Course Information

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Economics 01: The Price System: Analysis, Problems, and Policies

Emphasis will be placed on problems and policies of current interest as they relate to resource use and the distribution of income and output. Students will receive an introduction to the theory of supply and demand in both product and factor markets in order to examine selected topics drawn from such areas as industrial organization and antitrust policy, labor economics, international trade, economic development, agriculture, urban problems, poverty and discrimination, public sector economics, and environmental problems.
Dist: SOC.


Economics 02: Economic Principles and Policies

This is a general survey course for students who have had no previous college-level economics and who do not plan to take further economics courses. It is divided between microeconomic concepts — supply and demand, labor and capital markets, tax incidence, comparative advantage, international trade, and benefit-cost analysis — and macroeconomic issues, such as economic growth, unemployment, inflation, national income and product accounting, the banking system, and monetary and fiscal policy. Applications to current policy issues will be emphasized throughout.
Economics 2 may be taken under the Non-Recording Option (NRO). It does not count towards the major or minor. The course has “negative”
prerequisites: Students who have previously taken Economics 1 or who have been exempted from Economics 1 at matriculation may not enroll in Economics 2. Completion of Economics 2 does not, however, preclude subsequent enrollment in Economics 1. 
Dist: SOC.  

Economics 05: Adam Smith and Political Economy

The eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher Adam Smith was one of the founders of "political economy," the study of the interrelationship between society, government, and the economy. This course focuses on Smith's major ideas through his two important works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations, and deals with such topics as the origins and consequences of economic growth, and the role of government in a commercial society.


Economics 10: Introduction to Statistical Methods

This course introduces the student to the basic concepts and methods of statistics. It covers descriptive statistics and inference (estimation and hypothesis testing) for a single variable and for two variables. The probability theory required for these topics will be developed. 
Prerequisite: Economics 1 and Mathematics 3, or permission of the instructor. Economics 10 is a prerequisite to the major in Economics. This course should be taken early in the student’s major program. Because of the overlap in material covered, a student will not receive credit for more than one of these courses; Economics 10, Government 10, Mathematics 10, Psychology 10, QSS 15, or Sociology 10 except by special petition. 
Dist: QDS.

Economics 15: Political Economy of China

This course examines how politics, economics, and culture have shaped the modern Chinese economic policy. Course topics include the Mao era, the pathologies of socialism and central planning, and the post-Mao transition to the market. Special emphasis will be placed on how "capitalism with Chinese characteristics" affects innovation, entrepreneurship, and law. Students will be graded on class participation as well as original research.
Prerequisite: Economics 1
Distributive: INT or SOC

Economics 16: Political Economy of Regulation

This course examines the history, politics and economics of market regulation in the United States. Class discussions will focus on the arguments for and against state intervention in the market. We will also explore the meaning of "market failure" and "government failure" in the context of financial markets, transportation, the environment, health care, and public utilities. Special emphasis will be placed on how regulation affects prices and why regulated firms may demand regulation. Students will be graded on class participation as well as original research.
Prerequisite: Economics 1
Distributive: SOC

Economics 17 - Technological Progress and the Entrepreneurial Economy

The course examines technological invention and innovation and the path of technological progress and economic growth.  Readings and discussion will develop understanding of the relation of new technology to science and cultural evolution and will describe the roles played, within economic and political systems, by inventors, entrepreneurs, companies, and finance when, from needs and opportunities, technologies emerge as creative new combinations.
Prerequisite: Economics 1
Distributive: SOC

Economics 20: Econometrics

Econometrics is the statistical analysis of economic data. This course focuses on regression analysis (specification, estimation, and hypothesis testing) and problems and pitfalls in its application in economics. The course involves extensive use of the statistical program STATA and will enable students to implement their own empirical research projects in preparation for the culminating experience in the economics major. 
Prerequisites: Economics 1, Economics 10 and Mathematics 3. 
Dist: QDS.

Economics 21: Microeconomics

This course is a study of the pricing and allocation process in the private economy. Topics include the theories of demand and production, and the determination of prices and quantities for commodities and factors of production in competitive and noncompetitive markets. Applications of the theory and its implications for empirical analysis are also considered. 
Prerequisites: Economics 1 and Mathematics 3. 
Dist: SOC.

Economics 22: Macroeconomics

This course is concerned with the behavior of the economy as a whole, particularly fluctuations in economic activity. General equilibrium models are developed to analyze the determinants of GNP, unemployment, the rate of inflation, and the growth of output. The micro foundations of macro aggregates are developed, with special emphasis on the role of expectations. The analytic tools are used to evaluate monetary and fiscal policies and to understand current macroeconomic controversies.
Prerequisites: Mathematics 3 and Economics 1. 
Dist: SOC.

