Course Descriptions

All courses, unless otherwise noted, are three-hour courses. The courses that may satisfy post-freshman writing requirements are identified below. These courses will only count as a writing requirement course when offered as a writing-intensive course (consult the OPUS listing).

Econ 101: Principles of Microeconomics

Prerequisites: None.

Introduction to the theory of markets, including consumer and producer choice and how they interact to determine prices and resource allocations. Applications include price controls, production, market structures, environmental economics, governmental regulation of the economy, labor and capital markets, and international exchange.

Econ 112: Principles of Macroeconomics

Prerequisites: Economics 101

Covers current debates on the workings of the aggregate economy, including unemployment, inflation, economic growth, the national debt, financial markets, money and the banking system, and international trade.

Econ 190S: Freshman Seminar

Prerequisites: Topics and prerequisites vary; please consult Course Atlas.

Open only to students with freshman standing.

Econ 201: Intermediate Microeconomics

Prerequisites: Economics 101; Mathematics 111 or 119

Theories of the household and of the business firm and their implications for the demand and supply of final products and productive factors and for the distribution of income.

Econ 212: Intermediate Macroeconomics

Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 112; Mathematics 111 or 119

Determination of national income, employment, and the price level; business fluctuations; and international monetary issues.

Econ 215: Stocks, Bonds, and Financial Markets

Prerequisites: Economics 101

Introduction to the role of various financial markets in an economy. Topics include the stock market, bonds, futures, options, and other derivative assets.

Econ 220: Introduction to Statistical Methods

Prerequisites: Economics 101 and Mathematics 111, or consent of the instructor

Methods of collection, classification, analysis, and interpretation of economic data; measures of central tendency and dispersion, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, regression analysis.

Econ 221: Empirical Methods in Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 220

An introduction to empirical tools and software used in the development and testing of economic models. Emphasis is on the application of these tools to policy issues.

Econ 231: Introduction to Global Trade and Finance

Prerequisites: Economics 101

An introduction to international trade, capital flows, and finance. Topics include the impact of public policy decisions concerning protectionism, balance of payments, and foreign exchange markets on economic activities.

Econ 290: Sophomore Seminar in Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 101 and/or 112 or consent of instructor

Scheduled as needed. Variable credit; maximum credit, eight hours. An introduction to selected topics in economics. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

Econ 302: Development of Economic Thought

Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 112, or consent of the instructor

Development of economic doctrine and economic analysis from the mercantilism to the modern period; emphasis placed upon writers whose ideas dominate the outlook of their times or exercise a major influence on the development of economic analysis.

Econ 305: Economics of Life

Prerequisites: Economics 101

This course applies microeconomic principles to crime, sports, family, and sexuality. In each subject area, we will discuss basic facts and trends, key theoretical and empirical economic studies, and the role of public policy. The purpose of this course is not only to help students learn about the subject areas, but also to help them develop analytical skills through writing and discussion. This course satisfies the post-freshman writing requirement when offered as a writing-intensive course.

Econ 309: Contemporary Economic Issues

Prerequisites: Economics 101

Economic analysis and public policy. Discussion of selected issues such as the economics of discrimination, environment, medical care, cultural arts, education, and social responsibility of business. This course satisfies the post-freshman writing requirement when offered as a writing-intensive course.

Econ 310: Experimental Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 101

The principal topics to be covered in this course include the methodology of conducting economic experiments, basic microeconomics as embodied in the theory of supply and demand, bargaining, auctions, the relative importance of self interest and group interest in decisions, altruism, reciprocity, trust, asset markets, how people make individual decisions, and how they interact in games.

Econ 315: Economics and Psychology

Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 112, or consent of instructor

This course is intended to provide an introduction to the application of psychological insights into economic models of behavior. This course will discuss the limitations of traditional economic models and will present models that are psychologically more realistic.

Econ 330: Collective Bargaining and Public Policy

Prerequisites: Economics 101

Contemporary public policy toward collective bargaining. The process of collective bargaining and administration of labor agreements, including organizing, grievance procedures, and arbitration.

Econ 333: Financial Economics

Prerequisites: Econ 112, 201, and 220

This course introduces the workings of financial markets and institutions. We survey how stock and bond markets work, including initial public offerings and the organization and regulation of securities markets. We introduce several widely-used types of financial assets — stocks, bonds, foreign exchange, asset-backed securities, and derivatives — their markets, and the roles of investment banks, security brokers, hedge funds, and venture capital firms. We will learn about financial cycles, including the most recent financial crisis, as well as the changing regulation and technology of financial markets over time.

Econ 341: Business and Government

Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 112, or consent of the instructor

Government implementation, regulation, and control of business enterprises, excluding banks and insurance companies.

