Spring 2019

Spring 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

30220 Marxian Economics

An introduction to Marxian economic analysis. Topics include the differences between mainstream and Marxian economics, general philosophy and methodology, Marxian value theory, and critical appraisals and current relevance of Marx's "critique of political economy."

30330 Statistics 

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).

30433 Economics of Immigration

This course examines why some individuals decide to become immigrants through a cost benefit analysis, viewing migration as an investment in human capital. It addresses the selection among immigrants and how they integrate and assimilate in the destination country. Primary focus is given to the labor market, wages in particular, both of immigrants and of natives in the host country. A distinction is made between economic migrants and refugees and discrimination in its varied forms is also studied. The fiscal impact of immigration is discussed along with immigration policy in a global context. (Recommended Econ 10020/20020 Principles of Macroeconomics)

30531 Environmental Economics & Policy

An introduction to the economics of the environment and natural resources. Topics include externalities, market failure, cost-benefit and contingent valuation analyses, climate change, and public policies related to environmental and natural resources

30856 The Economics of Global Health

This course is designed as an introduction to health issues in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). We will focus on empirical applications of microeconomic theory in health policy in LMICs. The main question will be: what can be done to help the world's poor to improve their health? The first part of the course will examine the relationship between health and development. The second part will cover these specific areas: Maternal and child health, Disease burden and Environmental concern.

33150 The Introduction to Economics and 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

33420 Employee Relations Law

This course is the seminar version of ECON 30420. A study of the development of common statutory law with reference to discrimination in the United States on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, and disability, and giving emphasis to the case method.

33562 Entitlement Reform: Social Security and Medicare

With an aging population and concerns with the magnitude of government debt, the future obligations of Social Security and Medicare have made prompted policy makers to actively consider reforms of these government entitlement programs. This course will examine the following topics. What is the economic status of the elderly? How do government programs assist the elderly (the broad range of assistance from tax preferences and means tested programs such as food stamps and Supplemental Security Income to the universal programs such as Social Security and Medicare)? What role do these government programs play in retirement policy? Are governments too generous or should the elderly take on greater responsibility for their retirement years? What reforms are being proposed currently for reform of Social Security and Medicare?

40045 Decision Theory

Decision Theory seeks to model choices made by individual agents and thereby serves as an important foundation for the economic study of human behavior. The goal of this class is to understand core concepts in decision theory, to learn how to interpret empirical data and to discuss both the need for formal models and their shortcomings in capturing important psychological factors. Topics will include the definition of rationality, the equivalence between preference relations and choice rules, the meaning of utility functions, and the role of uncertainty. A special emphasis is put on careful mathematical reasoning and explicitly identifying the underlying assumptions behind commonly used concepts. Interactive components will help students identify ways in which they violate basic assumptions and explore reasons for doing so, as well as ways to overcome easily exploitable choice biases.

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.

40356 Asset Pricing Theory

This course examines the theoretical foundations of financial asset pricing. Topics include the capital asset pricing model, stochastic discount factors, arbitrage pricing theory, the efficient market hypothesis, and option pricing.

40360 Money, Credit and Banking

An examination of the money and credit-supply processes and the role of money and credit in the economy. Topics include financial intermediaries, financial markets, the changing regulatory environment, monetary policy, and international monetary arrangements.

40581 Strategic Pricing & Innovation

This course focuses on the strategic behavior of firms in imperfectly competitive markets. The course will cover the acquisition and use of market power by firms, strategic interactions amongst firms, and the role/effects of government competition policy. There will be a strong emphasis on applying the theoretical tools developed in class to assess markets and issues observed in the world.

43110 History of Economic Thought

This course is the seminar version of ECON 40110. The course intends to ask how it is that we have arrived at this curious configuration of doctrines now called "economics"; and importantly, how differing modes of historical discourse tend to ratify us in our prejudices about our own possible involvement in this project. The course will begin in the 18th century with the rise of a self-conscious discipline, and take us through the stabilization of the modern orthodoxy in WWII. Effort will be made to discuss the shifting relationship of economics to the other sciences, natural and social. A basic knowledge of economics (including introductory economics and preferably intermediate economics) will be presumed.

43260 Political Economy of Development 

This is the seminar writing intensive version of 40260. The course will focus on why and how political institutions affect economic development. The goal is to understand core theoretical concepts in political economy, discuss the political determinants of economic policy choices and learn how to understand and evaluate empirical evidence. The course will use evidence and examples from both developed and developing countries. Topics will include the determinants of economic development, the role of historical circumstances and political leaders, the role of politics in creating or resolving economic crises and the constraints posed by corruption and political instability. Readings for the class will comprise selected academic papers, case studies and sections from books.

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.

43370 Financial Crises

This course studies the nexus of financial crises and the implications of crises for the macroeconomy. Focus will be on the two major crises in the US from the last one hundred years - the Great Depression and the Great Recession. Several primary and secondary sources - including books and academic articles - will be assigned. Evaluation will be based on several short papers.

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.

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.