An introduction to economics stressing the fundamental and central concepts in economics and discussing methods and topics that engage economists. Topics include supply and demand analysis, determination of prices, output and profits, distribution of income, determination of real GDP, and fiscal and monetary policy. Offered every semester. [SS]
This course is designed to give students a better understanding of how the environment and the economy interact and how public policy can be used to shape this interaction. The course begins by sketching out the flows of natural resources associated with economic activity and how the environmental effects produced by these flows are valued. The course then proceeds to show how market economies affect the environment. Particular emphasis is placed on the environmental damage generated by market economies and how public policy can best be used to address this damage.
This course examines how well markets work and what democratic states ought to do to affect their functioning. Students will consider how personal behavior relates to public decisions; the functioning of markets and governments; government responsibility to insure against natural, personal, and social risks; and inequalities arising from market competition and political participation. [V, W]
This course examines the causes and consequences of international economic integration. It explores the forces that shape the pattern of international trade as well as the welfare effects of such trade. It also studies the policies that governments can use to regulate trade. Finally, it analyzes how international economic integration impacts aggregate economic performance by introducing concepts such as exchange rates and the balance of payments.
This course emphasizes the importance of risk management in a sustainable business. Financial Economics provides the tools that enable a discussion of the private and social net benefits to sustainability. Topics include sustainable developments, corporations as a business organization, benefit corporations, risk management and its role in a sustainable business, the modeling of corporate risks, markets for trading risk and social impact investing.
The US healthcare has many stakeholders whose often opaque and complex market interactions ultimately affect the cost, accessibility, and quality of healthcare consumers face. Patients, policymakers and healthcare businesses rely not just on institutional knowledge of medicine, law, and culture, but on the incentives these system structures create that determine how firms compete in healthcare markets and individuals pursue their health and well-being. Health economics applies economic theory to healthcare markets and individual health behaviors to understand these incentives and interactions as well as guide policymakers in addressing issues of market failure and inequity in healthcare markets. In this class, students will be introduced to the economic theory that underpins healthcare markets and health behaviors.
This course analyzes the financial and monetary systems in the United States. We will cover a variety of topics including the role of money in the financial system, the structure of financial institutions, types of financial instruments, monetary policy and the macroeconomic implications of those policies both domestically and internationally. Finally, the course explores the connections between financial markets and the Federal Reserve with economic models and current events.
Understanding how to find, manipulate and interpret macroeconomic date is an important tool to comprehend the world we live in and policy decisions made by central banks and fiscal authorities. Students in this course will learn how to obtain and use macroeconomic data such as GDP, inflation and unemployment for the analysis of current economic issues and policy decisions.
An introduction to the concepts, techniques, and application of evolutionary game theory. The mathematics of game theory and natural selection offer insights valuable to the study of economics, biology, psychology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and political science. This course is intended to serve students with interests in any of these fields learn the approach, requiring minimal mathematical background, with special attention to apparent paradoxes, such as the evolution of altruism. [V]
A study of how individuals and organizations deal with the problem of scarcity, the role of prices in coordinating economic activity, criteria for determining desirable allocation of resources, the mix of private and public institutions, and the economic basis of public policies.
An examination of aggregate economic activity focusing on the forces that determine the behavior of real GDP, interest rates, and the price level. Economic growth, fluctuations, unemployment, and inflation are analyzed along with alternative policies for dealing with them.
This course focuses on building multiple regression models useful for testing economic theories and making business forecasts. Topics include simple and multiple regression, dummy variables, multicollinearity, heteroscedasticity, serial correlation, and binary dependent variable models. The coursework includes extensive use of statistical software packages and large data sets. Students who receive credit for 253 may not receive credit for ECON 365. Similarly, students who receive credit for ECON 365 may not receive credit for 253.
Strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) is about how a company resolves the dilemmas around its core product or service, how that product is produced, and how and to whom it is marketed. In effect, multi-national corporations which have a business model that uses profit to fuel constant innovation in new products, now have to include, for example, programs to reduce emissions, carbon trading, fair trade practices and differential pricing of general drugs in poor developing countries that demonstrate the potential for CSR; others illustrate the continuing limitations. The object of this course is to make students aware of international business situations that require moral reflection, judgement and decision, while revealing the complexities that often surround business choices and the formation of public policies. Learning through cases of irresponsible actions as well as responsible behavior, the course focuses attention on the study of International Business circumstances in which hard choices must e made under complex conditions of uncertainty and disagreement. Students who receive credit for 255 may not receive credit for ECON 352. Similarly, students who receive credit for ECON 352 may not receive credit for 255.
The primary objective of this course is to introduce students to analysis and assessment techniques useful for decision makers in any entity that provides goods or services to another. It also introduces students to the process and content of financial accounting and it is geared toward information that students will need to function as effective and knowledgeable professionals.
