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Economics Course Descriptions
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EC133fs Principles of Microeconomics Introduces the fundamental problem in economics: limited resources to satisfy unlimited needs and wants. Concentration on how markets allocate these scarce resources and when they fail to operate efficiently. After analyzing costs, students look at how firms in market structures ranging from perfectly competitive to monopolistic make decisions. Key principles are illustrated by applying them to current economic issues. Students will use standard economic models to describe market structures and the effects of policy interventions, solve problems using graphical or algebraic models of these markets, and choose an appropriate model to analyze economic events described in news articles. Four credit hours. S. FACULTY
EC134fs Principles of Macroeconomics Introduces the measurement of macroeconomic variables and basic theoretical models of aggregate economic behavior. Focuses on the study of fluctuations in economic activity, long-run economic growth, and the role of monetary and fiscal policy in achieving macroeconomic goals. Students will develop their analytical problem-solving skills, hone their ability to think critically, gain experience in building and understanding theoretical models, and sharpen their capacity to understand and critique macroeconomic policy. Prerequisite: Economics 133. Four credit hours. S. AGIRDAS, FINDLAY, VULETIN
EC214s 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
EC223fs 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. GUNTER
EC224fs Macroeconomic Theory Devoted to the development and examination of various theoretical frameworks to explain fluctuations in output, interest rates, exchange rates, unemployment, inflation, and economic growth in a globally interdependent economy. Continued study of the theoretical development of macroeconomic models and further refinement of understanding the effectiveness and optimality of macroeconomic policy. Students gain an understanding of the importance of expectations, the determination of asset prices (e.g., bond and stock prices), the relationship between financial markets and the macroeconomy, and the implications and limitations of models and policies. Prerequisite: Economics 223. Four credit hours. DONIHUE, FINDLAY
EC231s Environmental and Natural Resource Economics The objective is to develop and apply economic tools to current environmental and resource-management issues. Causes of and remedies to environmental and resource-management problems are analyzed through economic modeling. These models in turn serve as the theoretical foundation for designing and evaluating policy instruments and practices. Students will learn to analyze current environmental problems and assess the effectiveness of environmental and resource-management policies using economic tools. Prerequisite: Economics 133. Three credit hours. EDWARDS
EC252s 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. FINDLAY
EC254j 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. Three credit hours. U. BARBEZAT
[EC256] Economics of Crime Proceeds from the assumption that criminals are rational to the extent that higher costs of crime will lower criminal activity. Use of economic models to examine topics such as the criminal justice system, law enforcement, markets for drugs and other illegal goods and services, and organized vs. disorganized crime. Major projects include creation of a data portfolio examining one of several sources of national crime data using tables, graphs, and statistical relationships and policy analysis papers drawing on the economic literature to evaluate the effectiveness of anticrime policies and the efficiency of criminal justice resource allocation. Prerequisite: Economics 133 and 134 and sophomore or higher standing. Four credit hours.
EC271s International Economic Integration An examination of the history, current state, and future of international economic integration. We will analyze the theory of regional and multilateral integration as well as European integration over the last half century, evaluate North American and other free trade agreements, and discuss the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organization. Heavy emphasis on European integration, since the European Union is the most advanced of the preferential agreements and thus provides an ideal laboratory for studying the likely effects of further integration elsewhere. Students will learn how to apply economic tools to the analysis of important policy issues, both orally and in writing. Prerequisite: Economics 133 and 134. Four credit hours. WALDKIRCH
EC273f Economics of Globalization Development and application of economic tools of international trade and finance to understand the puzzle of a globally integrated economy. Lectures and student presented debates on key international economic issues, and weekly case studies, focus on policy dilemmas in the global economy. Through readings and debate students learn to assess the validity of contemporary writing on international economics. 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. Prerequisite: Economics 133 and 134. Four credit hours. FRANKO
EC297Af Economic Development Examines the special problems faced by the developing countries and the economic mechanisms that must be taken into account in promoting growth and development. Focusing on theories of growth and institutions that can explain why some nations are poor, common problems in such as poverty, income/gender inequality, and civil war, and on different aspects of development including education, health, nutrition, agriculture, child labor, population growth, migration and urbanization. Finally, the effectiveness of policy proposals related to international trade, microfinance, and foreign aid are examined. Economic development experience of East Asian, African, and Latin American countries will be used as applications throughout the course. Prerequisite: Economics 133 and 134. Four credit hours. AGIRDAS
EC297Bj Economics of Migration Migration has become a predominant labor market alternative for many individuals, especially those from developing countries. Focus is on the economic underpinnings of the migration decision. Topics include who migrates and why; development impacts of migration; the effects of migrant inflows on destination-country labor markets; and current debates surrounding migration policy. Students will be expected to synthesize economic concepts and current policy discussions through both written policy briefs and oral debates. Students will develop an understanding of economic selection in the context of migration. Prerequisite: Economics 133. Three credit hours. THEOHARIDES
EC297Cj Economics of Education Reform An examination of a number of popular approaches to education reform, using economics as the lens to understand the impetus and potential impact of each. Goals are for students to (1) become familiar with the basic arguments and evidence relating to major education reform strategies, and (2) develop the analytical skills necessary to critically evaluate such strategies and provide policy recommendations through written memos and oral presentations. Topics include school choice, class-size reduction, early-childhood interventions, test-based accountability, teacher labor markets, and topics in higher education. Prerequisite: Economics 133. Three credit hours. HYMAN
EC331f 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 antitrust laws, and an evaluation of their performances with reference to specific industries and cases. Prerequisite: Economics 223. Four credit hours. MEEHAN
[EC333] 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.
