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Economics Courses

Course information found here includes all permanent offerings and is updated regularly whenever Academic Senate approves changes. For historical information, see the Course Catalogs. For actual course availability in any given term, use Course Search in the Portal.

ECON 199. Principles of Economics (1). This course takes an analytical approach to economic reasoning and contemporary economic issues. It introduces microeconomic and macroeconomic theories with applications to relevant issues such as employment, growth, international trade and finance, monetary and fiscal policy, and environmental issues. (3B) Offered each semester.

ECON 203. Economics of Globalization (1). This course examines three main aspects of economic globalization: international trade, international migration, and international capital flows. We will use economic models to study why each aspect of globalization happens, who are the winners and losers from each, and the impacts of globalization on matters of interests such as economic growth, poverty and inequality, the environment, labor standards, etc. The theoretical analyses are then confronted with data and country case studies. This will enable us to understand why some people are against globalization while others embrace it, whether we should have more or less globalization, or how we should reform or change globalization. This course is recommended for students who plan to work for government and international organizations in activities affected by international economic relations. (3B) Offered once per year. Prerequisite: Economics 199.

ECON 204. Economic Development (1). The goal of this course is to provide a broad introduction to the main issues of development economics. This course examines the existing disparities between developed and less developed nations, problems faced by developing countries, as well as policy measures undertaken to alleviate these problems. Specific topics covered include the concepts and measurement of economic development, theories of economic growth, inequality and poverty, the role of institutions, debates over the effectiveness of foreign aid, population growth and fertility, gender inequality, and human capital investment. (3B) Offered most semesters. Prerequisite: Economics 199.

ECON 205. Seminar on Energy and Environmental Economics (1). This course has two main themes: First, the most pressing environmental problems, such as climate change, are directly connected to the production and consumption of energy. Second, the design and critique of environmental policies must be grounded in a solid understanding of economics. (Also listed as Environmental Studies 205.) (3B) Offered each fall. Prerequisite: Economics 199.

ECON 206. Asian Economics and Business (1). In this course, students will learn about the economic growth and development of countries in East and South Asia. How did countries grow so rapidly during the past few decades, and what are the lessons learned for other economies? In the second part of the course, students will learn to identify and evaluate business strategies that are relevant for international business expansion to a diverse Asia. Offered once every other year. Prerequisite: Economics 199.

ECON 207. Entrepreneur Workshop (1). An examination of the processes which lead to the successful launch of new enterprises. Consideration of entrepreneurial skills and ways in which they might be enhanced through education. Focus on planning, marketing, development of pro formas, and opportunity recognition. Course will emphasize practical issues and learning by doing. (3B) Offered each fall. Prerequisite: Economics 199.

ECON 208. Sustainable Agricultural Management (1). This course is an introduction to global agriculture and natural resource management. Students will learn how agriculture has been evolving to where it is now. More focus will be on agribusiness principles and how sustainability issues are shaping current and future business decisions as firms strive to remain profitable. In addition, students will learn about what the conversion to sustainable agriculture entails for different parts of the world. The course exposes students to hands on experience and interaction with experts in the sustainable agriculture field. No prior exposure to any form of agriculture is required/assumed. (Also listed as Environmental Studies 208.) Offered each spring. Prerequisite: Economics 199.

ECON 209. Comparative Economic Systems (1). This course compares the theoretical foundations and empirical performance of various economic systems, including Marxist socialism, Soviet-type economies, and markets in different cultural contexts. The course also addresses the issues of economic reform, including monetary reform and privatization. Offered every other spring. Prerequisite: Economics 199.

ECON 211. Foundations of Economic Theory: Microeconomics (1). Microeconomics is the study of how households and firms allocate scarce resources to competing ends. Students learn to use economic models and optimizing techniques to address a variety of decision-making processes, including consumer utility optimization and producer profit maximization in the context of competitive markets, monopoly, oligopoly, and monopolistic competition. (3B) Offered most semesters. Prerequisite: Economics 199 and sophomore standing.

