Course Descriptions

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. Note: Effective fall 2013 a grade of B- or better is required in order to major in Economics. (If Econ 101 is retaken a grade of B or better is required if the course was originally taken during or after fall 2013.) Concurrent enrollment in Economics 101 and either Economics 301 or Economics 302 is not allowed.
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.
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 109
Workshop for Statistical Methods in Economics
This workshop provides supplementary instruction for students enrolled in ECON 109L Statistical Methods in Economics.
Students must be enrolled in ECON 109 (lecture) in order to enroll in the workshop.
0.25 units, Laboratory
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.
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.”
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 207
Alternative Economic Systems
The revolutionary events of 1989 in Eastern Europe and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 led many observers to argue that socialism had failed as an economic system. These observers noted, however, that the failure of "real" socialism did not mean the end of economic debate. Rather, it re-focused the debate from socialism versus capitalism to alternative forms of capitalism. The central question thus became: 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. This course introduces students to alternative models of the macro-economy that exist, to varying degrees, in North America and Western Europe.
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.
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.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 210
Contemporary Micro Issues
This course will study the contemporary micro issues using the tools of micro economic analysis. The course will examine important economic and social policy issues in the U.S., the role of government in designing economic policy and its impact on individuals. Topics include: investment in human capital; education, earnings and the job market discrimination; income inequality, poverty and social security; health and risky behaviors, heath care provision and the impact of insurance; environment and the problem of pollution.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 214
Business and Entrepreneurial History
The evolution of business structures and practices, primarily in the American experience. Changes in such aspects of management, finance, marketing, and information are considered. Special attention is given to the role of entrepreneurs and conditions which may have influenced their creative efforts. Both an analytical approach and case studies are employed.
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.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 218
Introduction to Statistics for Economics
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. This course may be used as a substitute for Mathematics 207 Statistical Data Analysis. Students may not earn Economics major credit for both Mathematics 207 and Economics 218 (formerly Economics 109). This course and Mathematics 207 serve as equivalent prerequisites for Economics 318L Basic Econometrics.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 101 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 220
British Economic History: The Rise and Fall of an Empire
This course aims to analyze British history through the lens of economics. The focus will be on modern history, from the age of empire to the post-war welfare system. Topics include industrialization, development of financial markets, the benefits of international trade, and the workings of the gold standard. Students from both the History and Economics departments will be given opportunities to play to their relative strengths, and only a basic understanding of economics is required.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 227
Economic Forecasting
The goal of this course is to equip students with the necessary modeling techniques to forecast economic time series. Topics such as basic linear regression, interpretation of coefficients and variables, trend and seasonality, model building and specification, and hypothesis testing will be covered, followed by an in-depth examination of model selection, in-sample and out-of-sample evaluation, combination forecasts, and various modern forecasting techniques.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101 and a C- or better in Mathematics 207 or Economics 218 (formerly Economics 109).
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).
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 243
Financial Markets 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.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Economics 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 247
Introduction to Policy Analysis
This course will introduce students to the basic ingredients of policy analysis rooted in the microeconomics of externalities (social, economic, and political), public goods, common property, information failure, absence of competition, and distributional concern. This course is not open to students who have previously earned credit for Economics 306 or Economics 311.
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. Note: Students are reminded that a grade of C+ or better is required in Economics 301 (or B- if the course is retaken) in order to major in economics.
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. Note: Students are reminded that a grade of C+ or better is required in Economics 302 (or B- if the course is retaken) in order to major in economics.
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.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 304
The Causes of and Best Responses to Recessions
This course will examine the characteristics of past US and international recessions including common precipitating factors (including debt, trade deficits, and large run-ups in asset prices) and the effect on unemployment, production, investment, savings, and inflation. The inquiry will focus heavily on data. Monetary and fiscal policy responses to recessions and their effectiveness will be a core issue. Theoretical concepts such as the Phillips and Beveridge curves, and the natural rate hypothesis will be applied. The course will close with an overview of various schools of thought on the nature of the business cycle, and the optimal policy reaction including: Monetarist, Keynesian, Austrian, Minskyian/Post-Keynesian, and real business cycle theory, the structural slumps work of Phelps, and Koo’s balance sheet recession view.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in either Economics 301 or Economics 302. Economics 218 (formerly 109) or Mathematics 207 are strongly recommended and Economics 103 is 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.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 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.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302, and a C- or better in Mathematics 126 or Mathematics 131.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 313
The Economics of Time Use
This course will explore the economics of time, specifically, of time use and allocation. The seemingly prosaic question of how individuals expend their most finite resource has profound implications for their quality of life, their relationships with their families, and their broader social connections. The question as to how social groups such as households allocate their time, and how this affects everything from children’s happiness to political participation, is equally important. The course will involve direct use and manipulation of data gathered through the American Time Use Survey (ATUS).
