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Economics (ECON)

Chair: Professor Michael Hemesath

Professors: H. Scott Bierman, Michael Hemesath, Mark T. Kanazawa, Martha White Paas, Stephen H. Strand, Jenny Bourne Wahl

Associate Professor: Nathan D. Grawe

Assistant Professors: Meherun Ahmed, Lauren Feiler, Pavel Kapinos, Radek Szulga

Visiting Instructor: Melissa K. Whitler

Post-Doctoral Fellow: Aaron M. Swoboda

Economics analyzes the ways in which resources can be most effectively organized to meet the changing goals of a society. Courses in the department combine theoretical and applied economics as a basis for developing and evaluating alternative public policies for entire economies and for the institutions and organizations within an economy. Department courses give a broad and practical perspective for those considering careers in law, government, business, education, journalism or social service; they also meet the needs of students seeking graduate work in economics, business administration, and public affairs. The basic introductory courses, 110 and 111, are prerequisites to most advanced courses; they offer a good foundation for further work in economics, but they have also been designed for students who have not yet selected majors and for those in other majors seeking an introduction to the analysis of economic theory and policies. Note: Either course in the principles sequence, Economics 110 or 111, can be taken first. Independent study (291 or 391) for those with special research interests can be taken with any faculty member.

Requirements for a Major:

All economics majors are required to successfully complete the two introductory courses (110 and 111), the three core courses (330, 331, and 332), the integrative exercise (400), and 30 additional credits in economics at the 200 level or above. Unless specifically noted otherwise, all economics courses at the 200-level and above have both Economics 110 and 111 as prerequisites. Mathematics 215 (or 275) is a prerequisite for 332 and is also required.

Mathematics 111 or its equivalent is a prerequisite for Economics 330. Any student intending graduate work in economics should also take Mathematics 131 and 141 or 151, 211, and 232. Courses teaching additional skills such as computer science, advanced rhetoric, and analysis of political and social policies are highly recommended.

Economics Courses

ECON 100. The Black Death and How It Changed Europe The Black Death, which struck Europe between 1347-51, had far-reaching effects. In this seminar we will explore what is known about the Black Death and its pathology, how if affected the structure of the medieval economy, how it may have transformed art and how quantitative evidence of its incidence can be interpreted. We will consider contemporary writings as well as modern literature which utilizes the plague experience as a vehicle for social comment. The seminar will emphasize development of analytical writing and discussion skills. 6 cr., S/CR/NC, ND, FallM. Paas

ECON 110. Principles of Macroeconomics This course gives students a foundation in the general principles of economics as a basis for effective citizenship and, when combined with 111, as a preparation for all advanced study in economics. Topics include analysis of the measurement, level, and distribution of national income; the concepts of inflation and depression; the role and structure of the banking system; fiscal and monetary stabilization techniques; implications of and limits to economic growth; and international economic relations. 6 cr., SS, Fall,Winter,SpringM. Paas, S. Strand, R. Szulga

ECON 111. Principles of Microeconomics This course gives the students a foundation in the general principles of economics as a basis for effective citizenship and, when combined with 110, as a preparation for all advanced study in economics. Topics include consumer choice theory; the formation of prices under competition, monopoly, and other market structures; the determination of wages, profits, and income from capital; the distribution of income; and an analysis of policy directed towards problems of public finance, pollution, natural resources, and public goods. 6 cr., SS, Fall,Winter,SpringM. Ahmed, L. Feiler, J. Wahl

ECON 221. Cambridge Program: Contemporary British Economy This course studies the theoretical and policy debates in Britain from the 1930s to the present and the development of the structure of the British economy and institutions during that period. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, SummerNon-Carleton Faculty

ECON 222. Cambridge Program: The Industrial Revolution in Britain This course studies the development of the British economy during the Industrial Revolution, with special attention paid to the role of agriculture, foreign trade, capital accumulation, population growth, and technological innovation. A week-long trip to sites of the Industrial Revolution and excursions to other locations of historical significance are an important aspect of this course. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 3 cr., SS, SummerP. Kapinos

ECON 223. Cambridge Program: Great Economists of Cambridge This seminar traces the development of economic thought at Cambridge University from Alfred Marshall, the founder of modern microeconomics; to Arthur Pigou, the founder of modern public sector economics; to John Maynard Keynes, the revolutionary macroeconomist; to the post-Keynesian economists at Cambridge who have profoundly influenced modern economic thinking. Prerequisite: Economics 110 and 111. 4 cr., S/CR/NC, SS, SummerP. Kapinos

