Economics

JOHN P. CASKEY, Professor 2
STEPHEN S. GOLUB, Professor
ROBINSON G. HOLLISTER, Professor 6
PHILIP N. JEFFERSON, Professor, Acting Chair
MARK KUPERBERG, Professor
ELLEN B. MAGENHEIM, Professor and Chair 3
STEPHEN A. O’CONNELL, Professor 1
AMANDA BAYER, Associate Professor
ERIN TODD BRONCHETTI, Assistant Professor
JENNIFER PECK, Assistant Professor 3
TAO WANG, Assistant Professor
VERA BRUSENTSEV, Visiting Assistant Professor
GARRET CHRISTENSEN, Visiting Assistant Professor and Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow
JOSEPH HARGADON, Visiting Professor (part time)
NANCY CARROLL, Administrative Assistant

1 Absent on leave, fall 2013.
2 Absent on leave, spring 2014.
3 Absent on leave, 2013–2014.
6 Spring 2014.

The Academic Program

The economics curriculum is structured so that students achieve the following goals:

  1. Learn and apply models and tools for analyzing economic processes, decisions, and institutions;
  2. Analyze and evaluate public policy; and
  3. Think critically about the outcomes of public and private economic institutions and systems domestically and globally.

The Economics Department offers a course major, honors major, and honors minor. A course minor is not offered.

Course Major

Requirements

ECON 001 or its equivalent is a prerequisite for all other work in the department. In addition, all majors in economics must satisfy a theory requirement by taking ECON 011 (Intermediate Microeconomics) and ECON 021 (Intermediate Macroeconomics). They must also satisfy a statistics requirement. The statistics requirement is typically satisfied by taking ECON 031. It can alternatively be satisfied, however, by taking ECON 035 (which requires either ECON 031 or STAT 061 as prerequisite), by taking STAT 111 (which requires STAT 061), or by taking STAT 061 in combination with either STAT 011 or STAT 031. STAT 011 and STAT 031 alone are not sufficient.

In order to read the literature in economics critically, a knowledge of elementary calculus is extremely useful. Students need to take MATH 015 (or receive MATH 015 credit or placement out of MATH 015 from the Mathematics Department) prior to taking ECON 011 or ECON 021. Since ECON 011 and ECON 021 are required for the economics major, MATH 015 is a requirement for the major. Students can take ECON 001, ECON 031, and other courses that do not have ECON 011 or ECON 021 as a prerequisite before they meet the MATH 015 requirement. Students can find further information regarding math placement and credit at: www.swarthmore.edu/NatSci/math_stat/ap_pi.html.

In addition, the department very strongly recommends that students take either MATH 025 or 026 (Basic Calculus). MATH 027 (Linear Algebra), MATH 034 (Several Variable Calculus), and MATH 044 (Differential Equations) are valuable for those intending to focus on the more technical aspects of economics. Students planning to attend graduate school in economics should give serious thought to taking additional mathematics courses, including MATH 063 (Introduction to Real Analysis).

To graduate as a course major, a student must:

  1. Have at least eight credits in economics.
  2. Meet the theory and statistics requirements. Note: Course students should take these courses before the second semester of their senior year to be prepared for the comprehensive examination. Note also that some seminars and courses have ECON 011, 021, and/or 031 as prerequisites.
  3. In the senior year, pass the comprehensive examination given early in the spring semester.

Comprehensive Examination

Course majors must pass the Comprehensive Examination which is given in January or February of each year and covers the theory and statistics requirements. The exam is given only once a year and students must take it at Swarthmore College. All students will take the examination in their senior year. The only exception is for students who are graduating early; those students can take the comprehensive exam in the spring semester prior to their final semester at Swarthmore.

