theory and policy. Topics include the determinants of international trade patterns, the gains from trade, distributional effects, increasing returns and scale economies, outsourcing, commercial policy, the political economy of trade policy, trade and labor, and environmental standards. Prerequisite: Economics 223. Four credit hours.    WALDKIRCH

379f    Game Theory    Introduction to the concepts and applications of game theory, which studies the behavior of rational, strategic agents--players who must take into account how their opponents will respond to their own actions. It is a powerful tool for understanding individual actions and social institutions in economics, business, and politics. Topics include Nash equilibrium, subgame perfection, and incomplete information. Prerequisite: Economics 223 and a course in calculus. Four credit hours.    LONG

393f    Econometrics    The use of statistical techniques to estimate and test economic models. Topics include multiple regression, multicolinearity, specification tests, serial correlation, heteroscedasticity, and the simultaneous-equations approach. Prerequisite: Economics 223, Mathematics 231 or 382. Four credit hours.    BROWN

398Bs    Political Economy    An introduction to the basics of political economics. Topics include rational choice theory applied to voting behavior and electoral competition, constitutional design, economic implications of political institutions, rent seeking, and corruption. Empirical literature as well as formal modeling of political behavior will be covered. Prerequisite: Economics 223 and 224. Four credit hours.    TARHAN

[435]    Seminar: Latin American Economic Development    Can Latin America compete in a globalized economy while providing opportunities for a sustainable increase in the quality of life for its citizens? Seminar explores economic constraints and opportunities for growth, including financial flows, human capital, inequality, trade, social entrepreneurship, and environment in Latin America. Prerequisite: Senior standing as an economics, Latin American studies, or international studies major and one of the following: Economics 214, 277, 278, 335, or 373. Four credit hours.  I.    

471f    Seminar: Multinational Corporations     How economists think about and evaluate multinational corporations, what MNCs are, what markets they operate in, and how they affect both host and home countries. Focus on the United States, with close examination of the operations of MNCs in developing countries, which directly addresses some of the major controversies surrounding MNCs. Prerequisite: Economics 223, 224 and senior standing as an economics or international studies major. Four credit hours.    WALDKIRCH

472s    Economics of Information and Uncertainty: The Film Industry     Though basic economic models treat information as a "free" good, information is costly to produce, rarely complete, and often asymmetric, creating problems that firms must resolve, largely through contracts and organizational forms. Reviews models of incomplete and asymmetric information and applies them to the motion picture industry, a business rife with information problems. Topics include profit-sharing and revenue-sharing contracts; the vertical linking of production, distribution, and exhibition; the financing of films; factors affecting film performance; coordination and competition in release dates; and the changing tastes of audiences. Prerequisite: Economics 223, 224 and Mathemaics 231. Four credit hours.    HANSSEN

[473]    Seminar: Economic Forecasting     An introduction to basic methods of time series analysis and the construction and presentation of economic forecasts. Topics include exploratory data analysis, exponential smoothing, ARIMA modeling, econometric modeling, and the analysis of forecast errors. Prerequisite: Economics 393 and senior standing as an economics major. Four credit hours.    

[474]    Seminar: Economic Demography    Applications of microeconomic theory to demographic behavior in developing countries. Topics include fertility, mortality, population policy, migration, health, aging, human capital, time allocation, and family structure. Emphasis on analyzing research and preparing empirical analyses of household surveys using the Stata statistical package. Prerequisite: Economics 393 and senior standing as an economics major. Four credit hours.    

475s    Economics of Professional Sports, Particularly Baseball     An examination of the organizational structure of professional baseball. Topics include the peculiar economics of sports, competitive balance, sports leagues as joint ventures or cartels, cross-subsidization (revenue sharing, luxury taxes, etc.), and issues in player development. The labor market in professional team sports, including restrictions on the labor market (player draft, the reserve rule, and free-agency), their effect on players' salaries and competitive balance, and racial discrimination in sports. Although baseball is the major focus, some differences in other sports will be explored, and students may do their major research paper on an economic aspect of any sport. Prerequisite: Senior standing as an economics major. Four credit hours.    MEEHAN

477s    Currency, Banking, and Debt Crises     The plethora of currency, banking, and debt crises around the world (especially in emerging markets) has fueled many theories and empirical analyses. An examination of first-generation (fundamentals-based), second-generation (self-fulfilling), and third-generation (contagion) crises, as well as sovereign debt crises and debt sustainability. Prerequisite: Economics 224 and senior standing as an economics major. Four credit hours.    VULETIN

478f    Seminar: Redistribution Policies: Taxes and Government Spending    Many domestic spending programs have a goal of improving the well-being of low-income citizens. What challenges does the government face when designing these programs? How do they alter people's behavior? Tax revenue funds these programs: how do governments design their tax programs and how do redistributive taxes affect behavior? Topics covered will include welfare, education, Social Security, unemployment insurance, the earned income tax credit, and personal income taxation. Emphasis on analyzing existing research and developing new research ideas using differences-in-differences methodology. Formerly offered as Economics 498. Prerequisite: Economics 223 and senior standing. Four credit hours.    GUNTER

479s    Seminar: The Wealth and Poverty of Nations    Why are some countries so rich and other countries so poor? An examination of the causes of economic growth over the last thousand years and how changes in institutions, technology, and global economic integration have allowed some, but not all, societies to prosper and provide their members with remarkably high standards of living. Prerequisite: Senior standing as an economics major. Four credit hours.  H.    LONG

482s    Senior Thesis    A continuation of a year-long research project, beginning with Economics 345 in the fall semester. The completed research is to be presented in both written and seminar format. Prerequisite: Economics 345, senior standing as an economics or economics-mathematics major, and permission of the sponsor. Four credit hours.    FACULTY

484s    Senior Honors Thesis    A continuation of a year-long research project, beginning with Economics 345. The completed research is to be presented in both written and seminar form. Prerequisite: Economics 345 and successful proposal defense. Four credit hours.    FACULTY

491f, 492s    Independent Study    Independent study devoted to a topic chosen by the student with the approval of the department. Prerequisite: Permission of the sponsor. One to four credit hours.    FACULTY