Economics 24: Economics in Developing Countries

This course uses economic analysis to understand contemporary issues in low-income countries. We consider why extreme poverty and hunger, child mortality, low-levels of education, gender inequality, environmental degradation, high fertility, and child labor are pervasive in the developing world. We also examine the economic consequences of globalization and infectious diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. For each topic, we seek to understand the factors and constraints influencing decision-making in developing countries. We use this understanding to discuss the role of markets, civil organizations, government policy, and international institutions. 
Prerequisites: Economics 1 and Economics 10. 
Dist: SOC. or INT; WCULT: NW.

Economics 25: Competition and Strategy

This course examines the strategies that businesses use in choosing prices, advertising, research and development, and mergers to maximize their profits. The course studies how business strategy is constrained by market competition and antitrust policy (government policy toward monopoly, collusion, and mergers). The analysis is conducted using game theory, empirical methods, and experimental methods. 
Prerequisites: Economics 1, Economics 10, Economics 21 and Mathematics 3. 
Dist: SOC.

Economics 26: The Economics of Financial Intermediaries and Markets

This course examines the nature and function of financial intermediaries (e.g., banks, mutual funds, and insurance companies) and of securities markets (e.g., the money and capital markets and the market for derivatives). It analyzes liquidity and risk management and studies the efficiency, stability, and regulation of the financial system. 
Prerequisite: Economics 1. 
Dist: SOC.

Economics 27: Labor Economics

This course studies the economic behavior of employers and employees as they interact in the labor market. The class will move beyond the basics of labor supply and demand to cover such topics as human capital investment, the structure and determinants of financial compensation and benefits packages, contract negotiations and arbitration. Additionally, since many of the pressing problems facing the United States are labor market issues, this course will provide a basis for better understanding of nationally-debated issues such as reforms of the welfare system, the income tax system, immigration policy, and affirmative action programs. 
Prerequisite: Economics 1
Dist: SOC.

Economics 28: Public Economics

This course consists of the study of the public economy of the United States at the national, state, and local levels. The course is divided into the microeconomic topics of resource allocation and income distribution. The macroeconomic impact of selected tax and expenditure policies is also studied. Particular topics may include the rationale for government activity, theories of collective decision-making, cost-benefit analysis, and the efficiency and incidence of various tax structures.
Prerequisites: Economics 1 and Economics 21. 
Dist: SOC.

Economics 29: International Finance and Open-Economy Macroeconomics

This course covers introductory material in the area of international monetary theory and policy. It examines the behavior of international financial markets, the balance of payments and exchange rates, interactions between the balance of payments, the exchange rate and domestic economic activity and ways of organizing the international monetary system. 
Prerequisite: Economics 22. 
Dist: SOC. or INT.

Economics 32: Monetary Policy and the Macroeconomy

This course will examine the key elements of a monetary policy framework, investigate how monetary policy decisions influence financial conditions and macroeconomic outcomes, and consider the practical challenges of monetary policymaking in a global context. Basic methods in time-series econometrics will be used to analyze macro data, construct forecasts. and assess current monetary policy strategies. Students will work together in teams, each of which will collect and analyze information for a specific country and give a series of oral presentations to the class.
Prerequisite: Economics 1, Economics 10 and Economics 22.
Distributive: SOC

Economics 35:Games and Economic Behavior

Game theory is the study of decisions made in strategic settings. The course introduces equilibrium concepts solving the infinite-regress problem (A’s decision depends on B’s which depends on A’s, and so forth) in increasingly complex environments. A wealth of social-science applications are considered ranging from business competition to terrorism as well as lighter applications to sports and games.
Prerequisite: Economics 1, Economics 10 and Mathematics 3
Distributive: SOC

Economics 36: Theory of Finance

This course studies decision making under risk and uncertainty, capital budgeting and investment decisions, portfolio theory and the valuation of risky assets, efficiency of capital markets, option pricing, and problems of asymmetric information.
Prerequisites: Economics 10, Economics 21, and Economics 26. 
Dist: SOC.

Economics 38: Urban and Land Use Economics

This course is about the location of economic activities. The central focus is on urban areas and attendant problems in public economics, but some attention is given to agricultural, natural resource, and environmental issues. Topics include housing markets, transportation, local government structure, property taxes, resource depletion, and zoning and land use controls. Economics 72 may be substituted for Economics 38 in the Economics 28-38 sequence. 
Prerequisite: Economics 1. 
Dist: SOC.

