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School of Natural and Social Sciences

The Economics BA Program | Academic Requirements | Student Learning Outcomes | Minor in Economics | Courses | Faculty

The Economics Program: Courses

1000–1999 (lower level, freshman)
2000–2999 (lower level, sophomore)
3000–3999 (upper level, junior)
4000–4999 (upper level, senior)


Macroeconomic Theory I
ECO 1500
/ 4 credits / Every semester
An introductory course on modern theory of the causes of unemployment, inflation, economic growth, and a strong or weak dollar. The course treats the economy as a system and examines the ways in which its behavior can be influenced by policy (e.g., the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve Board, fiscal policies of Congress and the Administration).

Microeconomics I: The Principles of Human Action
ECO 1510
/ 4 credits / Every semester
A practical introduction to the logic of human action with applications to daily life. This course traces the implication of choice in the face of scarcity and imperfect knowledge. Topics include the nature and value of cost, the spontaneous emergence of social order, demand-supply analysis, theory of markets, and public policy.


Arts and Entertainment in Economics
ECO 2085
/ 4 credits / Spring
A survey course that reviews economic and financial aspects of the film, music, performing arts, sports, radio, and broadcasting industries.

Economies of Latin America
ECO 2223
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
An overview of economic conditions in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a focus on competing strategies for national and regional development. Topics include the consequences of the region’s deepening immersion in the global economy; its investment, trade, and labor-market ties to the U.S. economy; and the roots of its principal socioeconomic conflicts.

Globalization: Film and Lecture Series
ECO 2225
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Does globalization, the dynamic force of the current global economy, promote or impede global development? Using films, lectures, and selective readings, this course examines the arguments for and against globalization. Topics may include the role of U.S. foreign policy in underdeveloped countries; the impact of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and global corporations; gender and development; the politics of global food production; the historical impact of colonialism and imperialism; cultural imperialism; and the nature of the current American empire.

Environmental Economics
ECO 2280
/ 4 credits / Alternate years
Economics can help define, address, and solve many environmental problems. This course provides students with a set of conceptual tools that are useful in addressing environmental issues like pollution and pollution abatement, the conservation of natural resources, environmental regulation, and the political economy of environmentalism.
Prerequisite: ECO 1510
Recommended: A prior course in economics

Business Economics
ECO 2300
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
This course provides the basic analytical tools that are helpful in guiding business and managerial decision-making in various kinds of markets. Topics include production and cost theory, competitive and monopolistic pricing, and how to interpret econometric and statistical data.
Prerequisite: ECO 1510

The Development of Modern Capitalism
ECO 2325
/ 4 credits / Every year
A study of the social and economic history of the great transformation of European civilization from the preindustrial world to the era of industrialization and the shifts in the ideas, ideologies, and social and economic policies that accompanied it.

Labor Economics
ECO 2350
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Examines different theories of the labor market (neoclassical, institutional, feminist, and political economy) and the history of the labor movement in the U.S., including changes in labor law. Other topics include recent changes in the structure of labor markets, patterns of unionization, the role of gender, immigration, and the impact of changes in business organization on the labor movement.

Law and Economics
ECO 2550
/ 4 credits / Every year
Students apply the basic concepts of economics to examine the formation, structure, processes, and consequences of law and legal institutions. The interactions between the legal process and the market process are studied with respect to policy. Topics include intellectual property, environment protection, bankruptcy, tort law, regulation, and property rights.
Prerequisite: ECO 1500 or 1510

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Macroeconomic Theory II
ECO 3010
/ 4 credits / Fall
A continuation of ECO 1500. Treating the entire economy as a system, contemporary economic theories are introduced to explain: what causes economic growth and a strong or weak dollar; how spending decisions interact with national money and bond markets to affect interest, inflation, and unemployment rates; and how economic performance in one country can affect other countries.
Prerequisite: A minimum grade of C+ in ECO 1500

ECO 3070
/ 4 credits / Spring
An introduction to econometric theory and methods. Particular emphasis is placed on multiple regression techniques widely used in economic research. These include hypothesis testing, choice of functional form, distributed lags, instrumental variable estimation techniques, dummy variables, and two-stage least squares. Problems associated with autocorrelation, heteroscedasticity, and multicollinearity are also discussed.
Prerequisite: A minimum grade of C+ in either PSY 2320 or MAT 1600

Game Theory
ECO 3080
/ 4 credits / Spring
An overview of game theory concepts with emphasis on how successful outcomes of decisions in economics and other disciplines are influenced by the behavior of others. Examples include the “prisoner’s dilemma” and a Nash equilibrium. Students develop analytical tools that allow them to formally analyze outcomes in strategic situations.
Prerequisite: ECO 1510

Cities, Culture, and Economy
ECO 3100
/ 4 credits / Fall
Is there a common set of social institutions or environments that gives rise to both successful urban economies and flourishing arts and culture? Proposing that such a set exists, this course attempts to identify it; traces its implications for cultural and economic development; and explores the interrelations of capitalism, cities, and culture. While areas of culture and society are addressed, the analytical framework is that of economics and political economy.
Prerequisite: ECO 1500, 1510, 2085, or 2325

