Course Catalog for ECONOMICS
ECON 101
Basic Economic Principles
An introduction to modern economic analysis. A study of the principles of production and exchange, the distribution of income, money and banking, and national income analysis. Required of all majors in economics and recommended for all students planning business, legal, or public service careers. (SOC)
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 103
Fundamentals of Accounting
A review of accounting concepts and procedures, with particular emphasis on the reasoning behind methods of measuring and recording such items as depreciation and revenues. The implications of accounting theory and practice for the measurement of income and financial positions are investigated. (SOC)
Senior economics and coordinate majors have first choice for enrollment, then junior economics and coordinate majors, then sophomores. Senior and junior non-majors need permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 202
Contemporary Macroeconomic Issues
Is all well with modern macroeconomics? Recent events have raised many questions for macroeconomists about the way the economy works and the design of macroeconomic policy. This course examines a variety of contemporary macroeconomic issues from competing theoretical perspectives. Topics include: spending versus thrift and macroeconomic performance; the role of fiscal policy in a recession; the short and long term consequences of bailouts; and the role of money and finance in the economy. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 203
A History of Macroeconomic Crises
This course provides an historical perspective on financial crises, including the most recent global crisis, Japan and Sweden’s post-real estate bubble experiences in the 1990’s, The Asian currency crises, the S&L crisis in the 1980’s, the oil crisis of the 1970’s, the Great Depression, and earlier episodes. In particular, we will focus on commonalities between the events in both their causes, and the nature of the aftermath, including issues of debt and asset prices, and the various policy responses. Supplemental reading materials will include Kindleberger’s “Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises”, Reinhart and Rogoff’s “This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly”, Shiller’s “Irrational Exuberance”, and Koo’s “The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics: Lessons from Japan’s Great Recession.” (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 207
Alternative Economic Systems
A comparative study of the major types of economic systems, such as markets and centrally planned economies. Also includes some case studies of smaller, stereotypical models of economic organization along with the effects of varying degrees of economic freedom. (GLB5)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 209
Urban Economics
Economic analysis of urban areas in the regional setting; the study of location theory, land use and housing markets, and of current public policy issues pertaining to urban problems including urban poverty, the economics of race and metropolitan areas, urban transportation, and local public finance. The resource allocation process will be emphasized. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 210
Contemporary Micro Issues
This course covers economic decision-making by individuals, firms and factor markets, and the role of government in designing economic policy and its impact on individuals. Topics include: Price discrimination; cartels, oligopolies, and monopolistic competition; economics of network goods; labor markets; public goods; political economy; economics, ethics and public policy; incentives; stock markets and consumer choice. Some of the questions we will try to answer among others are: Is in-state vs out-of-state tuition an example of price discrimination? Can OPEC nations collude to force up the price of oil? Why do friends so often enjoy the same musical songs? Why is it that the world is running out of so many kinds of fish? Are markets fair? (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 217
Economics of Health and Health Care
Analysis of the structure of health care markets using economic principles Evaluation of current health care policies and their effects on cost, access and quality. Topics covered include the production of and demand for health and medical care; information asymmetries between patients, doctors, and payers; health insurance coverage; the effects of managed care (including HMOs) on competition, efficiency, and quality; training and practice of physicians; hospitals; prescription drug pricing; government regulations; Medicare and Medicaid; health care reform. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 218
Introduction to Statistics for Economics
As data and computing resources have become increasingly accessible, economics has become more concerned with measurement and estimation of economic phenomena. This course is designed to familiarize students with common statistical methods used in economics. Topics will include the presentation of data, descriptive statistics, probability theory, discrete and continuous distributions, sampling distributions, estimation, and hypothesis testing. (NUM)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 101 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 221
Central Banking and Financial Markets
Since the 1980s, financial systems in developing and developed countries have been evolving with enormous speed. During this period, central banking in many countries underwent several important changes too. The financial system and central banking cannot be understood independently of one another. On the one hand, central banking policy choices and the regulatory framework affect the financial system. On the other hand the effectiveness of central banking policies is determined by developments in the financial system. Recently, central bankers and monetary theorists have been forced to reconsider their theories and practices in response to the global financial This class focuses on the co-evolution of central banking and financial markets and the very recent changes in central banking theories and practices.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 224
Macroeconomics and Inequality
