Courses in Economics (Division 358: arranged by groups)

A. Introductory Courses

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

Economics 201 concentrates on the microeconomics of the modern economy: how markets function under competitive conditions as well as with various other types of market organization; the distribution of income and wealth; the public sector; socialism; and related topics of current interest. The course format consists of one hour of lecture each week (either Section 001 or 002) taught by the professor and three hours of section meetings each week (Sections 003 to 037) taught by a teaching assistant. Grades are based largely on course-wide hour tests and the final exam, but there will also be quizzes in the sections. Economics 201 is the first part of the two-term introduction to economics. Both 201 and 202 are required as prerequisites to the concentration and to upper level courses in economics. Economics 201 is open to first-term freshmen in the Honors Program and to non-Honors second-term freshmen. Please note the special hour test and final exam times shown in the Time Schedule (the FIRST exam code letter is the PRINCIPAL exam time). (Porter)

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 031) each week by a teaching assistant. The section meetings are limited to 35 students. (Courant)

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 consumer choice, 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 concentrating in economics. Students who wish to retain the options of further courses in economics or of economics as a possible concentration should take the two-term introductory course, Economics 201 and 202. (Gerson)

B. Economic Theory and Statistics

401. Intermediate Microeconomic Theory. Econ. 201 and 202, and Math. 115. (4). (SS).

This course in microeconomics deals with the theoretical analysis of consumers, firms, markets, and price determination. The analysis is rigorous, using the tools of algebra, geometry, and elementary calculus in constructing models. Prerequisites include one term of calculus. Economics 401 is a prerequisite for many other courses offered in Economics. Concentrators are required to elect this course and are encouraged to complete it early in their concentration program. It is not recommended that 401 and 402 be taken in the same term. There will be three hours of lecture and one hour section meeting per week. (Bergstrom, Blume, Varian, Zhou)

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

This course in macroeconomics deals with the theory of broad economic aggregates such as national income, employment, the price level, and the balance of payments. Rigorous analysis is used to understand the forces that determine these economic variables, and how they are affected by public policies. It is predominantly a lecture course, with grades based on hour test(s) and final exam. Prerequisites include one term of calculus. Economics 402 is a prerequisite for many other courses offered in Economics. Concentrators are required to elect this course and are encouraged to complete it early in their concentration program. It is strongly recommended that students take Economics 401 before 402. (Almansi, Anderson, Johnson, Laitner, Miron)

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 enable students to read critically empirical literature in economics and other social sciences. Topics covered include descriptive statistics, simple and multiple regression analysis, elementary probability theory, and statistical inference. This course will emphasize data analysis and interpretation of quantitative results. There are two lectures and one problem session per week. Grades are based on problem sets and exams. The course, which is self-contained, does not serve as a prerequisite to Economics 406. (Schirm)

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 basic calculus. 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.

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

This course provides an introduction to Marxian and neo-Marxian analysis of capitalist society in general and contemporary U.S. capitalism in particular. The first part of the course will be devoted to classical Marxian economics, drawing on readings from the works of Marx and Engels as well as modern sources. The second and major part of the course will focus on contemporary neo-Marxian political economy, drawing from the writings of modern radical economists and other social scientists working within the Marxian tradition. Grades will be based on one midterm and one final examination. The course does not fulfill the departmental sequence requirement. (Whatley)

C. Economic Stability and Growth

411. Money and Banking. Econ. 402 or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 310. (3). (SS).

SECTION 001 Economics 411 is designed to introduce students to monetary theory and policy at a formal level. General topics which are covered include: money demand; money supply; interest rate determination; monetary policy and economic activity. Course evaluation will be based on two midterm and final examination grades. There will be optional homework assignments. Method of instruction is lecture and discussion. Economics 411 has as a prerequisite, Economics 402, and is the first course in a departmental sequence, the other course being Economics 412 (Stabilization Policy).

SECTION 002 Economics 411 introduces students to monetary theory and policy at a formal level. Topics covered include money demand, money supply, interest rate determination, and the effect of monetary policy on economic activity. Course evaluation will be based on two midterm and the final exam grades. There will be ungraded homework assignments. Method of instruction is lecture and discussion. Economics 411 is the first course in a departmental sequence; the other course in the sequence is Economics 412. The required prerequisite is Economics 402, Intermediate Macroeconomics. It is helpful to have had Economics 401, Intermediate Microeconomics, also. (Wolfe)