Money and Banking
ECO 3190
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Details the history and functions of banks and financial institutions. Topics include the evolution of banking, the importance of banking in a community, the functions of banking (credit, deposit, and payment), the Federal Reserve System, and current issues and trends in the industry.
Prerequisite: A minimum grade of C- in ECO 3010

Financial Economics
ECO 3195
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Topics include the economic role of financial markets and the major financial institutions operating in these markets, principles of security pricing and portfolio management, security exchanges and investment banking, the capital asset pricing model, securitization, option pricing, and derivatives.
Prerequisite: ECO 1510

The Global Economy
ECO 3200
/ 4 credits / Fall
A policy-oriented examination of current events in international economic relations. Topics include global economic interdependence; the politics and economics of U.S. trade policy; regional trading blocs; European monetary union; reform in transitional economies; U.S.-Japan and U.S.-E.U. economic relations; roles of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization; and debt burdens of developing countries. A background in economics is not required.

Microeconomics II: Tools for Problem Solving
ECO 3260
/ 4 credits / Fall
Further elaboration and discussion of topics in microeconomics, including applications of decision-making under asymmetric information, market power, common law, politics, and the impact of time and uncertainty on choice.
Prerequisite: A minimum grade of C+ in ECO 1510

Cultural Economics
ECO 3330
/ 4 credits / Fall
Examines the economics of the cultural sector, including differences between U.S. and European policies of government support. Other topics include intellectual property rights, including copyright; emerging trends in art and online; artists’ labor markets (e.g., are artists poor? why do superstars exist?); the economics of religion; and the economics of language.
Prerequisite: An introductory course in economics or permission of instructor

Experimental Economics
ECO 3340
/ 4 credits / Fall
An introduction to experimental methods in economics. Students test some of the standard economic theories learned in previous courses and confirm them (or not) based on evidence derived from experiments.
Prerequisite: ECO 1510 and PSY 2320

History of Economic Thought
ECO 3360
/ 4 credits / Spring
Examines the evolution of economic thought from the late 19th century to the present. Topics include the rise of neoclassical theory, the Keynesian critique of orthodoxy, and the later revisions by Keynesians and post-Keynesians. Students may also examine recent contributions in the Marxian tradition.
Prerequisite: An introductory course in economics or permission of instructor

Business, Government, and Society
ECO 3400
/ 4 credits / Fall
An examination and critique of the U.S. government’s objectives and policies concerning business and other social institutions, from the perspective of their influence on individual incentives. Topics vary, but typically include public policies on poverty, urban planning, business, regulation, and antitrust.
Prerequisite: One course in economics

Behavioral Economics
ECO 3600
/ 4 credits / Fall
An introduction to behavioral economics that examines how the economic decisions of economic agents are influenced by cognitive, emotional, and social forces, and how these decisions influence resource allocation and well-being in ways that are often at variance from the analysis of standard economics. Topics include hyperbolic discounting, choice architecture, hedonic pricing, and public policy.
Prerequisite: A minimum grade of C- in ECO 3260

Special Topics in Economics
ECO 3650
/ Variable credits (2 or 4) / Special topic (offered irregularly)
An advanced undergraduate course in economics. Topics vary from semester to semester and include such areas as microeconomics, macroeconomics, political economy, economic sociology, law and economics, and the history of ideas.
Prerequisite: A minimum grade of C+ in either ECO 1500 or 1510

Economics Internship
ECO 3995
/ Variable credits / Every semester
This internship provides students with the opportunity to gain real-world experience in the business or nonprofit organization of their choice.

Tutorial and Independent Study
ECO 3996
and 3997 / 1–4 credits / Every semester
Faculty are available for independent study and tutorials on a selected basis in areas not covered by coursework.

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Advanced Seminar in Economics
ECO 4250
/ Variable credits (2 or 4) / Special topic (offered irregularly)
An advanced seminar geared toward (but not limited to) students interested in pursuing graduate studies in economics or related fields. Topics vary from semester to semester.
Prerequisite: ECO 1500 and 1510

Economics Senior Seminar I and II
ECO 4880
and 4890 / 1 credit (per semester) / I: Fall; II: Spring
This required, two-semester seminar assists seniors in undertaking the research and writing of their senior thesis. It focuses on the fundamentals of producing a good senior thesis, selected current issues in economic theory and policy that may be relevant to the research topics chosen by students, research tools available to those conducting economic research, and improvement of writing skills.
Corequisite: SPJ 4990 (Fall) and SPJ 4991 (Spring)

Senior Project I and II
SPJ 4990
and 4991 / 4 credits (per semester) / Every year
Students are required to submit a senior project in order to complete the major in economics. Students work with individual faculty members to develop a project design that focuses on some substantive or methodological problem in economics. Must be taken for two semesters (8 credits total).
Corequisite: ECO 4880 (Fall) and 4890 (Spring)

Updated Mar. 23, 2016

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