ECON 224. Cambridge Program: Multinational Financial Management This course studies the challenges that multinational companies face in the global environment. After covering the basics of exchange rate determination, the course will examine hedging against exchange rate volatility with swaps and options. It then addresses several aspects of measurement and management of exchange rate risk. Prerequisite: Economics 110 and 111. 3 cr., SS, SummerP. Kapinos

ECON 232. American Economic History: A Cliometric Approach An introduction to the growth of the American economy from colonial times to the present with emphasis on the nineteenth century. Topics include technical change, the choice of production technology, income distribution, demographic transition, factor markets, and the role of institutions. Debates in economic history such as the economic viability of antebellum slavery, the integration of capital markets, the role of railroads in the growth process, and the economic impact of the New Deal are evaluated with an emphasis on empirical evidence. May be counted toward the History major. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, SpringJ. Wahl

ECON 233. European Economic History A comparative study of dynamic economic components in the growth of western European countries, with particular attention to Great Britain, from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. Topics include the methodology of economic history, agriculture, technology, population, foreign trade, the role of the state, and monetary systems. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, WinterM. Paas

ECON 236. Economics of the European Union The evolution of economic and monetary union in Europe has been underway for over 50 years. This course examines the economics of the customs union, common market, and monetary union that characterize this period in European history. Microeconomic aspects of European labor, capital and product markets, as well as national monetary and fiscal policies are discussed. Emphasis is given to tracing in an historical context the economic theories and polices that have been central in creating the present state of the European Union. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, WinterS. Strand

ECON 240. Microeconomics of Development This course explores household behavior in developing countries. We will cover areas including fertility decisions, health and mortality, investment in education, the intra-household allocation of resources, household structure, and the marriage market. We will also look at the characteristics of land, labor, and credit markets, particularly technology adoption; land tenure and tenancy arrangements; the role of agrarian institutions in the development process; and the impacts of alternative politics and strategies in developing countries. The course complements Economics 241. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, SpringM. Ahmed

ECON 241. Growth and Development Macroeconomic issues, such as growth and distribution, that arise within developing countries will be examined in this course. The course complements Economics 240. Prerequisite: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, WinterR. Szulga

ECON 245. Economics of Inequality As economies develop beyond the point of meeting basic needs, more emphasis is placed on the distribution of resources. This course surveys different elements and measures of economic inequality. We look at race and gender discrimination, industry wage differentials, educational inequality, and changes in inequality within these groups. Because the effects of inequality can be mitigated by movements between economic classes, we also study mobility both within and across generations. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, Not offered in 2008-2009.

ECON 250. History of Economic Ideas A survey of the evolution of economic thought from the seventeenth century to the present, with emphasis on the intellectual and historical background which influenced economists. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, Not offered in 2008-2009.

ECON 251. The Economics of the Arts and Culture This course examines the growth and structure of the arts in the United States since the 1920s. Using the theory of contracts and the logic of economic organization, we will examine the creative industries and the properties that make them special. We will also examine the theory of public goods and of intellectual property rights along with the study of cultural industries, public policy for the arts and cultural heritage preservation. Students will have the opportunity to study one cultural industry in a research paper. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, SpringM. Paas

ECON 260. Managerial Economics I Managerial Economics provides students with the opportunity to apply knowledge of micro- and macro-economic principles to decision-making in the real world. This course emphasizes accounting and the accounting systems which provide data to decision-makers, giving particular attention to the relevance of accounting data to economic decision-making. An introduction to spreadsheet program will be an integral part of the course, which concludes with an introduction to some basic decision-making techniques (e.g. break-even analysis, naive forecasting models) that use accounting data. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, FallS. Strand

ECON 261. Managerial Economics II This course continues the student's introduction to practical decision-making techniques used by economists and managers. Building on material presented in Economics 260, topics surveyed in this course include demand and cost curve analysis as well as the implications of alternative pricing and production choices. Among the analytical techniques used are linear programming, econometrics, calculus, and game theory. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, Not offered in 2008-2009.

