Economics Department


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 crime 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. Both economics and economics-mathematics majors may elect a concentration in financial markets. The economics majors provide undergraduate students with an excellent background for employment and graduate work in numerous fields, including economics, business, law, government, health care, and education.

Faculty

Chair, Associate Professor Andreas Waldkirch 
Associate Chair, Professor David Findlay
Professors Debra Barbezat, Michael Donihue, David Findlay, Patrice Franko, Lori Kletzer, Randy Nelson, and Douglas Terp; Associate Professor Andreas Waldkirch; Assistant Professors Nathan Chan, Sahan Dissanayake, Linwood Downs, Samara Gunter, Timothy Hubbard, Daniel LaFave, James Siodla, and Leonard Wolk; Visiting Professor Philip Trostel; Visiting Assistant Professors William DuPont IV and Sandra Goff


Requirements +

Requirements for the Major in Economics

Economics 133*, 134*, 223**, 224**, 293, and 393; one economics senior seminar; four additional elective courses in economics at the 200 or 300 level; at least two of the 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; four additional elective courses in economics at the 200 or 300 level; at least two of the 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 and the additional 300-level mathematics course.

Requirements for the Major in Economics-Mathematics

Economics 133*, 134*, 223**, 224**, 293, 336, and 393; one economics senior seminar; two additional elective courses in economics, one of which must be at the 300 level; Mathematics 122* or 162*; Mathematics 253, 311, and one additional 300-level mathematics or statistics course or Mathematics 274. The two-course sequence Mathematics 381, Statistics 382 may be substituted for Economics 293 and the additional 300-level mathematics course.

Requirements for the Major in Economics-Mathematics with a Concentration in Financial Markets

Economics 121, 133*, 134*, 211, 212, 223**, 224**, 293, 336, and 393; one economics senior seminar; four additional elective courses in economics at the 200 or 300 level; at least two of the elective courses must be at the 300 level and at least one 300-level elective must be completed at Colby; Mathematics 122* or 162*; Mathematics 253, 311, and one additional 300-level mathematics or statistics course or Mathematics 274. The two-course sequence Mathematics 381, Statistics 382 may be substituted for Economics 293 and the additional 300-level mathematics course.

* 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 course must be taken at Colby regardless of the number and level of credits transferred from your study abroad. Economics 345 may be used to fulfill one of the 200-level elective requirements for any of the economics majors.

Students who wish to do graduate work in economics are encouraged to consider the economics-mathematics major or enroll in Economics 336 and 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 year-long 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 year-long 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 or 223, and one elective course in economics at the 200 or 300 level. Also Statistics 212 or 231; 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.