Econ 351: Topics: Non-U.S. Economic History (same as History 351)

Topics related to economic change outside the U.S. or in which the U.S. is only one area of comparison, such as the slave trade, global economies, economic thought, colonialism, or comparative economic systems.

Econ 352: European Economic History II (same as History 352)

Economic development in the nineteenth century and the spread of a world economy; economic consequences of the world wars; economic aspects of socialism and fascism; economic nationalism and internationalism in the twentieth century.

Econ 355: Political Economy of the American South (same as History 355)

Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 112

Economic history of the American South from the colonial era to the present. Topics include the development of the ante-bellum economy, Reconstruction, and the twentieth-century resurgence of the Southern economy. This course satisfies the post-freshman writing requirement when offered as a writing-intensive course.

Econ 356: Development of the Modern U.S. Economy (same as History 356)

Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 112

Examines the post-1800 development of industrial America. Topics covered include the rise of manufacturing, banking, the labor movement, agriculture, and foreign trade. Special attention is paid to the role of the government sector in the economy.

Econ 361: Comparative Economic Systems

Prerequisites: Economics 101 or consent of instructor

Comparative analysis of alternative economic systems as practiced by various countries, with close attention to the mechanisms by which information is collected, analyzed, and converted into actions affecting resource allocation and growth.

Econ 362: Economic Development

Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 112

Introduction to the theory of economic growth. The nature of economic development; factors influencing capital formation and technological advances; the role of government in promoting development; the relationship of international trade to growth; international economic policies.

Econ 363: Political Economy of China

Prerequisites: Econ 101 and 112

This course covers the Economic and Political institutions in China. A brief history of the political systems and financial institutions and how they have evolved will be presented in the beginning. Various economic reforms within the past 66 years and their impacts on standard of living within China and its global relationship are then examined. The course also discusses various economic and political indicators in China: what they mean, how they have changed in recent years, how they are expected to change in the future. This is a "must take" course for anyone interested in having a better understanding of Chinese politics and economics.

Econ 364: Latin American Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 112

Analysis of the evolution of economic development and underdevelopment in Latin America. Application of development paradigms to country-specific examples.

Econ 365: Environmental Economics and Policy

Prerequisites: Economics 101

Introduction to the economics of natural resources and the environment. The course will focus on the major resource and environmental problems and their possible solutions. It will also discuss the theory of exhaustible and renewable resources.

Econ 366: Development Issues for Africa

Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 112, or consent of instructor

This course is designed to provide students the opportunity to explore issues in economic development viewed from the perspective of sub-Saharan Africa from the impact of slavery and colonialism to the modern era of globalization. This course satisfies the post-freshman writing requirement when offered as a writing-intensive course.

Econ 371: Health Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 101

An introduction to the application of the theories and principles of microeconomics to issues in healthcare. Increased understanding of microeconomic theory and the basic structure of healthcare delivery and healthcare financing in the United States and other countries. This course satisfies the post-freshman writing requirement when offered as a writing-intensive course.

Econ 372: Health Policy and Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 101

This course examines the role of the government in health and health insurance. We will examine the theoretical reasons for government intervention in health and health insurance, the related empirical evidence, how government has intervened, and the effects. This course satisfies the post-freshman writing requirement when offered as a writing-intensive course.

Econ 385R: Special Topics in Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 112, or consent of instructor

Econ 385 is a non-seminar topics course. Content will vary depending on topic. Possible topics include the political economy of the Middle East, economics of crime, social security financial problems, economics of aging, and other topics as interest arises.

Econ 390S: Junior Seminar in Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 112, or consent of the instructor

Scheduled as needed. Variable credit; maximum credit is eight hours. An in-depth examination of selected topics in economics. May be repeated for credit when topic varies. This course satisfies the post-freshman writing requirement.

Econ 394: Washington Economic Policy Semester

Prerequisites: Nomination by department

Credit: Up to sixteen semester hours

Intensive examination of the policy-making process in Washington, particularly as it relates to economic policy. Students must apply early in the semester preceding the one in which they intend to participate.

Econ 397R: Directed Reading in Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 112, or consent of the instructor

Up to four semester hours of credit. For approval, a topic must be selected that is not included in a course to be offered before the student would normally graduate. A faculty adviser from among the full-time faculty must agree to supervise the study program and a written description of the program must be submitted to and approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the semester preceding the one in which the student intends to participate.

Econ 400: Managerial Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 201 and 212 or equivalent

Applies economic analysis and methods to business problems, treating at elementary level linear programming, input/output analysis, and game theory. Traditional topics in managerial economics, such as cost and demand analysis, capital budgeting, and cost-benefit analysis.

Econ 405: Industrial Organization

Prerequisites: Economics 201 and either Economics 220 or consent of the instructor

The competitiveness of markets related to observable firm and product characteristics. Market competition related to measures of performance, such as profitability, R&D spending, advertising, and growth. Applications to antitrust law.

