Courses in Economics (Division 358: ordered by groups)

A. Introductory Courses

Students who earned credit for Economics 201 or 400 prior to Fall Term 1983 are permitted to enter all those upper-level courses whose prerequisites are designated Economics 201 and 202. Students who elect Economics 201 in Fall Term 1983 and thereafter will be required to take its sequel, Economics 202, in order to take any advanced course in the Economics Department. Economics 400, taken in Fall, 1982, and thereafter, does not normally fulfill the prerequisite for advanced courses in Economics.

201. Principles of Economics I. Open to second-term freshmen. No credit granted to those who have completed 400. (4). (SS).

Economics 201 is open to first-term freshmen in the Honors Program and to non-Honors second-term freshmen. Freshmen who believe that their backgrounds and interests are such that they would like to elect this course should discuss the matter with a counselor before making the election. Economics 201 is the first part of a two-term introduction to economics. Both 201 and 202 are required as prerequisites to the concentration and to upper level courses in economics. In Economics 201, the fundamental theories and concepts of microeconomics are described and are used to analyze problems of current interest. Among the major topics discussed are how consumer and producer preferences interact to determine the price and quantity offered of individual products and resources, the different types of markets within which firms operate, the causes and remedies of such market failures as monopoly and spillover costs, and problems related to the distribution of income. The course format consists of one hour of lecture (either section 001 or 002) each week given by the professor and three hours of section meetings (sections 003 to 039) given by a teaching assistant each week. There are two hour exams scheduled for October 13 and November 10 at 7:30 pm. Students must reserve these times and dates. (Shepherd)

202. Principles of Economics II. Econ. 201. No credit granted to those who have completed Econ. 400. (4). (SS).

Economics 202 is only open to students who have taken Economics 201 in Fall, 1982 or thereafter. Both 201 and 202 are required as prerequisites to the concentration and to upper-level courses in Economics. In Economics 202, the fundamental concepts and theories of macroeconomics are developed and used to analyze problems of current interest. The major concerns of this course are the determinants of GNP, unemployment, inflation, and growth. The course format consists of one hour of lecture (either 001 or 002) each week by the professor and three hours of section meetings (003 to 027) each week by a teaching assistant. The section meetings are constrained to 35 students. There are two evening hour exams (at 7:30 pm) on October 10 and November 9 whose dates and times must be reserved by all students. (Anderson)

400. Modern Economic Society. For upperclass and graduate students without prior credit for principles of economics. (4). (SS).

A one-term course which covers the basic principles of economics, including both microeconomic and macroeconomic analysis, the theory of production and cost, industrial organization, and input markets. Macroeconomic topics include the determination of national income, inflation and unemployment, money and banking, and stabilization policy. The course is aimed at upperclass and graduate students who are not majoring in economics. Students who wish to retain the options of further courses in economics or of economics as a possible major should take the two-term introductory course, Economics 201 and 202. (Crafton and Putallaz)

B. Economic Theory and Statistics

401. Intermediate Microeconomic Theory. Econ. 201 and 202, and Math. 115. (3). (SS).

This course in microeconomics deals with theoretical analysis of consumers, firms, markets and price determination. The analysis is quite rigorous, using the tools of algebra, geometry, and elementary calculus in constructing models. Prerequisites include one term of calculus, though instructors differ considerably in the extent to which they use it. Students should therefore consult the instructors before selecting a section. The course is intended primarily for majors and should be taken early in the concentration program since it is a prerequisite for many other courses in Economics. It is not recommended that 401 and 402 be taken in the same term. A lecture format is the predominant teaching mode, with grading based on midterm and final examinations, though again there is some variation among instructors. (Blume, Laitner, Stafford, Feldstein, Varian)

402. Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory. Econ. 201 and 202, and Math. 115. (3). (SS).

