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COURSE CATALOGUE : ECONOMICS
The Economics Department provides students with a broad education in economic theory and analytic methods. It uses multiple approaches to the discipline to enable students to understand, analyze, research, and evaluate economic phenomena, processes and issues. We believe this creates a sound foundation for the further critical study of economic matters necessary to be active citizens and successful professionals.
Course offerings in the Economics Department are designed both to meet the needs of students who wish a better understanding of the economic issues that affect their lives, and to meet the needs of students who have an interest in an extended, in-depth study of economics. The department offers introductory and advanced courses that examine important issues using the analytical tools of the discipline, in addition to courses that examine major economic theories.
Students must take the Math Placement Exam prior to registering for ECON 160 (see the online placement test for more information). Calculus I (MATH 130) or equivalent is a prerequisite for ECON 300 and 301. Only one 450 course can count towards the major. All courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better in order to be credited towards the major or minor, or meet prerequisite requirements. Courses taken Credit/No Credit are not accepted for the major.
Students who want to pursue a career in finance or a graduate degree in economics should take, in addition to the economics courses (and calculus) required for the major, several courses in mathematics, including: Calculus II (MATH 131), Multivariable Calculus (MATH 232), Linear Algebra and Applied Linear Algebra (MATH 204 and 214), Differential Equations (MATH 237) and Foundations of Analysis (Math 331).
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR (B.A.)
disciplinary, 11 courses
ECON 160; two topics/issues courses at the 100- or 200-level; ECON 202; the four core courses (ECON 300, ECON 301, ECON 304, ECON 305); and three additional upper-level courses. Calculus I (MATH 130) or equivalent is a prerequisite for ECON 300 and 301. Students are encouraged to take at least one of the upper-level courses at the 400 level. Only one 450 (Independent Study) or 495 (Honors) can count towards the major. All courses (including Math 130) must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. Credit/no credit courses cannot be counted towards the major.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR
disciplinary, 6 courses
ECON 160; two topics/issues courses; ECON 300; ECON 301; and one additional course at the 300- or 400-level. Calculus I (MATH 130) or equivalent is a prerequisite for ECON 300 and 301. All courses (including Math 130) must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. Credit/no credit courses cannot be counted towards the minor.
PATHWAYS TO THE MAJOR
POSSIBLE PATHWAYS TO AN ECONOMICS MAJOR
Introductory Theory Course
ECON 160 Principles of Economics
ECON 120 Contemporary Issues
ECON 122 Economics of Caring
ECON 135 Latin American Economies
ECON 196 Principles of Accounting
ECON 198 Business Law
ECON 203 Between Labor and Management: Unions
ECON 207 Economics of Education
ECON 212 Environmental Economics
ECON 213 Urban Economics
ECON 218 Introduction to Investments
ECON 227 Women and International Development
ECON 230 History of Economic Thought
ECON 233 Comparative Economics
ECON 236 Introduction to Radical Political Economy
ECON 240 International Trade
ECON 243 Political Economy of Race
ECON 245 Political Economy of Food and Agriculture
ECON 248 Poverty and Welfare
Core Theory Courses
ECON 300 Macroeconomic Theory and Policy
ECON 301 Microeconomic Theory and Policy
ECON 305 Political Economy
Quantitative Reasoning Courses
ECON 202 Statistics
ECON 304 Econometrics
ECON 307 Mathematical Economics
ECON 308 Corporation Finance
ECON 309 Portfolio Analysis
ECON 310 Economics and Gender
ECON 311 Economics of Immigration
ECON 313 African American Economic History
ECON 315 Managerial Economics
ECON 316 Labor Market Analysis
ECON 320 Media Economics
ECON 324 Money and Financial Markets
ECON 325 Economics of Inequality and Distribution
ECON 331 Institutional Economics
ECON 344 Economic Development
ECON 348 Natural Resources and Energy Economics
ECON 415 Game Theory
ECON 425 Seminar: Public Macroeconomics
ECON 435 Seminar: Political Economy of Latin America
ECON 474 Seminar: Current Issues in Political Economy
ECON 476 Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa
ECON 480 Seminar: Current Issues in Macroeconomics
POLICY ON TRANSFER COURSES AND AP CREDIT
Students taking courses in an off-campus program not led by HWS faculty may count up to two courses toward the major. To qualify as an upper level elective course, the course must require either intermediate macroeconomic theory or intermediate microeconomic theory (or its equivalent) and the student must have completed these prerequisites prior to taking the course in the off-campus program.