EC335s Topics in 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. AGIRDAS
EC336f Mathematical Economics Advanced economic theory designed to give students the fundamental mathematical tools necessary to prepare for graduate work in economics. Topics include the development of portions of consumer, producer, and macro (fiscal and monetary) theory. Material includes comparative static analysis, single- and multiple-agent unconstraint and constraint optimization problems (both under certainty and uncertainty), and dynamic analysis. Students are expected to have learned how to read and understand most current journal articles in economics without stumbling over the mathematics and to have developed an initial understanding of how to frame economic modeling ideas in mathematical format. Prerequisite: Economics 224, Mathematics 253, and either Mathematics 122 or 162. Four credit hours. VULETIN
EC338f Money, Banking, and Monetary Policy Students are introduced to the interpretation, role, and determination of interest rates, as well as the theory of consumption/saving, the theory of risk aversion, portfolio theory, the risk structure of interest rates, and the term structure of interest rates (i.e., the yield curve). We will then examine the behavior, structure, and regulation of the banking industry. Finally, students will examine monetary theory and policy with particular emphasis on the implementation of policy by the Federal Reserve. Emphasis on the theoretical, empirical, and policy-related aspects of these issues. Prerequisite: Economics 224 and Mathematics 231 or 382. Four credit hours. FINDLAY
[EC341] Natural Resource Economics An examination of the supply, demand, and allocation of the Earth's natural resources. Topics include renewable resources, nonrenewable 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.
EC345fs 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
EC351f Public Finance Public finance is the branch of economics concerned with government expenditure and taxation. On the expenditure side, we will model externality and social insurance justifications for government intervention and examine several government policies including Social Security and health-care reform. On the tax side, we will model tax incidence of consumption, income, and wealth taxes and behavioral responses to them. Students will apply their understanding of the models in exams, policy presentations, and writing assignments and will be expected to read and interpret empirical research papers that evaluate the impacts of government policy. Prerequisite: Economics 223, 224. Four credit hours. GUNTER
EC355s 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. BARBEZAT
EC373f 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 key topics on monetary and international capital markets including cyclicality of fiscal and monetary policies, central bank independence, exchange rate regimes, capital flows, and dollarization. Students will further develop their analytical problem-solving skills and will sharpen their capacity to become critical consumers and critical producers of knowledge. Prerequisite: Economics 224 and Mathematics 231 or 382. Four credit hours. VULETIN
[EC378] 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, factor movements, trade agreements, and labor and environmental standards. Students will understand and be able to manipulate the major international trade models and analyze current trade policy issues in the context of these models both orally and in writing. Prerequisite: Economics 223. Four credit hours.
EC379s Game Theory Introduction to the concepts and applications of game theory, 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. Students will enhance their analytical thinking and reasoning skills, develop their ability to engage in quantitative analysis and formal problem solving, and hone their ability to think and write with precision and rigor. Specific topics include strategic dominance, Nash equilibrium, subgame perfection, and incomplete information. Prerequisite: Economics 223 and a course in calculus. Four credit hours. AGIRDAS
EC393f Econometrics An introduction to quantitative methods used for the analysis of economic phenomenon, covering the theoretical development of the ordinary least squares regression framework, tools for model specification and estimation, hypothesis testing, methods for correcting errors in parameter estimation, and the analysis of econometric results in the context of a wide range of empirical applications. Through lab exercises and a final empirical project, develops model-building skills, builds confidence in applying econometric methods to real-world data, deepens the understanding of statistical inference, and improves the capacity for communicating econometric results. Prerequisite: Economics 223, Mathematics 231 or 382. Four credit hours. DONIHUE
EC471s Seminar: Multinational Corporations Provides students with a perspective on how economists think about and evaluate multinational corporations (MNCs). Why do firms become MNCs? What kind of data exist on the activities of MNCs and where can we find them? What are the determinants of multinational activity? How does the presence of MNCs affect employment, wages, productivity, and technology? Readings, drawn largely from recent empirical research papers, and an original research project will provide a thorough understanding and appreciation of the current evidence on MNC activity and how economic research is conducted and evolves. Oral communication skills are developed through presentations, debates, and class discussion. Prerequisite: Economics 223, 224 and senior standing as an economics or global studies major. Four credit hours. WALDKIRCH
[EC473] 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.
EC475s 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
EC477s 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
EC478s 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 and how do they alter behavior? Students will read and discuss scholarly research on topics including welfare, Medicaid, education, Social Security, the earned income tax credit, and personal income taxation. Students will also write an original empirical research paper. Emphasis on analyzing existing research and developing new research ideas using differences-in-differences methodology. Prerequisite: Economics 223 and senior standing. Four credit hours. GUNTER
[EC482]s 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 written form and as part of a seminar. Prerequisite: Economics 345, senior standing as an economics or economics-mathematics major, and permission of the sponsor. Four credit hours.
EC484s Senior Honors Thesis A continuation of a year-long research project, beginning with Economics 345. The completed research is to be presented in written form and as part of a seminar. Prerequisite: Economics 345 and successful proposal defense. Four credit hours. FACULTY
EC491f, 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
EC497f Seminar: Economics of Education An application of the tools of economic analysis to current issues in education. Topics include private and public investment in education, difficulties in estimating the private and social rates of return to education, the production of education (the effect of class size, teacher effectiveness, and peer effects), the role of school choice, charter schools and accountability in improving K-12 education, and the labor market for teachers (the role of teachers unions and pay for performance schemes). Prerequisite: Economics 223, 224 and senior standing as an economics major. Four credit hours. EDWARDS