Course Offerings

Spring 2020

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Current Public Policy Debates

ECON 222 - Handy, Christopher M. (Chris) / Shester, Katharine L.

The course is an applied public finance and policy course that focuses on current policy debates. While the topics are updated with each offering, students in this course examine options for replacing the Affordable Care Act, analyze whether the country should adopt a universal voucher program for K-12, discuss containing the cost of college, and explore options for securing the long-term financial stability of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. We use economic theory to frame the each of the policy questions. Students conduct additional research on each of the topics, debate topics, and author policy opinion papers.

Exploring Childhood in Scandinavia: Comparing Policies and Practices to the U.S.

ECON 239 - Diette, Timothy M. (Tim) / Sigler, Haley W.

Study Abroad Course. An exploration of childhood in Scandinavia and the United States. Students spend one week in the U.S. and three weeks in Denmark, Sweden, and/or Finland. Students have experiences inside schools, daycare facilities, and preschools in both economically advantaged and disadvantaged areas and speak with administrators and policymakers. With additional readings focusing on education policy and broader family policy in each country, students engage in discussions and reflections on the relative strengths and weaknesses of policies in each country.

Lakota Land Culture, Economics and History

ECON 286 - Markowitz, Harvey J. / Guse, Aaron J. (Joseph)

This class focuses on the cultural, economic, and historical dimensions of the Lakotas' (Titonwan tawapi ) ties to their lands as expressed in their pre- and post-reservation lifeways. It includes a 10 day field trip to western South Dakota to visit and meet with people in the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations and the Black Hills.

Supervised Study Abroad

ECON 288 - Davies, Martin H.

For advanced students, the course covers a topic of current interest for which foreign travel provides a unique opportunity for significantly greater understanding. Emphasis and location changes from year to year and is announced each year, well in advance of registration. Likely destinations are Europe, Latin America, Africa, or Asia. This course may not be repeated.

Spring 2020, ECON 288-01: The Modern Economy of the United Kingdom: Great Shocks In Great Britain (3). The objective of the course is to give the student insight into the progression of the UK economy over the past 40 years. We examine four major events and the economic links between them. These events are the Thatcher Revolution (the Great Transformation), the Great Moderation, the Great Recession and finally the possible Brexit (some might call this the Great Mistake!). We examine each period through the lens of economic theory and empirical evidence, looking at both national and global influences. Our overall goal is to gain insight into the political-economy of the United Kingdom over the entire period, 1979-2019. While the material in the course is specific to the UK, the approach to the material, and the tools used, are applicable to other economies. Davies.

Health: A Social Science Exploration

ECON 376 - Blunch, Niels-Hugo (Hugo)

Much of the work done by consulting companies, banks, insurance companies, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, etc., is based on applied statistical and econometric analysis. This course helps prepare students for careers in these environments using a hands-on approach and emphasizing the use of data and student-directed research in the specific context of health-related issues. Example of these issues include obesity, vaccinations, pre- and post-natal care, contraceptive use, or child mortality; possible determinants include poverty, education, or distance to the nearest health clinic or hospital. An interdisciplinary perspective is highlighted, as is the use and importance of quantitative analysis for public policy.

Winter 2020

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Economics

ECON 100 - Casey, James F. (Jim)

Open only to students who have not taken ECON 101 and/or ECON 102. No retakes allowed. Economics is the study of how a society (individuals, firms, and governments) allocates scarce resources. The course includes a survey of the fundamental principles used to approach microeconomic questions of consumer behavior, firm behavior, market outcomes, market structure, and microeconomic policy, and macroeconomic questions of performance of the aggregate economy, including unemployment, inflation, growth, and monetary and fiscal policies.

Introduction to Economics

ECON 100 - Handy, Christopher M. (Chris)

Open only to students who have not taken ECON 101 and/or ECON 102. No retakes allowed. Economics is the study of how a society (individuals, firms, and governments) allocates scarce resources. The course includes a survey of the fundamental principles used to approach microeconomic questions of consumer behavior, firm behavior, market outcomes, market structure, and microeconomic policy, and macroeconomic questions of performance of the aggregate economy, including unemployment, inflation, growth, and monetary and fiscal policies.

Introduction to Economics

ECON 100 - Kaiser, Carl P.

Open only to students who have not taken ECON 101 and/or ECON 102. No retakes allowed. Economics is the study of how a society (individuals, firms, and governments) allocates scarce resources. The course includes a survey of the fundamental principles used to approach microeconomic questions of consumer behavior, firm behavior, market outcomes, market structure, and microeconomic policy, and macroeconomic questions of performance of the aggregate economy, including unemployment, inflation, growth, and monetary and fiscal policies.