Acceptance Criteria: The Course Program

Except for students who have been granted advanced standing, applicants should have:

  1. Completed at least two economics courses at Swarthmore.
  2. Have an overall grade average of C or better.
  3. Have a grade of B or better in at least one economics course taken at Swarthmore.
  4. Should not have any D’s or NC’s in any economics course. These conditions include the grade equivalent(s) for any course(s) taken Credit/No Credit. [Note: Regarding the “grade of B or better” requirement, a B in a course taken elsewhere may not suffice. Students who expect to satisfy the requirement with course work done at other schools should consult the chair about grade equivalencies ahead of time. For example, an A- is typically required in the case of a course taken in summer school.]

Students have one year from the date of their application to satisfy these requirements. Failure to do so within one year will mean rejection.

Students who wish to apply for a double major must submit a copy of their Sophomore Plan to both departments.

Honors Major

Typically, a student who wants to major in the Honors Program first applies for the program through the Sophomore Plan. In the Sophomore Plan, the student should indicate the intention to apply for the Honors Program and should list all preparations that the student plans to take as part of that program. The student would usually take at least one preparation in the junior year. Approval of a student’s Honors Program must be granted by the department. Changes of major and/or honors status can be made at any time by picking up forms and instructions in the Registrar’s Office.

The Honors Exam for Majors and Preparations

Honors majors in economics must complete 3 preparations. All preparations in economics consist of 2 credits. Most preparations involve taking a 2 credit seminar, but some preparations may combine a course and a 1 credit seminar. A complete list of preparations, with their prerequisites, appears below.

Culminating Exercise

External examiners will determine a student’s Honors performance in an individual preparation based on a 3 hour written exam, an oral exam, and if applicable, a seminar paper. (Honors majors do not take the comprehensive exam given to course majors.)

Acceptance Criteria: The Honors Program

Applicants for an honors major should have satisfied all of the requirements for an economics course major and, in addition, should have a straight B or better grade average in economics courses. This condition includes the grade equivalent(s) for any course(s) taken credit/no credit.

Honors Minor

Requirements

Applicants for an honors minor should have satisfied all of the requirements for acceptance as an economics course major and, in addition, should have a straight B or better grade average in economics courses. This condition includes the grade equivalent(s) for any course(s) taken Credit/No Credit. While minors are not required to complete a specific number of economics courses, they must satisfy all the prerequisites for their honors preparation.

Culminating Exercise

External examiners will determine a student’s honors performance in an individual preparation based on a 3 hour written exam, an oral exam, and if applicable, a seminar paper. (Honors minors do not take the comprehensive exam given to course majors.)

Acceptance Criteria: The Honors Minor

Applicants for a honors minor should have satisfied all of the requirements for an economics course major and, in addition, should have a straight B or better grade average in economics courses. This condition includes the grade equivalent(s) for any course(s) taken credit/no credit.

Application Process Notes for the Major

Normally, any student planning to major in economics, whether in the Course or Honors Program, applies for the major by submitting a Sophomore Plan in the spring of the Sophomore year. (Except for students who have been granted advanced standing, applicants should have completed at least two economics courses at Swarthmore.) A student who will be away that semester should submit the paper before leaving at the end of the fall semester. In the Sophomore Plan, students should state their reasons for wanting to major in economics along with any associated considerations, and they should indicate the courses and seminars essential to their plan of study. Through the paper, students are preregistered for seminars offered over the following two years; thus, students are strongly urged to select their seminars carefully. Moreover, if a student decides to change seminars, the department’s administrative assistant should be informed as soon as possible, since entry into oversubscribed seminars is first-come, first-served, with seniors in the Honors Program having absolute priority.