US economic inequality is at record levels and is substantially greater than inequality in most other industrialized nations. This course develops key aspects of the inequality debate: how economic inequality is defined and measured, as well as the causes of income inequality in US economy and society. Topics covered will also include the macroeconomic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and it's impact on the level of inequality. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 231
Latin American and Caribbean Economic Development
This course examines and evaluates the major theories and leading issues in the study of economic growth and development in Latin America and the Caribbean during the 20th century. It focuses on the region's economic and historical links to industrialized nations as a key element in understanding the nature and direction of its economic growth and development. Topics include: theories of development; rural development and migration; state-led industrialization and structural transformation under import-substitution industrialization (ISI); debt, stabilization, and adjustment policies; neoliberal policies such as privatization and the deregulation of financial and labor markets; and trade liberalization, particularly the proliferation of preferential trading arrangements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Southern Cone Common Market (MERCOSUR), the Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM), the Lome Convention, and the Central American Common Market (CACM). (GLB5)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 243
Financial Markets and Institutions
The purpose of the course is to provide a basic understanding of the role of financial institutions (intermediaries) and financial markets in facilitating the flow of funds between those who supply funds and those who demand funds. Topics include the role of banks, other financial institutions, and financial markets in this process. Special attention is also given to the European Monetary Union and other aspects of the international financial system. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 250
Reading and Writing about Macroeconomics
How do economists write about macroeconomic issues for different audiences? How do they craft and communicate arguments that will help to shape macroeconomic policy? This course will introduce students to some of today's most important macroeconomic issues and how economists discuss, debate and write about those issues. After reading and engaging critically with essays from books, newspaper articles and popular journals, students will be asked to develop their own essays and demonstrate their ability to think creatively and express economic ideas clearly in writing. The format of the course will lend itself to extensive feedback on student writing and opportunities to share student work with a broader audience. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 252
Big Data and Economics
With the rise of the internet, social media, and technology, there has been a shift in the availability and the power of data. Economists now have access to "big data" that can play a role in increasing economic activity and living standards. Examples include the development of new goods and services and faster innovation through a shorter research and development cycle, as a result of more and better data. Other benefits could affect our quality of life: fewer traffic jams and easier price comparisons. This course explores both the ways that "big data" has changed our understanding of the economy as well as the ethical issues related to the collection and use of these data. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 299
Independent Study
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units min / 2.00 units max, Independent Study
ECON 301
Microeconomic Theory
A study of the determination of the prices of goods and productive factors in a market economy and the role of prices in the allocation of resources. Required of all majors in economics. (SOC)
Prerequisite: B- or better in Economics 101, and C- or better in one 200 level economics course or sophomore or higher class standing. Concurrent enrollment in Economics 301 and either Economics 101 or 302 is not allowed.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 302
Macroeconomic Theory
An analysis of aggregate income, output, and employment, which includes the following topics: national economic accounts; theories of consumption; investment and money; Keynesian and Classical models; the monetary-fiscal debate; inflation, unemployment and growth. Required of all majors in economics. (SOC)
Prerequisite: B- or better in Economics 101, and C- or better in one 200 level economics course or sophomore or higher class standing. Concurrent enrollment in Economics 302 and either Economics 101 or 301 is not allowed.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 303
Labor Economics
An examination of a number of important issues in modern labor economics. Topics include (but are not limited to): the determinants of labor supply, with special emphasis on the growth of women's labor supply during the last century; the demand for labor and the determination of wages; discrimination in labor markets. (GLB5)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 304
Macroeconomic Booms and Recessions
This course will explore the causes of and policy responses to short-term macro-economic fluctuations and to macroeconomic crises, including the most recent Financial Crisis and Great Recession of 2007-2009. In order to do this, we will build on models introduced in Economics 302 and examine the alternative theoretical approaches underlying responses to macroeconomic fluctuations both in the US and Europe. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 305
Urban Economics
The world's population is becoming increasingly urbanized, a trend which creates economic opportunities and challenges for individuals, businesses, and governments. This course will introduce students to economic models that explain why cities form, why commercial and residential land use patterns look the way they do, and how economic reasoning can inform policies addressed at urban problems, such as traffic congestion, housing affordability, crime, and homelessness. In addition, we will study how public policies such as zoning and the provision of mass transit can help remedy market failures in the urban setting. The supply and demand model and the economic theories of the consumer and the firm will be the main tools of analysis, as will ideas from public economics such as externalities and public goods. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 306
