Fall 2019 - Course Descriptions

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10011/20011 Principles of Micro Economics 

An introduction to economics with particular attention to the pricing mechanism, competitive and monopolistic markets, government regulation of the economy, labor-management relations and programs, income determination and public policy, foreign trade and the international economy.

10020/20020 Principles of Macro Economics 

A continuation of introduction to economics with emphasis on the measurement of national economic performance, alternative explanations of short-run economic fluctuations and long-run economic growth, money and credit, fiscal and monetary policy.

13181 Soc. Science University Seminar (Freshman Only) 

Economics sections will deal with different aspects of economic analysis and policy issues. The focus will be on understanding how economists think about theoretical issues and how they apply their analytical tools to real-world economic problems and policies. No background in economics is assumed.

30010 Intermediate Economic Theory – Micro 

An examination of the language and analytical tools of microeconomics emphasizing the functional relationship between the factor and product markets and resource allocation. Prerequisite: Econ 10010/20010 and 10020/20020 and Calc B or equivalent

30020 Intermediate Economic Theory - Macro 

An intensive examination of macroeconomics with particular reference to the determination of national income, employment, and the general price level. Prereq: Econ 10010/20010 & 10020/20020 and Calc B or equivalent

30330 Statistics for Economics

This course seeks to introduce the student to the principles of probability and statistical theory appropriate for the study of economics. The emphasis of the course will be on hypothesis testing and regression analysis.

30331 Econometrics 

Provides students with an understanding of when and how to use basic econometric methods in their work as an economists, including the ability to recognize which econometric technique is appropriate in a given situation as well as what explicit and implicit assumptions are being made using the method. Topics covered include estimation and hypothesis testing using basic regression analysis, problems with basic regression analysis, alternative econometric methods, limited dependent variables, and simultaneous equation models. Prereq: (ECON 30330 or ECON 303) or (BAMG 20100 or BAMG 230).

30532 Economics of Housing

An introduction to the economics of housing, with particular attention to issues of homelessness and the low-income housing market. Topics includes economic models of homelessness, housing subsidies and regulations, housing market filtering, concentrated poverty and neighborhoods effects, and public policy responses to housing problems.

30541 Public Economics

A belief in efficient markets leaves little room for government economic activities other than the establishment and enforcement of property rights and the redistribution of income to promote social justice. Yet free markets are known in certain situation to fail to achieve an efficient allocation of goods and resources in a society. The first half of the course will examine the conditions when markets can be expected to fail and the alternative policies that governments could follow to promote social welfare. Governments like markets can also fail to adopt policies that efficiently address social problems. In the first half of the course we will also address problems in collective decision-making that can lead to government failures. The second half of the course will be devoted to examining applications of these theories to real world problems. In each of these areas, we will ask how can we justify government intervention; how has the government decided how to intervene; what are the impact of the intervention on economic outcomes; and what alternative interventions should be considered to improve outcomes. The policy areas we will examine will vary from year to year but in the past have been are the formation of a market for body parts (kidneys); sugar subsidies; student loan programs; unemployment insurance; nutritional and housing assistance programs; infrastructure; and guaranteed income programs.

30801 Poverty in Developing World

This class provides an introduction to the world of development policy in the face of massive and persistent world poverty. It focuses on the important tools and concepts required for both understand and create policy aimed at combatting challenges posed by third-world poverty. This includes understanding when it is proper to intervene in markets, along with the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government institutions.

33150 Intro to Econ & Catholic Thought

This course is the seminar version of 30150. In this course we will discuss the relationship between economics and Catholic social teaching. We will learn about key principles in Catholic social thought, read key Papal encyclicals and other writings. We will then discuss key economic concepts and empirical facts known from the field of economics, and how these relate to Catholic social teaching. Finally, we will apply these ideas to discussions on labor, capital, finance, the environment, globalization, and development

33250 Justice Seminar

An examination of major theories of justice, both ancient and modern. Readings include representatives of liberal theorists of right, such as John Rawls, as well as perfectionist alternatives. The course also serves as the core seminar for the philosophy, politics, and economics concentration.

33561 Tax Reform

Taxes are the instruments that governments use to acquire resources to pursue their spending activities but increasingly taxes are used today as an instrument to undertaken activities once viewed as government spending. Instead of creating a direct spending program to subsidize individuals who undertake activities the government wishes to promote, individuals who undertake these activities are provided with a tax preference in the form of a deduction from their taxable income or a credit for their tax liability. This course will address the following four primary questions. First, by taking ahistorical perspective the course asks how has tax policy evolved so that the tax code contains so much hidden spending activity? Second, what is the state of tax policy today - how do we tax ourselves? Third, what is the cost to the economy of our current tax system? Finally, can we adopt a ‘better' tax code? What are the current policy options (a national sales tax, a flat tax, an expenditure tax, or modifications to our current tax system through a series of base broadening measures and rate reductions) and what is the likelihood that tax reform will be accomplished?