This course serially examines the major sectors of the global economy using the tools of economic theory. For each sector, students analyze current market conditions and trends, financial performance, critical challenges, and relevant public policies.
This course introduces students to the concepts and intricacies of federal income tax policies. Students learn to recognize the major transactions inherent in business and financial transactions.
This course takes the principles of accounting and applies them to the world of finance. The emphasis is on the theory that underlies corporate accountability for financial reporting. Selected reporting and disclosure issues, such as financial statement presentations, earnings per share (EPS), debt, equity, and investments of excess funds for strategic financial management, as well as cash flow analysis, are incorporated. Excel spreadsheets are used extensively.
Analysis and practical application of corporate financial data as it relates to managerial decision making. Particular emphasis is placed on the corporate investment and financing decision, risk management, and the dividend decision.
An examination of the portfolio theory and security analysis involved with both fixed income and equity securities. Topics include analysis, pricing, and risk management.
This course is an introduction to Flow of Funds analysis and interest rate determination in the money and capital markets, the structure of interest rates, efficient market hypothesis, and major financial institutions in the United States.
A theoretical analysis of the role of money in determining the level of economic activity. Topics covered include the determination of interest rates and inflation, the institutional structure of financial intermediaries and the Federal Reserve, and the history of monetary policy in the United States. [W]
This course examines the practices and principal theories of major options and futures markets. Special emphasis is placed on the role of derivative securities in facilitating risk management.
This course surveys a wide range of economic issues relating to women's lives with special emphasis on family, work, and income. Public policy applications are stressed. [GM1]
The course introduces students to the application of econometric techniques commonly used by microeconomists. The emphasis is on specification, estimation, interpretation, and testing of microeconometric models rather than a thorough treatment of asymptotic properties of estimators. Methods considered include panel data estimators, instrumental variables estimators, difference-in-differences methods, limited dependent variable models, quantile regressions and non-parametric regressions. An emphasis will be placed on application through data-intensive assignments and a research project. [W]
This course examines in detail one of the most important markets in economics: the labor market. The course will investigate the key theories behind labor supply and labor demand and how they interact to determine wages and employment. Other topics include: the effects of government policies including welfare programs and minimum wages, compensating wage differentials, education, and human capital, immigration, discrimination. The course will take both a theoretical and empirical look into these topics.
An introduction to the economic analysis of urban areas. Theories of urban growth and of intra-metropolitan land use are explored. Topics include trends in the location of economic activity within urban areas, the urbanization of poverty, and problems of urban government.
This course integrates microeconomic theory with economic application techniques in an investigation of various market structures, strategic firm interaction, antitrust issues, and economic regulation. Beginning with the standard Structure-Conduct-Performance paradigm and processing through some of the most recently developed theories in noncooperative games, the course content exposes students to an array of methods that facilitate the analysis of market structures, antitrust, and regulatory issues.
This course provides an overview of the economics of health and medical care. By the end of the semester, students should have the institutional knowledge and analytical tools needed to contribute to current public policy debates about health and medical care.
Drawing on methods from psychology, sociology, neurology, and economics, this course sheds light on one of the most fundamental human activities: the decision process. In Behavioral Economics you will learn state-of-the-art theories and methods that explain the economic choices that we all make every day. In contrast to standard approaches, we will not only use economic tools but also psychology-based concepts such as impulsiveness, self-control, cognitive dissonance, overconfidence, anchoring, framing, emotional reactions, intrinsic motivation, etc.
This course provides a theoretical and empirical economic analysis of human resources management policies. In particular, we will study the problems of selection and motivation of employees within an organization. Thus, we will discuss topics such as compensation schemes, work motivation, recruiting mechanisms, training strategies, performance evaluations, promotions, and peer effects in the workplace.
This course provides a survey of environmental and natural resource economics with application to real world contemporary issues. We will discuss fundamental economic principles in public goods and environmental valuation, and the economics of renewable and non-renewable resources and discuss policies to manage natural resources. Topics will include market mechanisms and market shortcomings, property rights, non-market valuation, pollution control, discounting and dynamic efficiency, nonrenewable and renewable resource management, climate change, and sustainability.
A study of the public sector of the economy that includes the theories of public revenues and expenditures, the tax structure of American governments including analysis of the rationale and consequences of major taxes, and major expenditure programs. Fiscal problems of state and local governments and intergovernmental fiscal relations are also examined.
This course is a study of the role of government in the economy: when should government intervene, how does it intervene, and what is the effect of interventions on economic outcomes? These issues are examined using the tools of economic theory and statistics, with emphasis on applications and analysis of policies in the U.S. and other countries.
Political economy examines issues that lie on the boundary of political science and economics. At one level, the course uses the tools of modern economics to examine behavior in political settings: why people vote, make campaign contributions, run for political office, favor specific legislative programs, and so forth. At another level, the course seeks a rich understanding of economic policymaking by considering the role of political institutions and non-market incentives.