Currently enrolled HWS students may transfer core courses taken at other accredited institutions, subject to the rules of the Colleges. Students should obtain prior approval from the department chair to transfer the course, using the appropriate form from the Hobart or William Smith Dean’s office. The department does not count AP credit toward the major.
ECON 120 Contemporary Issues Introduction to economics through the application of different analytical tools and perspectives to a variety of contemporary policy issues, such as inflation, unemployment, the environment, regulation, urban problems, economic development, and the role of women and minority groups in the economy. (Offered occasionally)
ECON 122 Economics of Caring There is more to economics than the wealth of nations. A good society is more than its wealth; it has the capacity and is willing to care for those who cannot completely provide for themselves. In this course students explore, analyze, and assess how our society cares for those who cannot provide all of the necessities of life for themselves; including children, the infirm, and the elderly. They examine public policies and debates concerning poverty, health care, education, child protection, and adoption. (Waller, offered annually)
ECON 135 Latin American Economies In this course we study the Latin American Economies, their troubled history, their boom-and-bust tendencies, the economic policies that have been implemented and their painful consequences in terms of poverty, inflation and debt. We begin with an overview of the settlement of the Americas and the economic systems that developed and end with a look at the rise of Brazil and the Chinese challenge of the 21st Century. (S. McKinney, Fall, offered annually)
ECON 160 Principles of Economics This course is the first course in economic theory. Microeconomic topics include supply and demand, comparative advantage, consumer choice, the theory of the firm under competition and monopolies, and market failure. Macroeconomic topics include national income accounting, the determinants of national income, employment and inflation, the monetary system and the Fed, and fiscal policy. This course is required for all majors and minors in economics. (Offered each semester)
ECON 196 Principles of Accounting This course explores the theory and application of accounting principles in recording and interpreting the financial facts of business enterprise. The course covers such topics as the measurement of income, capital evaluation, cost accounting, budgeting, and financial analysis. Prerequisite: ECON 160. (Hamilton, offered annually)
ECON 198 Business Law This course is the study of the basic law of contracts with emphasis on agency, negotiable instruments, property, etc. The system of courts is also studied. Prerequisite: ECON 160. (Kinne, offered annually)
ECON 202 Statistics This course offers an introduction to the methods of descriptive and inferential statistics that are most important in the study of economics. The intent of the course is to help students understand and apply these tools. The course includes basic descriptive statistics, probability distributions, sampling distributions, statistical estimation, and hypothesis testing, as well as an introduction to computer software for statistical analysis. Students complete a semester project in which they apply the tools taught in the course to generate, interpret, and discuss a statistical analysis of their own. Prerequisite: ECON 160. MATH 130 strongly recommended. (Offered each semester)
ECON 203 Between Labor and Management: Unions In this course, students examine the labor movement in the U.S. and learn about labor management disputes and their resolutions. This course will analyze public and private sector collective bargaining, focusing on the history, bargaining units, the scope of collective bargaining, administration of a CBA (collective bargaining agreement), and the major provisions of a CBA. Legal, economic, and social aspects will be evaluated by examining several major issues and case studies. Prerequisite: ECON 160. (Offered alternate years)
ECON 207 Economics of Education This course applies the tools of economic analysis to the issue of education in the United States. It will use both current events and economic and sociological literature to provide an introduction to various aspects of the topic such as the history of education and governance in the U.S., higher education as an investment decision, teacher quality and school type, and class and demographic issues (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, inequality and the importance of family). Finally, the course will also evaluate the U.S. education system in relation to other countries. Prerequisite: ECON 160.
