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Economics

Chair John Deal, Sreenath Majumder

Economics is the study of how people make choices. The Department of Economics provides the theoretical tools than can be used to analyze such issues as discrimination, poverty, pollution and international relations. The department offers a wide range of courses that allow the student to obtain the foundation for careers in business, teaching, government and law. Our program places an emphasis on the development of analytical/critical thinking skills, quantitative and communication skills, and an ethical and global perspective on economic issues.

Baccalaureate Degree

Major in economics, 31 hours: ECON 221, 222, 331, 332, 350, 499; MATH 210; 9 hours of electives chosen from 300 and 400-level departmental courses.

Majors must successfully complete the senior comprehensive evaluation prior to graduation. Details are available from the department chair.

Minor in economics, 19 hours: ECON 221, 222, 331, 332, 350; MATH 210.

Courses ECON

115 ECONOMIC CONCEPTS - 3 hours
An introduction to basic economic concepts and their role in the analysis of public and private economic decisions. An emphasis will be placed on the application of those concepts to public policy issues, such as those related to the environment, health care, economic development, money and banking, and government taxes and expenditures. C-4HE.

221 PRINCIPLES OF MICROECONOMICS - 3 hours
The principles of economics with emphasis on methodology of economic analysis, supply and demand theory, market theory, resource allocation, public provision of goods and the economic discussion of environmental quality and resource use. C-4HE.

222 PRINCIPLES OF MACROECONOMICS - 3 hours
The principles of economics with emphasis on national income analysis, national problems of unemployment and inflation, banking, fiscal and monetary policies, and international economics. This course will discuss the choices society must make within the economic framework. C-4HE.

234 WELFARE, FREEDOM AND JUSTICE - 3 hours
Economists over the last 250 years have probed the range and attributes of human behavior.  In light of these investigations they have often asked philosophical questions about what constitutes an ideal society with a particular emphasis on fairness and well-being. This course looks at the writings of notable economists who tackle issues such as fairness, equality, distribution, and social well-being.  Their works will be analyzed and compared to trace these questions and the answers proposed. C-4PH

240 TOPICS IN SOCIAL ECONOMICS - 3 hours
An investigation of a particular topic related to the interaction between the individual and society within an economic context. Emphasis will be placed on using the economic tools of analysis to study issues of culture, social norms, and their impact on social institutions and interactions. Possible topics for this course include health economics, the economics of happiness, the economics of education and identity economics (the role played by all aspects of identity like race and gender in determining economic interactions and outcomes).This course will typically be offered in January, and students may take it twice for credit with different topics. C-RC

303 ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL RESOURCE ECONOMICS - 3 hours
A study of the economics of environmental and natural resource issues. The natural resource issues will include energy, renewable and nonrenewable resources, and sustainability. The environmental issues will include the analysis of optimal pollution levels, environmental regulations and alternative policies to reduce pollution and global warming. Prerequisites: ECON 115 or ECON 221.

310 MONEY AND BANKING - 3 hours
Analyzes money and financial institutions and their roles in the economic system. Discusses the Federal Reserve System and the commercial banking system, the historical role of money in a society, and the vital relationship between money, interest rates, price and output. Prerequisite: ECON 222.

324 INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS - 3 hours
The study of the patterns of international trade in goods, services, and financial instruments. Topics will include trade models, trade policies, international factor movements, balance of payments, exchange rate determination, and international macroeconomics. Prerequisite: ECON 221 and 222, or consent of instructor.

328 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - 3 hours

An introduction to the economic experiences of the developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Topics include theories of development and the issues of population growth, poverty, income inequality, external dependence and debt, governmental inefficiencies, environmental erosion, the agricultural sector and trade policy. Prerequisite: ECON 115 or ECON 221.

331 INTERMEDIATE MICROECONOMIC THEORY - 3 hours
An in-depth study of the price-output allocations in the market economy. Topics include consumer theory, market structures and pricing theory, allocation models and related topics. Prerequisites: ECON 221.

332 INTERMEDIATE MACROECONOMIC THEORY - 3 hours
A study of theory of income determination for an economy. National income analysis, consumption, investment theory and related topics are included. Prerequisites: ECON 221 and ECON 222.

336 GAME THEORY - 3 hours
The study of individual, governmental, and firm behavior that attempts to explain strategic interactions between individuals or groups of individuals in which the outcome of a decision depends on the choices of others. Prerequisite: ECON 221.

342 AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS - 3 hours
This course is designed to introduce the student to the basic concepts in Agricultural Economics. This course will explore the role of agriculture in development, the determinants of a farmer’s production and marketing decisions, food policy and its impact on health and poverty, the evolution and importance of agricultural policy, the role of risk and risk management options, and the relationship between agriculture, trade, and the environment. Prerequisite: ECON 221.

348 BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS - 3 hours
The study of human behavior that attempts to incorporate the insights of psychology and other social sciences into the development of economic models in an attempt to explain behavior that cannot be explained by standard economic analysis. Prerequisites: ECON 221 or consent of instructor.

350 ECONOMETRICS (W) - 3 hours
Research project design in economics using regression techniques to analyze data in light of economic theory. Concepts covered include simple and multiple linear regression, problems in regression, including heteroskedacticity, multicollinearity and autocorrelation, as well as more advanced regression techniques such as simultaneous equation estimation. Prerequisites: ECON 221; MATH 210 or 240.

375 INTERNSHIP IN ECONOMICS - 1-3 hours
Provides academic credit for a supervised professional experience in a field related to economics. The student, faculty advisor and professional supervisor provide evaluation. See the department chair for information and an application. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing in the department and written approval from the department chair.

499 SENIOR RESEARCH SEMINAR - 3 hours
Conduct an extensive research project grounded in economic theory and utilizing econometric methodologies. The student will work under the close supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisites: ECON 350, senior standing in the department.

380 or 480 SPECIAL PROBLEMS - 1-4 hours
A student who has demonstrated ability to work independently may propose a course and pursue it with a qualified and willing professor. The department chair and the vice president and dean for academic affairs also must approve. A set of guidelines is available at the Office of the Registrar.

385 or 485 SEMINAR - 1-4 hours
An in-depth consideration of a significant scholarly problem or issue. Students pursue a supervised, independent inquiry on an aspect of the topic and exchange results through reports and discussions.

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