An introductory survey of the economic structures and behavior of developing countries and how these factors influence their approach to the challenges of reducing poverty, improving health and education, and increasing their productive capacity and national and per capita income. The course examines the applicability of conventional economic logic and analytical tools to developing economies. Competing paradigms of development and the implications of different sets of behavioral assumptions are explored.
This course explores the economics of the European Union (EU). The objective will be to learn how a diverse group of countries has joined a world economic power, yet struggles to agree on basic policy in some areas. The course will proceed topically through major points of cooperation and contention, moving chronologically and ending with analysis of what lies ahead. In the beginning, the course deals with the history and institutions of the European Union, integration theory, trade and competition, liberalization and customs unions, and European regional policy. Then, the course covers monetary integration in the European Union, the monetary policy of the European Central Bank, and the demands during the Financial Crisis. Further, the course covers issues in the European enlargement. international relations and the Brexit.
This course provides students with an understanding of the international monetary system. The course examines the foreign exchange market and the role that governments play in this market. A review of previous and current exchange rate systems and an analysis of international capital markets is provided.
This course examines the ways in which international trade in goods and services is regulated through trade policy. This course has several objectives: 1) to provide students with an understanding of how and why international trade is regulated, 2) to demonstrate to students how particular trade policies affect international trade and international economic welfare, and 3) to expose students to the economic and political forces that shape international trade policy.
Analysis of the contemporary economic environment in Africa: political sociocultural identity and economic structure, trends in public and private capital flows, African regional and international economic institutions, trade development and relations with world markets, investment concessions and risk, with case illustrations from African countries.
The publicly owned corporation is the dominant legal form for business enterprises in the past 100 years. Corporate governance refers to the organizational structure that supports an enterprise's efforts to utilize firm assets to produce goods and services for profit. The main focus of this course is the intersection of corporate governance principles, financial accountability and the effective execution of ethical business decisions by both large multinational enterprises (as individual entities) and the employees that act on behalf of the firm. Thus, this course will examine the rights and responsibilities for each of the constituents who serve a key role in facilitating efficient and effective business practices, most notably the chief executive officer, the board of directors and the shareholders. Legal requirements, other regulatory financial reporting constraints, as well as the role of corporate culture throughout the globe are also considered.
We explore many questions that firms investigate about existing and potential markets, including: How to price and promote their products? What new products should be introduced? Should the firm make or buy inputs? Retail directly or through franchisees? Drawing on price theory and strategic marketing, we use graphical and mathematical modeling techniques along with case study methods to explore the techniques and economic theory of marketing decisions and customer relationships in diverse and evolving markets. [W]
Although the pervasive assumption in microeconomics is that firms know their markets demand functions, understanding how firms actually acquire this information requires studying the well-established techniques embodied in the field of marketing research. Consumer demand features studied include preferences among existing products, new product development, competitive analysis, and customer satisfaction. Research design, data collection methods, sampling issues, and data analysis using basic and advanced statistical techniques are covered. Students apply econometrics to the task of understanding consumers' needs.
This seminar will explore issues relating to the theory and practice of macroeconomic stabilization and adjustment in emerging market / developing countries. Specifically we will discuss a variety of policy measures that governments and policymakers in international organizations have pursued in an attempt to minimize fluctuations in international capital flows, real national output and income,to correct unsustainable balance-of-payments deficits and/or to correct high domestic inflation. An assessment of these policies within the context of emerging market economies will give students an appreciation of the inherent challenges.
The twin objectives of this course are to 1) introduce students to macroeconometric theory and techniques and 2) provide students with practice applying those techniques. The topics covered in the course are: Solow Growth, Okun's Law, the Phillips curve and monetary policy. Techniques covered include time series decomposition, vector autoregressions and conintegration. The course involves frequent use of econometric software to provide students with experience in applying the techniques discussed in class.
A one-semester course that emphasizes the practical application of economics or finance principles. Students secure their own internships, typically in either business organizations or governmental agencies. Under the direction and supervision of their internship sponsor, the student completes a meaningful work project. Internships do not count toward the elective courses required in the major or minor and are graded on a credit/no credit basis. Advanced approval of the departmental internships coordinator required.
A small group of selected students work together with faculty mentors in competition with teams from other colleges and universities. Each team develops a presentation involving U.S. monetary policy and delivers this presentation to judges from the U.S. Federal Reserve System. Interested students are encouraged to take ECON 223, Money and Banking.
A seminar study of major economic issues facing the United States and world economies. Topics to be announced in advance of each semester.
An investigation and report on a subject selected by the student. Open by permission of the department. Hours to be arranged.