Honors Preparations

ECON 101: Advanced Microeconomics (2 credits)
Prerequisites: ECON 011 and multivariable calculus (MATH 033, 034, or 035).
Enrollment is restricted to juniors and seniors.
ECON 102: Advanced Macroeconomics (2 credits)
Prerequisites: ECON 011 and ECON 021, and multivariable calculus: MATH 033, 034, or 035 (or MATH 025 or 026 with permission of the instructor).
Recommended: MATH 043 or 044.
ECON 122: Financial Economics (2 credits)
Prerequisites: ECON 011, ECON 031 or ECON 035, and MATH 025 or higher calculus.
ECON 135: Advanced Econometrics (1 credit) and ECON 035: Econometrics (1 credit)
Prerequisites: ECON 035 and linear algebra (Math 027, 028, or 028S).
ECON 141: Public Economics (2 credits)
Prerequisite: ECON 011.
Recommended: ECON 021 and ECON 031 (or its equivalent).
ECON 151: International Economics (2 credits)
Prerequisites: ECON 011 and ECON 021.
ECON 165: Behavioral Economics (2 credits)
Prerequisites: ECON 011, ECON 031, and MATH 015 (or a score of 5 in AP Calculus).
Recommended: multivariable calculus (MATH 033, 034, or 035).
ECON 171: Labor and Social Economics (2 credits)
Recommended: ECON 011.
ECON 181: Economic Development (2 credits)
Prerequisites: ECON 011, ECON 021, and either ECON 031, STAT 011, or STAT 031.

Interdisciplinary Majors and Minors including Economics

Certain economics courses can be counted toward programs in black studies, Asian studies, environmental studies, Latin American studies, peace and conflict studies, public policy, and gender and sexuality studies.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate Credit

Economics before Swarthmore: The Economics Department offers a one-semester Introduction to Economics course (ECON 001) that is the prerequisite for all further study in economics.
The department does not give credit for work done in economics in secondary schools and it does not give credit for Advanced Placement exams. All students planning to study economics are required to begin with ECON 001 unless granted a waiver by the department. To receive a waiver, students must have a score of 5 on both the Microeconomics and Macroeconomics AP exams (or a 6 or 7 on the Economics Higher Level Exam of the International Baccalaureate, or an A on the British A Levels). This waiver does not count as a course credit. Students who receive the waiver cannot enroll in ECON 011 or 021 before taking at least one other economics course.

Work done at a college or university while attending secondary school is eligible for credit subject to the chairperson’s normal discretion in giving credit for such work, but only if the work is credited on an official college or university transcript. With respect to satisfying the prerequisite requirements for other economics courses: either semester of a two-semester introductory course alone counts as the equivalent of ECON 001 but if only one of two introductory semesters is taken, the material covered in the other half must be accessed by auditing (subject to the instructor’s approval) the relevant parts of ECON 001 or by taking the appropriate intermediate theory course (ECON 011 or ECON 021).

Transfer Credit

Transferring economics credits: Students must consult the department chair before taking a non-Swarthmore course for credit. In turn, when formally requesting a credit transfer, students should always bring evidence—syllabus, papers, and examinations—concerning the content of the course. Problems transferring credit typically arise in connection with courses offered in programs abroad that are labeled as economics though they are in fact courses in law, history, or political science; the department does not accept such credits as being within the domain of economics. It is usually sufficient for partial credit transfer if the course is taught by a qualified economist and is largely analytical in content, as are nearly all courses in economics departments in American colleges and universities.

Transferring credit for introductory economics: Subject to the department’s approval, students may transfer credit for introductory economics taken at other colleges or universities, whether taken in the context of a one or a two semester introductory course.

Transferring credits for business courses: Students can only apply one course in Accounting toward their 8 course requirement in economics. Business courses taken at the University of Pennsylvania or other universities beyond this cannot be counted toward the eight courses required for an economics major. They can be included as part of the 32 courses required for graduation. Students, however, can receive credit for no more than two such courses. The only exception to this rule is for students who take the equivalent of ECON 033 (Financial Accounting) at another school; the course is not counted against the two allowed business credits, and can be counted as part of the 8 credits needed for the economics major. No credit is given for night school classes at Wharton.

Teacher Certification

For economics majors, the College offers teacher certification in social studies or citizenship through a program approved by the state of Pennsylvania. For further information about specific requirements for Economics students, please refer to the Educational Studies section of the Bulletin.