ECON 212. Foundations of Economic Theory: Macroeconomics (1). In this course, construction of an organized theoretical framework facilitates an understanding of the behavior of variables such as GDP, inflation, and unemployment. An open economy approach is taken, and international analyses abound. Alternative fiscal and monetary policy strategies receive scrutiny in a variety of environments. Important contributions from macroeconomists representing schools of thought (e.g., Classical, Keynesian, New Classical, New Keynesian) from throughout the 20th century are presented. Offered each spring. Prerequisite: Economics 199 and 211.

ECON 214. Accounting Foundations for Business Finance (1). A one-semester survey of financial accounting designed to make the student “accounting literate” and to lay the accounting foundations required for the study of business finance. Offered each fall. Prerequisite: Economics 199 and 211.

ECON 215. Introduction to Business Finance (1). This course develops the theoretical principles of financial management as an extension of general economic principles. It applies accounting and statistical tools to the management of working capital, capital budgeting, and long-term financing. Students gain proficiency using computer spreadsheets by building financial models. Offered most spring semesters. Prerequisite: Economics 199, 211, and 214.

ECON 220. Labor Economics (1). The purpose of this course is to apply the tools from microeconomic theory to the analysis of labor markets. Topics covered include labor supply and demand, wage structures, compensating wage differentials, investment in human capital, labor market discrimination, labor unions, and unemployment. In addition to theory, emphasis will also be placed on empirical applications, and examination of public policies and labor laws. Offered each year. Prerequisite: Economics 211.

ECON 235. International Trade and Finance (1). In the first half, students will learn international finance and macroeconomic theories for an open economy: exchange rate determination; pros and cons of different types of exchange rate regimes; the relationships among exchange rate, interest rate, inflation rate, and national income and economic growth; trade deficit; and causes and consequences of financial crises. In the second half, students will learn classical and new trade theories to understand the forces that drive international trade and international migration, analyze their benefits and costs, and examine who get these benefits and who bear the costs. Offered once per year. Prerequisite: Economics 199 and 211. 212 and 251 recommended but not required.

ECON 245. Money and Banking (1). The nature and functions of money and of commercial banks and a critical analysis of the operation of the modern commercial banking system. Central banking, the Federal Reserve System, and monetary policy. The relationships of money and credit to price levels and national income. Offered each fall Prerequisite: Economics 199 and 211, and simultaneous enrollment in Economics 212.

ECON 251. Quantitative Methods for Economics and Management (1). An introduction to the quantitative tools used by decision makers in both private business and public institutions. The course reviews introductory statistical methods and builds to the multiple regression model. Applications of these techniques are then developed to explain, predict, and forecast economic and business events. Offered each semester. Prerequisite: Economics 199 and 211.

ECON 255. Experimental Economics (1). This course is an introduction to experimental economics. Students will learn about laboratory and field experiments and major subject areas where laboratory experiments have been used such as auctions. The origins of experimental economics and some of the most important results to date will be explored. To get a better understanding, students will learn how to design, perform and engage in experiments and how to interpret their results. Additionally, this course will introduce selected topics in behavioral economics. Offered most fall semesters. Prerequisite: Economics 199 and 211.

ECON 265. Industrial Organization (1). A first course in industrial organization that examines the market efficiency implications of competition, monopoly, and the various forms of oligopoly. The structure-conduct-performance framework is used as a basis for predicting the behavior of firms (e.g., pricing, advertising, and product differentiation) and the performance of industries (e.g., market prices and product quality). The government’s role as a promoter of market efficiency through antitrust policy and regulation is debated, including the views of the conservative “Chicago School.” Case studies and empirical evidence from regulated and unregulated industries are presented. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: Economics 199 and 211.

ECON 270. Topics in Management (.5, 1). In-depth study of one or more selected topics in administration. Stress upon primary research materials, case studies, and/or applied experience of management practitioners. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: Economics 199.

ECON 271. Topics in Economics (.5, 1). In-depth study of one or more selected topics in economics. Stress upon primary research materials, case studies, and/or applied experience of economists or policy analysts. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: Economics 199 and 211.

ECON 285. Business Management Economics (1). This course develops and applies microeconomic theory to determine optimal business management strategies while considering scarce resources, risk, and competitive market structures. Students learn how to apply economic concepts in analyzing production, pricing, and risk in a firm. In addition, students learn and develop Excel spreadsheet skills as a quantitative tool applied to managerial economic problems such as sensitivity analysis, cost analysis, data analysis, and linear programming. Offered most fall semesters. Prerequisite: Economics 199 and 211.

