Economics Courses


203.        Financial Accounting.

An introduction to the basic financial accounting process, the underlying principles and the development and analysis of financial statements. Includes a weekly, computer-oriented laboratory session. Not open to first-year students.

204.        Managerial Accounting.

An introduction to the accounting procedures and methods used for internal management purposes. Topics include cost accounting, differential analysis, responsibility accounting, budgeting and performance analysis. Prerequisite: ACCT 203. Not open to first-year students.


100.        Introduction to Economics.

A general introduction to the discipline of economics, including both microeconomics and macroeconomics. The course is designed to develop an understanding of how economic principles and analysis can be used to study social problems and issues. Topics include supply and demand, comparative advantage, inflation, unemployment, economic growth, money and the banking system. Applications and issues vary by section.

200.        Quantitative Methods in Economics.

An introduction to mathematical and statistical techniques used in economic analysis. Topics include the representation of economic hypotheses, sources and uses of economic data, probability, hypothesis testing and regression analysis. Emphasis is on the application of statistical techniques to economic problems. Prerequisites: ECON 100 and STAT 113.

209.        The Economics of Gender and Family.

This course examines ways basic economic theory has been applied to questions of gender. It explores a variety of empirical and historical evidence about the economic status of women, the division of labor in the household, contemporary changes in labor markets, the economic forces affecting the ongoing evolution of the American family and the effects of government policy on all these. The course may also discuss the role of economics, as well as its limits, in understanding social phenomena. Offered every other year. Prerequisite: ECON 100.

228.        African Economies.

An overview of sub-Saharan African economies with emphasis on basic economic principles, problems and indigenous institutions within an African context. Current development and structural adjustment issues are analyzed as well. Contrasts and comparisons with North American counterparts are made. Special emphasis is placed on exploring how cultural differences affect economic activities and institutions.  Students learn of the diversity and complexity of economic relationships in African societies and increase their understanding of economics in their own society. Offered every other year. Prerequisite: ECON 100. Also offered through African Studies.

234.        Comparative Economics.

This course offers a broad perspective on the history of the economies of the U.S./Western Europe, the former Soviet Union and the developing world by comparing the economic and political institutions in each. A historical look at the economic arguments for markets and planning provides theoretical framework for detailed exploration of the evolution of capitalism, the rise and fall of socialism and current attempts at reform in Russia and other countries, and the influence that both systems, along with colonialism, have had on the economic development of the rest of the world. The focus is on relationships among institutions societies adopt, the processes by which those institutions emerge, and the economic consequences that follow. Majors in other social sciences or area studies programs are encouraged to enroll. Offered every other year. Prerequisite: ECON 100. Also offered through Peace Studies and as GS 234.

236.        Globalization Issues: Equity, the Environment and Economic Growth.

Do globalization and economic growth contribute to increased inequality within countries and among them? Under what circumstances do global market forces contribute to the impoverishment of already disadvantaged nations and to the benefit of the already advantaged? What is the relationship between economic growth and damage to environmental resources? Under what circumstances do global market forces contribute to the degradation of the environment? This course endeavors to answer these questions and more, beginning with a study of recent literature by professional economists as well as by examining other data and evidence. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: ECON 100. Also offered through Peace Studies.

251.        Intermediate Microeconomic Theory.

Expands upon basic models of supply and demand, consumer theory, the theory of the firm and production, and theories of market behavior learned in Introduction to Economics. Examines the role of prices in the allocation of resources and examines the effects of changes in policy on economic choices. Prerequisite: ECON 100.

252.        Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory.

A study of economic aggregates, including the determination of national income, employment and the price level, the topics covered include inflation, unemployment, economic growth, international macroeconomics and the appropriateness and effectiveness of monetary and fiscal policies. Prerequisite: ECON 100.

289, 290. Independent Project.

Individual study of a topic under the supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisites: GPA of at least 3.0 in economics and permission of instructor.

305.        Industrial Organization and Public Policy.

A theoretical and empirical analysis of the structure, conduct and performance of American industry. Emphasis is placed on the use of microeconomic theory to analyze the effects of public policies on market incentives and resource allocation. Topics include theories of the firm, monopolization, mergers, antitrust law, price fixing, price discrimination and other contemporary problems. Prerequisite: ECON 200 and 251.

