Fall 2020

Fall 2020 - Course Descriptions

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ECON10010 Principles of Microeconomics

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, trade and the international economy.

ECON10010 Principles of Macroeconomics

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.

ECON 30010 Intermediate Micro Theory

An examination of the language and analytical tools of microeconomics, emphasizing the functional relationship between the factor and product markets and resource allocation.

ECON 30020 Intermediate Macro Theory

An intensive examination of Macroeconomics with particular reference to the determination of economic growth, national income, employment and the general price level.

ECON 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

ECON 30335 Introduction to Linear Regression

This class is a supplement to Statistics courses that do not cover linear regression which is a necessary prerequisite for Econometrics. The course provides an introduction to linear regression models focusing on parameter estimation, hypothesis testing, goodness of fit, and estimation issues that arise in using economic data. Students will also be introduced to the use of econometric software.

ECON 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.

ECON 30401 Economics of Education

This course combines economic theory and methods to study the production and delivery of education. We will apply economic principles to understand the rationale for particular education approaches, policies, and programs and use an economic lens to explore their potential impact. We will also learn about applying analytic tools to examine the effects of schooling as well as specific education interventions and reforms. Students will read empirical research and will practice being critical consumers of policy arguments and research findings. They will also complete problem sets and writing assignments with the goals of 1) using economic principles to inform policy debates about education investments, 2) employing evidence to evaluate the impact of education policies and programs, and 3) developing skills in conducting original research on education. Substantive topics will span early childhood education, K-12 schooling, and higher education with a focus on the role of incentives, prices, and markets throughout. The course will explore teacher labor markets and teacher effectiveness, school choice, and accountability, and will include discussion of international contexts

ECON 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.

ECON 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.

ECON 30700 International Economics

Understanding the complex ways economies are linked to each other through the flow of goods,services, and assets is increasingly important in this era of globalization. This course introduces students to basic models in international trade and international macroeconomics, building on their knowledge of the principles of micro- and macroeconomics. Among the topics covered are the sources of gains from trade, the impact of globalization on wages, the welfare effects and politicaleconomy of trade policy, the determinants of the current account, the role of the exchange rate in adjustment to economic shocks, and the effectiveness of monetary and fiscal policy in open economies. Assignments will include problem sets as well as empirical exercises, which provide an opportunity for students to improve their skills in handling economic data.

ECON 32340 Stats for Economics Tutorial

Tutorial for Statistics for Economics (ECON 30340).

ECON 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.

ECON 33410 Labor Law

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.

ECON 33561 Tax Reform

Taxes are the instruments that governments use to acquireresources to pursue their spending activities but increasingly taxes are usedtoday as an instrument to undertaken activities once viewed as governmentspending. Instead of creating a direct spending program to subsidize individualswho undertake activities the government wishes to promote, individuals whoundertake these activities are provided with a tax preference in the form of adeduction from their taxable income or a credit for their tax liability. Thiscourse will address the following four primary questions. First, by taking ahistorical perspective the course asks how has tax policy evolved so that the taxcode contains so much hidden spending activity? Second, what is the state oftax policy today - how do we tax ourselves? Third, what is the cost to theeconomy 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, anexpenditure tax, or modifications to our current tax system through a series ofbase broadening measures and rate reductions) and what is the likelihood thattax reform will be accomplished?

ECON 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.

ECON 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.

ECON 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).

ECON 40355 Financial Economics and Econometrics 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.

ECON 40357 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).

ECON 40364 Monetary Theory & Policy

This course will cover the development of monetary theory and policy with a particular focus on financial crises and the appropriate central bank response. Other topics include the welfare cost of inflation, countercyclical monetary policy, and central bank independence.

ECON 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.

ECON 40610 Cities and Economic Geography

In this course students will explore the economic determinants of the city and the system of cities across space. The key objective of the course is to provide students with a toolbox to think about how space/geography matters for economic activity. For example, why are rents higher in the city center than in the suburbs? Why are average incomes in South Bend lower than in New York? To answer these questions the course combines basic theoretical frameworks with empirical evidence from research in urban economics and economic geography.

ECON 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.

International Macroeconomics

Understanding the complex ways economies are linked to each other through the flow of goods,services, and assets is increasingly important in this era of globalization. This course introduces students to basic models in international trade and international macroeconomics, building on their knowledge of the principles of micro- and macroeconomics. Among the topics covered are the sources of gains from trade, the impact of globalization on wages, the welfare effects and political economy of trade policy, the determinants of the current account, the role of the exchange rate in adjustment to economic shocks, and the effectiveness of monetary and fiscal policy in open economies. Assignments will include problem sets as well as empirical exercises, which provide an opportunity for students to improve their skills in handling economic data.

ECON 43330 Forecasting for Econ & 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).

ECON 43420 Economics of Inequality 

This course will examine the causes and consequences of economic inequality. Topics covered include conceptual issues in measuring inequality and understanding its consequences for welfare; a comparison of inequality across countries and over time; the role of globalization and technological change in explaining recent increases in inequality in the U.S.; explanations for inequality across groups, including race, gender, childhood socioeconomic status and age; and the role of government in addressing inequality. Students will write a paper evaluating a policy proposal aimed at reducing inequality.

ECON 43550 Economics of the Family

This course will use economic theory and empirical economic research to study the family. Topics will include household decision making; the determinants of marriage and fertility; how marriage, fertility, and family structure are related to other outcomes; and public policies that affect the family and family formation. Students will learn to read and evaluate empirical economic research. This is a writing-intensive seminar course.

ECON 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 ot 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.