Introduction to Economics

ECON 100 - Silwal, Shikha B.

Open only to students who have not taken ECON 101 and/or ECON 102. No retakes allowed. Economics is the study of how a society (individuals, firms, and governments) allocates scarce resources. The course includes a survey of the fundamental principles used to approach microeconomic questions of consumer behavior, firm behavior, market outcomes, market structure, and microeconomic policy, and macroeconomic questions of performance of the aggregate economy, including unemployment, inflation, growth, and monetary and fiscal policies.

Introduction to Economics

ECON 100 - Shester, Katharine L.

Open only to students who have not taken ECON 101 and/or ECON 102. No retakes allowed. Economics is the study of how a society (individuals, firms, and governments) allocates scarce resources. The course includes a survey of the fundamental principles used to approach microeconomic questions of consumer behavior, firm behavior, market outcomes, market structure, and microeconomic policy, and macroeconomic questions of performance of the aggregate economy, including unemployment, inflation, growth, and monetary and fiscal policies.

Statistics for Economics

ECON 202 - Guse, Aaron J. (Joseph)

Not open to students with credit for DCI 202 or INTR 202. Fundamentals of probability, statistics, estimation, and hypothesis testing and ending with an introduction to regression analysis. The topics are critical for success in upper-level economics electives and are important for careers that rely on empirical research in the social sciences. Students engage in a dialogue between theory and application and learn to think formally about data, uncertainty, and random processes, while learning hands-on methods to organize and analyze real data using modern statistical software.

Econometrics

ECON 203 - Anderson, Michael A.

Explorations of regression models that relate a response variable to one or more predictor variables. The course begins with a review of the simple bivariate model used in INTR 202, and moves on to multivariate models. Underlying model assumptions and consequences are discussed. Advanced topics include non-linear regression and forecasting. Examples in each class are drawn from a number of disciplines. The course emphasizes the use of data and student-directed research.

Microeconomic Theory

ECON 210 - Grajzl, Peter

Contemporary theory relating to consumer behavior, the firm's optimizing behavior, the nature of competition in various types of markets and market equilibrium over time. Recommended for economics majors not later than their junior year.

Macroeconomic Theory

ECON 211 - Davies, Martin H.

This course develops the classical macroeconomic framework and uses this to explore the causes and consequences of economic growth, inflation, output, and employment. This same exercise is conducted using alternative theoretical frameworks, including those associated with Keynes, Monetarists, and New Classical thinkers. Emphasis is placed on investigating the impact and effectiveness of monetary and fiscal policy under each of the theoretical paradigms or schools of thought developed.

Money and Banking

ECON 215 - Hooks, Linda M.

A study of the fundamental principles of money, credit, and banking in the United States. Emphasis is on modern conditions and problems, with particular attention to the validity of monetary and banking theory in the present domestic and international situation.

Labor Economics

ECON 230 - Kaiser, Carl P.

This course addresses how labor markets and institutions allocate labor and determine earnings and the distribution of income in the United States. Economic models are used to explain labor market outcomes generated by our economy. Where such outcomes are deemed less than socially optimal, these models are used to evaluate prospective and current labor market policies intended to address these shortcomings. Some attention is given to comparing American labor market outcomes with those in other developed countries.

Public Finance and Public Policy

ECON 250 - Naven, Matthew

Public choices and the public economy. An inquiry into how the references of individuals and groups are translated into public sector economic activity. The nature of public activity and public choice institutions. The question of social balance. The effects of government expenditures and taxes on the economic behavior of individuals and firms.

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

ECON 255 - Casey, James F. (Jim)

The course serves as an introduction to environmental and natural resource economics. Economic principles are used to evaluate public and private decision making involving the management and use of environmental and natural resources. Aspects pertaining to fisheries, forests, species diversity, agriculture, and various policies to reduce air, water and toxic pollution will be discussed. Lectures, reading assignments, discussions and exams will emphasize the use of microeconomic analysis for managing and dealing with environmental and natural resource problems and issues.

Health Economics in Developing Countries

ECON 276 - Blunch, Niels-Hugo (Hugo)

A survey of the major issues of health economics. with a focus on developing countries (although the issues are also relevant for developed countries, including the U.S. Economic modeling of health-related issues, supply and demand of health, cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis, health goals, and policy alternatives. Economic epidemiology, including HIV/AIDS. Selected case studies. Group project, where the group selects a developing country for which a policy proposal is then developed for a health-related policy issue of the group's choice.

