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An introduction to the study of the economic problem, the nature and method of economics, the operation of markets, and of the aggregate national economy. Develops the basic theories of macroeconomics and applies them to topics of current interest. Explores issues such as: the causes of inflation, unemployment, recessions and depressions; the role of government fiscal and monetary policy in stabilizing the economy; the determinants of long-run economic growth; the long- and short-run effects of taxes, budget deficits, and other government policies on the national economy; and the workings of exchange rates and international trade. (Note: Economics 101 is a pre-requisite for Economics 102)
An introduction to the study of the forces of supply and demand that determine prices and the allocation of resources in markets for goods and services, markets for labor and markets for natural resources. The focus is on how and why markets work, why they may fail to work, and the policy implications of both their successes and failures. The course focuses on developing the basic tools of microeconomic analysis and then applying those tools to topics of popular or policy interest such as minimum wage legislation, pollution control, competition policy, international trade policy, discrimination, tax policy and the role of government in a market economy. (Note: Economics 101 is a pre-requisite for Economics 102)
A survey designed specifically for liberal arts students interested in Business, Economics, Law and Government. The meanings, purpose and function of accounting in business are presented through studying the concepts and theories of accounting. Basic accounting procedures covered in this course include journalizing transactions, posting, trial balances, adjusting entries and preparation of financial statements. Other topics include internal control, inventory methods, depreciation and generally accepted accounting principles. The course focuses on the sole proprietorship, partnership and corporate forms of business organization. Course credit may not be counted toward a major in Economics.
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
This course investigates the various normative yardsticks that economists use when assessing public policy and the appropriate role for government in the economy. We will be concerned with questions like: What is economic freedom? Are individual property rights absolute? What are the differences, in terms of questions of justice, among slave labor, wage labor, and the work of an independent or cooperative partner? What is a fair distribution of economic resources? Is economic justice fulfilled by: any distribution of income and wealth produced by market processes; an equal distribution of income and wealth; or a partially adjusted market distribution? The definitions of economic justice and fairness are perhaps the most controversial questions in political economy, and this course is designed for you to gain some insight into the contending perspectives that economists have advocated. We will examine natural rights theories, the contested meaning of equality of opportunity, and the potential trade-off between economic efficiency and the redistribution of income and wealth. We will examine perspectives ranging from libertarian to socialist. Prerequisite ECON 101 and ECON 102.
Economic growth is traditionally perceived as the solution to the socio-economic ills of poverty, unemployment and more generally underdevelopment. However, economic growth is also accompanied by increased pressure on and, over time, deterioration of the natural environment. The objective of this course is to explore the relationship between economic growth and the natural environment. While the concept of economic growth occupies a central place in economic policy-making, we will discuss whether economic growth is compatible with the sustainable-development worldview adopted by the UN and many other global and local economic actors. Sustainable development emphasizes the need to embark upon a development path that not only takes into account the environmental, social and economic needs of the present generation, but also those of future ones. Prerequisites: 101 and 102.
Open to intermediate students. These courses will be offered in a variety of applied economic fields. Prerequisites: 101 and 102.
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
An examination of the determinants of Gross Domestic Product, the unemployment rate and the price level. The components of aggregate spending consumption, investment, foreign trade and government will be examined to determine their significance for explaining the business cycle. Similarly the financial side of the economy and the role of money will be examined to determine their impact on the business cycle. The purpose of each examination is to understand the factors that move the economy and how fiscal and monetary policy can be used to alter the course of economic trends. Calculus and mathematical modeling can be used to provide insights not available with the tools of introductory theory. Prerequisites: Econ 101 and 102 and Math 121, 123, or 124.
An examination of the basic assumptions and methods of analysis employed in microeconomic theory, including demand analysis, production and cost relationships, market structures, distribution theory, general equilibrium and welfare economics. Calculus and mathematical modeling can be used to provide insights not available with the tools of introductory theory. Prerequisites: Econ101 and 102 and Math 121, 123, or 124.
