Course Descriptions

[For descriptions of the Mathematics and Statistics courses required for the Mathematical Economics major click  here.]

Where there are course changes once a major has been declared, transitional arrangements will be made.  Speak to your advisor if you have questions.


150. Introduction to Economics. (3h)

A survey of micro and macroeconomic principles. Introduction to basic concepts, characteristic data and trends, and some analytic techniques. Preference in enrollment will be given to students with sophomore or upper class standing.


205. Intermediate Microeconomics I. (3h)
Development of demand and supply analysis, neoclassical theory of household and firm behavior, and alternative market structures. P–ECN 150 and MTH 111 or 112.


206. Intermediate Microeconomics II. (3h)
More advanced theory of maximizing behavior of economic agents with discussion of risk, uncertainty, and economic dynamics. Theory employed in assessment of policy issues. P–ECN 205.


207. Intermediate Macroeconomics (3h)

Development of macroeconomic concepts of national income, circular flow, income determination, causes of unemployment, IS-LM analysis, inflation and growth.  Emphasizes contributions of Keynes and the Keynesian tradition.  P–ECN 150 and MTH 111 or 112.

 209.  Applied Econometrics.  (3h)

 An introduction to regression analysis methods used to estimate and test relationships among economic variables.  Selected applications from microeconomics and macroeconomics are studied.  Emphasis is on examining economic data, identifying when particular methods are appropriate, and interpreting statistical results.  P-ECN 150 and STA 109 (or similar course, including ANT 380; BIO 380; BEM 201; HES 262; STA 358; or SOC 271).


210. Intermediate Mathematical Microeconomics. (3h) 

Mathematically intensive approach to demand and supply analysis, neoclassical theory of household and firm behavior, and alternative structures. P-ECN 150 and MTH 112.


211. Intermediate Mathematical Macroeconomics. (3h)

Mathematically intensive approach to macroeconomic analysis of national income, unemployment, inflation, and growth. P-ECN 150 and MTH 112.


215. Econometric Theory & Methods. (3h)
Estimation and inference in relation to quantitative economic models.  Methods covered include Ordinary Least Squares, Generalized Least Squares and Maximum Likelihood.  P–ECN 150 and STA 111 (previously MST 109) or STA 357, MTH 113 and MTH 121.  


216. Game Theory. (3h)
Introduction to mathematical models of social and strategic interactions. P—ECN 205 or 210 and STA 111 (previously MST 109).


217. Market Design. (3h)

Theoretical analysis of the design of rules and algorithms to allocate scarce resources. Topics include matching markets, such as those for school choice, entry-level labor markets, and kidney exchanges; auctions with applications to the sale of natural resources, financial assets, and advertising; and online platforms. P-ECN 205 or 210


218. Advanced Topics in Mathematical Economics. (3h)

Advanced mathematical techniques such as dynamic programming or lattice theory, and the application of these techniques to optimization and equilibrium problems in various fields of economics; such as, growth theory, search theory, and auction theory.  P–ECN 210, ECN 211 and MTH 111, MTH 112.

219. Behavioral Economics. (3h)

This course analyzes ways of decision-making that deviate from the standard economic understanding of rational decision-making. The main focus is on behaviors that fall under the umbrella of prospect theory. P-ECN 205 or 210.


221. Public Finance. (3h)
Examines the economic behavior of government. Includes principles of taxation, spending, borrowing, and debt management. P—ECN 209 or ECN 215; and ECN 205 or 210.


222. Monetary Theory and Policy. (3h)
An investigation of the nature of money, the macroeconomic significance of money, financial markets, and monetary policy. P–ECN 207 or 211.


223. Financial Markets. (3h)
A study of the functions, structure, and performance of financial markets. P–ECN 205 or 210 and ECN 207 or 211.


224. Law and Economics. (3h)
An economic analysis of property, contracts, torts, criminal behavior, due process, and law enforcement. P–ECN 205 or 210.


225. Public Choice. (3h)
Traditional tools of economic analysis are employed to explore such topics in political science as political organization, elections, coalition formation, the optimal provision of public goods, and the scope of government. P—ECN 205 or 210 and ECN 209 or ECN 215.


226. Theory of Social Choice (3h)
Development of Constitutional Economics in establishing rules for governmental and group decision-making by democratic means. Implications for various voting rules are considered in terms of both positive and normative criteria. P–ECN 205 or 210


231. Economics of Industry. (3h)

Analysis of the link between market structure and market performance in U.S. industries from theoretical and empirical viewpoints. Examines the efficiency of mergers, cartels, and other firm behaviors  Case studies include automobiles, steel, agriculture, computers, sports, and telecommunications. P–ECN 205 or 210.



232. Antitrust Economics. (1.5h,3h)
Analysis of the logic and effectiveness of public policies designed to promote competition in the United States.
P–ECN 205 or 210. 


233. Economics in Sports. (3h)

Study of the design of sporting contests with particular attention paid to league governance decisions, measuring competitor productivity, and strategies used by competitors. P-ECN 205 or 210.


235.  Economics of Labor Markets.  (3h)
A theoretical and empirical survey of labor markets. Topics include: the demand and supply of labor, compensating wage differentials, education and training, discrimination, unions, public sector employment, earnings inequality, and unemployment. P–ECN 205 or 210.


