Economics

Steve Holland (department head)

Students can select from two plans of economic study. Both plans emphasize ways that the techniques and principles of economics can be used to improve problem-solving and creative reasoning skills. Plan 1 emphasizes quantitative skills including calculus. Plan 2 combines the study of economics with the field of political science. Students should consult with an economics faculty member to plan their program of study. A minor in economics is also offered.

Required for the major:

Plan I. ECON 130, 142, 247, 248, 342, 490; MATH 141 or MATH 151 (or above); and four economics courses above 250. ECON 490 is required of all economics majors, even those completing a second major. Writing requirement completed with ECON 255, 256, or ECON 268.

Plan II. ECON 130, 142, 247, 248, 256, 490; two courses from POLS 247, 258, 350, 355, 362, or POLS 364; and three additional economics courses numbered 250 or above which have not already been counted. Completion of MATH 141 or MATH 151 (or above) is recommended. ECON 490 is required of all economics majors, even those completing a second major. Writing requirement completed with ECON 255, 256, or ECON 268.

Credits earned through directed readings, independent study, internships and the senior project may not be counted toward the total hours required for the major or minor.

Students interested in teaching should complete plan 1. See education department for secondary education minor requirements. Requirements for a second teaching area are the same as those for an academic minor.

Students planning on graduate study are advised to consult an economics faculty member to identify coursework that will strengthen their graduate preparation. Students planning on graduate studies in economics should consider MATH 240, 321, and 322.

Required for a minor: ECON 130, 247 or 248, and three additional economics courses numbered above 250.

Economics Courses

ECON 130 Principles of Economics

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior—Social Science Methods

An introduction to the uses of economic theory in the analysis of problems emergent in large societies. Specific topics include consumer choice, decision making by firms in price taking and price searching situations, and inflation and aggregate employment analysis.

ECON 142 Economic Numeracy

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Quantitative

An introduction to the empirical problems in understanding economic choice, opportunity, and policy. Designed to improve the student's quantitative sophistication in understanding economic problems and issues by combining an introduction to macroeconomic data sources, elementary economic simulation techniques, and regular interpretation/analysis of public presentation of quantitative economic information.

ECON 247 Intermediate Economic Theory: Macro

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior—Social Science Methods
  • Prerequisites: ECON 130 and 142

Analysis of the factors influencing the aggregate level of national income, employment, and inflation from a variety of perspectives, including the post-Keynesian.

ECON 248 Intermediate Economic Theory: Micro

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior—Social Science Methods, Quantitative
  • Prerequisites: ECON 130

A theoretical approach to understanding how consumers and firms make decisions and how those decisions affect the economy and our society. Topics include consumer theory, the theory of the firm, industrial organization, equilibrium, and market failures.

ECON 255 Environmental Economics

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior—Social Science Methods
  • Prerequisites: ECON 130

The application of economic principles to environmental issues. Valuation of environmental damage and environmental improvements, including non-market approaches. Methods of environmental regulation, such as taxes, standards, and transferable permits. Other topics such as climate change and species loss may also be covered.

ECON 256 Economic History

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior, Historical
  • Prerequisites: ECON 130

This course focuses on applying basic methods of economic way of thinking (cost/benefit analysis, supply and demand analysis, simulation) through empirical examination of episodes in American, European and world history.

ECON 262 Development Economics

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior—Social Science Methods, Intercultural
  • Prerequisites: ECON 130

This course focuses on the issues facing developing nations. We will use both theoretical and empirical methods to address questions such as: What does it mean to "develop?" Why does so much of the world's population live in extreme poverty? What are their lives like? What can be done to speed development?

ECON 268 Law and Economics

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior—Social Science Methods
  • Prerequisites: ECON 130

The economic way of thinking is used to explore the relationships between law and economics, to consider how different kinds of laws and legal structures will/should/might work. Real-world examples-real statutes, real cases-are used throughout to focus discussion in a comparison of two competing models of law and economics.

ECON 333 Economics of Information and Networks

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior—Social Science Methods
  • Prerequisites: ECON 130

A course exploring the economics of information, language, and networks. Microeconomic examination of how individual choice are shaped by information costs and asymetries is combined with macroeconomic consideration of how information networks shape and/or frustrate public policy. Particular emphasis given to the economic consequences of language and the effects of information on entrepreneurship.

ECON 342 Introduction to Econometrics

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior—Social Science Methods
  • Prerequisites: ECON 130

An introduction to the techniques of econometric analysis. Students will learn to use techniques of statistical significance and regression to test theories and draw inferences from economic and other social science data. Topics include simple and multiple linear regression, multicollinearity, autoregression, and heteroscedasticity.

ECON 361 Money, Credit, and Banking

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior—Social Science Methods
  • Prerequisites: ECON 130

The understanding of money has changed over time. The role of banks (both central and commercial) has been part of this change until, today, some see bansking as an industry ripe for disruption. Thus, the course will help students address current issues and will challenge a number of conventional views about the meaning of money.

ECON 362 International Economics

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior—Social Science Methods, Intercultural
  • Prerequisites: ECON 130 and 248

Study of international economic principles necessary for understanding the world economy and economic exchanges that cross political boundaries. Topics include trade theory, governmental policies, international finance, foreign exchange markets, multinational corporations, and Third World perspectives.

ECON 366 Public Finance

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior—Social Science Methods
  • Prerequisites: ECON 130 and 248

Economic analysis of activity undertaken through government, mainly in the areas of social insurance and taxation. For each program and policy we ask what might be expected on theoretical grounds, and follow up by examining the empirical record.

ECON 490 Senior Project

  • 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: Senior standing

This course requires students to draw upon their economic education to formulate and address important public policy, business and ethical questions. Students will meet in a seminar setting to study and discuss topics of special interest through the prism of an economic way of thinking. Students are also required to write and publicly present a research paper in which they apply their own economic analysis to an issue. Requires senior standing.