This course applies microeconomic theory to analyze the health care market from the perspectives of those who supply health care. We will start with a description of what a health care system is and discuss the recent health care reform in the U.S. We will then turn our focus to the production of health and then the production of health care. Our attention will then turn to those who supply care including the market for physicians and hospital services, and the pharmaceutical industry. Finally, the structure and performance of the U.S. health care system will be compared to that of other countries. Discussion of empirical studies, current policy debates, and the relevance and limits of the economic approach will be emphasized. Focus of the course is on the economics and not politics or personal opinions. Regardless of your own personal views on health care reform, the goal is for you to be able to analyze the market for health care using the tools and perspectives of an economist. [W]
This course applies economic theory to the analysis of the education sector and education policies. We will start by investigating why people make the decision to invest in education using two different models of the returns to education. We will then turn to the ''production'' of education, examining what the key inputs into education are and how they can be effectively used. Afterwards we focus on the education market itself, market reforms as well as government policies that can help or hinder the distribution and attainment of education. While this course will primarily focus on K-12 education, we will also discuss some early childhood learning as well as higher education policy. Throughout the course there will be a focus on empirical methods and studies. These studies will be viewed as a test of our economic models and help us analyze education policy from an economics perspective. [W]
This course builds upon the theory introduced in Intermediate Macroeconomics, with emphasis on empirical research. First, using mathematical models of the macroeconomy, we will develop a set of tools in order to think about macroeconomic policy issues, most of which require us to think dynamically. In other words, we want to be able to answer questions that involve choices between today and tomorrow on relevant issues when thinking about development from a macroeconomic perspective (consumption, investment, fiscal or monetary policy, etc.). Second, we will practice economic thinking and writing, by asking specific questions and using empirical and statistical methods to investigate and test the predictions of various models. We will discuss the merits and drawbacks of the various approaches that are used. [W]
This is a survey course of big ideas in economics-the kind of ideas that transformed the way we understand economics today.We begin by developing an understanding of economics as a set of often-competing models, rather than as a discipline defined by a general theory of economics (despite the titles of some of the works that we will read). We then turn to the foundational work of Adam Smith and the formalization of his work by Arrow and Debreu in the Fundamental Theorems of Welfare Economics. The remaining breakthroughs include Akerlof's work on information asymmetry; the Stopler-Samuelson theorem on the relationship between tariffs and wages; Nash's equilibrium and game theory; Keynes' thinking on fiscal stimuli; and the Mundell-Flemin Trilemma. For each of the big ideas, we will identify the critical assumptions of the models so that we can better understand how/when they are applicable. [W]
This course provides an economic analysis (both theoretical and empirical) of human resources management policies. In particular, we will study the problems of selection and motivation of employees within an organization. Thus, we will discuss topics such as compensation schemes, recruiting mechanisms, performance evaluation or peer effects in the workplace. [W]
This course builds upon econometrics and macroeconomic theory to create and evaluate forecasts of macroeconomic variables. First we will focus on time series econometric techniques to create forecasts and develop methods, statistics, and empirical tests to evaluate and compare forecasts. Next we will explore a range of topics in the literature focusing on different strategies and methods for improvement. You will create and evaluate your own forecasts emphasizing the merits and limitations of various approaches. [W]
This course connects economic theory with policy analysis using the tool of ''cost-benefit analysis.'' The goal of a cost-benefit analysis is to measure a project's economic efficiency by providing a formal description of the associated costs and benefits. In particular, we will explore different non-market valuation methods to evaluate the costs and benefits associated with environmental projects. This course will provide you with the theoretical background and practical skills required to critically assess a cost-benefit analysis and to perform your own cost-benefit analysis. [W]
This course examines the relation between justice and the economy through an understanding of the concepts of equality, freedom, and responsibility. In addition to developing concepts, the course focuses on key areas of enduring concern about justice and the economy. [W]
We explore models of individuals' and firms' decision-making and interaction by running, modifying, and creating agent-based modeling simulations. We study the relationships of these techniques to mathematical models, including those that employ Nash equilibrium as their solution concept. In addition to considering the results of related empirical models and their estimates of market and individual behavior, we analyze our own simulations' results with relevant statistical tools. [W]
This course examines economic inequality in all its different facets. The course begins by defining the concept of economic inequality and explaining how it is measured. It then considers the causes and consequences of economic inequality, both from a theoretical and empirical perspective. It concludes by asking when policy makers should address inequality and what policies are likely to be most effective. [W]
Experimental economics helps us test predictions derived from economic models. It also provides a method to explore human behavior in specific environments, help design economic institutions, and provide advice to policy makers. In this course, we will discuss different types of experiments (in the lab, field, or online) over a wide range of economic issues. Throughout the semester, students will also conduct their own experiments and write a formal academic paper about the results. [W]
For honors candidates. One course each semester, only ECON 496 counts toward the required electives in the major; ECON 495 does not. [One W credit only upon completion of both 495 and 496]