ECON 262. The Economics of Sports In recent years, the sports business in the United States has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry. Understanding the sports business from an economic viewpoint is the subject of this course. Topics will include player compensation, revenue-sharing, salary caps, free agency, tournaments, salary discrimination, professional franchise valuation, league competitiveness, college athletics, and the economics of sports stadiums and arenas. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, FallM. Kanazawa

ECON 265. Game Theory and Economic Applications Game theory is the study of purposeful behavior in strategic situations. It serves as a framework for analysis that can be applied to everyday decisions, such as working with a study group and cleaning your room, as well as to a variety of economic issues, including contract negotiations and firms' output decisions. In this class, modern game theoretic tools will be primarily applied to economic situations, but we will also draw on examples from other realms. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, SpringL. Feiler

ECON 266. Experimental Economics Controlled experiments are a useful tool for testing and improving upon economic theory. This course will provide an introduction to experimental methodology, with an emphasis on design and hypothesis testing. We will examine experimental results across a wide range of economic topics, including individual decision making, auctions, public goods, and asset markets. Students will participate in experiments, as well as design and conduct their own studies. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, FallL. Feiler

ECON 267. Behavioral Economics Why do some observations of consumer behavior contradict the predictions of economic theory? By combining psychological and economic models of behavior, behavioral economists develop alternatives to standard economic theory to explain observed behavioral anomalies. This course will examine questions such as whether addictions can be considered rational, why people hold losing stocks longer than theory predicts, why most dieters are unsuccessful and why people don’t save enough money for retirement. Topics covered may include expected utility theory, bounded rationality, prospect theory, hyperbolic discounting and rational addiction. 6 cr., SS, WinterM. Whitler

ECON 268. Economics of Cost Benefit Analysis Cost-benefit analysis is a tool commonly used by economists and policy makers to compare and choose among competing policy options. This course will cover the basic theory and empirical techniques necessary to quantify and aggregate the impacts of government policy, especially as related to the environment. Topics covered include the time value of money; uncertainty; sensitivity analysis; option value; contingent valuation; hedonic estimation; basic research design. Throughout the course case studies will be used to elucidate and bring life to the theoretical concepts. Some statistics background will be useful. 6 cr., SS, SpringA. Swoboda

ECON 270. Economics of the Public Sector This course provides a theoretical and empirical examination of the government's role in the U.S. economy. Emphasis is placed on policy analysis using the criteria of efficiency and equity. Topics include rationales for government intervention; analysis of alternative public expenditure programs from a partial and/or general equilibrium framework; the incidence of various types of taxes; models of collective choice; cost-benefit analysis; intergovernmental fiscal relations. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, Not offered in 2008-2009.

ECON 271. Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment This course focuses on environmental economics, energy economics, and the relationship between them. Economic incentives for pollution abatement, the industrial organization of energy production, optimal depletion rates of energy sources, and the environmental and economic consequences of alternate energy sources are analyzed. Prerequisite: Economics 111. 6 cr., SS, WinterA. Swoboda

ECON 273. Water and Western Economic Development This course examines a number of important aspects of water as a legal/political/economic factor in the development of the western United States. The topics include western water law, the evolution of water supply institutions, state and local water planning, the role of the federal government, and a number of current water problems, including surface and groundwater pollution, impediments to market transfers of water, and state/regional/international conflicts over water. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, Not offered in 2008-2009.

ECON 274. Labor Economics Why do some people choose to work and others do not? Why are some people paid higher wages than others? What are the economic benefits of education for the individual and for society? How do government policies, such as subsidized child care, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the income tax influence whether people work and the number of hours they choose to work? These are some of the questions examined in labor economics. This course will focus on the labor supply and human capital decisions of individuals and households. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, SpringM. Whitler

ECON 275. Law and Economics Legal rules and institutions influence people's behavior. By setting acceptable levels of pollution, structuring guidelines for contract negotiations, deciding who should pay for the costs of an accident, and determining punishment for crimes, courts and legislatures create incentives. How do economic considerations factor into legal rules, and how do laws affect economic output and distribution? In this class, we use court cases, experiments, and current legal controversies to explore such issues. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, SpringJ. Wahl

ECON 276. Money and Banking This course examines the role of money and monetary institutions in determination of income, employment, and prices in domestic and world economy. It also examines the role of commercial banking and financial markets in a market-based economy. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, Not offered in 2008-2009.

