Courses

ECO 225 The Economics of Sin

Catalog Description Eco 225: The Economics of Sin This class explores the economics of ethically complex markets. We begin by exploring philosophical and evolutionary perspectives on ethical behavior. Armed with this material, we then consider a variety of topics in which economics and ethical outcomes are closely intertwined. Key topics include 1) the economics of crime and organized crime, 2) the market for transplantable organs, 3) cigarettes, externalities and optimal tax policy for an addictive good, 4) prohibition and the war on drugs, and 5) the economics of sex. In each case, we will...

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ECO 226 Financial Markets

Economics 226 Financial Markets Professor B. Lewis Description A student who masters the course material in Economics 226 should become familiar with the current structure of U.S. financial markets (continuing to change in the aftermath of our financial crisis) and how they compare with those elsewhere; understand how important economic, political, technological and social factors influence the development of such markets; and better understand many of the articles in financial pages of the NY Times or Wall Street Journal. The course may be of interest not only to Economics majors but also...

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ECO 228 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

Economics 228 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics Prof. J. Kenney The objective of the course is to introduce students to the principal issues in environmental and natural resource economics. The focus is on the economic causes of the major natural resource management problems confronting society and the evaluation of alternative public policies for environmental protection and natural resource preservation. Specific issues addressed include: Population growth: Is it still too rapid? Global food supply: Will there be enough? Energy: Has the crisis returned? National forests: Parks...

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ECO 230 The Mind of the Entrepreneur

Economists are interested in recommending “good” economic policies, but they rarely pause to consider what makes a particular policy good or bad. Philosophers, in contrast, have spent a lot of time worrying about what makes something good or bad, including what makes something the right way to run the economy and what makes it the wrong way to run the economy – things like socialism, private property, free markets, and redistribution of income from rich to poor. In this course we will look at different theories that have been proposed about what “good” means in the context of economic policy. One theory – a modified version of utilitarianism – is the dominant one in contemporary economics. We’ll spend a few weeks understanding that theory and what its strengths and weaknesses are. We’ll spend a few weeks after that looking at some alternative theories of “good” economics – libertarianism, egalitarianism, communitarianism, and some less common alternative proposals like humanist, feminist, and Islamic economics – and contrast them with the mainstream view. We’ll also spend time looking at some specific policy issues, like health care, the environment, unemployment, a bunch of others – and see how different understandings of the self and the good lead to different (in some cases very different) recommendations about what policies we should follow.

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ECO 241 Microeconomic Analysis

Consumer finance examines how consumers make decisions about borrowing, saving, and managing risk. The goal of this course is to learn how to think critically about these decisions. We will learn concepts such as time value of money, risk, and consumption smoothing. We will examine the markets for credit (credit cards, student loans, mortgages), saving/investment (mutual funds, retirement plans, annuities), insurance and financial advice. We will ask why these markets sometimes fail and how regulation can help.

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ECO 242 Macroeconomic Theory and Policy

The purpose of this course is to teach students the basics of microeconomic theory. The course will focus on consumer theory, producer theory, industrial organization, and general equilibrium analysis. These topics are treated at a general level, generating a flexible theoretical framework that may be used to address a variety of economic issues and topics.

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ECO 334 Financial Analysis

Economics 242 is required of all majors and minors in the Department. Macroeconomic Theory and Policy is primarily a theory course with emphasis on the policy implications of the theories. Topics covered include the determination of aggregate levels of output (GDP) and income, employment, inflation, wages, and interest rates. We will study the behavior of the macroeconomy in the short run, medium run, and the long run. We will also discuss the government’s budget deficit, and its possible link with the trade deficit, the national debt, and saving and investment.

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ECO 375 Efficient Management of Technology

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of econometric concepts and techniques needed in quantitative analysis in economics. This course emphasizes the need to gain an intuitive understanding of the econometric concepts and of their proper applications to real-world economic problems. Computer skills are important and some of the problem sets and a research paper will require use of a statistical program, EViews.

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ECO 376 Seminar in Global Economic Issues

The course covers a broad range of issues on economics of technological change. In the first part of the course, we investigate the determinants of productivity growth using macroeconomic growth models. We start with simple exogenous growth models based on human capital and physical capital accumulation. We then introduce innovation-driven endogenous growth models and study the process of creative destruction a la Schumpeter and its implications for the economy. We investigate the role of policy (research subsidies, intellectual property rights protection policies, trade policies and education policies) and exogenous events (demographic changes, price shocks) in affecting growth and welfare. We also analyze the effects of globalization on technological progress. In the second part of the course, the focus is on microeconomics of technological change. We investigate issues related with patent policy, Research and Development (R&D) incentives, valuation of R&D and intellectual property enforcement.

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ECO 382 Seminar in Finance

The objective of the course is to introduce the student to the concepts and techniques of financial analysis and to the operation of securities markets. The focus is the evaluation of private businesses which attempt to maximize their shareholders’ wealth. Topics covered include evaluation of a firm’s financial statements, time value of money, risk-return analysis, stock and bond valuation, capital budgeting, cost of capital and capital structure, long-term finance and dividend policy, and mergers/acquisitions.

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ECO 387 Seminar In Labor

Economics 339 deals with these and other microeconomic questions related to the tax and expenditure policies of federal, state, and local governments. Topics covered include: determinants of tax and spending levels, education finance, Social Security, welfare policy, tax reform, tax incentives for higher education and pollution reduction, and other current tax and government spending issues. This course is designed to provide a strong foundation in understanding the effects of government taxation and expenditure policy on firms and households

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ECO 390 Economics Internship

The economic and financial crisis that began to affect the U.S. (and most of the rest of the world) around 2007 has been characterized by many people as the worst that the U.S. has experienced since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The objective of this course is to use analytical tools of modern macroeconomics to gain a deep understanding of some of the causes and consequences of this crisis, and to explore some relevant policy options.

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ECO 391 The Income Tax: Policy and Practice

ECO 391-01 The Income Tax: Policy and Practice Prof. O’Keeffe IMPORTANT: Email Prof. O’Keeffe at mathcircle@gmail.com AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you are considering this class. There is a mandatory IRS orientation session you MUST attend during one evening in the fall term to prepare. Email Prof. O’Keeffe so you get on her list to receive notifications as to when those sessions will be offered. Course Description: Economics 391 is a service-learning course which integrates theory and practice in addressing income tax policy issues. Students run a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Site at...

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