Comparative Institutional Economics

ECON 281 - Grajzl, Peter

Institutions such as laws, the political system, and cultural norms embed all social activity. They structure economic, political, and social interaction and as such play a central role in facilitating (or hindering) economic development. This course's objective is to explore from a broad perspective how institutions affect economic performance, what the determinants of institutions are, and how institutions evolve. We study examples from the existing capitalist economies, the developing and transition countries, as well as the more distant history. Because the study of institutions is necessarily an interdisciplinary endeavor, the course combines the approach of economics with the insights from law, political science, history, and sociology.

Special Topics in Economics

ECON 295A - Kahn, James R. (Jim)

Course emphasis and prerequisites change from term to term and are announced prior to preregistration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. A maximum of nine credits chosen from all special topics in economics courses may be used, with permission of the department head, toward requirements for the economics major.

Winter 2020, ECON 295A-01: Fishery Economics (3). Prerequisite: ECON 100 or 101. An examination of how to use economics as a foundation for managing fisheries. Topics include bioeconomic models of fisheries, use of economic incentives such as individual transferable quotas, recreational fishing, subsistence fishing in developing countries, and conflicts among users. Writing assignments consist of policy briefs. Kahn.

Game Theory

ECON 302 - Guse, Aaron J. (Joseph)

This course abandons the assumptions of perfect competition. Buyers and sellers may be few; information may be privately held; property rights may poorly enforced; externalities abound and uncertainty is the rule. Game theory is a general framework for analyzing the messy world of strategic interactions. Standard solution concepts such as Nash Equilibrium, subgame perfection, and Bayesian equilibrium are introduced in the context of a broad array of microeconomic topics. These include auctions, bargaining, oligopoly, labor market signaling, public finance and insurance. Class time combines lectures, problem-solving workshops, and classroom experiments.

Economics of Culture and Development

ECON 380 - Silwal, Shikha B.

Economists have long been interested in understanding the sources of (under) development. Topics include labor coercion, corruption, health, education, and many more. As reliable micro-level data has become increasingly available from developing countries, our understanding of the process of development has evolved accordingly. Students gain familiarity with those datasets and the recent empirical papers utilizing them. While our approach is grounded in economic theory and empirical findings, one of our goals is to contextualize economic development. That is, development or under-development does not happen in vacuum. The roots of economic well-being of a country can be traced to its history, culture, and geography. The course, therefore, combines topics from economics of culture as it relates to development economics.

Directed Individual Study

ECON 401 - Diette, Timothy M. (Tim)

The objective is to permit students to follow a course of directed study in some field of economics not presented in other courses, or to emphasize a particular field of interest. May be repeated for degree credit with permission for different topics.

Directed Individual Study

ECON 401 - Handy, Christopher M. (Chris) / Shester, Katharine L.

The objective is to permit students to follow a course of directed study in some field of economics not presented in other courses, or to emphasize a particular field of interest. May be repeated for degree credit with permission for different topics.

Directed Individual Research

ECON 423 - Blunch, Niels-Hugo (Hugo)

Independent research culminating in an honors thesis. See the departmental website for requirements for honors in the major. Must be taken in the senior year.

Directed Individual Research

ECON 423 - Handy, Christopher M. (Chris)

Independent research culminating in an honors thesis. See the departmental website for requirements for honors in the major. Must be taken in the senior year.

Directed Individual Research

ECON 423 - Shester, Katharine L.

Independent research culminating in an honors thesis. See the departmental website for requirements for honors in the major. Must be taken in the senior year.

Directed Individual Research

ECON 423 - Silwal, Shikha B.

Independent research culminating in an honors thesis. See the departmental website for requirements for honors in the major. Must be taken in the senior year.

Directed Individual Research

ECON 423 - Handy, Christopher M. (Chris) / Shester, Katharine L.

Independent research culminating in an honors thesis. See the departmental website for requirements for honors in the major. Must be taken in the senior year.

Honors Thesis Workshop

ECON 440 - Shester, Katharine L.

Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. Group workshop and seminar for students pursuing an honors thesis in Economics. Includes directed readings and research as well as presentations of Individual work. Must be taken in the senior year.

Fall 2019

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Economics

ECON 100 - Handy, Christopher M. (Chris)

Open only to students who have not taken ECON 101 and/or ECON 102. No retakes allowed. Economics is the study of how a society (individuals, firms, and governments) allocates scarce resources. The course includes a survey of the fundamental principles used to approach microeconomic questions of consumer behavior, firm behavior, market outcomes, market structure, and microeconomic policy, and macroeconomic questions of performance of the aggregate economy, including unemployment, inflation, growth, and monetary and fiscal policies.