ECON 212 Environmental Economics The primary goal of this course is to apply basic micro-economic principles to understanding environmental issues and possible solutions. The course is structured around four basic questions: How much pollution is too much? Is government up to the job? How can we do better? How do we resolve global issues? Throughout the course, students move back and forth between theory and practice, learning how basic principles from economic theory can be applied to environmental questions and then looking at how these principles have been used to implement policy nationally and internationally. Prerequisite: ECON 120, ECON 160, or ENV 110 (Energy). (Drennen, offered annually)
ECON 213 Urban Economics As an introduction to the basic problems of urban areas in the United States at the present time, the course analyzes the hierarchy of cities in the U.S., market areas, and location. It then examines the economic issues concerned with urban housing, poverty, transportation, and finances. It has a policy orientation and concludes with a discussion of urban planning. Prerequisite: ECON 160, or permission of instructor. (Frishman, offered alternate years)
ECON 218 Introduction to Investments This course is meant as a broad introduction to U.S. financial markets (equity and capital) and instruments (stocks, bonds, etc.) and the related major financial theories (efficient markets, modern portfolio theory, behavioral finance) and models (capital asset pricing, dividend discount). Much of finance is highly quantitative and extremely abstract but the main focus of this course will be on understanding and then applying financial theory rather than on numerical calculations. Prerequisite: ECON 160. (Hamilton, offered annually)
ECON 227 Women and International Development In this course we will examine the process of economic development in the global South from a gender perspective, and analyze the dialectic relationship between gender equality and empowerment of women, and economic development. We will examine the evolution of women’s access to employment and productive resources such as land and credit. Particular attention will be paid to the theoretical and political debates around these issues in order to attain a better understanding of the meaning and measurement of women’s empowerment and equality. Prerequisite: ECON 120 or 160. (Gul, offered annually)
ECON 230 History of Economic Thought This course surveys the growth of economic thought from 1500 to the 20th century, with special emphasis on the growth of "scientific economics" in Britain between 1770 and 1890. While the primary aim of the course is to trace analytical developments in economics, attention is also paid to the political and social environments in which economic theory evolved. This course provides helpful preparation for ECON 305. Prerequisites: ECON 160 (Staff, offered alternate years)
ECON 233 Comparative Economics This course looks at how different societies and cultures have chosen to organize themselves economically, how their key economic institutions function and how well they have performed over time. We will move away from the traditional “capitalist versus socialist” or “command versus market” split within comparative economics to also look at how different religious traditions have attempted to answer the age old questions of “what,” “how,” and for “whom” to produce as well as how increasing economic and financial integration (i.e., “globalization”) and financial crises have impacted economic systems worldwide. Prerequisite: ECON 160. (Khan, offered annually)
ECON 236 Introduction to Radical Political Economy This course provides an introduction to the economic thought of Karl Marx, to contemporary radical political economy, and to current debates in radical political economy. Topics include the theory of value, surplus value and exploitation, capital and its accumulation, and capital and crisis. Recent debates in socialist-feminist thought, the political economy of race, and ecofeminism are addressed. Prerequisite ECON 120 or 160. (Gul, Fall, offered alternate years)
ECON 240 International Trade This course provides an introduction to the theory of gains from trade, comparative advantage and international monetary relations using the analytical tools of micro-and macroeconomics acquired in ECON 160 Principles of Economics. It uses this theory to examine issues such as protectionism, economic integration (e.g., NAFTA and the European Union), and international investment, with an emphasis on how economic and financial relations among countries have very different consequences for different groups of people. Prerequisite: ECON 160. (J. McKinney and Tessendorf, offered each semester)
ECON 243 Political Economics of Race Persistent racial inequalities in income and wealth remain a fact of life in the USA and throughout the Americas. In this course, we explore the interaction between race, gender, and ethnicity in labor and product markets, and we consider the theory and evidence for present-day debates over discrimination and policies such as affirmative action. Finally, we examine how different understandings of “race” color economic theories that seek to explain differences in economic outcomes. Prerequisite: ECON 160. (Staff, offered annually)
ECON 245 Political Economics of Food and Agriculture This course provides an overview of the global food economy - its development, current issues and problems, alternatives and policy options. Students will learn about the following: (1) the interrelated sets of processes by which food is produced, transformed by processing, distributed for purchase, and consumed: (2) problems and debates associated with these processes; (3) solutions and alternative food practices and policies. Questions addressed include: What is the role of the food system in social development, industrialization, and economic growth? How is food produced and what are the impacts of different production systems? What are the global patterns of food consumption, security, and trade? How do government policies shape the global patterns of food consumption, security, and trade? How do government policies shape the global food system? How might alternative policies and movements generate solutions to world food problems?
