Spring 2011 Courses

100. Introduction to the Economy
Gregory DeCoster W 2:30 - 3:55
A non-technical introduction to the operation of modern capitalist economies, with a focus on the United States. Emphasizes use of a small number of fundamental concepts to clarify how economies function and to provide a foundation for informed evaluation of contemporary economic debates. Topics include incentives, decision-making, markets as a means of allocating resources, characteristics of market allocation, measures and history of U.S. economic performance, structure and function of the financial system, sources of economic growth, and business cycles. Periodic discussions of the role of government in the economy. Seeks to provide a level of economic literacy adequate to understanding debates as conducted in the popular press. Intended for students not planning to major in economics. Not open to students who have credit for Economics 101 or 102. Does not satisfy the prerequisite for any other course in economics.
101. Principles of Microeconomics
Guillermo Herrera T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
An introduction to economic analysis and institutions, with special emphasis on the allocation of resources through markets. The theory of demand, supply, cost, and market structure is developed and then applied to problems in antitrust policy, environmental quality, energy, education, health, the role of the corporation in society, income distribution, and poverty. Students desiring a comprehensive introduction to economic reasoning should take both Economics 101 and 102.
101. Principles of Microeconomics
Bibi Khan M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
An introduction to economic analysis and institutions, with special emphasis on the allocation of resources through markets. The theory of demand, supply, cost, and market structure is developed and then applied to problems in antitrust policy, environmental quality, energy, education, health, the role of the corporation in society, income distribution, and poverty. Students desiring a comprehensive introduction to economic reasoning should take both Economics 101 and 102.
101. Principles of Microeconomics
Joon-Suk Lee M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
An introduction to economic analysis and institutions, with special emphasis on the allocation of resources through markets. The theory of demand, supply, cost, and market structure is developed and then applied to problems in antitrust policy, environmental quality, energy, education, health, the role of the corporation in society, income distribution, and poverty. Students desiring a comprehensive introduction to economic reasoning should take both Economics 101 and 102.
101. Principles of Microeconomics
Erik Nelson T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
An introduction to economic analysis and institutions, with special emphasis on the allocation of resources through markets. The theory of demand, supply, cost, and market structure is developed and then applied to problems in antitrust policy, environmental quality, energy, education, health, the role of the corporation in society, income distribution, and poverty. Students desiring a comprehensive introduction to economic reasoning should take both Economics 101 and 102.
102. Principles of Macroeconomics
Jonathan Goldstein T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
An introduction to economic analysis and institutions, with special emphasis on determinants of the level of national income, prices, and employment. Current problems of inflation and unemployment are explored with the aid of such analysis, and alternative views of the effectiveness of fiscal, monetary, and other governmental policies are analyzed. Attention is given to the sources and consequences of economic growth and to the nature and significance of international linkages through goods and capital markets.
102. Principles of Macroeconomics
Stephen Meardon M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
An introduction to economic analysis and institutions, with special emphasis on determinants of the level of national income, prices, and employment. Current problems of inflation and unemployment are explored with the aid of such analysis, and alternative views of the effectiveness of fiscal, monetary, and other governmental policies are analyzed. Attention is given to the sources and consequences of economic growth and to the nature and significance of international linkages through goods and capital markets.
102. Principles of Macroeconomics
Yao Tang M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
An introduction to economic analysis and institutions, with special emphasis on determinants of the level of national income, prices, and employment. Current problems of inflation and unemployment are explored with the aid of such analysis, and alternative views of the effectiveness of fiscal, monetary, and other governmental policies are analyzed. Attention is given to the sources and consequences of economic growth and to the nature and significance of international linkages through goods and capital markets.
211. Poverty and Redistribution
John Fitzgerald T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Examines the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality in the United States and analyzes policy responses. Topics include social welfare theory, poverty measurement, discrimination, rising wage inequality, the working poor, and consequences of poverty for families and subsequent generations. Substantial focus on benefit-cost analysis and experimental and non-experimental evaluations of current policy, including welfare reform, education and training, and employment programs. Makes limited use of comparisons to other countries. Note: This course counts toward the major and minor in gender and women’s studies.
215. Economics of the European Monetary Union
Paola Boel T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
An analysis of economic issues surrounding the European Monetary Union (EMU). Topics covered will include early attempts to establish a common currency area, the creation of the Euro zone as laid down in the Maastricht Treaty, the implementation and evolution of the EMU, and the prospects for entry of new members. The fiscal, financial, and political economy implications of the EMU are also discussed.
218. Environmental Economics and Policy
Erik Nelson T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
An exploration of environmental degradation and public policy responses in industrial economies. Market failures, property rights, and materialistic values are investigated as causes of pollution and deteriorating ecosystem functions. Guidelines for equitable and cost-effective environmental policy are explored, with an emphasis on the roles and limitations of cost-benefit analysis and techniques for estimating non-monetary values. Three core themes are the transition from “command and control” to incentive-based policies; the evolution from piecemeal regulation to comprehensive “green plans” (as in the Netherlands); and the connections among air pollution, energy systems, and global warming.