Public Finance: Economics of the Public Sector
An examination of the role of tax and public expenditure policies as they influence the allocation and distribution of resources, and on the role of market imperfections as rationales for government policies. Emphasis is on the effects of taxation and public spending on consumer and producer choices. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 307
Health Economics
This course will study the characteristics of the U.S. health care system and the functioning of the health care market using the tools of microeconomic theory. The aim of the course will be to discuss specific topics in the economics of health, including: the analysis of the causes of health-related behaviors such as obesity and substance abuse; the characteristics of the health care industry and how it is affected by insurance and medical technology; and the impact of government policies on health related behaviors and the provision of medical care. The role of preventive measures and the efficient use of limited healthcare resources will be examined in light of the recent health care reform and in light of their broader implications for public policy. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 308
Industrial Organization and Public Policy
The course is divided into two parts. The first part consists of an examination of the structure of American industry including a critical analysis of the empirical evidence underlying the extent of competition, oligopoly, and monopoly within the United States. Comparisons are made with other industrialized nations and a number of specific industries are examined in detail. The second part of the course consists of an examination of public policy toward monopoly with specific emphasis on regulation and antitrust policies. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301. (Calculus is recommended, but not required)
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 309
Corporate Finance
Valuation, the development of the modern theory of finance; efficient market hypothesis; portfolio theory; capital budgeting; cost of capital; corporate securities; the securities markets; and other selected topics in finance. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in either Economics 301 or Economics 302. Economics 218, 103 or Mathematics 207 are strongly recommended.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 310
Money and Banking
An analysis of monetary theory, institutions and policy including the nature, role and significance of money, financial markets and institutions, commercial banking and the money supply process, the Federal Reserve System, and the formulation and implementation of monetary policy, monetary theory, and related policy issues. (GLB5)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 312
Mathematical Economics
This course is designed to introduce students to the application of mathematical concepts and techniques to economic problems and economic theory. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 or 302, and a C- or better in Mathematics 126 or Mathematics 131.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 315
Theories of International Trade
An examination of the major theories of international trade, beginning with the classical and neoclassical models of international trade and concluding with a survey of the various alternative models of international trade developed over the past three decades. An analysis of commercial policy, preferential trading agreements and other contemporary policy issues in the international economy will be included. (GLB5)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 316
International Finance
This course examines the major theoretical and policy issues faced by business firms, the government, and individual investors in their international financial transactions. Topics include the following: basic theories of the balance of payments, exchange rates, and the balance of trade; interest rates and interest parity; alternative exchange rate systems; and recent developments in the international money markets. (GLB5)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 317
Development Economics
This course is an introduction to the economy of the developing or the lower- and middle-income countries. The course will discuss the institutional structure, the reasons for underdevelopment, and possible solutions to the unique challenges faced by the developing countries. Topics include comparative economic development, poverty, inequality, foreign aid, corruption, the situation of health, education, and the environment in developing countries. On completion of the course, a student will have an increased awareness of the challenges faced by developing countries and be able to use economic concepts to think and analyze the different issues. (GLB5)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 or Economics 302.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 318
Basic Econometrics
The formulation and estimation of models; topics include a review of basic concepts and results of statistical inference, single equation regression model, functional forms, problems of estimation, and simultaneous equation models. The computer will be used but no experience is necessary. (NUM)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 101 and a C- or better in Economics 218 or Mathematics 207 or Mathematics 306.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 318
Basic Econometrics with Lab
The formulation and estimation of models; topics include a review of basic concepts and results of statistical inference, single equation regression model, functional forms, problems of estimation, and simultaneous equation models. Students must also enroll in the required lab for this course. (NUM)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 101 and a C- or better in Economics 218 or Mathematics 207 or Mathematics 306.