307.        Law and Economics.

This course analyzes the law using economic principles. In particular, it employs the techniques of microeconomic theory in the study of policy issues and legal rules. Topics such as property rights, externalities, contract law, tort law (accidents), product liability and criminal adjudication are critiqued in terms of how different incentive structures motivate economic actors. The course includes the study of how economic goals conflict with and complement other goals of the law, such as justice and fairness. Prerequisite: ECON 251.

308.        Environmental Economics.

An analysis of deficiencies of the market system and existing property rights structure that generates pollution problems. This course applies the theories of externalities, public goods, the second-best, nonmarket valuation, and benefit-cost analysis to environmental policy and regulation. Alternate policy options are considered, including command-and-control and incentive-based approaches. This course discusses local environmental quality issues (such as the management of municipal and toxic waste) and global problems (such as ozone depletion and climate change that require international policy). Students learn tools of economic analysis and their application to environmental issues and problems. Prerequisite: ECON 251.

309.        Labor Economics.

A study of labor markets and the role they play in the determination of wages, employment and working conditions. The demand for labor by employers, leisure-labor supply decisions by households, investment in human capital, distribution of earnings among individuals and the effects of labor unions are discussed. Topics covered may include analysis of the role of government policy in the areas of income maintenance, unemployment, education, and occupational health and safety. Prerequisites: ECON 200 and 251.

311.        Money and Banking.

This course explores the roles of money, banks and government policy in promoting economic growth and stability in a modern economy. In particular, the course investigates the operational principles of modern banks and the Federal Reserve System and compares their strengths and weaknesses to other historical and theoretical banking systems. The course focuses on the effects of monetary institutions and policy on macroeconomic stability, including inflation and business cycles. Other topics may include the history of American banking, current issues in bank regulation, electronic money, the role of financial markets and international monetary economics. Prerequisite: ECON 252.

313.        Financial Economics.

This course is a standard course in investments. Among the subjects to be covered are the role of financial intermediaries and financial instruments, the time value of money, bond valuation, stock valuation, risk and return, market efficiency and investment companies. Special attention is devoted to hedge funds, options and futures. Prerequisites: ECON 251 and 252.

315.        Public Sector Economics.

This course uses microeconomic tools and theory to examine the efficiency of markets and to enumerate potential roles for government when markets fail. The efficiency and equity of government expenditures and tax policies are examined by looking at their impact on individual behavior and the distribution of income. Current policies of state, local and federal governments are examined to see how real-world complications (like politics and information problems) can lead to outcomes that are very different from economic prescriptions. Prerequisites: ECON 200 and 251.

322.        International Economics.

This course focuses on the theory of international trade and finance and its application to current policy problems such as protection, intervention in foreign exchange markets, international debt and foreign investment. Prerequisites: ECON 251 and 252 or permission of instructor. Also offered through European Studies.

330.        History of Economic Thought.

Analysis of the development of major economic concepts. Ideas are examined for their relevance both to their own time and to ours. Coverage extends from the ancient philosophers into the 20th century, with special emphasis on Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes. Offered occasionally. Prerequisites: ECON 251 and 252 or permission of instructor. Also offered through European Studies.

333.        Austrian Economics.

An introduction to the body of ideas known as the Austrian School of economics, which is associated with the work of Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek. The course explores the history of the school and how its approach to economics compares with the neoclassical orthodoxy, covering topics such as: the nature of human action, the role of knowledge in the market, the process of economic calculation, competition as a discovery process, the Austrian theory of the business cycle, the problems of socialism and regulation, and the Hayekian critique of social justice. Offered every other year. Prerequisites: ECON 251 and 252.

336.        Economic Development.

This course examines the problems of economic growth and development in the less developed countries (LDCs) of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Although a variety of approaches to development economics are studied, the analysis of new institutionalist economics is emphasized. By the end of the semester, participants should be able to understand (1) the economic diversity, as well as the diversity of development problems, among LDCs, (2) the conditions necessary or conducive to economic growth and the institutional hindrances to growth, and (3) the economic implications of alternative development strategies and policies. Prerequisites: ECON 200, 251 and 252. Also offered through African Studies.

342.        Econometrics.

A study of statistical techniques economists have found useful in analyzing economic data, estimating relationships among economic variables and testing economic theories. Topics include multiple regression, probit and logit analysis, heteroscedasticity, autocorrelation and simultaneous equations models. Prerequisites: ECON 200, 251 and 252 and MATH 135. Also offered as STAT 342.

