Courses

  • 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016 · Staff
  • 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016 · Staff
  • ECON 221: Cambridge Program: Contemporary British Economy

    This course focuses on the development of the British economy since the inter-war period. The approach integrates economic and historical analysis to discuss the development of the structure of the British economy, economic policy and the institutions affecting economic performance. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered · Local Faculty
  • ECON 222: Cambridge Program: The Industrial Revolution in Britain

    This course studies the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain and examines a number of scholarly debates over its scope, size, and significance, with particular emphasis on the development of power and the wool, cotton, textile, iron, pottery, shipping, and coal mining industries and urban development in London. Site visits to locations of historical significance are an important component of this course. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111 5 credit; Social Inquiry; offered · L. Feiler
  • ECON 223: Cambridge Program: The Great Economists of Cambridge

    This course examines excerpts from the writings of great economic thinkers associated with Cambridge including Hayek, Kaldor, Keynes, Marshall, Meade, Pigou, Robinson, and Sen. We will read one groundbreaking piece written by each author and then explore how and why the ideas presented significantly altered the way economists think. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 4 credit; S/CR/NC; Social Inquiry; offered · L. Feiler
  • ECON 224: Cambridge Program: Cross-Cultural Choice Experiments

    This course uses experimental methodology to examine cultural differences in decision-making. Students will study economic experiments that focus on culture as an explanatory variable for behavior. Through reading and personal observation, they will identify areas of potential difference between Englishmen and Americans or between British subgroups. The course will culminate with the design and implementation of an experiment to test culture-based hypotheses. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 3 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered · L. Feiler
  • 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2015–2016
  • 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Winter 2016 · M. Paas
  • 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Fall 2015 · F. Bhuiyan
  • ECON 241: Growth and Development

    Why are some countries rich and others poor? What causes countries to grow? This course develops a general framework of economic growth and development to analyze these questions. We will document the empirical differences in growth and development across countries and study some of the theories developed to explain these differences. This course complements Economics 240. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Winter 2016 · S. Fried
  • ECON 244: Analysis of Microeconomic Development Models

    This course is the second part of a two-term winter break course sequence beginning with Economics 240. This course will focus on critically analyzing the appropriateness of modern microeconomic development models in the context of Bangladesh. Students exposed to various on-site visits and lectures in Bangladesh during the winter break will be required to research, write and present their views on the reliability of different model assumptions and implications they studied in Economics 240. Prerequisites: Economics 110, 111, and 240 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; not offered 2015–2016
  • ECON 246: Economics of Welfare

    This course presents economic theory on how society as a whole ranks and chooses between different alternatives. It delves into the realm of normative economics analyzing objectives society may want to pursue, mechanisms designed to reach those objectives, and the resulting welfare of individuals affected by the choices made. The theoretical tools discussed will be used to study different mechanisms of voting, redistributing income, government intervention, auctions, and trade. Among other things, students will be exposed to the Pareto criterion, Arrow's impossibility theorem, the Vickery-Clarke-Grove mechanism, the Coase theorem, utilitarianism, Rawlsian ethics, and welfare theorems. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; not offered 2015–2016
  • 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement; not offered 2015–2016
  • 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2015–2016
  • ECON 263: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Economic Performance

    Joseph Schumpeter, in lamenting the absence of an accepted theory of entrepreneurship, observed that this gap in economics is much like having Hamlet performed with the Prince of Denmark absent. Much has changed since Schumpeter leveled this criticism. Economics has embraced the contributions of entrepreneurs and provided theoretical models explaining their actions. This course explores the foundations of a microeconomic theory of entrepreneurship, investigating the role of entrepreneurs (and intrapreneurs within large organizations) as agents for change. Case studies of business development provide practical illustrations of ways in which entrepreneurs operate and how their efforts contribute to economic progress. Prerequisites: Economics 111. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Winter 2016 · B. Dalgaard
  • ECON 264: Health Care Economics

    This course will focus on the economics of medical care and how health care markets and systems work. We will consider both private health insurance markets and publicly provided social health insurance. The changes which demography, technology and the Affordable Health Care Act are bringing to health care delivery will be examined. Some time will be devoted to understanding the health care systems in other countries. This is a discussion course. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Winter 2016 · N. Grawe
  • 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2015–2016
  • 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2015–2016
  • 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. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2015–2016
  • 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. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. Some statistics background will be useful. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2015 · A. Swoboda
  • ECON 269: Economics of Climate Change

