(For 2016–2017 academic year)
Professors Baldani, Haines, Kato, Khanna, Mandle, Michl, Turner, Simpson, Waldman
Associate Professors Scrimgeour, Sparber (Chair)
Assistant Professors Anderson, Castilla, Higgins, Jaremski, Sapci, Sharma, Song, Sprick Schuster
Visiting Assistant Professors Blume-Kohout, Yindok
Visiting Instructor Yindok
Senior Lecturer Ts’ao
The basic objective of the Department of Economics is the development of students’ understanding of economics as the social science that deals with production, consumption, and market exchange activities. All students begin with ECON 151, Introduction to Economics. Majors advance through a core of analytical courses and choose among a series of options in theoretical and applied economics. Students with an interest in graduate work leading to careers in such fields as economics, law, business or public administration, and the foreign service are asked to discuss these objectives early in their college careers in order to plan an adequate program in economics. While not an undergraduate business or professional school, the department provides essential background for a variety of career interests.
Major Program in Economics
The major in economics consists of nine courses in economics and one course in mathematics. Satisfactory completion requires a minimum GPA of 2.00 in the nine economics courses. In order to declare an economics major students must have first earned a grade of C or better in either ECON 251 or ECON 252. Students who declare a major while enrolled in one of these courses may file “provisional” major declarations. Students with a grade lower than C in ECON 251, 252, or 375 may not declare an economics or mathematical economics major until a grade of C or higher is earned. The requirements of this program are as follows:
- ECON 151 is a prerequisite to all advanced courses at the 200–400 level.
- MATH 105 or CORE 143S is a prerequisite to ECON 375. Students who have taken an equivalent course may petition the department chair for an exemption.
- ECON 151, 251, 252, and 375 are required, and 375 should be completed by the end of the junior year. Students are encouraged to take ECON 251 before 252. ECON 251 and 252, as well as MATH 105 or CORE 143S (or the equivalent), are also required for ECON 375. A minimum grade of C is required in only three courses: ECON 251, 252, and 375. Prospective majors should aim to complete 151, 251, 252, and statistics by the end of sophomore year, especially if they plan to study abroad during their junior year.
- Four economic electives are required. At least two of these courses must be above 300. ECON 251 is a prerequisite for all courses numbered between 300 and 349; ECON 251 and 252 are prerequisites for all courses numbered between 350 and 374; ECON 251, 252, and 375 are prerequisites for all courses above 375. Courses numbered below ECON 150, including ECON 105, cannot be counted as part of the major program.
- A senior-level seminar, at the 410 level or above, is required of all majors. ECON 490 cannot be used to satisfy the seminar requirement except in unusual circumstances and with the permission of the department chair.
Minor Program in Economics
Students who minor in economics must complete a minimum of five (5) economics courses unless they have received pre-matriculation credit (e.g., AP or transfer student credit) for ECON 151. Students who have received a pre-matriculation credit for ECON 151 must complete a minimum of four (4) economics courses on campus. The requirements of this program are as follows: ECON 151, 251, and 252, and two other economics courses (excluding ECON 105). At least one of the electives must be above 300. A minimum grade of C is required for ECON 251 and 252, and in order to declare an economics minor students must have first earned a grade of C or better in either ECON 251 or ECON 252. Satisfactory completion of the minor requires a minimum GPA of 2.00 in the five economics courses.
Honors and High Honors in Economics
To be invited to participate in the honors program, students need a minimum 3.33 GPA in the three core courses: ECON 251, 252, and 375. To qualify for departmental honors, a student must enroll in the year-long honors seminar (ECON 489 and 490) in which each student writes an honors thesis. Students also present their projects to the seminar and act as discussants of other projects. Certification of honors and high honors will be based mainly on the quality of the honors paper. In addition, honors candidates must have, at graduation, a B+ average (A– for high honors) in the nine economics courses taken for major credit, and must receive a satisfactory grade in ECON 490. Special rules apply to honors in mathematical economics. (See below.)