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and Mathematics 207.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 313
The Economics of Time Use
This course will explore the economics of time, specifically, of time use and allocation. The seemingly prosaic question of how individuals expend their most finite resource has profound implications for their quality of life, their relationships with their families, and their broader social connections. The question as to how social groups such as households allocate their time, and how this affects everything from children’s happiness to political participation, is equally important. The course will involve direct use and manipulation of data gathered through the American Time Use Survey (ATUS).
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and C- or better in Economics 218 (formerly 109, Mathematics 207 or Mathematics 306
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 314
Cost-Benefit Analysis
This unit will provide participants with an introduction to the theory and practice of cost-benefit analysis (CBA). The conceptual basis of discounting and the valuation of benefits and costs will be reviewed, highlighting the links to basic economic theory. The principles of CBA will be illustrated through the analysis of contemporary cases from areas such as environmental management, health economics, government regulation, and infrastructure development. The emphasis will be on providing participants with a simple but robust analytical framework that can be applied to the evaluation of a wide range of public policy issues and private projects.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301.
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.
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.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 317
Development Economics
Various hypotheses on the persistence of underdevelopment observed in most developing economies will be examined. Then the successes of some developing economies in their modernization will be discussed. Attention will also be given to such important issues as industrialization, demographic change and urbanization, growth in income and its distribution, international trade and finance, development strategies, the government role in promoting development, and the impact of foreign aid.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302 and a C- or better in one 200-level Economics course or other Social Science course that deals with developing nations. Economics 301 is strongly recommended.
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.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 101 and a C- or better in Economics 218 (formerly 109) 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.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 101 and a C- or better in Economics 218 (formerly 109) 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 321
American Economic History
A survey of the growth of the American economy from pre-Columbian times to the present. Special attention will be given to the issues of economic growth, industrial development, the economy of the antebellum South, transportation and commerce, the rise of cities, and the impact of major wars on the economy.
Prerequisite: C or better in Economics 101.
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.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 324
Financial Crisis
This course will examine historical financial crises from around the world, using standard macroeconomic theories. We will then use this knowledge of past crises to analyze the Great recession (December 2007 – June 2009), its causes, and the measures taken to encourage recovery. This will include analysis of monetary and fiscal responses to the crisis, as well as the pre-crisis policy environment. Topics covered will include: the IS/MP and aggregate supply/aggregate demand models, currency crises, bank runs, liquidity and leverage, sub-prime lending, Quantitative Easing (QE), fiscal stimulus, and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 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.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302. Economics 301 recommended.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 326
Economics of Strategies in Firms and Markets
This course is organized around the topics of economics of strategies between and within firms. The course teaches students various applications of game theory against the background of firm behavior. The three major themes of the course are (1) basic principles of game theory; (2) applications of game theory within firms; and (3) empirical facts of organizations. The major topics include monitoring and incentivizing employees, trust and cooperation within groups, patent races and patent adoption, and communications within and across organizations. Coursework will include case studies, strategic interactions in class, and a final group project and presentations.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 327
Behavioral Game Theory
Behavioral 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.
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.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 302 and a 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.
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.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301.
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, as appropriate.
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
Venetian Urban Life through the Eyes of an Economist
Everyone seems to be writing about cities, including economists - about what makes cities economically successful or why innovative processes and products often find their origins in cities. Cities have been around for over 7000 years. What did successful cities with vibrant economies look like in the past? We will focus on this question by examining one of the best examples of a dynamic, forward-looking city on the verge of the capitalist epoch: Venice. Venice was in the center of the European economy in the late Medieval/early Renaissance period. By examining Venice’s economy and institutions we can draw lessons for today and develop a better understanding of the history of cities – their contributions to economic development and transformation on the eve of the modern period.
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.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 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.
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 Inequality
In recent decades growing inequality in advanced economies has attracted the attention of researchers, policy makers, and activists. This seminar explores the nature and causes of this phenomenon. We begin by examining how economists measure inequality, what the empirical data reveal for the U.S., and why inequality has been growing over the past thirty years. We then turn to the current debate over whether growing inequality matters to the economy, with special emphasis on the relationship of inequality to social mobility, equal opportunity, and economic growth.
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 Etruscans in Italy: Development of an Ancient Economy
The Etruscan civilization dominated central Italy for four centuries prior to the emergence of the Roman Empire. In addition to economically productive cities, the Etruscans had seaport towns that were important international trading centers. While many of the products of the Etruscan economy were for internal consumption or for local or regional markets, others ended up in the vast export market which extended over Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Foreign trade stimulated new technologies, providing for the transformation and development of the Etruscan economy. In this seminar we will use the material culture left by the Etruscans, material most often used by archeologists and art historians, to tell an economic story of how this civilization rose to become a commercial competitor.
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.
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
This course will examine U.S. policy toward narcotics such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamines. The topics we study will include: current drug policies in the U.S., economic theories and empirical evidence on the determinants of drug use and how drug use affects education, labor market outcomes, and society. We will consider how the enforcement of drug prohibitions affects consumer demand and drug prices, and how it contributes to drug-related violence, property crime, and mass incarceration. We will also consider the costs and benefits of alternative policy reforms such as decriminalization, sentence reduction and modification, and legalization.