This course in macroeconomics is concerned with the theory, measurement, and control of broad economic aggregates such as national income, employment, and price level. Economic analysis is used to understand the forces that determine the level of economic activity and its fluctuations, the price level, employment and unemployment, and public policies related to those economic variables. Economics 402 is a prerequisite for many advanced courses offered by the Economics Department. Concentrators are required to elect this course and are encouraged to complete Economics 402 early in the concentration program. It is not recommended that Economics 401 and 402 be elected during the same term. A lecture format is the predominant teaching mode although this varies according to the instructor. The course grade is based on midterm and final examinations and, in some cases, problem sets and papers. (Johnson, Putallaz)

403. Advanced Economic Theory. Econ. 401 and 402. (3). (SS).

The topic of this course will be long-run economic growth. We will develop several simple mathematical models with which we can study the economic effects over long time periods of population changes, private saving, and technological progress. Within the context of the models we will investigate the consequences for private sector capital accumulation of taxes on interest income, the national debt, and the social security system. We will also examine the long-run effects of having nonrenewable natural resources. The lectures in this course will be designed to complement the short-run analysis students will already have seen in other economics classes. It will be an advanced course, intended for students with strong interests in economics, with a background including Economics 401 and/or 402, and with a sufficient knowledge of mathematics to feel comfortable with basic calculus. (Laitner)

404. Statistics for Economists. Econ. 201 and 202; or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed 405. (4). (SS).

This course is designed to equip students to read empirical literature in economics and other social sciences. The topics covered include elementary probability theory, statistical inference, and multiple regression analysis. The description and analysis of data are emphasized. There are two informal lecture/recitations and one problem session per week. Grades are based on two midterms and a final exam. The course, which is self-contained, does not normally serve as a prerequisite to Economics 406. (Howrey)

405/Statistics 405. Introduction to Statistics. Math. 115 or permission of instructor. Juniors and seniors may elect this course concurrently with Econ. 201 or 202. No credit granted to those who have completed 404. (4). (SS).

This course has originally been designed for economics concentrators but the discussion is sufficiently general to serve noneconomics concentrators just as well. The emphasis is on understanding rather than on "cookbook" applications. Students are expected to know basic algebra and to have some understanding of the concept of derivatives and integrals. Since the content of the course does not extend much beyond establishing the foundations of statistical inference, it is recommended that after finishing the course students elect to take Economics 406 or a similar course in the Statistics Department to learn some applications and get some experience with computer work. While Economics 405 is not required for an economics concentration, it is difficult to see how anyone today can be regarded as an economist without some knowledge of statistics. Employers typically ask for some training in statistics, and letters from graduates often express regret for not having had more statistics. (Kmenta)

406. Introduction to Econometrics. Econ. 405 or the equivalent. (4). (SS).

Economics 406 is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of statistical analysis of economic relationships. Hypotheses testing as well as the construction and use of econometric models are emphasized. Computer exercises are used to provide a stimulating learning environment. Students should be familiar with elementary calculus.

407. Marxist Economics. Econ. 201 and 202. (3). (SS).

The course surveys major themes in Marxist economic and social analysis: the philosophy of historical materialism, capitalist production, accumulation, class structure, women and capitalism, organization of work, and working class life. Readings are drawn from the works of Marx and Engels as well as modern Marxist sources. Grades will be based on a journal. The journal assignments will encourage critical thinking about capitalist society, conventional economic and social theory, and Marxism. Class format will be mixed lecture and discussion. Does not fulfill departmental sequence requirement. (L. Anderson)

C. Economic Behavior

408. Consumer Economics. Econ. 201 and 202. (3). (SS).

Principles of economics applied to individual and household decisions. Basic notions like opportunity cost, imputed values of non-money flows, present values of future sums, expected values of probabilistic events, and the irrelevance of past (sunk) costs, are applied to decisions about investment in self (education, etc.), occupation and work, housing and residential location, financial planning, borrowing, investment of savings, consumer durables, risk and insurance, medical care, and other expenditures. The role of consumer information, education, and protection are discussed. The course does not concern itself with marketing or the consumer movement. Text by J. Morgan and G. Duncan, The Economics of Personal Choice, University of Michigan Press, 1980, plus reserve supplements on insurance. (Duncan)

D. Economic Stability and Growth

410. Money and the Economy. Econ. 201 and 202. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 411 or 412. (3). (SS).