344.        Mathematical Economics.

A systematic study of the mathematical structure of economic theory, with emphasis on the application of calculus and linear algebra to economic analysis. Topics include optimization theory, comparative statics analysis of market and macroeconomic models, general equilibrium analysis and game theory. Prerequisites: ECON 251, 252, MATH 205 and 217. Also offered through Mathematics.

362.        American Economic History.

This course offers an overview of the economic development of the United States. The specific topics covered will vary by instructor, but have included the economic causes of the American Revolution, the evolution of financial markets, the economics of slavery and Reconstruction, the Populist movement, the growth of government in the Progressive Era, the effects of war and other crises on the U.S. economy, and the Great Depression. Emphasis is placed on the role economic theory can play in understanding pivotal events of U.S. history and their relevance for current events. Prerequisites: ECON 251 and 252. Also offered as HIST 362.

371.        Behavioral Economics.

Early economists knew that their models described a simplified, idealized type of behavior, but it is only in the past few decades that we have systematically studied the ways in which human behavior is different from what “rational” models suggest. This course covers theory and empirical research aimed at explaining key differences between standard economic models and the choices made by real people. The focus is on understanding behavioral models and their implications for both business and policy. Prerequisites: ECON 200 and 251.

376.        Experimental Economics.

Experimental economics is the study of how various kinds of experiments help economists improve their models. The course explores, and involves participation in, a wide variety of experiments that have contributed to our understanding of how markets clear, the effects of various public policies, and issues in human decision making in the field of behavioral economics. The emphasis is on learning research methods; each student will prepare and run at least one in-class experiment as well as writing an original proposal to study a topic of their choosing. This course provides excellent preparation for students interested in using the economics lab for summer research or senior projects. Prerequisites: ECON 200 and 251.

384.        The Economics of Sustainability and Natural Resources.

This course complements Economics 308 (Environmental Economics). Standard economic approaches to problems of economic and ecological sustainability and natural resources are presented and criticized from a variety of different perspectives to give students a deeper appreciation of the role of economic analysis in achieving sustainable futures in the context of natural resource scarcity. Specific topics may include economics and population growth, economics and environmental ethics, economics of energy, materials, water and marine resources. Prerequisites: ECON 251.

389, 390. Independent Project.

Individual study of a topic under the supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisites: GPA of at least 3.0 in economics and approval by the department.

410/411. Federal Reserve Challenge I and II. (ECON 410 is 1 unit/ ECON 411 is 0.5 unit)

This course prepares students to compete in the Fed Challenge, a competition sponsored by the Federal Reserve System, in which teams from participating schools present monetary-policy analyses to a panel of judges at regional Federal Reserve Banks and regional winners advance to a national competition in Washington, D.C. It is an excellent opportunity for students to develop professional skills such as strong knowledge of macroeconomic and financial data, solid command of software to create charts and presentation materials, and extensive practice of oral communication skills. Prerequisites: ECON 100 and permission of the instructor.

450.        SYE: Senior Seminar.

The purpose of the seminar is to provide an integrative experience for senior majors that will allow them to use what they have learned in previous courses to study a particular issue in economics. Writing, speaking and research skills are emphasized. The issues and topics that form the basis of the seminar vary by semester and instructor. Prerequisites: ECON 200, 251 and 252, and senior standing. Course descriptions will be provided to majors in the spring of their junior year.

489, 490. SYE: Senior Independent Research.

Individual study, under the supervision of a faculty member, that provides an integrative experience for senior majors, allowing them to use what they have learned in previous courses to study a particular topic in economics. Majors choosing this option for their SYE in the fall are encouraged to enroll in ECON 495. Prerequisites: ECON 200, 251, 252, senior standing, GPA of at least 3.0 in economics and approval of the department prior to the semester the project begins.

495.        Senior Honors Seminar.

Designed to prepare senior majors who are eligible for departmental honors, this seminar is focused on enhancing capabilities in conducting scholarly work in economics. The seminar is offered in the fall of each academic year and it is presumed that students enrolled plan to complete an honors thesis during the spring semester. Prerequisites: GPA of at least 3.5 in economics and approval of the department chair for those pursuing Honors.

498-499. SYE: Honors.

These courses are for senior majors who are eligible for department honors. Each student plans and writes an honors thesis under the guidance and supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisites: GPA of at least 3.5 in economics and approval of the department. Students must enroll in Economics 495 in the fall of their senior year.