Additional Matters

Recommended course sequence: Take ECON 001 in the first year. Take ECON 011, 021, and 031 in the sophomore and junior years and certainly before the beginning of the senior year. For students contemplating graduate study in economics, take one or more of: ECON 101, ECON 102, and ECON 135, as well as the Mathematics and Statistics courses discussed at the beginning of this document.

Ranking for entry into seminars: Entry into oversubscribed seminars is first-come, first-served for students in the Honors Program, with priority given to seniors, then to juniors. Any places remaining are allocated on the basis of first-come, first-served for students in the Course Program.

Double major in Economics and Engineering: Double majors may count Operations Research (cross-listed as ECON 032 and ENGR 057) for both majors. It will appear as ENGR 057 on the student’s transcript if it is taken to satisfy engineering or both requirements.

Semester or year away: The Economics Department will facilitate study abroad or elsewhere in the United States. Correspondingly, it has designed a major that can, without difficulty, be completed in no more than four semesters. Moreover, the department is quite liberal in approving transfer credits for courses offered by economics departments elsewhere. Students should, however, be aware of the following considerations: to graduate with an economics major from Swarthmore, a student must have taken at least two economics courses at Swarthmore and must pass the department’s comprehensive exam.

Courses

ECON 001. Introduction to Economics

Covers the fundamentals of microeconomics and macroeconomics: supply and demand, market structures, income distribution, fiscal and monetary policy in relation to unemployment and inflation, economic growth, and international economic relations. Focuses on the functioning of markets as well as on the rationale for and the design of public policy. Prerequisite for all further work in economics.
1 credit.
Each semester. Staff.

ECON 002. First-Year Seminar: Greed

In 1776, Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest…The individual intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always worse for society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.” This seminar investigates the degree to which self-interest should be the organizing principle of economic and social organization.
This course counts as 1 of the 8 economics credits needed to fulfill an economics major, but it does not take the place of ECON 001. It, therefore, cannot be used to fulfill the ECON 001 prerequisite for further work in the Economics Department.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Kuperberg.

ECON 002A. First-Year Seminar: Emerging Market Economies: The BRICS 1900–2020

Will Brazil, Russia, India, and China be the most dominant economies in the world by 2050? Why is South Africa (S) in the group? We study the economic trajectories of these countries from roughly 1900, emphasizing the roles of domestic reforms and global markets in spurring human capital accumulation, industrial development, and economic growth. We ask how international organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organization (WTO) are accommodating the emergence of these countries, and what influence the BRICS are likely to exert on the global governance of trade, aid, finance, and the environment.
This course counts as 1 of the 8 economics credits needed to fulfill an economics major, but it does not take the place of ECON 001. It, therefore, cannot be used to fulfill the ECON 001 prerequisite for further work in the Economics Department.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. O’Connell.

ECON 005. Savage Inaccuracies: The Facts and Economics of Education in America

(Cross-listed as EDUC 069)
This course investigates the relationship between issues of resource allocation and educational attainment. It examines the facts about student achievement, educational expenditure in the United States, and the relationship between them. It studies such questions as: Does reducing class size improve student achievement? Does paying teachers more improve teacher quality and student outcomes? The course also investigates the relationship between educational attainment and wages in the labor market. Finally, it analyzes the effects of various market-oriented education reforms such as vouchers and charter schools.
Prerequisites: ECON 001 and any statistics course (or the consent of the instructor). EDUC 014 is strongly recommended.
Eligible for PPOL credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

ECON 011. Intermediate Microeconomics

Provides a thorough grounding in intermediate-level microeconomics. The standard topics are covered: behavior of consumers and firms, structure and performance of markets, income distribution, general equilibrium, and welfare analysis. Students do extensive problem solving both to facilitate learning microeconomic theory and its applications.
Prerequisites: ECON 001 and MATH 015.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Golub.