An essential activity in any science is the systematic testing of theory against fact. Economics is no exception. This course develops and uses the statistical techniques that are essential for the analysis of economic problems. These techniques allow for testing of hypothesis, estimating magnitudes and prediction. Prerequisites: 301 and 302 and MATH 121, 123 or 124
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
A critical inquiry into the methodological and ideological foundations of modern economics through the study of development of economic thought from the 16th century to the "Keynesian Revolution." It is an attempt to understand economic theorizing in response to the existing social conditions, and to become familiar with the foundations of the main strands of contemporary economic thought. In a study of mercantilism, classical liberalism, socialism, and institutionalism, the development of the concepts of wealth, value, and distribution and the methodological and ideological vantage points of different schools of thought, and intellectual giants such as Smith, Ricardo, Malthus, Marx, Jevons, Marshall, and Veblen will be examined. Prerequisite: ECON 102 and Junior standing.
This course will focus on some of the important developments in modern economic thought after the "marginalist revolution" in the late 19th century. Topics may include the ideas of John Maynard Keynes and the evolution of contemporary macroeconomics, the socialist calculation debate and the possibility of centrally planned socialism, and contending perspectives about the role of government in the creation and protection of property rights and in the regulation of the macroeconomy. The course may also examine the ideas of economists who have criticized the marginalist orientation of economic theory and instead advocated a more social and institutionalist approach to understanding economic phenomena and behavior. Prerequisite: ECON 102 and Junior Standing
History and analysis of economic growth and development in the so-called advanced countries, primarily Western Europe and the United States. Discussion centers on selected major topics since the rise of market economies with emphasis on the interpretation of these developments in light of contemporary economic theory and modern quantitative evidence. Prerequisite: ECON 102 and Junior standing.
Throughout the history of market economies, financial markets have periodically experienced rapid changes in the prices of financial assets, i.e., booms and crashes. These periods of instability are often connected to rising unemployment, fall production, and painful economic crises. In spite of this, an influential contingent of economists - sometimes referred to as "free market" economists - continue to argue that all markets are stable and that government regulations are at best unnecessary and at worst counterproductive. This course studies the historical development of the "free market" ideology and explores many of the serious challenges to this ideology that come from both economic theory and economic history. Prerequisite: ECON 301 or ECON 302.
Financial markets play an important role in transferring savings into productive investment, allocating and managing risks, and promoting or threatening macroeconomic growth and stability. This course introduces students to the institutional structure and economic reasoning, including ideas from "behavioral finance," necessary to understand the functioning of the securities, insurance, and banking markets.
Econometrics II builds upon the foundation of Introductory Econometrics. Among its goals are: to expand each student's proficiency in estimating and interpreting economic models, to enhance each student's ability to do economic research, to increase each student's ability to read the research literature and to better prepare those students desiring to go to graduate school in economics. Prerequisite: 307.
The role money plays in determining economic outcomes, such as the level of employment, the aggregate price level, and the rate of economic growth, is one of the more controversial issues in economics. To get a handle on these controversies, this course explores the institutional structure of the U.S. monetary system, including the Federal Reserve, the body charged with the conduct of U.S. monetary policy. Then, the course compares and contrasts different perspectives on the role money plays in economic activity. The goal is to combine knowledge of the institutional structure of the U.S. monetary system with an understanding of the various theoretical perspectives on monetary theory in order to gain some insight into the difficult issues facing the conduct of successful monetary policy. This course builds towards simulated Federal Reserve Open Market Committee Meetings, in which students will form their own opinions about the influence monetary policy has on the rates of inflation, unemployment, economic growth and the distribution of income. Prerequisite: 301.
The current context of globalization and regionalization is characterized by various patterns of development; most developing countries have been increasingly engaged in the liberalization of their economies; however, some of these countries have been experiencing fast economic growth, while other developing countries have been stagnating economically. This course is designed to survey and explain the economic successes and failures of developing countries over the past couple of decades in light of contemporary economic theory and through the use of case studies of specific developing regions. Prerequisite: 301.
This course is a study of monetary interdependence among nations. The following topics will be explored: foreign exchange markets, international currency systems, national income determination in an open economy, balance of payments accounts and policies for their adjustments, exchange rate adjustments, exchange control, monetary problems of developed and underdeveloped countries, international capital flows. Prerequisite: 301.