Introduction to Economics

ECON 100 - Naven, Matthew

Open only to students who have not taken ECON 101 and/or ECON 102. No retakes allowed. Economics is the study of how a society (individuals, firms, and governments) allocates scarce resources. The course includes a survey of the fundamental principles used to approach microeconomic questions of consumer behavior, firm behavior, market outcomes, market structure, and microeconomic policy, and macroeconomic questions of performance of the aggregate economy, including unemployment, inflation, growth, and monetary and fiscal policies.

Introduction to Economics

ECON 100 - Kaiser, Carl P.

Open only to students who have not taken ECON 101 and/or ECON 102. No retakes allowed. Economics is the study of how a society (individuals, firms, and governments) allocates scarce resources. The course includes a survey of the fundamental principles used to approach microeconomic questions of consumer behavior, firm behavior, market outcomes, market structure, and microeconomic policy, and macroeconomic questions of performance of the aggregate economy, including unemployment, inflation, growth, and monetary and fiscal policies.

Introduction to Economics

ECON 100 - Silwal, Shikha B.

Open only to students who have not taken ECON 101 and/or ECON 102. No retakes allowed. Economics is the study of how a society (individuals, firms, and governments) allocates scarce resources. The course includes a survey of the fundamental principles used to approach microeconomic questions of consumer behavior, firm behavior, market outcomes, market structure, and microeconomic policy, and macroeconomic questions of performance of the aggregate economy, including unemployment, inflation, growth, and monetary and fiscal policies.

Statistics for Economics

ECON 202 - Guse, Aaron J. (Joseph)

Not open to students with credit for DCI 202 or INTR 202. Fundamentals of probability, statistics, estimation, and hypothesis testing and ending with an introduction to regression analysis. The topics are critical for success in upper-level economics electives and are important for careers that rely on empirical research in the social sciences. Students engage in a dialogue between theory and application and learn to think formally about data, uncertainty, and random processes, while learning hands-on methods to organize and analyze real data using modern statistical software.

Econometrics

ECON 203 - Blunch, Niels-Hugo (Hugo)

Explorations of regression models that relate a response variable to one or more predictor variables. The course begins with a review of the simple bivariate model used in INTR 202, and moves on to multivariate models. Underlying model assumptions and consequences are discussed. Advanced topics include non-linear regression and forecasting. Examples in each class are drawn from a number of disciplines. The course emphasizes the use of data and student-directed research.

Microeconomic Theory

ECON 210 - Grajzl, Peter

Contemporary theory relating to consumer behavior, the firm's optimizing behavior, the nature of competition in various types of markets and market equilibrium over time. Recommended for economics majors not later than their junior year.

Macroeconomic Theory

ECON 211 - Davies, Martin H.

This course develops the classical macroeconomic framework and uses this to explore the causes and consequences of economic growth, inflation, output, and employment. This same exercise is conducted using alternative theoretical frameworks, including those associated with Keynes, Monetarists, and New Classical thinkers. Emphasis is placed on investigating the impact and effectiveness of monetary and fiscal policy under each of the theoretical paradigms or schools of thought developed.

Money and Banking

ECON 215 - Hooks, Linda M.

A study of the fundamental principles of money, credit, and banking in the United States. Emphasis is on modern conditions and problems, with particular attention to the validity of monetary and banking theory in the present domestic and international situation.

Labor Economics

ECON 230 - Kaiser, Carl P.

This course addresses how labor markets and institutions allocate labor and determine earnings and the distribution of income in the United States. Economic models are used to explain labor market outcomes generated by our economy. Where such outcomes are deemed less than socially optimal, these models are used to evaluate prospective and current labor market policies intended to address these shortcomings. Some attention is given to comparing American labor market outcomes with those in other developed countries.

The Economics of Social Issues

ECON 235 - Goldsmith, Arthur H. (Art)

This seminar is based on readings that set out hypotheses developed by economists and other social scientists regarding the causes and consequences of a wide range of social problems. Evidence examining the validity of these hypotheses is scrutinized and evaluated. The course is writing intensive and interdisciplinary since readings are drawn from a wide variety of fields. Topics discussed include, but are not limited to, poverty, education, health, crime, race, ethnicity, immigration, and fiscal matters.

Economics of War and Peace

ECON 241 - Silwal, Shikha B.