1.25 units, Lecture
ECON 319
The Modern Macroeconomy
This course will examine the current state of the macroeconomy in the United States and the rest of the world. Causes and consequences of recent major events (including the great moderation, the financial crisis, and the European sovereign debt crisis) will be discussed. The course will also examine new features of the economy, such as jobless recoveries and stagnation in industrialized countries, and analyze policy responses to these developments, including quantitative easing by central banks and the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Both theoretical and empirical aspects of recent macroeconomic developments will be explored.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 323
Theories of Economic Growth
This course is concerned with the long-run economic growth of modern economies. Topics includes the measurement of real living standards, the Solow model of capital accumulation, models of technological change and innovation, the role of trade in fostering growth, the effect of population growth on economic growth, the influence of economic growth on natural resources, and questions about why some countries are affluent while others remain poor. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 325
Advanced Topics in Comparative Economics
This course explores the institutional arrangements and philosophical principles that accompany alternative and diverse forms of capitalism. One of the central questions we will consider is: do competing, viable models of capitalism exist, and, if so, what are the vision and corresponding institutions associated with each? This question is especially important today given the current challenges facing most capitalist economies. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302. Economics 301 recommended.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 327
Game Theory
Game theory is the study of strategic interaction, built on realistic assumptions about people’s capacity for strategic thinking. The course will begin with an overview of standard game theory; for this reason, no prior knowledge of game theory is necessary. Motivated by field and experimental evidence, students will study alternatives to Nash equilibrium, including cognitive hierarchy models, quantal response equilibrium, and cursed equilibrium. We will also explore the role of social preferences in explaining behavior in strategic environments. Additionally, we will apply psychological biases that are found in individual decision-making, such as framing effects and overconfidence, to strategic situations. We will use these ideas in a variety of economic applications, including auctions and school choice. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 328
Applied Econometrics: Time-Series Analysis
This course deals with econometric methods and problems that arise when data consists of observations on one or several variables over time. Topics include: autocorrelation, distributed lag and autoregressive models, ARIMA models, co-integration, and vector autoregressive correction models. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302 and a C- or better in Economics 318 .
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 328
Applied Econometrics: Micro-econometrics
Application and extensions of basic econometric tools. Topics include analysis of panel data, maximum likelihood estimation, analysis of discrete and limited response data, analysis of count data, sample selection, and duration of models.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 318.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 333
Economics of Risk and Investment
The course considers both theoretical and empirical perspectives on risk in the context of portfolios of financial assets. Topics include standard and behavioral theories of risk, pricing risky assets, quantitative analysis of the theory of portfolio selection, and risk management. (SOC)
Prerequisite: A grade of C- or better in Economics 309.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 334
Law and Economics
Legal rules of property, contract and tort law create implicit prices that incentivize individuals behavior and motivate the economic approach to the study of law. This course brings together the two disciplines of economics and law to examine fundamental rules governing an exchange economy. Topics to be covered include property law, tort law (non-criminal harm or injuries), contract law and crime. Please note, this is not a course in law but in economic analysis of the law. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 335
Computational Macroeconomics