A study of alternate economic systems. A theoretical and operational study of economic systems as they exist in reality. Prerequisite: 301.
The substantive goal of this course is to facilitate an understanding of changes in the distribution of income in the United States, 1947 to the present. The course is subdivided into three parts, addressing the context, analysis, and policy environment, respectively. The first part of the course deals with the context of American income inequality and poverty. The primary focus is upon inequalities arising from the operation of the American labor market, but the ideological, demographic, macroeconomic and fiscal contexts are also identified and discussed. The second part of the course involves an analysis of poverty in the United States assigned to identify the principal causes of poverty among particular socioeconomic and demographic sub-populations. The third part of the course surveys the policy environment for poverty alleviation, including contemporary disputes about the nature and prospects of policy reform. Prerequisite: 301 or 302.
This course will focus on the market and nonmarket contributions of women to the U.S. economy. A historical framework provides the backdrop for examining the economic, political and social institutions that affect women's contributions to the nation's economic well-being. Cross-listed with WGST 416. Prerequisite: 301.
Before 2010, the Eurozone was hailed as the first successful multi-national, large-scale model of monetary and currency union. Several countries in many regions of the world (such as South America, the Middle East, West Africa) have been considering following in the steps of the European Union (EU) by creating similar currency areas in the near future. However, the financial crisis of the late 2000s followed by the sovereign debt crisis of the 2010s have challenged the perception of the Eurozone has a fully functioning currency area. In this class we will seek to place the creation of the Eurozone in the context of the broader evolution of the EU as a cosmopolitan project. We will examine the socio-economic theories and political ideologies behind the creation of the Eurozone. This will require an understanding of the macroeconomic models which underlie the concept of 'optimal currency area' and an investigation of the degree to which the Eurozone is a fully completed project. In particular the solutions provided by EU leaders and institutions to the economic crisis in Greece (and other countries in the Eurozone) will give us a chance to reflect upon the future of the Eurozone and to discuss the intellectual and practical implications of two alternatives that member-states may face as they look towards the future of the EU: 1. the pursuit of further EU integration through the creation of a supranational fiscal and political union or 2. the beginning of a process of political and economic devolution towards smaller scale European projects - a path often described as a Europe of Regions.
Consumer economics focuses upon the application of economic theory to major issues faced by consumers in our modern economy. The course will combine economic theory, practical skills drawn from finance and Internet search strategies to empower students to make informed and rational decisions. The first half of the course will focus on buying and borrowing. The second half of the course will deal with investing and the risk versus expected reward tradeoff. The goal is not to learn what decisions to make, but rather to understand how economic theory can allow one to make better choices. Prerequisite: ECON 301 or 302.
This course is specifically designed to be a stepping stone to graduate school. It makes extensive use of mathematical notation and relies heavily upon calculus. About 40 percent of the course is devoted to applying calculus tools to topics previously covered in Intermediate Macroeconomics. Calculus and intensive mathematical modeling allow insights not available with the tools of intermediate theory. About 60 percent of the course is devoted to more advanced topics that are drawn from macroeconomics and investment theory. Prerequisites: 301 and 302 and MATH 121 or 123.
A study of the impact of governmental taxation and expenditures on the economy. The economic rationale for the existence of the public sector is examined and the development, passage, and implementation of the federal budget is investigated. Issues such as welfare reform, the growth of entitlement programs, the financing of health care and the theory and practice of taxation are studied. Prerequisite: 302.
This course examines corporate decision making as a function of the competitive environment in which the firm operates. In addition to standard market structure theory, we examine a number of business practices including pricing and advertising policy, corporate strategic behavior, and horizontal and vertical mergers and acquisitions. The analysis is often mathematical, with a heavy emphasis on game theory. Prerequisites: 302 and MATH 121 or 123.