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.
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 Economies of Cities: how they grow, why they die and what happens in between
What is the role of cities in bringing about economic, social and cultural development? Why and in what ways do cities represent arenas for innovation and diverse economic activity? And, lastly, how does one understand and explain the path of particular cities' economies over time, with the existence of both golden periods and periods of significant economic decline? To answer these questions we will focus on various case studies through time and space. We begin with Renaissance Florence and then travel on to Amsterdam, London and eventually Hartford. This chronological sequencing allows us to trace the development of capitalist epochs as we follow the center of gravity of the modern western economy from Italy and the Mediterranean to Northwest Europe and finally the United States. Along the way we will place the individual city's growth and development into a broader context, namely that of a world of increasing trade and commerce and global interconnectedness. In the end, we will gain an understanding of the specific mechanisms for growth within an urban setting and an appreciation for the city as an important agent of economic and cultural development.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Economics of Nobel Laureates
This seminar will analyze the work and impact on economics of a subset of those economists honored by the Nobel Prize Committee for their contributions to economic science. The course will highlight the work of Keynes (a non-laureate) and then laureates in monetary-macroeconomics (including M. Friedman, J. Tobin, R. Mundell, and R. Lucas) and laureates in institutional economics and the economics of information (including F. Hayek, J. Buchanan, R. Coase, V. Smith, G. Akerloff, R. Fogel, and D. North).
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Regulation of Financial Markets and Intermediaries
This course develops a critical examination of public policy toward capital (financial) markets and intermediaries. The economic rationale for regulation (primarily externalities) is contrasted with the rationale for deregulation (unfettered competitive markets). The theoretical exposition is applied in detail to the money and capital markets, both primary and secondary, as well as to the major financial intermediaries that are the primary participants in these markets, that is, to deposit type institutions, brokerage and investment banking concerns, insurance companies, and pension funds. Part of this course will be devoted to comparative regulation in the context of global financial markets.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Issues in International Trade and Finance
This seminar examines important and recent developments in international economics. Topics include strategic trade policy and market structure; the economics of trading blocs such as the EU and NAFTA; the economic consequences of continued U.S. external deficits; globalization and inequity; exchange rates, interest rates, and volatility; speculative capital flows and exchange rate policies; and financial crises and the prospects for the EMU.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Post-Keynesian Economics
The Post-Keynesian approach represents a tradition in current economic debate distinct from neoclassical economics and even "mainstream" Keynesianism. Taking its lead from Keynes' General Theory, the methodological foundations of Post Keynesianism are concerned with the ability of economies to adjust towards equilibria over time, and the concept of uncertainty. As well as surveying these issues, this course will examine selected topics from the Post-Keynesian research agenda such as the formation of prices, the endogeneity of the money supply, the nature of capital in industrial production, the distribution of income and the dynamics of inflation.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Issues in Environmental and Energy Economics
The economic analysis of selected environmental and energy issues such as current air pollution control policies and water pollution control policies, recycling strategies, conservation, the development of new energy sources, such as solar energy and wind power, and the environmental consequences of different energy types. Each student will be required to write a major research paper on an approved topic and to present the major findings of that paper in a seminar. Students will also be required to read and generally acquaint themselves with all the topics being studied in the seminar.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Economics 301 and 302. This course is open to senior Economics majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ECON 431
Institutional Innovation and Economic Development: The Case of Modern China
Students will have opportunities in this course to strengthen their skill and sensitivity in applying economic analysis and research methods to contemporary economic policy issues through this case study. We choose China as the subject, both because of its importance in the world economy and the theoretical challenge it poses through its unorthodox path to reform its economic system. Focus will be on the evaluation of the gradualist approach versus the "big bang" approach, externality of the state sector and the emerging private sector, the partial privatization of its farming sector, the puzzle of the township and village enterprises and its hidden problems such as economic development and democracy and urbanization in the presence of population pressure.
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.
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 497
Senior Thesis
No Course Description Available.
1.00 units, 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 331. 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 331, 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 806
Financial Accounting Valuation and Measurement
Review of concepts and methodology in financial accounting. Particular attention is devoted to the exploration of different accounting measurement theories and the impact these theories have on corporate financial reporting. Ability to interpret, analyze, and evaluate financial accounting information is developed through problems and cases stressing the preparation, utility, and limitations of such information.
1.00 units, Lecture
ECON 940
Independent Study
Independent studies on selected topics are available by arrangement with the instructor and written approval of the graduate director and department chair. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies for the special approval form.
1.00 units min / 2.00 units max, Independent Study
ECON 953
Research Project
The graduate director, the supervisor of the project, and the department chair must approve special research project topics. Conference hours are available by appointment. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies for the special approval form.
1.00 units, Independent Study