Economics 39: International Trade

This course deals with the causes and consequences of international trade and factor movements. Topics covered include theories of why nations trade, the consequences of trade for economic welfare and the distribution of income, the determinants of trade patterns, the tariff and other forms of commercial policy, trade policies of selected countries, and the formation of the multinational corporation. 
Prerequisite: Economics 1. 
Dist: SOC. or INT.


This seminar course will involve an in depth examination of selected topics that are of significance to the macro economy and economic growth. Topics will vary from year to year.  It will examine developments in the United States and other advanced and developing economies.  It will build on work done in Intermediate Macro (Economics 22) and Monetary Policy and the Economy (Economics 32) as well as the Financial Crisis (Economics 76).  It focuses especially on issues and trends in the macro-economy and movements in the business cycle that develop over time.  It is also possible to take an historical perspective on past macroeconomic developments including the Great Recession.  Will require writing a major paper. ​
Prerequisites:  Economics 20, 21, 22 and 32​.
Dist: SOC. or INT

Economics 44: Topics in Development Economics

This seminar considers microeconomic aspects of the causes and consequences of extreme poverty in the developing world. Recent research on topics such child labor, credit, education, environmental degradation, fertility, gender discrimination, health, HIV/AIDs, insurance, malnutrition, social capital, and technology adoption will be considered in depth. Topics vary from year to year. Students are required to write a major research paper. 
Prerequisites: Economics 20, 21, 22 and 24. 
Dist: SOC or INT. WCult: NW.

Economics 45: Topics in Industrial Organization

This course examines selected topics in business strategy and public policies designed to facilitate competition. These topics include market power, price discrimination, entry, product differentiation, vertical integration, regulation, and anti-trust. Students will discuss a broad range of papers on empirical industrial organization, apply concepts in a competitive strategy game, and write a major paper.
Prerequisites: Economics 20, 21, 22 and 25 
Dist: SOC.

Economics 46: Topics in Money and Finance

A seminar course covering in depth such selected topics as the following: the theory of financial institutions; banking panics; the excess variability of asset prices; finance constraints and capital market imperfections; the theory of monetary policy; inflation and financial markets; debt and deficits. Will require writing a major paper. 
Prerequisites: Economics 20, 21, 22, and 36. 
Dist: SOC.

Economics 47: Topics in Labor Economics

This seminar provides an in-depth examination of selected topics in labor economics, with an emphasis on recent empirical studies. Topics will vary from year to year. In past years topics have included aspects of human capital investments; differential effects on earnings of not only race and gender, but also such things as height and beauty; earnings determinants, including studies of CEO compensation, the use of tournaments as a pay scheme and compensating differentials; real effects of union conflict and workplace cooperation; and historical changes in skill-levels and earnings in the finance industry; and other topics related to labor market policies and wage determination. Will require writing a major paper.
Prerequisites: Economics 20, 21, 22 and 27. 
Dist: SOC.

Economics 48: Topics in Public Economics

This seminar provides an in-depth examination of selected topics in public economics. Topics vary from year to year, but many include the analyses of the economic effects of social insurance programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other public assistance; the economics of health and aging; the effects of taxation on household and corporate financial behavior; the effects of taxation on labor supply, saving, and investment decisions; the economics of public goods and externalities; optimal taxation; and, theories of government structure and decision making at the federal, state, and local levels. Will require writing a major paper. 
Prerequisites: Economics 20, 21, 22 and 28. 
Dist: SOC.

Economics 49: Topics in International Economics

This seminar will cover selected topics in international trade and finance beyond those covered in Economics 29 and 39. Offerings in the next few years are expected to include current research on (1) financial crises in emerging markets, (2) the role of trade, open capital markets, and financial development on growth in developing countries, (3) the determinants and consequences of foreign direct investment, (4) the impact of the multilateral trade agreements on world trade, and (5) issues related to globalization. Will require writing a major paper. 
Prerequisites: Economics 20, 21, 22, 29 and 39. 
Dist: SOC. or INT.

Economics 70: Immersion Experience in Applied Economics and Policy

In Economics 70, students study a specific topic in applied economics or policy on campus and then engage with that topic during a two-week immersion off campus after the end of the exam period. Specific topics and destinations for the off-campus component vary by section. Professor Curtis offers a section titled “The Transition of Poland to a Market Economy”, Professor Comin offers a section titled “China: the country, the companies and the people”, Professor Irwin offers a section titled “Economic Policy and Reform in Argentina and Chile”.
For details on how to enroll see: immersion-experience.