Major Program in Mathematical Economics
The special program under this heading is designed to encourage a student with strong interests in the two areas to develop a deeper understanding of economics by viewing it, in part, as an area of applied mathematics. This major should be considered seriously by all those intending to pursue graduate studies in economics, business, or quantitative social science, and also by those desiring a more flexible commitment to the major programs in these two departments. The mathematical economics major consists of ten economics courses and three mathematics courses, as follows:
- ECON 151, 251, 252, 375, and 374. Mathematical economics majors are encouraged to consider taking MATH 316, rather than MATH 105 or CORE 143S, as the prerequisite for ECON 375. Prospective majors should aim to complete 151, 251, 252, and statistics by the end of sophomore year, especially if they plan to study abroad during their junior year.
- At least one of the following three courses: ECON 345, 474, or 475.
- Any four additional economics electives (excluding ECON 105). At least two of these electives must be numbered above 300.
- At least one of the ten economics courses must be a senior-level seminar (at the 410 level or above). ECON 490 cannot be used to satisfy the seminar requirement except in unusual circumstances and with the permission of the department chair.
- MATH 113 and two additional math electives (MATH 214 or higher) chosen in consultation with the student’s adviser. Students who intend to pursue a PhD in economics are strongly encouraged to take additional mathematics courses, including MATH 323.
Satisfactory completion of the major requires a minimum GPA of 2.00 in the 13 required courses; and a minimum grade of C is required for ECON 251, 252, and 375.
Honors and High Honors in Mathematical Economics
Since the major also includes the requirements for an economics program, special rules apply for honors. A mathematical economics major has two mutually exclusive options: (1) qualifying for honors or high honors in economics by satisfying the honors criteria for the economics major, or (2) qualifying for these honors in mathematical economics by satisfying the same criteria except that the departmental GPA is calculated for all 13 of the required courses. Under the first option the student will receive the honors certification in economics as a mathematical economics major.
Major Program in Environmental Economics
This major is part of the Environmental Studies (ENST) Program and is designed for students who are interested in analyzing environmental issues using the framework of economics. Students take a set of courses in the ENST program as well as economics courses that have an environmental emphasis but also provide breadth in economics. The ENST courses focus on interdisciplinary approaches to ethical, natural scientific, and social scientific aspects of environmental issues. For further information, contact Professor Turner; see also “Environmental Studies.”
Preparation for Graduate School
For students considering graduate school in business administration, at least two courses in mathematics (preferably MATH 111 and MATH 112) and one computer science course (such as COSC 101) are strongly recommended. Students considering graduate school in economics are strongly encouraged to take these courses, as well as additional courses in mathematics, including MATH 214 and 323. Students with these interests should also consider the mathematical economics major described above and consult with their academic adviser as early as possible. Students considering graduate work in economics leading to a PhD should consider pursuing a double major in economics and mathematics.
See Honors and Awards: Economics in Chapter VI.
Advanced Placement and Transfer Credits
A score of 4 or 5 on both the microeconomics and macroeconomics AP exams will exempt incoming students from ECON 151; no credit is given if only one AP exam is taken or if a score of 3 or lower is received on either exam. No transfer credit is given for ECON 105, Principles of Accounting. Except for students transferring from another college or university, no transfer credit will be given for ECON 251, ECON 252, or ECON 375, and no more than two economics courses taken elsewhere can be accepted for major credit. These courses must be comparable to what is offered in a liberal arts economics program. Students who hope to transfer course credit must consult with the department chair prior to enrolling elsewhere. Students returning from summer courses or study groups are not entitled to retroactively seek major credit in the department. Students participating in a Colgate approved program are only eligible for major credit when attending programs on the departmental approved list: up to two courses taken on a departmentally approved program may be transferred towards the major and one course may be transferred towards the minor. No major or minor credit is granted for courses taken while participating in an approved program that is not on the economics department list, and no minor credit is given for any other courses, including summer courses. All transfer courses must have a minimum prerequisite that is equivalent to Colgate’s ECON 151 course and the department recommends taking courses that have ECON 251 and/or 252 as prerequisites. Students who transfer to Colgate from other institutions may be granted more than two course credits toward the major at the discretion of the department chair.
The London Economics Study Group
Based in London, the group studies selected economic problems and institutions of the United Kingdom and the European community. See “Off-Campus Study” in Chapter VI.
ECON courses count toward the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement, unless otherwise noted.
