Recent offerings include both standard fields of economics, interdisciplinary fields (e.g., Methods of Social Research, offered jointly with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology; Economic History of the United States, offered jointly with the Department of History), and other topics of interest to the faculty (e.g., Democracy at Work; Women, Children and Economic Policy).
The study of aggregate supply and demand; national income and fiscal policy; the banking system and monetary policy; economic fluctuations and growth – all viewed from a global systems perspective. Applied topics include unemployment, inflation, gross domestic product, interest rates, economic forecasting, the Federal Reserve system, technological change, productivity, business cycles, foreign exchange markets, the balance of international payments and others, depending on current developments in the economy. Fulfills social science requirement (1998). Social/behavioral science and numeric/symbolic engagement requirements (2019).
The study of economics; supply and demand; consumer behavior; firms, production and cost; perfect competition, monopoly and other market types; income distribution; all explained with the goal of understanding economic problems and evaluating public policy to solve these problems. Applications to agriculture, energy, environment, poverty, economic development, discrimination, natural resources, taxes, regulation, sports and other special topics, depending on the semester. May be taken independently of ECON 221. Fulfills social science and social justice/ environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Social/behavioral science, evaluating systems and environments, and numerical/symbolic engagement requirements (2019).
Independent research or directed study on a topic of interest to the student. Credit depends on the quality and quantity of work agreed upon in advance; generally, for example, one credit would be earned for an acceptable 20-page paper.
May also be offered at the 390 level.
The course focuses on the key areas of quantitative research methods including the scientific method, selection of research design, data collection and sampling, questionnaire design, data analysis and interpretation, and ethical issues in research design. Class assignments and projects enable students to develop their proficiency in using descriptive and inferential statistics to analyze and interpret data.
Examines key issues in economic history in the United States, including the emergence and spread of market institutions, the changing nature and conditions of work through different periods, the rise of big business and impact of industrial capitalism, and the methods and outcomes of those who resisted these changes. Short research projects and a semester-long paper provide opportunities to engage in historical research.
Students will use a variety of key economic sources and learn various techniques of univariate analysis. They will gain experience in developing testable hypotheses, creating well-designed survey instruments to test these hypothesis, and gaining experience in different methods of data presentation. Fulfills social/behavioral science requirement (2019).
Students will learn and apply multivariate analysis as they test specific economic models or theories of their choice. They will gain confidence as they interpret the results and problem solve any challenges that emerge from their analysis.
Explores how the financial and world money systems operate in a global economy, the evolution of financial markets and institutions, the role that theories of money play in current economic events and in the policy efforts of the Federal Reserve and other central banks with respect to the rate of inflation, real economic activity, unemployment rates, current prices and international flows of commodities and capital.
Historical analysis of the rise and decline of socialist-type economies (especially the former USSR, but cases for student research include Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, etc.) and the challenges of transition and integration into the world capitalist system. In this seminar-style course, students select a particular country other than Russia for in-depth semester-long research.
U.S. policy-makers frequently view Latin America and the Caribbean as “beneath” the United States. This seminar-style course adopts a radically different perspective: from within Latin America looking outwards.
Is government merely a necessary evil or can it be an effective force to improve the lives of its citizens? This course examines the role and performance of government programs in economy, raising significant social and economic issues such as wealth distribution, poverty, taxation and economic fairness.
Is economic growth necessary to provide the prosperity needed to pay for environmental restoration or does such growth create environmental problems we can never undo? The course uses economic theory, ecological concepts and systems approaches to examine current management practices of our renewable and nonrenewable resources.
The course overviews the health care system in the U.S. and its historical roots, focusing on the economic analysis of the health care markets, including markets for physicians services, hospitals, insurance and the market for pharmaceuticals. The course explores forces that influence demand, costs and supply in each market; considers questions of market power and other marker failures present in health care markets, and the role of the government. During the semester students pursue a research project by identifying a contemporary health care issue, which they research using tools of economic analysis, culminating with a proposal of its creative solution.
The course focuses on formal economic analysis of consumer behavior, decision-making by a firm under different competitive market structures, welfare analysis, and select other topics. The course introduces students to mathematical tools of economic analysis, including optimization and marginal analysis. The course is recommended for students who plan to pursue graduate degrees in economics, finance, business, public policy and related fields.
Systematic approach to international economic relations; theories of international trade and finance; impact of national governments and multinational institutions on movements of commodities, people, direct investment, portfolio flows and foreign exchange markets; and application of international economic theory to current problems of the world economic order.
Alternative approaches to labor-market theory and policy: perfect competition, segmentation and dual labor-market hypotheses. Income distribution; unions and collective bargaining; and discrimination and poverty macroeconomics of the labor market.
Industrial organization studies how firms are organized and how they compete in the modern market place. It applies the tools of microeconomic analysis to study imperfectly competitive markets – markets where firms have market power. The course addresses such questions as: What strategies do firms use to gain and maintain market power? What causes some firms to die while others survive? What are the welfare consequences of market power? How do government regulations and antitrust policies affect firms and market structure? Specific topics include industry entry and exit, monopoly, strategic behavior and collusion, mergers, antitrust regulation.
Research and oral presentation of an in-depth study, usually building from research done in other upper- level economics courses. For students of exceptional motivation and ability.