    This course studies economic models of climate change and their implications for policy design. Covered topics include: the relationship between climate change and the macroeconomy, the performance of different climate policy instruments such as carbon taxes and cap and trade systems, the potential effects of innovation, and the economics surrounding the use of different types of energy. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Spring 2016 · S. Fried
  • 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2015–2016
  • 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. Prerequisites: Economics 111. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2015, Spring 2016 · A. Swoboda
  • ECON 272: Economics, Property and Institutions in Natural Resouces

    This course examines the economic, historical, legal and institutional roots of the present-day environmental crisis, with the main, but not exclusive, focus on the United States. Topics covered include land and timber policy, minerals extraction, grazing rights, fisheries management, energy use and production, agriculture, wildlife management, endangered species protection, and rain forest preservation. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2015–2016
  • 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2016 · M. Kanazawa
  • 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2016 · F. Bhuiyan
  • 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2016 · J. Bourne
  • ECON 276: Money and Banking

    This course examines the role of money and monetary institutions in determination of income, employment, and prices in the domestic and world economies. It also examines the role of commercial banking and financial markets in a market-based economy. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2016 · B. Dalgaard
  • ECON 277: An Economic History of Financial Crises

    The course provides an historical perspective on financial bubbles and crashes and reviews the main theories of financial crises. The course will look at the long history of financial crises to highlight recurring themes and to try to determine, among other things, what went wrong, what elements precede most crises, and which responses were effective. In addition, the course will provide an overview of the business cycle theories of Mill, Marx, Keynes, and other economists. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; not offered 2015–2016
  • ECON 278: Industrial Organization and Firm Behavior

    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 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2015 · N. 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2015 · P. Seneviratne
  • 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2016 · P. Seneviratne
  • ECON 282: The Theory of Investment Finance

    The main objective of this course is to investigate various aspects of modern portfolio theory and develop basic techniques for applying this theoretical framework to real-world data. Topics covered include portfolio and asset pricing theories, and 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. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2016 · B. Keefer
  • ECON 283: Corporate Finance

    This course investigates decision-making by firms and their managers. Specific topics include project valuation, estimating the cost of capital under debt and equity financing, and the firm's optimal capital structure. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2015–2016 · B. Keefer
  • ECON 284: Inequality in an Interconnected World

    The rise in inequality and economic insecurity worldwide starting in the latter part of the previous century has taken center stage in public discourse and academic work. This course applies economic analysis to investigate the causes and implications of inequality and economic insecurity in an increasingly interconnected world. Topics include income inequality, gender inequality, access to healthcare and health outcomes, and the role of technical change. Prerequisites: Economics 110 and 111. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Spring 2016 · P. Seneviratne
  • ECON 329: 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 multicollinerarity. Prerequisites: Mathematics 111 (or it's equivalent) and either Mathematics 215 or 275 and Economics 110 and 111. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2015, Spring 2016 · M. Kanazawa
  • 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 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2015, Winter 2016 · J. Bourne
  • 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, Mathematics 111 or its equivalent. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2016, Spring 2016 · B. Keefer
  • ECON 395: Advanced Topics in Labor Economics

    Labor economics is the study of work and play. It encompasses a wide variety of topics, including the nature of the labor contract, human capital investment, fringe benefits, search and hiring, turnover, working conditions, discrimination, union activities, income and wealth distribution, and government policies. The seminar considers 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 329, 330 and 331 or concurrent enrollment in 329. 6 credit; Writing Requirement, Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2015 · J. Bourne
  • ECON 395: Advanced Topics in Macroeconomics

    This course focuses on the econometric analysis of macroeconomic and financial time series. Covered topics will include: Stationarity, Granger causality, vector autoregression, co-integration, vector error correction. Examples will primarily focus on the U.S. variables but can be easily extended to other countries. Prerequisites: Economics 329, 330 and 331 or concurrent enrollment in 329. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2015 · B. Keefer
  • ECON 395: Advanced Topics in Economics of Sports

    In this topics-based seminar, we explore the economics and business of professional sports, mostly (but by no means necessarily entirely) in the United States. We will examine a variety of topics, including the institutions that govern pro sports and its main interested parties, especially owners, professional athletes, fans, media, and local municipalities. To better understand these institutions, we apply models from various traditional fields in economics including industrial organization, labor economics, public finance, and behavioral economics. The ultimate objective is to achieve an advanced understanding of the sports industry, and to understand how economists use economic models to develop hypotheses testable with sports data. Prerequisites: Economics 329, 330 and 331 or concurrent enrollment in 329. 6 credit; Writing Requirement, Formal or Statistical Reasoning, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2015 · M. Kanazawa
  • ECON 400: Integrative Exercise

    6 credit; S/NC; offered Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016 · B. Keefer, M. Kanazawa, J. Bourne, N. Grawe