ECON 151 is a prerequisite for all courses in the department offered above the 200 level. Courses numbered below 150 do not count toward the major. ECON 251 is a prerequisite for all courses numbered between 300 and 349; ECON 251 and 252 are prerequisites for all courses numbered between 350 and 374; ECON 251, 252, and 375 are prerequisites for all courses above 375. Additional prerequisites are noted in the course description. Those seeking entry into courses without the assigned prerequisites must secure the permission of instructor.
105 Principles of Accounting
A study of the applications of financial accounting in economics. Emphasis is on analysis, interpretation, and communication of accounting information, and how such information influences the making of resource-allocation decisions. It is especially recommended as a tool course, but does not count toward major credit. The course is offered each term.
151 Introduction to Economics
A general introduction to the subject matter and analytical tools of economics including micro- and macroeconomic theory. The course is offered each term.
206 Marxian Political Economy
This course is an introduction to the principles of Marxian political economy, including the labor theory of value, the theory of money, the analysis of accumulation and expanded reproduction, and the theory of economic crisis. It includes readings from Marx and modern writers on his theories.
219 Chinese Economy
Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course provides a general survey of China’s economic reform and related public policy issues since 1978. In addition to offering a basic knowledge about the Chinese economy and its reforms in the past quarter century, the course develops a framework to help students understand and evaluate the evolution of China’s economic development strategy and public policy in recent years that has guided the country’s economic reform.
228 Environmental Economics
An introduction to the study of environmental problems with the perspective and analytical tools of economics. Sources of market failure with respect to environmental issues are discussed, and methods for analyzing environmental policies are developed. These tools are applied to current issues of pollution, resource use, and sustainability. Prerequisite: ECON 151 or permission of instructor.
230 The Economics of Poverty in the United States
This course discusses issues surrounding poverty with a particular emphasis on the central New York region. Students first analyze how poverty is measured, which includes studying unemployment, the minimum wage, income inequality, and economic immobility using economic theory and data analysis. Students next study various anti-poverty programs in the United States such as traditional welfare, the Earned Income Credit, food stamps, and Medicaid. The course includes a significant service-learning component, in which students are required to complete at least 10 hours of field work at a local non-profit organization. In addition, various class site visits are an integral part of the course. Graded work includes short papers, exams, and group projects. Seniors are allowed to register only with the permission of instructor.
233 Economics of Immigration
N. Simpson, C. Sparber
There has been a tremendous increase in the movement of people across international borders in recent decades. This course explores the economic causes and consequences of immigration using theoretical and empirical perspectives. Importantly, the migration experience relates to the residents of both origin and destination countries. Course coverage pertaining to migrants and their source countries might include immigrant selection, assimilation, and the consequences of brain drain. Coverage related to residents of receiving countries might include the fiscal and labor market effects of immigration. The course is of particular interest to students wanting to examine economic policy, labor, and productivity questions.
234 Gender in the Economy
An examination of the role of gender in our economic system. This course studies the causes and implications of sexual division of labor and the dynamic relationship of production and reproduction in a historical and contemporary context. A critical analysis of the implicit and explicit gender bias of the discourse of economics is an integral part of this course.
238 Economic Development
This course explores the content of economic development. It examines both the successes of the developed world and the limits of development elsewhere. Specific topics include the role of population growth, the importance of agriculture, structural change, and globalization.
239 The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Economic Development
This 0.5-credit extended study course focuses on the role that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can play advancing the status of women and alleviating poverty. The course is taught in Bangladesh, using the facilities of BRAC, a NGO based in that country. The course has two segments: The first consists of lectures to provide background concerning the level of economic development, the status and role of women, and the role played by NGOs in Bangladesh. The second part of the course involves field trips to observe the work done by BRAC. Pre- or co-requisite: ECON 238 and permission of instructor.
249 International Economics
This course studies the underlying forces affecting economic relations among nations. Material addresses both microeconomic and macroeconomic perspectives. Potential topics include the international mobility of goods, labor, and capital; economic growth and development; balance of payments; and exchange rate determination. This course is not open to students who have completed ECON 349 or ECON 351 (formerly 394). ECON, MAEC, and ENEC majors interested in international economics are strongly encouraged to enroll in ECON 349 and/or ECON 351 (formerly 394). Prerequisite: A minimum grade of C in ECON 151.