ECON 248 Poverty and Welfare Poverty amidst wealth is a troubling feature of the American economy. Economists and other social scientists have offered various explanations for it. This course looks into the nature and extent of poverty, theories of its causes, and the range of public policies aimed at easing or ending poverty. Prerequisite: ECON 120 or 160. (Greenstein, offered annually)
ECON 251 Economics and the Arts The purpose of this course is to apply economic theory and research methods to issues and problems in understanding the arts. Topics include decisions about pricing, input utilization, marketing, market integration, and government policy. The complementarity and/or competitiveness of high arts and popular arts are considered. Attention is given to the problems of funding and of balancing (or even identifying objectives) for efficient management of non-profit arts institutions. The possible roles of government in the arts are explored.
ECON 300 Macroeconomic Theory and Policy This course examines in detail the major elements of aggregate economic analysis. The major focus is on the development of theoretical economic models that examine the interrelationships within the economic system. Once these models have been developed, they are used extensively to examine the current macroeconomic problems in the economic system, e.g., inflation, unemployment, economic growth, international balance of payments, the business cycle, and others. Prerequisite: ECON 160, one 200 level topics/issues course, and MATH 130 or equivalent. (Offered each semester)
ECON 301 Microeconomic Theory and Policy A study of pricing and resource-allocating processes in the private economy, this course examines the theories of demand and production, and the determination of prices for commodities and factors of production in competitive and non competitive markets. The concept of economic efficiency is central to the course. Prerequisites: ECON 160, one 200-level topics/issues course, and MATH 130 or equivalent. (Offered each semester)
ECON 304 Econometrics The subject of this course, broadly speaking, is regression analysis. After a brief review of the simple linear model, the course develops the theoretical framework for the multivariate linear model. Various special topics are studied while students complete individual research projects that demonstrate comprehension of the steps in conducting an econometric analysis. Prerequisites: ECON 202 and ECON 300 or ECON 301. (Offered each semester)
ECON 305 Political Economy This course analyzes alternative ways of understanding economics and political economy. It investigates debates on economic theory and discourse within a broad context of critical issues in the foundations and development of the social sciences. Theoretical foundations of major schools of economic thought (e.g., neoclassical, Keynesian, Marxist) are explored, as well as questions of ideology and method in economic thought. Feminist economics is introduced. Prerequisites: ECON 300 and ECON 301, or permission of the instructor. (Offered each semester)
ECON 307 Mathematical Economics This course has two objectives. First, to acquaint the student with the various mathematical tools widely used in theoretical economics today. These tools include simple linear algebra, matrix algebra, and differential calculus. Second, to utilize these tools to demonstrate and examine the fundamental concepts underlying microeconomic and macroeconomic theory. Prerequisites: ECON 300 and ECON 301. (Grayson, offered alternate years)
ECON 308 Corporation Finance This course deals with the strategic decision-making process relative to three main areas: capital budgeting; capital structure; and working capital management. One important role a financial manager plays is to create value for the shareholder within legal and ethical constraints in a rapidly changing enterprise environment. Topics include the time value of money, risk and return, security valuation, capital budgeting, cash and liquidity management, management of current liabilities, dividend policy, cost of capital, capital structure policy and the evaluation of alternative methods of financing. Prerequisites: ECON 196 and either ECON 300 or 301. (Offered annually)
ECON 309 Portfolio Analysis This course addresses the principles and practice of managing investment portfolios. It presumes an understanding of the main forms of financial instruments and markets, as well as a familiarity with basic financial models and mathematics. Prerequisites: ECON 218 and ECON 301, or permission of instructor. (Offered occasionally)
ECON 310 Economics and Gender This course examines the ways that gender matters in the economy and in economic theory. It examines the gendered nature of economic life through topics such as the economics and history of the family, household production and the allocation of time, gender differences in occupation and earnings, economic policy, gender in a global context, and alternative approaches for promoting gender equity. A discussion of feminist approaches to the study of economics provides the context for these issues. Prerequisite: ECON 301 or ECON 305. (Ramey, offered alternate years)