ECON 012. Game Theory and Strategic Behavior

How should one bargain for a used car or mediate a contentious dispute? This course is an introduction to the study of strategic behavior and the field of game theory. We analyze situations of interactive decision making in which the participants attempt to predict and to influence the actions of others. We use examples from economics, business, biology, politics, sports, and everyday life.
Prerequisite: ECON 001.
Eligible for PEAC credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Bayer.

ECON 021. Intermediate Macroeconomics

The goal of this course is to give the student a thorough understanding of the actual behavior of the macroeconomy and the likely effects of government stabilization policy. Models are developed of the determination of output, interest rates, prices, inflation, and other aggregate variables such as fiscal and trade surpluses and deficits. Students analyze conflicting views of business cycles, stabilization policy, and inflation/unemployment trade-offs.
Prerequisites: ECON 001 and MATH 015. Freshmen need the consent of the professor.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Kuperberg.

ECON 022. Financial Economics

This course analyzes the ways that firms finance their operations. It discusses the organization and regulation of financial markets and institutions. It examines theories explaining asset prices and returns, and it discusses the function and pricing of options and futures contracts.
Prerequisite: ECON 001 and ECON 031, STAT 031, or STAT 061.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

ECON 027. Antitrust Legislation and Regulation

This course provides an introduction to the interaction between economic theory and the political process from both a domestic and an international perspective. Topics include the provision of public goods, taxes and subsidies, competition in the marketplace, and the effects of market power and rent-seeking behavior on the political system. Emphasis throughout will be on the application of economic theory to current events.
Prerequisite: ECON 001.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

ECON 028. Economics of Latin America

Recent developments in the global economy present an exciting opportunity for assessing the challenges facing the economies of the western hemisphere. The objective of the course is to encourage students to think critically about the role of institutions, the effects of government intervention in the economy, and how public policy affects a specific economy in particular and the global economy in general. A number of issues pertaining to Latin America are explored and evaluated: economic growth and development, financial crises, labor market institutions, and trade policy.
Prerequisite: ECON 001.
Eligible for LASC credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Brusentsev.

ECON 031. Introduction to Econometrics

This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of applied quantitative analysis in economics. Following a brief discussion of probability, statistics, and hypothesis testing, this course emphasizes using regression analysis to understand economic relationships and to test their statistical significance. Computer exercises provide practical experience in using these quantitative methods.
Prerequisite: ECON 001.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Bronchetti. Spring 2014. Christensen.

ECON 032. Operations Research

(See ENGR 057)
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

ECON 033. Financial Accounting

This course is designed to provide students with an intermediate level study of corporate accounting theory and practice as it falls within the framework of United States generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). A major focus of the course is how accounting provides information to various user groups so that they can make more informed decisions. In particular, students will learn the steps in the accounting cycle leading up to the preparation and analysis of corporate financial statements. Students are also exposed to some of the fundamental differences between federal tax rules and external financial reporting requirements and are made aware of the organizations that influence and contribute to the body of knowledge in financial accounting. Finally, ethical issues that may be confronted by the accountant are also discussed throughout the course. Prerequisite: ECON 001.
1 credit.
Each semester. Hargadon.

ECON 035. Econometrics

Quantitative methods used in estimating economic models and testing economic theories are studied. Students learn to use statistical packages to apply these methods to problems in business, economics, and public policy.
Prerequisite: ECON 001 and ECON 031 or STAT 061.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Jefferson.

ECON 041. Public Economics

This course focuses on government expenditure, tax, and debt policy. A major part of the course is devoted to an analysis of current policy issues in their institutional and theoretical contexts. The course will be of most interest to students having a concern for economic policy and its interaction with politics.
Prerequisite: ECON 001.
Recommended: ECON 011.
Eligible for PPOL credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Bronchetti.