251 Intermediate Microeconomics
A systematic development of the theory of consumer and firm behavior and pricing in markets. Emphasis is placed on the uses and limitations of some general methods of economic analysis. Proficiency at least at the C level in ECON 151 and a course background that includes MATH 111, or its equivalent, are desirable. The course is offered each term. A minimum grade of C is required for completion of the economics major and minor.
252 Intermediate Macroeconomics
A systematic development of the theory for determining national income, employment, and the general levels of prices and interest rates. Analysis of recent U.S. macroeconomic events is included. Proficiency at least at the C level in ECON 151 and a course background that includes MATH 111, or its equivalent, are desirable. The course is offered each term. A minimum grade of C is required for completion of the economics major and minor.
314 Industrial Organization
A study of the relationship between market structure, business conduct, and economic performance. Topics include the structure of American industry, oligopolistic pricing theory, product differentiation, research and development, and mergers.
320 Law and Economics
This course is an introduction to law and economics. Standard economic theory is used to examine the law and legal institutions, and to study the origin, nature, and consequences of the “rules of the game” as they pertain to individual and group behavior. Questions addressed in this course include the following: How does the legal system shape economic incentives in ways that lead to socially optimal or sub-optimal behavior? How does one measure the benefits and costs of changes in legal rules? What is the nature of private property in a market economy? What is the appropriate role of a legal system in settling private disputes?
333 Urban Economics
Cities are major centers of economic activity. This course describes the formation and characteristics of urban areas. Coverage begins with analysis of how cities arise due to utility-maximizing decisions of households and profit-maximizing decisions of firms. The course then describes features of cities including economies of scale, sources of urban economic growth, land-use patterns, housing, segregation, government policy, and local public goods provision. Recommended: ECON 375. Prerequisite: MATH 105 or CORE 143S.
339 The Japanese Economy
This course is a survey of the empirical and theoretical literature on various aspects of the Japanese economy. Topics include comparison of the Japanese labor market with the U.S. labor market, keiretsu and the economic conflict between the U.S. and Japan, industrial policies and the Japanese “miracle,” international comparison of the saving rate and the cost of capital, “multiskilling” and technological changes, participatory management practices and performance of the Japanese firm, and other issues of current interest. Recommended: ECON 375.
344 Public Economics
J. Khanna, S. Sprick Schuster
This course examines the “proper” role of government in a market economy by looking at both the expenditure and the taxation sides. Topics on the expenditure side include market failure, public goods, and cost-benefit analysis; on the taxation side, notions of tax equity, principles of tax incidence, efficient taxation, and the tax structure in the United States are addressed.
345 Games and Strategies
Some decisions in life are simple. Others are more complicated. Game theory is the study of decisions that are complicated by strategic interactions, situations where making the best choice requires taking into account the decisions being made by others. This course presents the basic concepts of game theory and applies those concepts to a variety of microeconomic topics. Some of the applications examined include oligopoly behavior, auctions, political elections, moral hazard, principal-agent models, bargaining, and evolutionary models. Experimental evidence that sometimes confirms, but often conflicts with, the predictions from game theory is also examined. Prerequisites: MATH 105 or CORE 143S or MATH 316, and MATH 111 or a high school calculus course. Students need to understand what a derivative is and be able to take the derivative of simple (e.g., polynomial) functions.
348 Health Economics
This course applies economic principles and tools to study the health-care market. It looks at the structure, cost, and distribution of resources within the health-care sector. The course focuses on the socio-economic determinants of health, demand and supply of health insurance, hospital competition, physician practice, government intervention in the health-care market, and comparisons of health-systems around the world.
349 Topics in International Trade
This course is designed to provide students with a deep understanding of international trade theories and policies. Topics include the theory of comparative advantage; trade under increasing returns; welfare implications of trade policies such as tariffs, quotas, and antidumping duties; political economy of trade policies; trade and migration, outsourcing, and environment; and global trading arrangements such as NAFTA and the WTO. This course is not open to students who have completed ECON 249.