This course is anchored in the following key questions: 1) What determines the pattern of international trade? 2) What are the effects of foreign trade on the key parameters of a country's social and economic well-being such as growth, employment and income distribution? 3) What is the role of policies in a contemporary globalized economy? The learning objectives of this course are threefold. First, students will learn various analytical tools to study international trade and trade related issues. Second, in addition to factor endowments, students will understand the importance of history, socioeconomic structures, international social and power relations, and international politics in international trade. Third, students will develop the abilities to critically assess some important past and present trade policies. Prerequisite ECON 302.
This course develops the basic theories of labor supply and demand. Using these theories we examine the institutional forces that the government, unions, and corporate powers have on wages and hours worked. A specific focus of the course is spent analyzing competing theories that explain the wage differentials that exist in the U.S. labor markets. Prerequisite: 307.
This course examines the roles that various racial and ethnic groups have played in the development of the U.S. economy. Historical forces in conjunction with economic and political institutions have created a unique position for each of these groups. An examination of the causes and consequences for the economy and particular groups of these interlocking forces will be examined. Prerequisite: 302.
This course will introduce, develop and analyze the types of and importance of the linkage between the regional economics and their urban subsystems. The topics to be developed include the economic variables which may be used to explain differential rates of economic change in selected regions and the impact of such changes on the pattern of economic growth and the quality of life in urban or metropolitan areas. Prerequisite: 302.
This course provides an examination of various economic issues facing business and government regarding the use of natural resources and the management of environmental quality. Students will develop an understanding of both the economic nature of environmental problems and the economic tools necessary to explore and devise potential policy solutions for environmental problems. In addition, students will examine the institutional framework within which environmental problems exist in order to understand those factors which may mitigate against economic solutions. Prerequisite: 302.
This course explores the mathematical foundations of microeconomics. Constrained and unconstrained optimization are employed to generate the results of consumer theory, producer theory and market structure. The course is particularly well suited for those students contemplating graduate study in economics or business. Prerequisites: 302 and MATH 121 or 123.
The goal of this course is to learn the principles of finance relevant to managing organizations, particularly the corporation. Financing considerations are fundamental in determining the various forms that firms assume and the investment projects they pursue. Depending on the characteristics of the investment (size, expected return, risk, maturity), different types of firms emerge that use different financing instruments (e.g., equity, debt). The course covers the effects of time, risk, and uncertainty on firm decision-making. It also investigates the agency problems between firms and other stakeholders (e.g., equity owners vs. debt holders) and the agency problems typical in the corporation (e.g., managers vs. shareholders). The course examines how different firm structures and arrangements are used to mitigate these agency problems (e.g., corporate governance, compensation, and payout policies).
Open to advanced students with the consent of the instructor. These courses will involve the preparation of a research paper and be offered in a variety of applied economic fields. Prerequisites: 301 and 302.
A study of the general features of the economic development experience of the Middle East. This course will note the elements of similarity and the extent of diversity among the economies of the region, and will examine the strategies of planning and patterns of economic development in these economies. We will study the structural transformation of these economies and the dynamics of their relations with the colonial and modern West. We will examine the interactive relation between economic policymaking and class formation, as well as the economics of internal and international migration. OPEC and the oil market, and the economics of war, occupation and sanction. In the past decades, many Middle Eastern countries have been confronted with an Islamic revivalist movement that seeks to transform the economic organization of society according to what has been proposed as "Islamic economics." In this course we will study the theoretical basis of various interpretations of Islamic economics and will examine their policy and planning proposals. Prerequisites: 301 and 302.
After an untimely death or a wrenching divorce, forensic economics are often called upon to estimate the economic worth of a human life or a family business. To make such estimations requires that students have a firm understanding of the underlying micro- and macroeconomic aspects of economic theory, of the relevant demographic and economic data that is available, and of the process of calculating net discounted present value. There are generally accepted ways of calculating economic worth, but there are also grey areas where judgments are made. The latter requires a subtle understanding of the issues behind why one assumption may be better than another and its impact on the final value of economic worth. Students will role-play a movie forensic economist who is a member of a well-respected law firm specializing in wrongful death and divorce. Prerequisites: 301 and 302.
Research in selected topics in Economics.
Research in selected topics in Economics.