ECON 278. Industrial Organization and Pricing Policy This course analyzes the firm's marketing and pricing problems, its conduct, and the resulting economic performance, given the nature of the demand for its products, its buying markets, the nature of its unit costs, and the structure of its selling markets. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, WinterN. Grawe

ECON 280. International Trade A study of international trade theories and their policy implications. Classical and neo-classical trade models, the gains from trade, the terms of trade and the distribution of income, world trade patterns, international factor movements, tariffs, and the impact of commercial policy on developing and developed countries are analyzed. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, FallM. Hemesath

ECON 281. International Finance This course studies theories of the multi-faceted interaction between the balance of international payments and foreign exchange market and the general levels of domestic prices, employment and economic activity. Topics include the balance of payments, foreign exchange markets, adjustment mechanisms in international payments, macroeconomic policies for internal and external balance, and international monetary systems. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, Not offered in 2008-2009.

ECON 282. Investment Finance The main objective of this course is to investigate various aspects of modern investment theory and develop basic techniques for applying this theoretical framework to the real-world data. Topics covered include: portfolio and asset pricing theories; fixed-income security management; derivatives with the primary focus on option pricing. The class will develop and actively use univariate calculus for theory-building and statistical techniques for data analysis. 6 cr., SS, Not offered in 2008-2009.

ECON 330. Intermediate Price Theory An analysis of the forces determining relative prices within the framework of production and distribution. This class is normally taken by juniors. Sophomores considering enrolling should speak to the instructor. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111, Mathematics 111 or its equivalent. 6 cr., SS, Fall,WinterJ. Wahl

ECON 331. Intermediate Macro Theory Analysis of the forces determining the general level of output, employment, and prices with special emphasis on the role of money and on interest rate determination. This class is normally taken by juniors. Sophomores considering enrolling should speak to the instructor. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111, 330 or consent of instructor. 6 cr., SS, Winter,SpringR. Szulga

ECON 332. Econometrics This course is an introduction to the statistical methods used by economists to test hypotheses and to study and quantify economic relationships. The course emphasizes both statistical theory and practical application through analysis of economic data sets using statistical software. Topics include two-variable and multiple regression, interval estimation and hypothesis testing, discrete and continuous structural change, parameter restrictions, model construction, heteroscedasticity, autocorrelation, and multicollinearity. This course is normally taken by juniors. Sophomores considering enrolling should speak to the instructor. Prerequisite: Mathematics 111 and either Mathematics 215 or 275. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 cr., SS, Fall,SpringM. Kanazawa

ECON 395. Advanced Topics in Macro Theory Detailed analyses of aggregate consumption, investment, money-holding and labor market behavior with special attention to each area's micro-foundations and to the empirical verification of theory. These analyses are related to the determination of national income, employment and the price level; to economic growth and business fluctuations; and to optimal public, policy. Prerequisites: Economics 330, 331 and 332 or concurrent enrollment in 332. 6 cr., SS, FallN. Grawe

ECON 395. Advanced Topics in Behavioral and Experimental Economics Behavioral economics incorporates insights from psychology to increase the realism and predictive power of economic models. This course will examine a variety of behavioral topics, such as altruism, procrastination, and self-serving biases. A second focus will be placed on the design and use of experiments to test behavioral and other economic models. Prerequisites: Economics 330, 331, and 332 or concurrent enrollment in 332. 6 cr., SS, FallL. Feiler

ECON 395. Advanced Topics in Household Economics This course focuses on the microeconomic analysis of household behavior, in both developed and developing country settings. A variety of topics will be examined including human capital investment, discrimination in intra-household allocation decisions, as well as labor market activities within the larger context of general household decision-making about family formation, the timing of marriage and childbirth, and the allocation of unpaid household work among family members. Prerequisites: Economics 330, 331, and 332 or concurrent enrollment in 332. 6 cr., SS, FallM. Ahmed

ECON 395. Advanced Topics in Health Economics An economic analysis of the nature of demand for different types of health services, the supply of those services by different providers, the health care industry, market failures in providing health care, and alternative health care delivery systems. Prerequisites: Economics 330, 331, and 332 or concurrent enrollment in 332. 6 cr., SS, FallM. Hemesath

ECON 400. Integrative Exercise 6 cr., S/NC, ND, Fall,WinterStaff