ECON 311 The Economics of Immigration The immigration issue is such a hot political topic that it is often hard to think about it analytically, but such an approach is essential if we are to adopt wise and appropriate policies. In this course we examine the international movement of people using the tools of economic analysis. We consider both the causes and the consequences of international migration, focusing on contemporary USA but using both historical experiences and those of other countries to help inform our understanding. Prerequisite: ECON 301. (J. McKinney, Fall, offered alternate years)
ECON 313 African American Economic History This course explores the historical factors which have defined the economic trajectory of African Americans. We begin in 1619—when the first slaves arrive in the United States—up to the recent past. This includes the emancipation, reconstruction and the entire 20th century, with specific focus on the Depression, the Civil rights period pre- and post-. We use an interdisciplinary approach incorporating social psychology, anthropology, philosophy, along with economic theory to contextualize and subsequently analyze historical data and events that have shaped the economic reality of Africans in America. Prerequisite: ECON 160 (Grayson, Fall, offered annually)
ECON 315 Managerial Economics This course provides students with an applied competence in utilizing basic microeconomic principles, methodologies, and techniques to solve managerial problems relating to costs, prices, revenues, profits and competitive strategies. Using managerial economic techniques, four basic areas of finance are addressed: risk analysis, production analysis, pricing analysis and capital budgeting. This course further explores how economic and financial forces affect a firm's organizational architecture relative to both its internal and external environment, as well as within a global context. Prerequisite: Econ 301. (Hamilton, offered occasionally)
ECON 316 Labor Market Issues The supply of labor and the demand for labor is addressed in the first third of the course. We discuss the within firm decision to hire, profit maximization for different markets, wage elasticity, technological change, and policy. On the supply side we analyze the labor leisure model, household production, age earnings profiles, and policies applicable to each topic. Once the basics are addressed we explore expansions of these models within a variety of topics. A model of human capital is developed. Education is examined as an investment decision, with applications. The determinants of earnings are studied and examined by group, including race, gender, ethnicity, and nativity. A substantial portion of this section will focus on immigration, specifically adjustment and impact. We examine other topics such as unemployment and inequality. Prerequisite: ECON 301.
ECON 320 Media Economics This course uses economic analysis to study the media industry, including TV, video, print, music and new media. The course begins by reviewing/introducing basic economic concepts. Then develop the framework for industry studies in the field of industrial organization. Students will then prepare industry studies. These will be used to explore public policy questions involving the media. Prerequisites: Economics 301 OR Media and Society 100. (Waller)
ECON 324 Money and Financial Markets This is a basic “money-and-banking” course that integrates macroeconomic theory and monetary theory, with special emphasis on how interest rates are determined and their role in the overall economy, the changing structure and function of financial markets, the role of the Federal Reserve System, the relationship between the domestic and international monetary system, and how and why financial crises develop and their impact upon the economy. Prerequisites: ECON 300. (Damar, Khan, Rezende, offered annually)
ECON 325 Economics of Inequality and Distribution This course covers distributional issues in economics, with focus on issues of inequality. We will discuss different conceptions, definitions, and measurements of inequality, examine current trends in poverty and inequality empirically, both internationally and with a particular focus on current trends in the U.S., study competing theories on how economic distribution is determined and inequality is created, and, finally review some possible remedies to reduce inequality, and whether or not they are feasible or desirable. Prerequisite: ECON 301. (Greenstein, offered alternate years)
ECON 331 Institutional Economics This course explores the economic thought by Institutional Economists. This approach emphasizes the cultural components of economic behavior and the evolution of economic provisioning processes. The course also examines the institutionalists' critique of neoclassical economic theory. The readings for the course include classic and contemporary texts from both original institutional economics and the "new institutional" economics. Prerequisite: ECON 305 or permission of instructor. (Waller, offered annually)
ECON 344 Economic Development This course examines both the theory and practice of Third World countries in their attempts to modernize and industrialize. Some topics that are discussed include: the roles of agricultural and industrial development, investment, urbanization, infrastructure, foreign trade, foreign aid and debt, and government planning. The course evaluates the importance of the distribution of income, education, the transfer of technology, population control, and neo-colonialism. Countries from Africa, Asia, and Latin America are used frequently and extensively as examples. Prerequisite: ECON 300. (Rezende, Fall, offered annually)