351 International Finance and Open-Economy Macroeconomics
A. Sapci, N. Simpson
This course is an in-depth study of the theoretical and empirical literature of international finance and open-economy macroeconomics. Topics include the balance of payments, the foreign exchange market, financial globalization, optimum currency areas, and financial crises. This course is not open to students who have completed ECON 249. (Formerly ECON 394.)
352 Money and Banking
This course studies the economic functions and efficiency of financial institutions and markets in the United States. Analytical tools are used to study the development and structure of asset markets, central banking and the role of monetary policy, regulation of markets and financial institutions, and risk. Students use case studies to focus on both historical and current events in the domestic and international financial systems.
353 Fed Challenge
R. Higgins, N. Simpson
A small group of selected students works together with faculty mentors to compete with teams from other colleges and universities in the Fed Challenge, a national competition that is hosted and judged by the U.S. Federal Reserve System. The goal of the course is to develop a presentation that summarizes the current state of the U.S. macroeconomy, understand its current weaknesses and threats, and make a monetary policy recommendation. To prepare for the presentation, students research and summarize the U.S. macroeconomic data, analyze historical and international macroeconomic episodes and their policy responses, and make and justify a specific recommendation regarding U.S. monetary policy. Graded work includes weekly reports, short papers, the final group presentation, and a final exam. Prerequisites: permission of instructor. It is highly recommended that students also take ECON 352.
354 Monetary Economics
The goal of this course is to introduce students to theoretical foundations of monetary economics and to help them apply theoretical tools to monetary policy analysis. The theoretical frameworks (overlapping generation models and liquidity and market failure models) are used as the basis for the study of topics such as quantity theory of money, inefficiency of inflation, credit markets and credit risk, Tobin Effect, liquidity of assets, etc. A special focus is on the relationship between money growth and inflation, monetary stabilization policy, the interaction between monetary and fiscal policy, and government programs. (Formerly ECON 390.)
356 Growth and Distribution
T. Michl, D. Scrimgeour
An overview of the theory, measurement, and history of economic growth that presents classical, Keynesian, and neoclassical approaches in parallel. Topics include the theory of optimal saving, endogenous technical change, growth accounting, natural resource limits on growth, money and growth, and the impact of government debt and social security systems on long-term economic growth. (Formerly ECON 386.)
360 Applied Economic Theory
The goal of this course is to illustrate to students the role that economic theory can play in understanding current events and important policy debates. Students use relevant theoretical concepts learned in both ECON 251 and 252, and reviewed in this course, to further their understanding of, and to help them to form opinions on, some important contemporary issues and economic debates. Examples of covered topics might include the proposal to privatize Social Security, differing unemployment rates in the United States and Europe, evaluating welfare reform, the increase in the incidence of personal bankruptcy, the IMF’s role in stabilizing the international financial system, the government’s role in providing public education, and the causes of growing U.S. wage inequality. Theoretical concepts that might be utilized include information theory, overlapping generations models, growth models, game theory, and theories of market failure. (Formerly ECON 376.)
368 American Economic History
An analysis of selected issues in American economic development using the tools of economics. Topics include basic history of growth and structure since colonial times, population and migration, the labor force, agriculture, money and banking, transportation, slavery, the Civil War, industry studies, the Great Depression, and the growth of the government sector and regulation. Basic economic and demographic theories are applied to historical events. (Formerly ECON 382.)
369 History of Economic Thought
A survey of the evolution of economic doctrine and theory from ancient times through the present. Emphasis is on the predecessors of neo-classical economics, but attention is paid to alternative developments. The ideas of economists such as Richard Cantillon, François Quesnay, Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Leon Walras, William Stanley Jevons, Alfred Marshall, and John Maynard Keynes are studied in historical and philosophical context. (Formerly ECON 392.)
370 European Economic Issues
London Study Group only. This course is an in-depth study of European open-economy macroeconomics, international trade, and international finance. Coverage varies from year to year depending on the director of the London Economics Study Group. (Formerly ECON 396.)
371 The Economics of the European Union
London Study Group only. (Formerly ECON 401.)
372 The British Economy
London Study Group only. (Formerly ECON 403.)
374 Mathematical Economics
J. Baldani, R. Turner
An introduction to some basic topics and methods of mathematical economics. Emphasis is on the role of optimization techniques in economic models. Prerequisite: MATH 113. (Formerly ECON 378.)