236. Economics of Higher Education (3h)
Applies economic theory and data analysis in an investigation of important current issues in higher education.  Issues of prestige, admissions, financial aid, access, student and faculty quality, alumni giving and endowments, and externalities will be addressed.  P-ECN 205 or 210 and ECN 209 or ECN 215.


240. Economics of Health and Medicine (3h)
Applications of the methods of economic analysis to the study of the health and the health care industry. P-ECN 150 and an applied statistics class such as: ANT 380, BIO 380, BEM 201, HES 262, STA 111 (previously MST 109), PSY 311, or SOC 371, or POI.


241. Natural Resource and Environmental Economics (3h)
Develops the economic theory of natural resource markets and explores public policy issues in natural resources and the environment. P—ECN 150.


245. Prediction Markets (3h)

Prediction markets help make forecasts about upcoming events, and are used by large companies to manage risk. This course provides background on what these markets are, the theoretical reasons why they might work, and studies real world applications such as election forecasting. Students will participate and trade in a live prediction market throughout the semester.
P – ECN 205 or 210; and ECN 209 or 215. (D)


251. International Trade. (3h)
Development of the theory of international trade patterns and prices and the effects of trade restrictions such as tariffs and quotas. P–ECN 205 or 210.


252. International Finance. (3h)
The study of the open macro economy, with a particular focus on the foreign exchange market and the history of the international monetary system. P–ECN 205 or 210 and ECN 207 or 211.
258. Economic Growth and Development. (3h)

A study of the problems of economic growth, with particular attention to the less developed countries of the world. P–ECN 205 or 210 or POI.


261. American Economic Development. (3h)
The application of economic theory to historical problems and issues in the American economy. P–ECN 150.


262. History of Economic Thought. (3h)
A historical survey of the main developments in economic thought from the Biblical period to the twentieth century. P–ECN 205 or 210 and ECN 207 or 211.


265. Economic Philosophers. (1.5h,3h)
An in-depth study of the doctrines and influence of up to three major figures in economics, such as Smith, Marx, and Keynes. P–ECN 205 or 210 and ECN 207 or 211.


270. Current Economic Issues. (1.5h,3h)

Examines current economic issues using economic theory and empirical evidence. Topics may include recent macroeconomic trends, the distribution of income, minimum wages, immigration, Social Security, war, global climate change, trade, regulation and deregulation, antitrust policy, health care, labor unions, tax reform, educational reform, and others.
P–ECN 150. 


271. Selected Areas in Economics. (1h,1.5h,3h)
Survey of an important area in economics not included in the regular course offerings. The economics of housing, education, or technology are examples. Students should consult the instructor to ascertain topic before enrolling. P–ECN 150.

Fall 2019 “Economics of Global Health”
This course is an introduction to health issues in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). The main question is: what can be done to help the world’s poor to improve their health? The first part of the course will examine the relationship between health and development. Topics include health investment, an overview of health systems, and service delivery. The second part of the course will cover health over the life cycle by examining disease burden and the role of environmental factors.  

Fall 2019 “Inequality: Causes and Consequences”

The goal of this course is to foster a deeper and  better informed understanding of inequality both over the course of the twentieth century and in the modern economy. Academic papers and books will be read to provide a loose summary of the academic understanding of inequality both in the United States and globally, to attempt to define and examine inequality as an empirical phenomenon, to explore classical and modern theories explaining why and how inequality exists and persists, and to discuss the implications of inequality in the economy and society. 

272. Selected Areas in Economics. (1h,1.5h,3h)

Survey of an important area in economics not included in the regular course offerings. The economics of housing, education or technology are examples. Students should consult the instructor to ascertain topic before enrolling. P–ECN 205 or ECN 210 and 207 or ECN 211.

Fall 2019 “Quantitative Asset Pricing”

This class studies the theoretical and applied pricing of options. Students will also study the ways in which options can provide a hedge against uncertainty.


274. Topics in Macroeconomics. (3h)
Considers significant issues and debates in macroeconomic theory and policy. Examples might include a New Classical-New Keynesian debate, currency crises, conversion of federal deficit to surplus, competing models of economic growth, alternative monetary and fiscal policy targets. P–ECN 207 or 211.


275. Macroeconomic Models. (3h)

Development of formal macroeconomic models of both Keynesian and classical types. Involves exploration of comparative statics, dynamic analysis and policy assessment. P-ECN 210. C-MST 113 and MST 121.


290. Individual Study. (1.5h, 3h)
Directed readings in a specialized area of economics. P–POI.


292. College Fed Challenge. (1.5h)
This course prepares students to compete in the annual College Fed Challenge competition.  Students discuss the state of macroeconomics, with a particular focus on monetary policy.  For the competition-which takes place in the fall-students will give a presentation displaying their knowledge of the current state of the economy and advocating the policy actions that they think should be taken by the Federal Open Market Committee.  The 1.5 hours of academic credit are awarded in the fall semester, but to qualify students must have been active members of the Fed Challenge team in the preceding spring (a commitment of one hour per week). Pass/Fail only.  P-POI.
297. Preparing for Economic Research. (1.5h)

Designed to assist students in selecting a research topic and beginning a research project on the selected topic. P- ECN 209 or 215 and POI.

298. Economic Research. (1.5h)
Completion of a senior research project. Required of candidates for departmental honors. P–ECN 297 and permission of department.

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