Courses

ECO 123 Values & Economic Justice

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.

Read More

ECO 211 Consumer Finance

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.

Read More

ECO 241 Microeconomic Analysis

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.

Read More

ECO 242 Macro Theory & Policy

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.

Read More

ECO 243 Intro to Econometrics

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.

Read More

ECO 332 Eco of Technological Change

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.

Read More

ECO 334 Intro to Financial Analysis

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.

Read More

ECO 339 Public Finance

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

Read More

ECO 352 Cont Prob in Macroeconomics

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.

Read More

ECO 445 Managerial Economics

Economics 445 Managerial Economics Professor James Kenney  Course Description The focus of the course is on the use of economic and statistical analysis in management decision‐making and practical problem‐solving. Topics covered include demand analysis and sales forecasting, cost and profitability analysis, and pricing policy. Extensive use is made of case studies.   Economics 445 is ideally suited to those students who are thinking of going to business school or otherwise pursuing careers in management.   Prerequisites Senior standing, Economics 241 (Microeconomic Analysis), and...

Read More