375 Applied Econometrics
C. Castilla, D. Scrimgeour, R. Turner
An introduction to regression analysis and related statistical methods used to estimate and test relationships among economic variables. Selected applications from microeconomics and macroeconomics are studied. Emphasis is on identifying when particular methods are appropriate and on interpreting statistical results. Prerequisite: MATH 105 or CORE 143S or MATH 316 or the equivalent. A minimum grade of C is required for completion of the economics major.
380 Economics of Households in Developing Countries
In 2005, one out of five people on this planet was living on less than $1 per day. Half of the world lives on less than $2 per day. But how actually does one live on less than $1 per day? In this course students learn about the economic lives of the extremely poor: the choices they face, the constraints within which they make decisions, and the challenges they meet. Development economics is, in most part, the field of economics that studies the informal, imaginative institutions that replace the formal constructs we are used to in the developed world. In developing countries people face malfunctioning markets due to incomplete information, a weak legal structure, and constraints that result in economic choices and strategic considerations that are worth separate scrutiny. This is an advanced course in economics. Prerequisites: ECON 375. Preference will be given to students who have taken ECON 238.
381 Labor Economics
T. Kato, T. Michl
Economics of the demand for and supply of labor in various market settings and the determination of wages and employment. Topics include time allocation and labor supply, demand for labor, investment in human capital and education, wage differentials and wage discrimination, and other issues of current interest. (Formerly ECON 342.)
383 Natural Resource Economics
A study of the optimal allocation of scarce natural resources under conditions of imperfect markets. This course is intended for students interested in applying microeconomic theory to public policy questions regarding natural resources. Topics include environmental quality, policy, and regulation; renewable resources (fisheries, forests, and water resources); and non-renewable resources (global warming, energy use, and mineral extraction). Prerequisite: ECON 375 or permission of instructor. (Formerly ECON 328.)
387 Financial Economics
Financial markets enable individuals and firms to move resources across time (e.g., by taking out a loan) and manage risk (e.g., by buying insurance). Students use the theories of intertemporal choice and decision making under uncertainty to understand various aspects of these markets. Specific topics covered include net present value, term structure of interest rates, capital budgeting, corporate capital structure, derivative securities, portfolio theory, and the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM). (Formerly ECON 332.)
405 Advanced Econometric Methods
A study of econometric methods not covered in ECON 375. This 0.5-credit, half-semester course is designed for senior economics students doing honors or taking a concurrent senior seminar. Topics vary depending on student needs and interests. The course helps students read the professional economics literature and do their own research projects. Prerequisite: ECON 375; generally only seniors are admitted.
414 Seminar in Industrial Organization
Contemporary issues involving government policy and the private sector. Major topics include anti-trust policy, public utility regulation, the regulation of transportation and communications, and deregulation. Prerequisite: ECON 314.
421 Seminar in Economics of Education
This course examines education from an economic perspective. Economic theories and tools of statistical inference are employed to understand people’s education investment choices and education policies. Topics covered might include human capital theory and signaling theory of education; pecuniary and non-pecuniary returns to education; the role of early childhood education; educational equity; the role of peer effects, class size, and school expenditures; K–12 school reforms and debates in recent decades (accountability, school choice and affirmative action).
433 Seminar in Economics of Race and Ethnicity
This seminar studies how several economic fields — including labor economics, public economics, economic growth and development, and international trade — have contributed to economists’ understanding of economic issues related to race and ethnicity. Topics might include discrimination, disparities in economic outcomes across groups, the macroeconomic benefits and costs of diversity and segregation, and the economic consequences of immigration. Other topics may be considered as well.
436 Seminar in Sports Economics
This seminar is an advanced study of the interactions between sports and economics, including the institutions that organize sports and the unique economic data made available by sporting contests. The specific fields of economics covered in this seminar include labor economics, industrial organization, public finance, and game theory. Special consideration is also given to discussions of the economics of collegiate and amateur sports.
438 Seminar in Economic Development
Advanced study of the content of economic development. Specific topics in economic development are considered by the group. Individuals are responsible for a research paper on a topic agreed to in consultation with the instructor. Prerequisite: ECON 238 or permission of instructor.