ECON 302. Marketing Research Workshop (1). An introduction to the research methods used by organizations (public and private, profit and non-profit) to understand the wants and desires of their customers, clients, and constituents to more effectively deliver a product or service. Topics covered will include: the research process, use of secondary data, collection of primary data (from focus groups to experimental design), survey design, attitude measurement, sampling, data analysis, and presentation of research finding. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: Economics 199, 211, and 251.

ECON 303. Econometric Methods and Models (1). This course introduces students to techniques of econometric analysis and to models of economic activity. It treats issues about specification and estimation of single- and simultaneous-equation models. Students become acquainted with methods of interpreting statistics describing the performance of estimated models, and they learn techniques for addressing any problems such statistics may reveal. Offered each spring. Prerequisite: Economics 199, 211, and 251.

ECON 305. Mathematical Economics (1). This course uses techniques from mathematics to extend the models developed in the Intermediate Microeconomic and Macroeconomic Theory courses. Static, comparative static, dynamic, and optimal control models track the behavior of economic variables. These models illustrate applications of linear algebra, differential calculus, and integral calculus. Prerequisite: Economics 199, 211, 212, Mathematics 115.

ECON 306. Game Theory (1). Tools and concepts from game theory (e.g., simultaneous-move games, sequential-move games, Nash equilibrium, and Bayesian equilibrium) are used to model topics from international political economy (e.g., strategic trade policy, bargaining, and voting games), macroeconomics (e.g., unemployment and optimal policymaking), industrial organization (e.g., cartels, oligopoly, contestable markets, and mergers and acquisitions) and the financial sector (e.g., insurance, credit rationing, and auctions). Offered each spring. Prerequisite: Economics 199 and Mathematics 110 or 115.

ECON 315. Management and Organization (1). Principles of classical organization theory. Role of motivation, conflict, communication, and leadership. Rational organizational performance planning and innovation. The executive role: power, authority, status. Overview of tasks of the manager, decision procedures, managerial system vs. intuition. Ethics in management. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: Economics 199 and 211.

ECON 320. Economics of the Public Sector (1). Government spending and revenue activities in the U.S. economy. Fiscal activities of government as they affect welfare and resource allocation. Principles of taxation, the theory of public goods and non-market decision-making. The role of the public sector in attaining optimality. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: Economics 199, 211, and 251.

ECON 336. Austrian School of Economics (1). This course surveys the major thinkers and debates in the Austrian School of economics. The two dominant schools of thought within the economics discipline in the 20th century have been mainstream neoclassical economics and Marxist economics. Austrian economics provides an alternative to both theoretical approaches. It seeks to understand the market as a dynamic, self-ordering, and evolutionary process. Topics covered include Austrian arguments on the evolution of money, capital formation and its structure, the use of knowledge in the market economy, entrepreneurship, and the philosophy of science. Offered every other spring. Prerequisite: Economics 199 and 211.

ECON 380. Economics Senior Seminar on the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations (1). This capstone course is for all majors in the department of economics. As the title suggests, the central question raised in this course is, “What are the nature and causes of wealth and well-being?” This is among the discipline’s most important questions, and it is therefore a fitting one to pursue in this capstone course. Economists have addressed this question with a wide variety of intellectual tools and paradigms, and it is the source of continuing debate and discovery. Each year this course is redesigned around the ideas and influence of a major thinker, school of thought, and/or sub-discipline within economics. This design will reflect the content of an annual event: The Wealth and Well-Being of Nations: A Forum in Honor of Miller Upton. (CP) Offered each fall. Prerequisite: senior standing.

ECON 390. Special Projects (.25 - 1). Individual work, under faculty supervision, on projects acceptable to the department. This course affords the opportunity to qualified seniors for more intensive work in fields in which they already have taken the appropriate intermediate level course (e.g., Money and Banking, International Trade and Finance, etc.). Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: Economics 199.

ECON 395. Teaching Assistant (.5). Work with faculty in classroom instruction. Graded credit/no credit.

ECON 396. Teaching Assistant Research (.5). Course and curriculum development projects with faculty.

ECON 397. Research Assistant (.25 - 1). Research work under faculty supervision. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.