ECON 042. Law and Economics

The purpose of this course is to explore the premises behind the use of utilitarian constructs in the analysis of public policy issues. In particular, the appropriateness of the growing use of economic methodology will be examined through an intensive study of issues in property, tort, contract, and criminal law.
Prerequisite: ECON 001.
Recommended: ECON 011.
Eligible for PPOL credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

ECON 044. Urban Economics

The topics covered in this course include the economic decline of central cities, transportation policies, local taxation, theories of urban growth patterns, local economic development initiatives, and the economics of land use and housing.
Prerequisite: ECON 001 and ECON 031, STAT 031, or STAT 061.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

ECON 045. Labor Economics

Should the minimum wage be raised? Why are unions less common in the U.S. than Europe, and would U.S. workers be better off with higher rates of unionization? This course will attempt to answer these questions using economic theories describing the supply of and demand for labor in the marketplace. Unemployment, the minimum wage, immigration, unions, discrimination, wage inequality, the effect of schooling on earnings, and decisions that affect labor force participation (such as fertility and retirement) will all be discussed. Theoretical models will be compared to the most up to date empirical findings to test the value of the models.
Prerequisite: ECON 001.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Christensen.

ECON 051. The International Economy

This course surveys the theory of trade (microeconomics) and of the balance of payments and exchange rates (macroeconomics). The theories are used to analyze topics such as trade patterns, trade barriers, flows of labor and capital, exchange-rate fluctuations, the international monetary system, and macroeconomic interdependence.
Prerequisites: ECON 011 and ECON 021.
Eligible for PPOL credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Golub.

ECON 054. Global Capitalism Since 1920

This course will study global capitalism over the last century, focusing on the interplay between events, economic theories and policies. The issues to be examined include: financial market booms and busts; business cycles; inequality; the social welfare state; technological change and economic growth; and international trade and financial arrangements. The time period covers: the Roaring Twenties; the Great Depression, the post war Golden Age (1945–1973); the stagflation of the 1970s; the Thatcher-Reagan-Greenspan-Bush era of market liberalization (1980–2007); and the financial crisis and Great Recession of 2007–2010. Economic theories include: the classical laissez-faire view; Schumpeter’s theory of “creative destruction”; Keynes and the “neo-classical synthesis” advocating a mixed economy; Minsky’s theory of financial instability; Friedman, the efficient-markets hypothesis, and the “new classical” critiques of government interventions; and emerging ideas in response to the present crisis. The course will chronicle and compare economic policy and performance of the United States, Europe, Japan, and the developing world (Asia, Latin America, Africa).
Prerequisite: ECON 001.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

ECON 063. Public Policies in Practice: Establishing What Works and for Whom

Participants in this course will examine research on specific policy interventions designed to change outcomes for individuals, corporations, and communities. Particular focus will be on attempts to establish whether such policy interventions can cause changes in outcomes for individuals, corporations, or communities. In recent decades, random assignment/experimental designs have increasingly been applied to estimate the impact of changes in policies on employment, welfare, housing, education, policing, public health, and community development. Social policy experiments and alternative methods to examine cause and effect will be covered, with emphasis on actual examples from the previously mentioned fields. Specific issues in design, implementation of such studies, the analysis of results, and translation to the policy context will be reviewed. Students will meet with selected analysts who carry out these types of studies. Students will do some analysis of data generated from quantitative studies of what works and for whom.
Prerequisite: ECON 001.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Hollister.

ECON 067. Experimental Economics

This course will cover some of the main research topics in economics that have been studied with laboratory and field experiments, such as behavior in competitive markets, provision of public goods, biases in individual decision-making, neural underpinnings of economic choice, and preferences regarding risk, time, and fairness. Students will be introduced to techniques for conducting economic experiments, and will design their own experiment as part of course assignments.
Prerequisite: ECON 001 and ECON 031, or STAT 011, or a score of 4 or 5 in AP Statistics.
Recommended: ECON 011.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

ECON 073. Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Economics

This course focuses on the role of difference in economic systems. In this course, we learn how to apply the theoretical and empirical tools of economics to analyze the economic status of women and of various racial and ethnic groups in the United States, and we explore the various sources of, and solutions to, persistent economic inequality. We also examine the roles of race, ethnicity, and gender in the development of economic theory and policy.
Prerequisite: ECON 001.
Eligible for BLST, GSST, or PPOL credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Bayer.