412. Stabilization Policy. Econ. 402 and 411, or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 310. (3). (SS).

This course will consist of an intensive examination of several puzzling empirical phenomena involving interest rates, stock yields, commodity prices, and money. Many of the puzzles are classic problems in monetary theory, although a few are of recent vintage. For each of the phenomena we will ask: (a) why is this puzzling from the point of view of standard monetary theory? (b) what theoretical explanations have been advanced? and (c) which implications of each of these theories are or are not borne out by the data? We will begin with the classic Gibson Paradox, made famous by Keynes the observation that the nominal interest rate and the level (not the rate of change) of prices were correlated over long periods of economic history. The mirror image of the Gibson Paradox is the apparent failure of nominal rates to adjust for inflation during the same periods, and we turn our attention to this puzzle next. From here we move naturally to the coexistence of negative real interest rates on bonds with very low stock prices (and high dividend and earnings yields) in the 1970's. The remainder of the course will concentrate on the central problem in monetary theory why is it that changes in the nominal money stock appear to have potent effects on the real economy. The course prerequisite is Economics 402, although it will be very helpful to have had 401 and at least one other 400 level course. There will probably be one or two examinations, and a term paper which must be brief but which should include a small bit of original research. (Barsky)

D. Labor Economics

333/Amer. Inst. 433. Economic Analysis of Industrial Policy. Econ. 201 and 202. (3). (SS).

See American Institutions 433. (Stafford)

421. Labor Economics I. Econ. 401. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 320 or 326. (3). (SS).

This course deals with the economics of labor supply and demand, wage and employment determination, investment in education and training, and unemployment. The course develops microeconomic models of the labor market, presents relevant empirical evidence, and discusses applications to such policy issues as the work incentive effects of income maintenance programs and the employment effects of minimum wage legislation. Grades are based on midterm and final examinations. (Solon)

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. (Anderson)

E. Industrial Organization and Public Control

431. Industrial Organization and Performance. Econ. 401. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 330. (3). (SS).

SECTION 001 Analysis of non-competitive behavior. This course develops at an elementary level those ideas in noncooperative game theory which have recently transformed the field of industrial organization and then applies them to various traditional topics in IO. Topics include price discrimination, entry deterrence, tacit and overt collusion and the behavior of cartels. The course has a midterm, final, and a series of problem sets. (Salant)

432. Government Regulation of Industry. Econ. 401. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 330. (3). (SS).

SECTION 001 This course studies the causes and effects of public economic regulation, focusing both on the substance of regulatory programs and on the particular procedures and institutions used to implement them. There are three main parts to the course. First, we consider normative and positive explanations of economic regulation, examining both market-failure and interest-group theories of the phenomenon. Second, we take up the federal antitrust laws, focusing on their substance, the incentives they create, and their effects on market structure and conduct. Topics to be covered include monopolization, collusion, mergers and other potentially restrictive practices. Third, we examine direct public regulation, first studying the effects of traditional price, output, and entry regulation of fraud, product quality, and health and safety. In this third section, somewhat more emphasis will be placed on the common features and problems of regulation in general than on the specific details of particular industries. (Katz)

Section 002 This course studies government policies toward business. Government intervention in private business takes three forms in the U.S.: antitrust laws, direct regulation of prices and outputs, and safety and information regulation. In antitrust, we look at the laws and their enforcement on issues of monopolization, price fixing, mergers and other market restrictions. Direct economic regulation of specific industries is then examined. We will study the electric power, airline, securities brokerage, and telecommunication industries. Finally, we look at issues of unfair or deceptive advertising, health and safety standards for products and work places, and environmental protection. (Borenstein)

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.

F. International Economics

340(440). International Economics. Econ. 201 and 202. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 441 or 442. (3). (SS).

Survey of the major aspects of international trade and finance, with emphasis on current policy issues. Three lectures weekly. (Stern)

441. International Trade Theory. Econ. 401 or the equivalent. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 340. (3). (SS).

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

G. Comparative Economic Systems

350(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. Not in departmental concentration sequence in Comparative Economic Systems. (Bornstein)

451. Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems. Econ. 401. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 350. (3). (SS).

Designed for students with a background in intermediate microeconomic theory. Covers: (1) methods and criteria for analyzing and comparing economic systems; (2) theoretical models and case studies of a capitalist market economy, a socialist market economy (with and without workers' management of firms), and a centrally planned economy; (3) selected common problems of different economic systems, including unemployment and inflation. Reading assignments in various sources; lectures. Two examinations. No papers. In departmental sequence in Comparative Economic Systems. (Zhou)

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

Analysis of economic organizations, 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 concentrators for two-course sequence in a field. (Dernberger)

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. Two examinations. May be used (along with Econ. 451) for departmental concentration sequence in Comparative Economic Systems. (Bornstein)

H. 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 360. (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 foreign trade, income distribution, the debt crisis, as well as development planning and other policy issues. The requirements of the course will include a midterm and final examination. Each student is expected to select a country for special study and write two short reports on that country. (Mueller)

I. Urban and Environmental Economics

471/Nat. Res. 571. Environmental Economics. Econ. 401. or Nat. Res. 570 or equivalent. (3). (Excl).