This course deals with the role of money in the economy; banks and financial markets; the main factors affecting economic activity, prices, and other aggregate variables; and government policies to promote full employment, price stability, and growth. The course is for students who have had an introductory economics course (201 or 400) and who do not intend to take either Economics 411 or 412. It is directed toward the kind of understanding important for informed citizenship and intelligent private decisions rather than that needed for advanced work in economics. It is a lecture course with midterm and final examinations and some written homework problems. (Ranney)

411. Money and Banking. Econ. 402 or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 410. (3). (SS).

This course focuses on monetary theory and the structure of the banking and financial systems of the United States. The course uses a combined lecture and discussion format. There is a midterm, a final examination, homework assignments, and reading assignments from a text and other selected readings. (Holbrook)

E. Labor Economics

421. Labor Economics I. Econ. 401. Not open to students who have taken 420. (3). (SS).

Analysis of the determination of the level and distributions of skills, wages, employment, and income in a market economy. Applications of the theories of consumer choice, production, and investment in human capital to a wide range of real-world problems. (Stafford)

423/Women's Studies 423. The Economic Status of Women. Econ. 201 and 202. (3). (SS).

This course focuses on the changing economic role and status of American women within the context of both the family and the larger economic society. One major focus of the course is the changing pattern in labor force participation of women including the historical trends which underlie the great increase in the number and proportion of working women. Related issues include some possible explanations for the heavy concentration of women workers in a few predominantly female occupations and the possible determinants of current unfavorable male/female wage ratios. In each case, the extent to which discrimination might be an explanation is considered. Another major focus of the course is the impact that contemporary changes in family life have had on the economic status of women. Some of the changes considered are changes in fertility, in marriage patterns, in divorce rates, and in sex role patterns within the family. The economic issues associated with different family life styles are examined, and some attention is given to the economic problems of families with female family heads and to the economic problems experienced by dual career families. Other course topics include the problem of time allocation for women combining family life with full time work, the need for some flexibility in working conditions for married women, and the extent to which women are treated differently from men in such matters as pension rights, social security benefits, and access to credit. Public policies such as affirmative action and the equal rights amendment which are designed to improve the economic status of women are also discussed. Some consideration is given to the comparative economic status of women in other countries. The course format includes lectures on selected topics with considerable time allowed for discussion. (Freedman)

425/Amer. Inst. 439/Poli. Sci. 439. Inequality in the United States. Econ.. 201 or Poli. Sci. 111. (3). (SS).

See Program in American Institutions 439. (Corcoran, Courant)

F. Industrial Organization and Public Control

430. Industrial Performance and Government Policy. Econ. 201 and 202. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 431 or 432. (3). (SS).

This course offers a general introductory survey of the field of industrial organization. The topics covered include: (1) how markets are organized and how the organization affects the market's performance, and, (2) how government policy, antitrust law and regulation affects both the organization of the market and its performance. In other words, it deals with the problem of corporate power and what to do about it. This course cannot be used as part of the two-course industrial organization sequence. A lecture/discussion format is used.

431. Industrial Organization and Performance. Econ. 401. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 430. (3). (SS).

An analysis of the behavior and social performance of large business corporations. Emphasis is placed on the sources and significance of the scale of firms, the differentiation of products, the concentration of markets, and the scope of firms in developed market economies. There will be a 10-15 page research paper, a midterm, and a final examination. A substantial portion of each class meeting will transpire in discussion format.

432. Market Power, Antitrust, Regulation, and Public Enterprise. Econ. 401 or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 430. (3). (SS).

The subject is the main public policies toward market power. Antitrust is the mainstream policy, and it occupies about 1/2 of the course. Actions toward existing market power, toward mergers, and toward collusion and exclusionary actions, are analyzed and criticized. The regulation of utilities is next, with attention to various sectors, including electricity, gas, telephone and transport. Finally public enterprise and some special cases agriculture, weapons buying and patents are treated. The course follows on Economics 431, but 432 can be taken first with a moderate amount of extra work at the start. Instruction: lecture-discussion. Evaluation: A research paper of 10-15 pages; draft and final versions. A 50-minute midterm, and a two hour final.