Econ 410: Topics in Macroeconomics

Prerequisites: Economics 201 and 212

The course covers the microeconomic foundations of macroeconomics, the theoretical and empirical analysis of general equilibrium, and optimal monetary and fiscal policies.

This course satisfies the post-freshman writing requirement when offered as a writing-intensive course.

Econ 411: Money and Banking

Prerequisites: Economics 201 and 212

Economics of money, credit, and banking with emphasis on factors influencing the quantity of money and effects on employment, output, and prices. Economic analysis of financial markets, financial institutions, monetary policy, and inflation.

This course satisfies the post-freshman writing requirement when offered as a writing-intensive course.

Econ 415: Behavioral Economics

Prerequisites: Econ 101, 112, and 201

Economics and Psychology a.k.a. Behavioral Economics is a relatively new field in Economics that incorporates social and cognitive psychology into economic thinking and modeling. This new area has recently gained attention and momentum as people have come to realize that a better understanding of human behavior can help economists better understand economic choices and processes. Behavioral economists’ main methodological tool is laboratory experimentation. In the lab, researchers can observe choices in a controlled environment to test the descriptive power of traditional economic models of choice and to document regular patterns of behavior. This course is intended to provide an introduction to the application of psychological insights into economic models of behavior. By incorporating psychology in decision-making including reference points, self-control, decision costs and heuristics, and social emotions (envy, shame, and guilt) we will enrich the standard economic model of behavior. We will emphasize results from laboratory experiments in both economics and psychology to learn about preferences, cognition, and behavior. Economic applications include choice under risk, game theory, public economics, health economics, and labor economics.

Econ 420: Econometrics

Prerequisites: Economics 101, 112, and 220, or consent of the instructor

Introduction to construction and testing of econometric models, analysis and critique of general linear regression models, simultaneous equations models, computer program for regression analysis, and applications.

Econ 421: Microeconometrics

Prerequisites: Econ 420 or consent of the instructor

Various methodological extensions of the simple linear regression model geared to address discreteness, nonlinearities, heterogeneity, natural experiments, and repeated sampling usually found in microeconomic data.

Econ 422: Economic Forecasting

Prerequisites: Economics 101, 112, 220, 420, or consent of the instructor

Introduction to the basic methods of economic forecasting, seasonality, regression analysis, Box-Jenkins methods, and applications.

This course satisfies the post-freshman writing requirement when offered as a writing-intensive course.

Econ 423: Financial Econometrics

Prerequisites: Econ 101, 112, and 420

This course covers a range of topics in financial and time series econometrics. It provides an introduction to the properties of nancial asset returns, stationary and nonstationary time series models, conditional variance models and a review of estimation and inference methods in econometrics. It also discusses a number of applications that include predictive and forward premium regressions, yield curve modeling, estimation of term structure models of interest rates, analysis of commodity price dynamics, value-at-risk, asset pricing models etc. The course requires a prior background in probability theory and econometrics. The homework assignments will contain both analytical and applied problems. The empirical part of the assignments will expose the students to various nancial applications of the econometric techniques discussed in class as well as replication of empirical results in some recent journal articles.

Econ 433: Advanced Financial Markets

Prerequisites: Econ 112, 201, and 220

This course provides an in-depth, technical study of financial markets and investments. We study quantitative measures of risk, risk aversion, and the risk-return tradeoff and then investigate capital allocation to risky portfolios and derive optimal risky portfolios. We develop the capital asset pricing model and its empirical implications and analyze various levels and indicators of market efficiency. In the final section of the course, we learn the characteristics and valuation of several types of financial instruments — stocks, bonds, mortgages, asset-backed securities, and basic derivatives (futures and options). This course satisfies the post-freshman writing requirement when offered as a writing-intensive course.

Econ 425: Mathematical Economics (same as Mathematics 425)

Prerequisites: Economics 201, 212, Mathematics 211, or consent of the instructor

Introduction to the use of calculus in economic analysis, problems of comparative statistics and optimization theory, and consideration of the mathematical techniques used in game theory.

Econ 430: The Economics of Labor Markets

Prerequisites: Economics 201

Describes and analyzes the functioning of labor markets, the supply and demand for labor, and the determination of wages and employment. The effects of unions, institutions, and discrimination on labor markets are also considered.

Econ 431: International Trade

Prerequisites: Economics 201

Theory of comparative advantage, the impact of trade on welfare and income distribution, economic analysis of trade barriers, and the analysis of the international movement of labor and capital.

Econ 432: International Finance

Prerequisites: Economics 201 and 212

Analysis of the international financial system and its effect on macroeconomic policies. Determination of exchange rates and their impact on the trade balance. International monetary institutions and proposals for reform.