The course will cover the theoretical motivation behind "DSGE" models, which are at the center of modern macroeconomic theory. We will discuss the importance of expectations in economics, what it might mean for these expectation to be "rational," and how "stochastic," or random, elements in a model can complicate these concepts. This course will teach how to solve these conceptual problems using computers, using two methods for dealing with these issues: perturbation methods using the Dynare software package and collocation methods using the Carlstrom and Fuerst software package. Both packages are used in contemporary academic research. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 336
The Market for Green Goods
In many contexts, environmental and social damages can be significantly reduced if consumers substitute towards a greener version of the given products, e.g. organic food, energy efficient appliances, and green diamonds. The course will investigate alternative methods to promote green goods markets. These methods range from regulation to purely voluntary approaches taken by a firm or an entire industry. In addition, the course investigates the role of market competition, technological advances, product labeling and firm image in the development of green markets. The analysis involves the use of microeconomic theory as well as several case studies. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 337
The Economics of Brexit
This course will consider the economic aspects of Britain's exit from the European Union. Topics will include the state of the economy leading to the Brexit vote, strategic brinksmanship of the Brexit negotiations and parliamentary approval, and scenario analyses regarding potential shocks to specific industries. There will also be discussion on Britain's historical role in the European economy. Readings will include official government analyses, third party commentary, and economic theory. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 338
Macro Adjustment in Latin America
Beginning in the 1980s, the major countries of Latin America abandoned the inward oriented, state led development model that had been in place for the better part of four decades. In its place was substituted an outward oriented model heavily reliant on market forces. This process of market led growth and development has been implemented to the greatest extent in five major countries of Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Peru. This course focuses on the relative successes and failures of macroeconomic adjustment and reform policies in these major economies of the region; it also examines what important lessons these policies provide for other countries that are in the process of adopting and implementing similar market and outward oriented reforms. (GLB5)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 339
Contemporary Issues in Macroeconomics
Recent events have raised many questions for macroeconomists about the way the economy works and the design of macroeconomic policy. This course examines a variety of contemporary macroeconomic issues from competing theoretical perspectives. Topics include: the macroeconomics of pandemics, fiscal policy and monetary policy; income inequality; technological change and unemployment; macroeconomics and the environment. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 342
Macroeconomics Since the 2007-08 Financial Crisis
This course explores the problems that have faced macroeconomics specifically since the 2007-08 financial crisis. Some economists reacted to that crisis by calling for a complete overhaul of the discipline, while others were satisfied with more cosmetic changes. For this course we will use the book Evolution or Revolution? Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy after the Great Recession (Blanchard and Summers) as a baseline for analyzing in great depth how macroeconomic thinking and practice has changed over the past decade. This will include an analysis of how policy makers reacted to the crisis and how that in turn has impacted macroeconomic research. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 399
Independent Study
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 or Economics 302.
1.00 units min / 2.00 units max, Independent Study
ECON 401
Independent Study in Quantitative Applications
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor are required for enrollment.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 312 or Economics 318
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
ECON 402
Senior Thesis Seminar Part I
This seminar will address the research and thesis writing process and will include workshops on writing, data and library resources. In addition, students will be asked to present preliminary work for discussion to seminar participants, and to participate in three sets of presentations to the Department during the academic year.
0.50 units, Seminar
ECON 403
Senior Thesis Seminar Part II
This seminar will address the research and thesis writing process and will include workshops on writing, data and library resources. In addition, students will be asked to present preliminary work for discussion to seminar participants, and to participate in three sets of presentations to the Department during the academic year.