438/H.A. 661 (Public Health). Economics of Health Services. Econ. 401 or permission of instructor. (3). (SS).

This course provides an analysis of the medical sector in the U.S. It starts with an examination of medical services as one input in a production function for health. The emphasis of the course is then on the efficiency with which medical services are produced, public policies, and the financing of medical services. Specific topics include the demand for medical care, hospitals, physicians, nurses, medical education, regulatory and competitive strategies to improve efficiency, and national health insurance. Lecture format. A midterm and final. (Feldstein)

G. International Economics

441. International Trade Theory. Econ. 401 or the equivalent. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 440. (3). (SS).

Static and dynamic determinants of comparative advantage; trade policy and economic welfare; selected topics. Two lectures and one required section meeting weekly. (Stern)

H. Comparative Economic Systems

450. Comparative Economic Systems. Econ. 201 and 202. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 451. (3). (SS).

Theoretical models and case studies of selected aspects of different economic systems, including (1) capitalist regulated market economies, (2) socialist regulated market economies, and (3) socialist centrally planned economies. Assigned readings and lectures. Two examinations. A demanding course suitable for students with above-average grades in prerequisite course. Not in Departmental concentration sequence in Comparative Economic Systems. (Bornstein)

455. The Economy of the People's Republic of China. Econ. 201 and 202. (3). (SS).

Analysis of economic organization, structure, system of planning, economic performance, and problems in China. Approximately first third of term, however, spent in review of developments before 1949. Basically lecture format due to class size, but questions allowed and discussed. Midterm and final exam used to determine course grade. Paper required for graduate credit. Can be used with Economics 451 to meet requirement of Economics majors for two-course sequence in a field.

456. The Soviet Economy. Econ. 201 and 202. (3). (SS).

A comprehensive and intensive analysis of the Soviet economy, including (1) development since 1917; (2) operation and problems in regard to planning, pricing, finance, management, labor, agriculture, and foreign economic relations; and (3) assessment of economic performance. Assigned readings and lectures. Texts include Marx, Engels, and Lenin, The Essential Left; Gregory and Stuart, Soviet Economic Structure and Performance, second edition (1981); and Bornstein, The Soviet Economy: Continuity and Change (1981). Two examinations. A demanding course suitable for students with above-average grades in prerequisite courses. May be used (along with Econ. 451) for departmental concentration sequence in Comparative Economic Systems. (Bornstein)

I. Economic Development and National Economies

461. The Economics of Development I. Econ. 402 or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 460. (3). (SS).

This is the first course in a two-term sequence on economic development, intended primarily for upper division undergraduates from all fields and graduate students from outside economics. The second course in the sequence, Economics 462, need not be taken after this one but it is generally recommended. Economics 461 will involve a general introduction to the subject of economic development (and underdevelopment) that includes theoretical institutional, and historical perspectives. We will discuss problems of human resources, agricultural development, industrialization and trade, income distribution as well as development planning and other policy issues. The requirements of the course will include a midterm and final examination, as well as a short paper. The required text is Todaro, Michael P., Economic Development in the Third World (New York, Longman, 1977). (Mueller)

467. Economic Development in the Middle East. Econ. 201 and 202. (3). (SS).

This course combines an analysis of the structure and performance of contemporary Middle Eastern economies with discussions of development issues of general interest. Issues considered in recent versions of the course include population problems, the oil industry, economic aspects of Islam, agricultural development, and international migration. Each issue is discussed both in general terms and in the institutional context of a specific Middle Eastern economy. May not be elected for credit more than once. (Barlow)

J. Urban and Regional Economics

588. Urban Public Economy. Econ. 401. (3). (SS).

This course covers several major topics, with some flexibility to accommodate the interests of the students and the instructor. These topics include: the nature of and demand for public goods and services in the urban setting; municipal wage determination and public employee unionism: criteria for allocation of resources in the urban public sector; city-suburban fiscal interactions; the urban role in fiscal federalism; and the nature and sources of the urban fiscal crisis. Students are expected to have command of micro theory at the intermediate level, and courses in public finance and urban economics, while not prerequisites, will be found to be complementary. The course may serve as part of a sequence in urban economics, along with Economics 487, for undergraduate concentrators. With permission it may also serve as part of the public finance sequence when coupled with Economics 481 and 482. Grades for the course are based on a midterm and a final essay examination. Class sessions are in the form of lectures, with as much discussion as class size and student inclination dictate. (Brazer)