Economics 71: Health Economics and Policy

The goals of the course are: 1) to understand the economic forces that have created the current challenges in US healthcare; 2) to develop skills that enable you to determine what types of information, data, and analyses are needed to analyze the economics of health policies designed to expand coverage, improve quality, and contain costs; and 3) through in-class exercises and a project, to perform and present economic analysis of current topics relevant for state and federal health system reform.
Prerequisites: Economics 1 and Economics 10

Economics 76: The Financial Crisis of the Noughties

Topics covered will include (but are not limited to) : recent developments in financial and equity markets, labor markets and housing markets during the financial crisis; bubbles, black swans, financial contagion and herds; bank failure, TARP, TALF, TSLF and equivalents. Monetary and fiscal policy responses including quantitative easing will be examined. Direct comparisons will be drawn with the Great Depression and other financial crises. 
Prerequisite: Economics 20, 22 and 26.
Dist: INT or SOC.

Economics 77: Social Entrepreneurship

This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of social entrepreneurship, defined as the process of finding innovative, sustainable solutions to social problems, particularly those related to poverty.  Students will learn about the nature and causes of poverty, both domestically and internationally, and about the role that social entrepreneurs play in addressing poverty.  The course culminates with teams of students developing business models for their own social entrepreneurship ventures.  
Prerequisite: Economics 1 Cross listed with PBPL 43
Dist:  SOC, WCult:  W

Economics 78: Fed Challenge

The College Fed Challenge is intended to help students become more knowledgeable about the Fed and the decision-making process of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy-setting group. The cap for the class is 10 students by instructor permission (5 of the 10 will be chosen to go to the competition).
Prerequisite: Economics 1 and 22
For details on how to enroll see: Fed Challenge 

Economics 79: The Clash of Economic Ideas

Do the ideas of economists change the world? Or do major events change the ideas of economists? This course interweaves economic history with the history of economic thought to explore some of the major economic events that have changed our world over the past two centuries, such as the industrial revolution, the Great Depression, the collapse of socialism, and the globalization of the world economy. We will explore how the ideas of economists continue to influence how we think about how the economy works and the role of government in the economy. In particular, we will be studying the works of Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman.
Prerequisite: Economics 1

Economics 80: Advanced Topics in Econometrics

This course has two goals: (1) To further develop techniques that test for and remedy common problems associated with linear and non-linear regression analysis; (2) to develop a practical understanding of how regression analysis can be used to examine the empirical relevance of economic theory. 
Prerequisites: Economics 20, 21 and 22 with a grade of A- or better, with no recorded W from any of these classes.
Dist: SOC.

Economics 81: Advanced Topics in Microeconomics

This is an advanced course on the economics of information. The focus of the course is a rigorous mathematical treatment of the value of information, moral hazard, learning, adverse selection, and signaling. Applications to labor markets, corporate governance, financial markets, and insurance will be discussed. 
Prerequisites: Economics 20, 21 and 22 with a grade of A- or better, with no recorded W from any of these classes.
Dist: SOC.

Economics 82: Advanced Topics in Macroeconomics

The purpose of this course is to study in depth selected topics in Macroeconomics. Topics will include consumption, savings and investment; dynamic inconsistency and the design of monetary and fiscal policies, multiple equilibria, bubbles and cycles, and economic growth. 
Prerequisites: Economics 20, 21 and 22 with a grade of A- or better, with no recorded W from any of these classes. 
Dist: SOC.

Economics 85: Independent Study in Economics

This course is required of all majors in the Honors program who do not initiate their honors work in their 40-level course; they will be expected to do the preliminary work on their honors theses in this course. This course offers an opportunity for a student to do independent work under the direction of a member of the Department. For students who take this course in order to engage in independent study of a topic of interest rather than as a part of honors work, the prerequisite background will consist of all the regularly offered courses in the chosen field of study. Such a student will normally be expected to prepare, prior to the taking of Economics 85, a prospectus and a list of readings pertaining to the study he or she wishes to pursue. 
Prerequisites: Permission of the Vice Chair and of the Department faculty member who will be advising the student.

Economics 87: Senior Thesis

As explained under the Economics Honors Program, selected students will be invited to enroll in Economics 87 after they have completed their 40-level course. Alternatively, a student can initiate honors work in Economics 85 and then enroll in Economics 87 with the approval of the student’s adviser and the Vice Chair. Honors students will normally take Economics 87 in the term following their enrollment in Economics 85, or alternatively, following their enrollment in a 40-level course in which a thesis has been started. Other majors who wish to write a non-Honors thesis for single course credit will be required to have as prerequisite background all regularly offered courses in the chosen field of study and may take the course in either the first or second terms of the senior year.
Prerequisites: Permission of the Vice Chair, permission of the Department faculty member who will be advising the student, and, in the case that the research was begun in a 40-level course, the permission of the faculty member who taught the 40-level course in which the thesis topic and the research were developed.