ECON 348 Natural Resources and Energy Economics Designing winning solutions to the complicated issues affecting the environment requires a strong interdisciplinary approach. The course covers the basic theoretical models of natural resource use as well as the implications of these models for policy decisions. Topics include opposing views of natural resource use and depletion; basic criteria and methods for decision analysis; property rights and externalities; the linkage between population growth, resource use, and environmental degradation; energy options; successes and limitations of recycling; resource scarcity; economic growth and resource use; and sustainable development. Students construct simple simulation models to explore the basic relationships discussed in this course. Prerequisite: ECON 301. (Drennen, offered alternate years)
ECON 415 Game Theory This course is an introduction to game theory. Game theory is the study of strategic behavior among parties having interests that my be quite similar or in direct opposition. The student will learn how to recognize and model strategic situations, and how to predict when and how actions influence the decisions of others. We will begin with an analysis of normal form games in which we have a static setting and players move simultaneously. Concepts such as a player's best response, dominant strategies, and the Nash equilibrium are presented, along with various applications. Then we will turn to extensive form games to analyze games in which players move sequentially. Lastly, we will study situations in which players have less than full information. Prerequisite: ECON 301; MATH 131 is recommended. (Grayson, offered alternate years)
ECON 435 Political Economy of Latin America In this seminar we study the interaction of domestic economic structure, society and politics, and global pressures in Latin America by means of case studies of particular places and periods. The case studies change from year to year: they have included the coffee sector in Central America, the manufacturing sector in Brazil during the rise of Embraer and CVRD, and the rise of the multilatinas in the 21st Century. Prerequisites: ECON 135 or ECON 240 or ECON 305. (S. McKinney, offered alternate years)
ECON 450 Independent Study An upper-level elective by arrangement with faculty members.
ECON 456 1/2 Credit Independent Study
ECON 474 Topics in Political Economy This course focuses on different topics each year, such as the changing nature of work, and globalization. Prerequisite: ECON 305, or permission of instructor. (Staff, Fall, offered occasionally)
ECON 476 Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa This seminar course provides an understanding of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through the lens of political economy. In this course, students will learn economics of different countries in MENA based on their overall economics performance such as economic performance measured by their economic growth, income level, and human development. The course examines how political, economic and institutional legacies of colonial powers shaped the region's economic trajectory, how economies of the region interact with Western capitalism and the global economy and how this interaction affects their patterns of economic transformation of growth. Some of the topics will include the importance of oil and capital flows, industrial and agrarian trends, the role of government in the economy, employment and the export of labor, human development and gender, the impact of Islamism and the Arab Spring. Prerequisites: ECON 300 or 301, or ECON 240 for INRL majors. (Unal, offered alternate years)
ECON 480 Seminar: Current Issues in Macroeconomics In this seminar, students consider a variety of current macroeconomic and global issues. In particular, this seminar focuses on the 2007-2008 global financial crisis. It explores the possible causes of, and consequences of, the meltdown in the global financial markets and the “Great Recession” that followed. It builds on Minsky's theoretical framework including his reinterpretation of Keynes's General Theory, Minsky's development of the financial instability hypothesis, and his policy proposals in Stabilizing an Unstable Economy. It then explores the transformation of the structure of the U.S. financial system, current analyses of the global financial crisis, and proposals for dealing with financial crisis and reregulation of financial institutions and markets. Students are expected to be active participants, write a substantial paper, and make a presentation to the seminar. Prerequisites: ECON 300 (Rezende, offered alternate years)
ECON 481 Seminar: Current Issues in Microeconomics In this seminar, students consider a variety of current microeconomic and global issues. Examples of such issues might be international trade, regulation, market structure, welfare and poverty, intellectual property rights, demography, and education. Students are expected to be active participants, write a substantial paper, and make class presentations. (Offered alternate years)
ECON 495 Honors The Honors program usually consists of one course per term for two or three terms. These courses can be used by student majors to fulfill an upper-level core requirement and the department’s senior seminar requirement.