In this course. we will look at the economic conditions and behaviors during periods of conflict. As such. the focus of the course is to develop a theoretical understanding of how human interaction can be modeled to study both peace and violent outcomes. To do so, we will view individuals' decision to be engaged in conflict as a rational choice. This viewpoint allows us to use economic principles to study individual behavior, design policies to alter those behaviors, and assess economic losses due to conflict. The topics covered in this class range from civil wars and genocide to international terrorism.

International Finance

ECON 271 - Anderson, Michael A.

International monetary arrangements, balance-of-payments adjustment processes, and the mutual dependence of macroeconomic variables and policies in trading nations. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), international investment, and the World Bank. International cooperation for economic stability.

Development Economics

ECON 280 - Casey, James F. (Jim)

A survey of the major issues of development economics. Economic structure of low-income countries and primary causes for their limited economic growth. Economic goals and policy alternatives. Role of developed countries in the development of poor countries. Selected case studies.

Special Topics in Economics

ECON 295A - Goldsmith, Arthur H. (Art)

Course emphasis and prerequisites change from term to term and are announced prior to preregistration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. A maximum of nine credits chosen from all special topics in economics courses may be used, with permission of the department head, toward requirements for the economics major.

Fall 2019, ECON 295A-01: The Economics of Race (3). Prerequisite: ECON 100 or both ECON 101 and 102. Preference to ECON majors during the first round of registration. Other majors are encouraged to add to the waiting list after registration re-opens for all class years. A critical examination of the causes and consequences of racial disparities in valued life-course outcomes in America. More than 50 years have passed since the passage of civil-rights and equal-employment-opportunity legislation in the U.S. Nevertheless, racial gaps persist -- with blacks lagging whites -- on most socioeconomic indicators. The course is divided into four parts: (1) an introduction to the biological and social construction of race; (2) theories to explain racial disparities; (3) an examination of racial disparity in such realms as education, health, wealth, wages, and unemployment; and (4) policies to address racial disparities. In each section of the course, students explore relevant issues through assigned readings, films, and classroom discussion. The course fosters the development and use of critical thinking, effective writing, and oral presentation skills. Student evaluation is based on classroom participation, an examination of concepts discussed, film commentaries, and a term paper. Goldsmith.

Advanced Topics in Microeconomic and Macroeconomic Theory

ECON 310 - Davies, Martin H.

An introduction to the scope and tools of modern economic theory, including student applications of these theories. Equal time is spent examining topics, with the focus in microeconomics on examining sources of market failure (externalities, public goods, asymmetric information) and decision-making under uncertainty, and the focus in macroeconomics on constructing models of the demand-side and supply-side of the macroeconomy and on policy-setting in both the closed and open economy settings.

Advanced Labor Economics

ECON 330 - Handy, Christopher M. (Chris)

This course is an empirically advanced introduction to fundamental topics in the economic study of labor markets. We focus on labor supply, labor market equilibrium, investments in education, the distribution of labor income, and the effects of discrimination. Each part of the course provides a theoretical treatment of the respective topic followed by coverage of one or more academic research papers on that topic. Compared to most undergraduate labor economics courses, this course adopts a narrower topical focus in order to study, in depth, some primary research from the discipline. Students further develop their own quantitative research skills by writing two empirical papers.

Special Topics in Economics

ECON 395A - Shester, Katharine L.

Course emphasis and prerequisites change from term to term and will be announced prior to preregistration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. A maximum of nine credits chosen from all special topics in economics courses may be used, with permission of the department head, toward requirements for the economics major.

Special Topics in Economics

ECON 395B - Kahn, James R. (Jim)

Course emphasis and prerequisites change from term to term and will be announced prior to preregistration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. A maximum of nine credits chosen from all special topics in economics courses may be used, with permission of the department head, toward requirements for the economics major.

Directed Individual Research

ECON 423 - Blunch, Niels-Hugo (Hugo)

Independent research culminating in an honors thesis. See the departmental website for requirements for honors in the major. Must be taken in the senior year.

Directed Individual Research

ECON 423 - Handy, Christopher M. (Chris)

Independent research culminating in an honors thesis. See the departmental website for requirements for honors in the major. Must be taken in the senior year.

Directed Individual Research

ECON 423 - Silwal, Shikha B.

Independent research culminating in an honors thesis. See the departmental website for requirements for honors in the major. Must be taken in the senior year.

Directed Individual Research

ECON 423 - Shester, Katharine L.

Independent research culminating in an honors thesis. See the departmental website for requirements for honors in the major. Must be taken in the senior year.

Honors Thesis Workshop

ECON 440 - Shester, Katharine L.

Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. Group workshop and seminar for students pursuing an honors thesis in Economics. Includes directed readings and research as well as presentations of Individual work. Must be taken in the senior year.