K. Public Finance

480. Public Finance. Econ. 201 and 202. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 481 or 482. (3). (SS).

This course offers a general introductory survey of the field of public finance. The topics covered include: (1) when markets fail, (2) methods of government intervention, (3) program and project evaluation, (4) major Federal, State and Local taxes and their effects, and (5) intergovernmental financial relations. This course cannot be used as part of the two-course public finance sequence. A lecture/discussion format is used.

481. Government Expenditures. Econ. 401. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 480. (3). (SS).

Economics 481 is intended primarily for economics concentrators. It makes extensive use of elementary calculus and intermediate microeconomics. A strong background in both of these areas is essential for understanding the material. Students may take this course in conjunction with Economics 482 to fulfill departmental concentration requirements for advanced courses in a field. This course is concerned with non-market solutions to allocation problems arising from social interaction. In addition to studying government expenditures and interventions, we examine the theory of decisions in such groups as voluntary organizations, firms and families. Specific topics to be treated include the theory of public goods, externalities and legal liability, formal models of voting systems, benefit-cost analysis, preference revelation, measurement of demand for public goods, the theory of marriage, the theory of clubs, and applications of game theory to public choice. Emphasis will be theoretical rather than institutional. (Bergstrom)

482. Government Revenues. Econ. 401. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 480. (3). (SS).

Economic analysis of public sector revenues: Structure and trends of American government revenues; legislative and executive decision-making processes relating to revenues; major taxes and their contribution to equity and economic efficiency (personal income tax, corporation income tax, payroll tax, consumption taxes, property tax), including a discussion of general-equilibrium models of tax incidence; user charges; and debt financing. Lecture method; midterm and final exams; no term paper. Text: R.W. Boadway, Public Sector Economics. (Barlow)

M. Honors Program

497. Senior Honors Proseminar. Open only to seniors admitted to the Honors concentration in economics. (3). (SS).

This is the first term of a two-term sequence (Economics 497-498) in which Honors students formulate and carry out a substantial research project culminating in a thesis. Students are expected to complete a detailed thesis proposal, including an annotated bibliography, by the end of the first term. Each student will also be expected to make an oral presentation based on work in progress. Credit is given separately for Economics 497 and Economics 498. (Weisskopf)

O. Institute of Public Policy Studies Courses

573/IPPS 573. Benefit-Cost Analysis. Econ. 555 or the equivalent; or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

A course in the economics of program evaluation. Part of the core sequences for IPPS only selected undergraduates admitted. Reviews of standard benefit-cost methodology such problems as computing consumer surplus, valuing time and safety, discounting. Then shows how the same logic can be applied to programs for income redistribution, human capital, grants, and regulation. One final exam and a term paper in which students actually evaluate some program. (Gramlich)

P. Interdisciplinary Survey Courses

395/Hist. 332/Pol. Sci. 395/REES 395/Slavic 395/Soc. 392. Survey of the Soviet Union. May not be included in the minimum 24 credits required for a concentration in economics. (4). (SS).

See REES 395.

Q. Accounting

271, 272/Accounting 271, 272 (Business Administration). Accounting. Econ. 271 is a prerequisite for Econ. 272. Not open to freshmen. May not be included in the minimum 24 credits required for a concentration in economics. (3 each). (Excl).

These courses examine the concepts and procedures of accounting for financial transactions of business enterprises. Attention is given to the central problems of income determination and asset valuation. The final weeks of the course are devoted to financial reports and their interpretation. The format of the course is lecture and discussion. The course includes textbook readings and a series of problems for daily preparation. This course serves the dual purpose of providing a foundation for students planning to take additional work in accounting and of providing a survey for those who plan no further work in this field.


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