443 Seminar in Policy Education
S. Sprick Schuster
The goal of this seminar is to explore the role of economic theory and empirical research in designing appropriate public policies and evaluating their effects, through a critical reading of empirical studies and discussions of relevant theories and findings. Topics may include environmental legislation, taxation and redistribution, public health, government regulation, education, public provisions, and crime.
448 Seminar in Health Economics
This seminar presents an advanced study of issues in health economics. Topics include demand for health care, the insurance market, and implications of employer-provided insurance. On the provision side, hospital and physician markets are analyzed with a focus on measuring quality, pay-for-performance, and competitive effectiveness research. Other topics might include public health issues such as obesity and substance use, as well as comparative health-care systems. Prerequisite: ECON 348.
450 Seminar in International Economics
This course is an advanced study of selected international economic problems, with special reference to the role of theories in the understanding and solution of such problems. This course emphasizes current issues in trade policy: the rules of the WTO; foreign investment, debt, and the operations of MNCs; the appropriateness of particular saving, investment, trade balances, and exchange rates; and the macroeconomic coordination efforts of the IMF and the G-7. Prerequisite: ECON 249, 349, or 394.
468 Seminar in American Economic History
Advanced study of selected issues in American economic history, with emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. Topics change from year to year. Topics covered include the economics of the Antebellum South and the Civil War, the Great Depression, the development of labor markets, the demographic evolution of the United States, agriculture, industry and transport since colonial times, and money, banking, and financial markets. Prerequisite: ECON 368 (formerly 382) or permission of instructor. (Formerly ECON 482.)
474 Seminar in Mathematical Economics
This course explores selected topics from mathematical economics; the main focus is usually in the area of game theory. Topics include the theory of static and dynamic games of both complete and incomplete information, and applications of the theory to various fields of economics. Other topics from mathematical economics may also be included. Prerequisite: ECON 374 (formerly 378) or permission of instructor. (Formerly ECON 478.)
475 Seminar in Econometrics
Advanced study of econometric methods, with an emphasis on their theoretical underpinnings. Topics include the statistical properties (in particular, expected value, variance, and probability limit) of estimators, consequences of different underlying assumptions, and advanced methods not covered in ECON 375. Prerequisite: ECON 374 (may be taken concurrently) or permission of instructor.
481 Seminar in Labor Economics
This advanced study of selected issues in labor economics emphasizes international and comparative perspectives. Topics may include participatory and innovative employment practices, incentives and careers in organizations, executive compensation, internal labor markets, and labor market transitions. Prerequisite: ECON 381 (formerly 342) or ECON 339 or ECON 381. (Formerly ECON 442.)
483 Seminar in Resource and Environmental Economics
This course is an advanced study of current resource and environmental issues. It explores the reasons for, and the welfare implications of, some of the pressing resource and environmental issues facing humankind today. Topics may include the study of energy use and its implications for local and global environments; the interaction between economic development and population growth and its impact on resource use and the environment; and the local and global implications of deforestation. The economic, scientific, and political framework surrounding the issues is explored. Prerequisite: ECON 228 or 383. (Formerly ECON 428.)
484 Seminar in Applied Macroeconomics
One or more of the following topics are studied: current U.S. stabilization policies; policy simulation analysis and forecasting using macroeconomic models; and advanced analysis of inflation, unemployment, income distribution, and economic growth.
487 Seminar in Financial Economics
This course offers a closer look at selected topics in financial economics. The focus is on issues related to the efficiency of financial markets: do financial markets quickly and accurately price all assets, taking into account all available information? Topics covered include random walk theory, the risk/return trade-off, the equity premium, pricing anomalies, and behavioral finance. Prerequisite: ECON 387 (formerly 332). (Formerly ECON 432.)
489, 490 Honors Seminar: Special Problems in Economics
This course is designed for senior majors who are eligible for departmental honors (or high honors). Each seminar member plans and writes an honors thesis under the general guidance and supervision of a faculty member. Seminar members present their work to the group and act as discussants of each other’s work. Enrollment in both terms is necessary for course credit. ECON 489 is offered for no course credit and no grade in the fall. ECON 490 is offered for one course credit in the spring, with ECON 489 as a prerequisite. This course is taken under the satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) grading option.
191, 291, 391, 491 Independent Study