Econ 434: Public Finance

Prerequisites: Economics 112 and 201, or consent of the instructor

Principles of government finance at the national, state, and local levels. Effects of taxes, public debt policy, and government expenditures on both individual citizens and the economy as a whole.

Econ 440: The Economics of Regulation

Prerequisites: Economics 201

Economic rationale of regulation; traditional regulation of monopoly and recent advances in regulatory techniques; regulation of structurally-competitive industries and occupations; environment, safety, and health regulation; and current issues in regulation — protectionism, rent-seeking, deregulation, and benefit-cost analysis.

Econ 442: Law and Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 201

Economic analysis of property rights, contracts, torts, and other aspects of the legal system. Legal rules are viewed as mechanisms for allocating resources and the efficiency of alternative legal rights is analyzed.

Econ 443: Public Choice

Prerequisites: Economics 201

Economic analysis of political decision-making and collective action. Surveys theories of aggregating individual preferences through various property-rights and organizational structures to produce collective-choice equilibria and disequilibria, rent seeking, and constitutional construction.

This course satisfies the post-freshman writing requirement when offered as a writing-intensive course.

Econ 445: Urban Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 201 or consent of instructor

The spatial structure of urban real estate and housing markets, government housing and land-use controls, problems of urban transportation and environmental quality, and local taxation and public expenditure.

This course satisfies the continuing writing requirement when offered as a writing-intensive course.

Econ 446: Housing and Mortgage Markets

Prerequisites: Economics 201 or consent of instructor

Demand and supply of housing, static equilibrium and dynamics of adjustment of housing markets, government policy, and the nature of mortgages, lenders, and government involvement.

Econ 449: Economics Internship

Prerequisites: Economics 201 or 212, and 220. Open to economics majors and minors only. Permission required

The course is taken for two credit hours on a S/U basis. Economics majors need to secure permission from their economics advisers and economics minors need to obtain permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Econ 455: Grant Writing: Theory and Practice

Prerequisites: Economics 201, 212, and 420 (or 422)

Introduction to the elements of grant writing, both in theory and practice. The selection of a topic, matching topics with funding sources, and searching grant postings for selection of sponsored research topics are emphasized. Students complete draft proposals possibly resulting in real grant proposals. Students will be encouraged to prepare a grant proposal, in coordination with the faculty instructor, and submit it to funding agencies.

Econ 464: Regional Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 201 or consent of instructor

Principles of location theory, including land as a factor of production, transfer costs, and area markets and supply sources, measurement of regional economic activity, regional economic fluctuations, regional economic growth, and regional problems.

Econ 465: Resource and Environmental Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 201 or consent of instructor

The theory of resource and environmental economics and its application to analyzing real-world policy issues, the economics of exhaustible and renewable resources, and discussion of how economic approaches can be used to control externalities and pollution.

Econ 481: Neuroeconomics

Prerequisites: Economics 201 and 212, or NBB 301 and 302, or consent of instructor

Introduction to the field of neuroeconomics. Upon completion of the course, students will have a basic understanding of the tools used to study the neurobiology of decision-making.

This course fulfills the General Education Requirement in SNT area.

Econ 485R: Advanced Topics in Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 201, 212, and 220, or consent of instructor

Econ 485 is a non-seminar advanced topics course. Content will vary depending on topic.

Econ 487: Game Theory and Economic Activity

Prerequisites: Economics 201 and 212

Developing a conceptual framework for understanding games played in business and in life. The ultimate goal of this course is to enhance the students' ability to think strategically in interactive situations.

Econ 490S: Advanced Seminar in Economics

Prerequisites: Economics majors who have completed all specifically required courses for the major, or consent of the instructor

Scheduled as needed. Variable credit; maximum credit, eight hours.

Preparation of exercises and reports, based on current problems of economic policy; requires the use of interpretation and analysis previously acquired in other economics and allied courses. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

Econ 495S: Honors Seminar

Prerequisites: By invitation only. Economics 201, 212, and 220 recommended

For seniors majoring in economics who have exhibited exceptional interest and competence in their field. Significant economic issues selected by the department each year and not covered in the regular curriculum; topics in theory, including areas of controversy; significant books; and faculty research topics.

This course satisfies the continuing writing requirement.

Econ 495B: Honors Research

Prerequisites: By invitation only. Economics 201, 212, 220, and one empirical course (Economics 221, 420, or 422) recommended

Preparation of the Honors research project under supervision of a faculty member. Students meet periodically to discuss their projects with other Honors candidates and faculty members.

Econ 496R: Tutorial in Economics

Prerequisites: Economics 201 or 212

Directed intensive study using intermediate theory on a topic not covered in a course to be offered before a student would normally graduate. Students must receive departmental permission in the semester preceding the one in which the student intends to participate.

This course satisfies the continuing writing requirement.