221. Marxian Political Economy
Jonathan Goldstein T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
An alternative (heterodox) analysis of a capitalist market economy rooted in Marx’s methodological framework, which focuses on the interconnected role played by market relations, class/power relations, exploitation and internal tendencies towards growth, crisis, and qualitative change. Students are introduced to the Marxian method and economic theory through a reading of Volume I of Capital. Subsequently, the Marxian framework is applied to analyze the modern capitalist economy with an emphasis on the secular and cyclical instability of the economy, changing institutional structures and their ability to promote growth, labor market issues, globalization, and the decline of the Soviet Union.
255. Microeconomics
John Fitzgerald T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
An intermediate-level study of contemporary microeconomic theory. Analysis of the theory of resource allocation and distribution, with major emphasis on systems of markets and prices as a social mechanism for making resource allocation decisions. Topics include the theory of individual choice and demand, the theory of the firm, market equilibrium under competition and monopoly, general equilibrium theory, and welfare economics.
256. Macroeconomics
Paola Boel T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
An intermediate-level study of contemporary national income, employment, and inflation theory. Consumption, investment, government receipts, government expenditures, money, and interest rates are examined for their determinants, interrelationships, and role in determining the level of aggregate economic activity. Policy implications are drawn from the analysis.
256. Macroeconomics
Julian Diaz T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
An intermediate-level study of contemporary national income, employment, and inflation theory. Consumption, investment, government receipts, government expenditures, money, and interest rates are examined for their determinants, interrelationships, and role in determining the level of aggregate economic activity. Policy implications are drawn from the analysis.
257. Economic Statistics
Deborah DeGraff M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
An introduction to the data and statistical methods used in economics. A review of the systems that generate economic data and the accuracy of such data is followed by an examination of the statistical methods used in testing the hypotheses of economic theory, both micro- and macro-. Probability, random variables and their distributions, methods of estimating parameters, hypothesis testing, regression, and correlation are covered. The application of multiple regression to economic problems is stressed. Students who have taken Mathematics 265 are encouraged to take Economics 316 instead of this course.
277. Applied Research Practicum: Chinese Rural to Urban Migration
Rachel Connelly W 1:00 - 3:55
Highlights applied research methods in microeconomics. Students work throughout the semester in research teams to analyze data from Chinese rural women on their migration and/or the migration of their husbands. While topics of Chinese economic life and economic models of migration are studied, primarily focuses on methods: how applied researchers work with data to analyze a set of questions. Elementary statistics is a prerequisite. Statistical techniques beyond the elementary level are taught.
308. International Trade
Julian Diaz T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Offers a theoretical and empirical analysis of international trade. Particular attention is given to the standard models of trade: the Ricardian model, the Heckscher-Ohlin model, the specific factors model, and the monopolistic competition model, as well as an introduction to applied general equilibrium models of trade liberalization. Also analyzes current topics such as barriers to trade (quotas, tariffs); the effects of trade liberalization on wage inequality; regional integration blocs; the globalization debate; and the relation between trade, growth, and productivity. Data analysis is used in order to evaluate the success or shortcomings of the theoretical models.
318. Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
Guillermo Herrera T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Seminar. Analysis of externalities and market failure; models of optimum control of pollution and efficient management of renewable and nonrenewable natural resources such as fisheries, forests, and minerals; governmental vs. other forms of control of common-pool resources; and benefit-cost analysis of policies, including market-based and non-market valuation. Permission of instructor required for students who have credit for Economics 218 (same as Environmental Studies 218) or 228 (same as Environmental Studies 228).
340. Law and Economics
Bibi Khan M 10:00 - 11:25, W 10:00 - 11:25
Seminar. Law and economics is one of the most rapidly growing areas in the social sciences. The field applies the concepts and empirical methods of economics to further our understanding of the legal system. Explores the economic analysis of law and legal institutions, including the economics of torts, contracts, property, crime, courts, and dispute resolution. Also focuses on topics in law and economics such as antitrust and regulation, corporations, the family, labor markets, product liability, and intellectual property. Students are introduced to online sources of information in law, and are required to apply economic reasoning to analyze landmark lawsuits in each of these areas. Not open to students who have credit for Economics 341.
355. Game Theory and Strategic Behavior
Joon-Suk Lee M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
An introduction to game theory, a theory analyzing and characterizing optimal strategic behavior. Strategic behavior takes into account other individuals’ options and decisions. Such behavior is relevant in economics and business, politics, and other areas of the social sciences, where game theory is an important tool. The main game theoretic equilibrium concepts are introduced in class and applied to a variety of economics and business problems. Elementary calculus and probability theory are used. Not open to students who have credit for Economics 245.
360. Finance II
Gregory DeCoster T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
A continuation of Economics 260. The focus is essentially two-fold: (1) What are the sources of business value, and how can it be created? (2) How can the uncertainty and risk inherent to intertemporal choices, i.e., capital accumulation, be “managed”? Involves analysis of business strategy with regard to both operations and financing decisions; the pricing and uses of financial derivatives (i.e., futures, options, and swaps); sources of risk and basic risk management techniques; and an examination of recent insights from behavioral finance.