40050 Game Theory

The objective of this course is to help students develop a good understanding of the basic concepts in game theory and learn how to employ these concepts to better understand strategic interactions. Topics covered will include normal form games, extensive form games, pure and mixed strategies, Nash Equilibrium, subgame perfect equilibrium, repeated games, and introduction to games of incomplete information. Selected applications will include competition and collusion in oligopoly, entry deterrence, political competition and rent seeking, social norms and strategic interaction.

40060 Advanced Microeconomics Theory

This course will focus on some selective topics in modern micro economic theory. It may vary from term to term. A possible choice of a broad range of topics are: Choice under uncertainty, Game theory, Market mechanisms, Coalitional analysis, Public goods and Welfare economics. Each of these topics will be discussed with mathematical rigor. Some of the objectives of the course are to familiarize students with important analytical techniques of micro theory and their applications to the study of various economic phenomena and to help students to cultivate the ability to critically evaluate the usefulness and limitations of economic models.

40354 Financial Economics

This course introduces students to the types of securities that exist, the markets in which they trade and the decisions faced by households who demand assets (portfolio theory) and the firm that supply them (corporate finance).

40355 Financial Economics Enriching Experience

Students will attend additional out of classroom enrichment opportunities, such as presentations by outside researches and practitioners. These events will complement the coursework by offering insights into the world of finance and policymaking, and will be natural opportunities for networking and for career advancement.

40354 Financial Econometrics

This course introduces students to the types of securities that exist, the markets in which they trade and the decisions faced by households who demand assets (portfolio theory) and the firm that supply them (corporate finance).

40562 Taxation in a Global Economy

In this course students will explore the different corporate structures firms adopt to operate in multiple countries. A key focus will be on understanding the economic and institutional factors that influence where multinational firms locate their production, sales, and management activities. Central to these decisions are the tax policies adopted by individual countries and the role of tax havens. Students will also study how tax policies affect the general economic environment in which firms operate by affecting wages, firm investment, and firm value.

40750 Economics of China

The course will cover aspects of China's economy (international, macro, labor market issues, demographics, migration, and others) since economic reforms were implemented in 1978

43025 International Macroeconomics 

This is the seminar version of Econ 40025. "This course provides students with an introduction to open-economy macroeconomics. Discussed are theories of trade, exchange rates, business cycles in emerging markets, international financial crises, and sovereign debt. The course is primarily model-based, giving students an analytic framework in which to understand international economic issues. However, current events and policy issues are integrated to give context."

43271 Global Trade, Inequality, and Development

Global considerations are increasingly shaping economic outcomes around the world. This course will explore various topics at the nexus of international trade and economic development using models of international trade, empirical research, and case studies. Topics include macroeconomic growth accounting, changing patterns in world trade, trade and inequality, the political economy of trade policy, trade and industrial policy, trade versus aid, trade and the environment, trade linkages and international financial crises. The objective is to equip students with the analytical tools to characterize the multifaceted and unequal impacts of globalization. Assignments will include interim problem sets, in-class presentations and an original term paper. International Trade is recommended but not required.

43330 Forecasting for Econ and Business

This course is an introduction to forecasting. The course focuses on creating and working with forecasts of economic, finance, and other business data. Basic theory will also be presented. The forecasts are constructed from estimated summary statistics and parameters generated by several methods, including time series procedures and exponential smoothing. Students will learn how to interpret the uncertainty in the forecasts and in the estimated parameters. Diagnostic statistics and model selection criteria will be presented. Requirements: ECON 30331; Econometrics or some other regression based Stats class (something beyond the Stats for Econ course).

43410 Labor Law

This course is the seminar version of ECON 30410. A study of the development of common and statutory law with reference to industrial relations in the United States with emphasis on the case method.

43565 Health Economics

The course is designed to illustrate how economists analyze topics related to the production of health and the delivery of health care in the United States. Topics covered include the social and economic determinants of health, the economic control of unhealthy behavior, economic consequences of the AIDS epidemic, using economics to explain the rise of obesity, economic models of insurance, the problems of moral hazard and adverse selection, the economic impact of employer-provided health insurance. Medicare and Medicaid, the problem of the uninsured, medical technology and the pharmaceutical industry, the malpractice system, and the rise of managed care. Readings for the class will come from a required textbook and academic readings downloadable from the class web page. Class assignments will include problem sets, exams and short policy memos.

43580 Firm Competition & Innovation

This is a survey course covering the economics of firm competition and innovation. Using research papers and case studies, we will develop the analytical tools to empirically evaluate how changes in macroeconomic activity, government policy, and exposure to international competition affects firm decisions, including their incentives to invest in developing new ideas. Students will use the theoretical models and econometric tools we develop to write an original empirical term paper. Required courses include Intermediate Microeconomics and Econometrics where the latter may be taken concurrently. Strategic Pricing, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation is recommended but not required.