ECON 075. Health Economics

This course applies the tools of microeconomic analysis to the health care industry. We will analyze the determinants of demand for and supply of health care, including the relationship between demographic variables, health status, and health care consumption. The structure and behavior of the major components of the supply side will be studied, including physicians, hospitals, and insurance companies. The variety of ways in which the government intervenes in the health care sector—regulation, antitrust, social insurance, and direct provision—will be considered. Finally, we will study some more specialized topics, including the intersection of bioethics and economics, mental health economics, and international health system comparisons. Students will write a series of short papers, examining medical, economic, and policy considerations related to a health problem or issue.
Writing course.
Prerequisite: ECON 001.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

ECON 076. Environmental Economics

Introduction to basic concepts and methods used in evaluating environmental benefits and costs and in assessing mechanisms for allocating environmental resources among present and future uses, with due attention to seemingly noneconomic concerns. Specific topics include pollution and environmental degradation; use of exhaustible and renewable resources; management of air, water, and energy resources; sustainable economic growth; and international resource management.
Prerequisite: ECON 001.
Eligible for ENVS or PPOL credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

ECON 081. Economic Development

A survey covering the principal theories of economic development and the dominant issues of public policy in low-income countries. Topics include the determinants of economic growth and income distribution, the role of the agricultural sector, the acquisition of technological capability, the design of poverty-targeting programs, the choice of exchange rate regime, and the impacts of international trade and capital flows (including foreign aid).
Prerequisite: ECON 001.
Eligible for ASIA, BLST, PEAC, or PPOL credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Christensen.

ECON 082. Political Economy of Africa

A survey of the post-independence development experience of Sub-Saharan Africa. We study policy choices in their political and institutional context, using case-study evidence and the analytical tools of positive political economy. Topics include development from a natural resource base, conflict and nation building, risk management by firms and households, poverty-reduction policies, globalization and trade, and the effectiveness of foreign aid.
Prerequisite: ECON 001.
Eligible for BLST, PEAC, or PPOL credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. O’Connell.

ECON 083. Empirical Development Economics

This course explores and attempts to explain the persistent poverty of the world’s very poorest countries. Big-picture models such as the Washington Consensus, foreign aid, geography and institutions, and civil wars attempt to answer the big questions, but the methodological shortcomings in the related economic models are severe. We focus on applied statistical results from development economists using randomized trials to answer smaller-bore questions more accurately. With an emphasis on cost-effectiveness, we look at specific programs to increase school attendance, prevent malaria and the spread of HIV, reduce corruption, and increase access to credit.
Students cannot receive credit for both ECON 081 and ECON 083.
Prerequisites: ECON 001, and ECON 031 or STAT 011.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Christensen.

ECON 099. Directed Reading

With consent of a supervising instructor, individual, or group study in fields of interest not covered by regular course offerings.
Fall or spring semester. Staff.

Seminars

ECON 101. Advanced Microeconomics

Subjects covered include consumer and producer theory, optimization and duality, general equilibrium, risk and uncertainty, asymmetric information, and game theory.
Prerequisites: ECON 011 and multivariable calculus (MATH 033, 034, or 035). Enrollment is restricted to juniors and seniors.
2 credits.
Spring 2014. Bayer.

ECON 102. Advanced Macroeconomics

Subjects covered include microfoundations of macroeconomics, growth theory, rational expectations, and New Classical and New Keynesian macroeconomics. Extensive problem solving, with an emphasis on the qualitative analysis of dynamic systems.
Prerequisites: ECON 011, ECON 021, and multivariable calculus (MATH 033, 034 or 035, or MATH 025 or 026 with permission of the instructor).
Recommended: MATH 043 or 044.
2 credits.
Fall 2013. Kuperberg.