0.50 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Moving On Up? Social Mobility and the Immigrant Experience
This course will explore questions of social and economic mobility in historical perspective with special emphasis on the immigrant experience in Hartford, past and present. Topics will include the role of social capital, education, and labor market opportunities in understanding the dynamics of mobility. The course will open with an examination of the 19th century immigration of the Irish and Italians. The second half of the course will turn to more recent research on immigrant mobility, and will include the opportunity to conduct original fieldwork with local immigrant groups. Students will have firsthand experience in developing a research design, conducting interviews, and presenting the results of their own research. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
From Workhouse to Warehouse: Variety and Evolution of Capitalist Firms
This course will examine the organization of work under capitalism over time and across space.  The aim of the course is to combine a study of the different theoretical perspectives of the firm with a case study approach to firm-level change.  The goal is to develop an appreciation for i) the historical and cultural context within which capitalist production takes place and ii) the role that the social organization of the firm plays in the economic development of capitalist economies.  (WEB)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Fiscal Policy in the United States
This seminar will examine the fiscal policy decisions, and the theories that guided those decisions, during two periods in United States' history. The first encompasses the American Revolution through the Civil War (1775 -1860s). The second begins with the fiscal policy controversies surrounding the New Deal through to the present day. Topics include debates over the funding of infrastructure, the creation of institutions (such as the first banks and social security), deficits and debts, and the financing of wars.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Economic Growth in Theory and Practice
Economics has come a long way since Malthus argued that the size of an economy is limited by physical constraints of land. However, the question of why economies become more productive and standards of living improve is one that continues to fascinate. This course examines both the theoretical underpinnings of such questions and the practical experiences of actual economies. The course will be divided into two parts. The first part will focus on mastering the theoretical underpinnings of economic growth theory. It will follow a structure closely, and information will come primarily in the form of texts and lectures. The second part will focus on applying the theoretical information to a specific economy. The focus will be on developing a multi-stage project. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Economic Analysis of the Law
This seminar uses economic analysis to examine the structure and incentives of the legal system. We will discuss a wide variety of theoretical economic papers studying how rational decision makers respond to different incentives in the legal market structure to evaluate the optimal means to maximize social welfare. Topics we will study include: liability rules in tort law, contract enforcement and remedy, property law and involuntary transfers, economic incentives in intellectual property law, the legal process and various topics in criminal law. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Drug Policy
Humans have consumed psychoactive substances such as cannabis, opium, coca, and magic mushrooms for medicinal, religious, and recreational purposes for thousands of years. Yet, many of these substances, as well as more recent psychoactive concoctions, such as heroin and cocaine, are prohibited in contemporary societies on the grounds that they are harmful to users and others. How and why might society’s view of these drugs’ harmfulness have changed over time? What impact do prohibition policies have on the consumption of drugs, and what kinds of unintended consequences do these policies have for society as a whole and for marginalized groups? Are there alternative policies that can deter drug consumption with fewer unintended effects? This course will apply economic analysis to offer answers to these questions, while examining how prohibition policies have evolved over the last century, how the current framework is codified, some of the recent departures from that framework in the U.S. and around the world, and prospects for future reforms. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Behavioral Economics
This seminar introduces students to behavioral economics, which is a field within economics that applies insights from psychology to improve our understanding of economic phenomena. We will discuss significant theoretical papers that advance our understanding of choice under uncertainty and inter-temporal choice and empirical work that is based on these theories. We will also discuss papers that have used other insights from psychology to study management, finance, health, education, and public policy. Throughout the course, students will read and take turns leading discussions of academic journal articles. Each student will also choose three articles from among those discussed in class or additional related articles and write summaries and evaluations of each article. The final project for the course will be a written research proposal. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Slavery and American Capitalism
A major, and unexpected, recent development in the US is the degree to which the American public is becoming aware of the experiences of African Americans in the US economy, experiences with roots in slavery. What was slavery's role in the development and evolution of our economy? We will explore how the system of slavery was central to the development of our own financial system, to our participation in the 19th century global economy, to the accumulation of enormous wealth in both the southern and the northern states and finally, how this history continues to play an important role in our modern day economy by examining the new scholarship on American economic development, primary materials from museums, libraries and newspaper archives, and first-person accounts. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Policy Innovation & COVID-19
How have advanced economies, such as the U.S., Germany and Australia, responded to the economic shocks created by the coronavirus? Have some national policies proven to be more successful than others, and if so, why? The many "real-time" experiments in policy design and execution have sparked lively debates. For example, would consumer demand be better maintained by boosting workers' unemployment payments, or would paying businesses directly to maintain their payrolls be the best way to go? What happens when the Fed expands its loan policies to include not only banks, but also corporations, small businesses, and local government? This seminar will explore these questions and consider the pros and cons of macroeconomic policies engineered by Congress, the executive branch, and other governments around the world. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 431
