The Economics Department provides a wide selection of courses analyzing market behavior and the interactions among consumers, firms, and governments. Economic tools, which are applicable to a broad range of topics, are used to investigate how individuals and firms make decisions in private and public spheres and the consequences of resulting resource allocations. As the following courses illustrate, economics is central to the study of poverty, discrimination, growth, unemployment, the environment, international trade, and development, encompassing everything from fertility rates and finance to the cyclical nature of a country’s aggregate production.
Economics classes emphasize theoretical modeling, empirical analysis, and critical thinking. After completing core courses in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, students choose from a wide variety of electives. Economics majors may elect a concentration in financial markets. The economics major provides undergraduate students with an excellent background for employment and graduate work in numerous fields, including economics, business, law, government, health care, and education.
Chair, Professor Michael Donihue
Associate Chair, Professor Randy Nelson
Professors Michael Donihue, David Findlay, Patrice Franko, Lori Kletzer, Randy Nelson, and Douglas Terp; Associate Professors Samara Gunter, Timothy Hubbard, and Andreas Waldkirch; Assistant Professors Linwood Downs, Daniel LaFave, Robert Lester, Lindsey Novak, and James Siodla; Visiting Assistant Professors Rachel Bouvier, Youngseok Park, and Jean Paul Rabanal.
Requirements for the Major in Economics
Economics 133*, 134*, 223**, 224**, 293, and 393; one economics senior seminar; three additional elective courses in economics at the 200 or 300 level; at least two of these elective courses must be at the 300 level and at least one 300-level elective must be completed at Colby; Mathematics 121* or 161*, or equivalent. The two-course sequence Mathematics 381, Statistics 382 may be substituted for Economics 293.
Requirements for the Major in Economics with a Concentration in Financial Markets
Economics 121, 133*, 134*, 211, 212, 223**, 224**, 293, and 393; one economics senior seminar; two additional elective courses in economics at the 300 level; at least one 300-level elective must be completed at Colby; Mathematics 121* or 161*, or equivalent. The two-course sequence Mathematics 381, Statistics 382 may be substituted for Economics 293.
Requirements for the Major in Economics-Mathematics
Note that the Economics-Mathematics major will no longer be offered for the Class of 2021 and beyond.
Economics 133*, 134*, 223**, 224**, 293, 336, and 393; one economics senior seminar; one 300-level elective course, Mathematics 122* or 162*; Mathematics 253 and two additional elective courses selected from Mathematics 274 or any 300-level mathematics or statistics courses. The two-course sequence Mathematics 381, Statistics 382 may be substituted for Economics 293 and one of the additional 300-level mathematics courses.
Requirements for the Major in Economics-Mathematics with a Concentration in Financial Markets
Note that the Economics-Mathematics major with a Concentration in Financial Markets will no longer be offered for the Class of 2021 and beyond.
Economics 121, 133*, 134*, 211, 212, 223**, 224**, 293, 336, and 393; one economics senior seminar; one 300-level elective course; Mathematics 122* or 162*; Mathematics 253 and two additional elective courses selected from Mathematics 274 or any 300-level mathematics or statistics course. The two-course sequence Mathematics 381, Statistics 382 may be substituted for Economics 293 and one of the additional 300-level mathematics courses.
A student may elect only one of the majors offered by the Economics Department.
* Beginning with the Class of 2018, students who do not complete Economics 133 and 134, as well as one of the calculus courses required for the majors with a grade of C- or above, may not enroll in Economics 223.
** Note: To continue in the major, students must receive a grade of C- or better in Economics 223 and 224. Both economic theory courses (223, 224) must be taken at Colby. Any student who has tried and failed to satisfy an intermediate theory requirement at Colby (i.e., received a grade of D+ or below for the major) may elect to take the same course elsewhere by securing the approval of the department chair on the standard credit transfer approval form. For other students seeking to fulfill the intermediate theory requirement with a course taken elsewhere, approval for the standard credit transfer form can be secured only by petitioning the Economics Department and having the petition approved by majority vote of the Economics Department faculty.
At least one 300-level elective course must be taken at Colby regardless of the number and level of credits transferred from your study abroad.
Students who wish to do graduate work in economics are encouraged to consider enrolling in Economics 336 and taking additional courses in mathematics, especially Mathematics 253, 274, 311, 338, 381, and Statistics 382.
The point scale for retention of the major applies to all courses offered toward the major. No economics courses listed for the majors may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
Senior Thesis and Honors in Economics and Economics-Mathematics
Students wishing to further their economics training with a yearlong research project may register for Economics 491 during the fall of their senior year. At the end of the semester, students who are interested in pursuing honors research and who have the Economics Department’s approval, then complete a second semester of research by enrolling in Economics 484. Those completing Economics 484 with at least an A-, and who have maintained a GPA in the major of at least 3.50, are entitled to graduate with honors in the major. Another option, the Senior Thesis, is available to students who want to do a yearlong research project but do not meet the GPA requirement for honors. These students should enroll in Economics 491 followed by Economics 482. Further details can be obtained from the department.
Requirements for the Minor in Managerial Economics
Economics 121, 133, 134, 211, 221***, and one elective course in economics at the 200 or 300 level. Also Statistics 212; or Mathematics 381 and Statistics 382; or Psychology 214 and 215; or Sociology 271; or Government 281; or equivalent. Independent studies and Economics 345 cannot be used to fulfill the elective course requirement. No economics courses listed for the minor may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory. A faculty-supervised internship experience is recommended. The minor may not be combined with any of the majors offered by the Economics Department.
*** If Economics 223 was taken prior to declaring a managerial economics minor, Economics 221 is not required.