ECON 122. Financial Economics

This seminar analyzes the ways that firms finance their operations. It discusses the organization and regulation of financial markets and institutions. It examines theories explaining asset prices and returns, and it discusses the function and pricing of options and futures contracts.
Prerequisites: ECON 011, ECON 031 or ECON 035, and MATH 025 or higher calculus.
2 credits.
Fall 2013. Caskey.

ECON 135. Advanced Econometrics

Quantitative methods used in estimating economic models and testing economic theories are studied. Students learn to use statistical packages to apply these methods to problems in business, economics, and public policy. Students will also evaluate studies applying econometric methods to major economic issues. An individual empirical research project is required.
Prerequisites: ECON 035 and linear algebra (MATH 027, 028 or 028S).
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Jefferson.

ECON 141. Public Economics

This seminar focuses on the analysis of government expenditure, tax, and debt policy. A major part of the seminar is devoted to an analysis of current policy issues in their institutional and theoretical contexts. The seminar will be of most interest to students having a concern for economic policy and its interaction with politics.
Prerequisite: ECON 011.
Recommended: ECON 021 and ECON 031 (or its equivalent).
Eligible for PPOL credit.
2 credits.
Spring 2014. Bronchetti.

ECON 151. International Economics

Both microeconomics and macroeconomics are applied to an in-depth analysis of the world economy. Topics include trade patterns, trade barriers, international flows of labor and capital, exchange-rate fluctuations, the international monetary system, financial crises, macroeconomic interdependence, the roles of organizations such as the World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund, and case studies of selected industrialized, developing, and transition countries.
Prerequisites: ECON 011 and ECON 021.
Eligible for PPOL, ASIA and PEAC credit.
2 credits.
Spring 2014. Golub.

ECON 165. Behavioral Economics

Economic theory is based on assumptions regarding the form of individuals’ preferences, ability to optimize, weighting of probabilities in risky choice, and belief formation. This course is an introduction to behavioral economics, a field focused on making these behavioral assumptions more realistic. Strategies for improving realism include drawing on the relevant literature in psychology, conducting new experiments, or using existing field data. The course will cover, at an advanced level, topics in economics where research in behavioral economics has led to revision or questioning of aspects of standard economic theory, and to a better description of actual economic behavior. For example, we will discuss the role of self-control problems in savings behavior, and the relevance of preferences for fairness for explaining the functioning of labor markets.
Prerequisites: ECON 011, ECON 031, and MATH 015 (or a score of 5 in AP Calculus).
Recommended: Multivariable calculus (MATH 033, 034, or 035).
2 credits.
Not offered 2013–2014.

ECON 171. Labor and Social Economics

Students discuss such topics as the organization of work within firms, labor market operations, unions and labor relations, unemployment and macroconditions, economic analysis education, health care, housing, and discrimination, determinants of income inequality, and government policies with respect to health, education, and welfare.
Prerequisite: ECON 001.
Recommended: ECON 011.
Eligible for BLST or PPOL credit.
2 credits.
Spring 2014. Hollister.

ECON 181. Economic Development

The economics of long-run development in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. We cover the leading theories of growth, structural change, income distribution, and poverty, with particular attention to development strategies and experience since World War II. Topics include land tenure and agricultural development, rural-urban migration, industrialization, human resource development, poverty targeting, trade and technology policy, aid and capital flows, macroeconomic management, and the role of the state. Students write several short papers examining the literature and a longer paper analyzing a particular country’s experience.
Prerequisites: ECON 011, ECON 021, and either ECON 031, STAT 011, or STAT 031.
Eligible for ASIA, BLST, or PPOL credit.
2 credits.
Not offered 2013–2014.

ECON 198. Thesis

With consent of a supervising instructor, honors majors may undertake a senior thesis for double credit.
Each semester. Staff.