How Economies Grow: Theory and Policy
This course will focus on the mechanics of economic growth, technological change, demand constraints to growth, and sources of income and growth differences between countries. In addition to exploring the theoretical foundations of economic growth, this course will explore a range of country-specific case studies that exemplify different growth strategies and trajectories across time. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
The Economics of Sports
This seminar uses both theoretical and empirical economic analysis to examine numerous issues from the world of sports. We will utilize a wide range of economic modeling techniques to study a variety of academic papers that research how rational decision makers respond to economic incentives in various sporting contexts. Topics of study include: organizational structure of sports leagues; uncertainty of outcome hypothesis and competitive balance; pricing of naming and broadcasting rights; antitrust in sports leagues; stadium financing; the economic impact of sporting events; the sports labor market; and elements of sports contracts. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Experimental Economics
This seminar will introduce students to applications of experiments in economic research, focusing on many well-developed areas of laboratory-tested experiments as well as experimental methodology. We will review, discuss, and analyze some of the most influential papers written in the field of Experimental Economics and conduct classroom experiments. We will examine the motivation behind experiments, their usefulness and their limitations. This course will include topics such as experiments involving individual decision making, game theory, bargaining, trust and public choice. Finally, students will be required to develop and conduct their own experiment-based research projects. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Topics in Urban Economics
Students will explore selected topics in Urban Economics such as crime, education, social contagion, housing, etc. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Central Banking and Financial Innovations
This seminar provides a critical analysis of the rationale, behavior, and effectiveness of central banking and alternative monetary institutions. It will emphasize the Federal Reserve System and alternative monetary arrangements from historical and analytical standpoints, treating in detail the formulation and execution of monetary policy in the context of both domestic and international constraints. Attention also is given to the European Monetary Union and current issues in international monetary relations. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Internal Labor Markets: Policy and Behavior within the Firm
This seminar will explore several aspects of workplace relationships, with particular emphasis on the relationship between the firm and its employees. Among the questions we will explore are: How do compensation and promotion policies affect the firm-employee relationship? How do such policies affect relationships between employees, and how do they affect effort on the job and the overall performance of employees? Is it necessary for a firm to monitor its employees’ performance or are there other ways to measure productivity? What is the role of fringe benefits in the employment relationship? How do firms decide who to hire, who to train, and who to retain? What is the role of turnover within the firm? What are the effects of competition vs. coordination of workers within the firm? Is there a role for teams within firms? (WEB)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 466
Teaching Assistantship
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. Cannot be used for major credit.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
ECON 490
Research Assistant
This course is designed to provide economics students with the opportunity to undertake substantial (collaborative) economics and/or econometrics work with a full-time economics faculty member. Students need to complete a special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office and have it signed by the supervising instructor. With permission, students may apply up to one credit toward major requirements.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
ECON 498
Senior Thesis Part 1
Written report and formal presentation of a research project. Open to all senior majors and required of all students who wish to earn honors in economics. A student who intends to write a thesis must locate a thesis adviser, and must submit a preliminary proposal to the thesis adviser by the last day of classes in the spring semester of the junior year. A final proposal must be submitted to the thesis adviser by final registration in the fall semester of the senior year. Submission date of the thesis is the third Thursday following spring recess. Seniors who undertake Economics 498-99 will be excused from Economics 431. Studies in Social Policies and Economic Research. In addition to the final proposal, submission of the special registration form available in the Registrar's Office and the approval of the instructor is required for each semester of this year-long thesis. (2 course credits are considered pending in the first semester; 2 course credits will be awarded for completion in the second semester.)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302.
2.00 units, Independent Study
ECON 499
Senior Thesis Part 2
Written report and formal presentation of a research project. Open to all senior majors and required of all students who wish to earn honors in Economics. A student who intends to write a thesis must locate a thesis adviser, and must submit a preliminary proposal to the thesis adviser by the last day of classes in the spring semester of the junior year. A final proposal must be submitted to the thesis adviser by final registration in the fall semester of the senior year. Submission date of the thesis is the third Thursday following Spring Recess. Seniors who undertake Economics 498-99 will be excused from Economics 431, Studies in Social Policies and Economic Research. In addition to the final proposal, submission of the special registration form available in the Registrar's Office and the approval of the instructor is required for each semester of this year-long thesis. (2 course credits are considered pending in the first semester; 2 course credits will be awarded for completion in the second semester.) (WEB)
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302.
2.00 units, Independent Study