Environmental economics is the study of how to manage the environment in the best interests of society. We will discuss the structure of market failures and of policies to correct those failures in the environmental arena. Then we will examine a series of environmental problems including hazardous wastes, asbestos in schools and in the workplace, air pollution and water pollution. There will be two problem sets, three papers, and a cumulative final exam. (Jones)

472/Nat. Res. 583. Intermediate Natural Resource Economics. Econ. 401 or Nat. Res. 570. (3). (Excl).

This course is an introduction to the economics of natural resources. Both replenishable resources (such as water, trees, fish, whales, wildlife, and agricultural products) and nonreplenishable resources (such as oil and minerals) will be considered. The defining characteristic of such resources is that increased consumption today has future consequences. The course therefore emphasizes intertemporal choice. Comparisons will be made between the market outcome when self-interested agents interact over time and efficient intertemporal exploitation of the resource. Such comparisons will be made under certainty and uncertainty and when the resource is privately owned or "common property." For balance, models of animal behavior will also be considered including optimal foraging behavior and evolutionarily stable equilibria. The course presumes familiarity with elementary probability, calculus, and static microtheory at the level of Economics 401 or equivalent. Grades will be based on hour test(s), problem sets, and a final exam.

J. Public Finance

380(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. (Gordon)

482. Government Revenues. Econ. 401. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 380. (3). (SS).

Economic analysis of the equity and efficiency effects of major U.S. taxes, including the personal income tax, the corporate income tax, the social security tax, and the property tax. Examination of commonly proposed tax changes. Effects of debt and inflationary finance. Lecture method; midterm and final exams; no term paper. Text: H. Rosen, PUBLIC FINANCE. (Mackie-Mason)

485. Law and Economics. Econ. 401. (3). (Excl).

This course analyzes legal issues from an economic perspective. It will cover topics in a variety of legal areas, including torts, contracts, property law and environmental law. For example, the course will ask the question of who should be liable for damage in automobile accident cases in order to give drivers incentives to take an economically efficient level of precaution against accidents. It will ask under what circumstances buyers or sellers should be encouraged to breach contracts and what penalties for breach will encourage them to breach only when such behavior is economically efficient. It will ask how the availability of insurance changes behavior in uncertain situations such as these. A "truth in advertising" proviso: students intending to go to law school should be cautioned that this course will not help in getting admitted there any more than any other economics course will. There will be a midterm and a final exam. Readings will include Polinsky's Introduction to Law and Economics, articles from law reviews and economic journals, and some legal cases. (White)

K. Economic History

491/Hist. 491. The History of the American Economy. Econ. 201 and 202. (3). (SS).

This course will examine the historical antecedents of contemporary economic issues, institutions and behavior. It will investigate the economic and historical origins of the constitution, big business, the labor union movement, government regulation, the Federal Reserve system, fiscal policy and big government, the modern family, racial and sexual discrimination in labor markets, political movements, imperialism and war. The course requires a knowledge of economics on the level of Economics 201. A midterm, final and several moderate-length term papers are required. The class format encourages lively discussion and debate. (Whatley)

L. Honors Program

498. Senior Honors Seminar. Open only to seniors admitted to Honors concentration in economics. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

This is the second term of a two course sequence. The first course is Economics 497, the Junior Honors Seminar offered in the winter term of the preceding year. The Senior Honors Seminar is for senior undergraduates writing senior Honors theses. Class meetings are primarily devoted to student presentations of their thesis research in progress. Students are expected to submit their finished thesis by the last day of classes. Each student's grade for the course and levels of Honors achieved will depend entirely on the quality of the thesis, as evaluated by the course instructor and one other thesis advisor with whom the student has arranged to work. (Stafford)

O. 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 Russian and East European Studies 395.

P. Accounting

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

This course examines 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 and Economics 272 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.

LECTURE SECTIONS 001-003, AND RECITATION SECTION 025: PERMISSION OF COMPREHENSIVE STUDIES PROGRAM (CSP). This CSP section, which covers the complete course syllabus, is designed for students who want to be certain that they develop a thorough understanding of accounting principles and are willing to devote the effort necessary to do so. Extra class time is provided for in-depth analysis of central concepts. Therefore, enrollment in Comprehensive Studies Program discussion sections will require additional time and effort for problem- solving and review. Check the Time Schedule for meeting times.

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

A basic course in principles and concepts underlying the development of cost information for merchandising and manufacturing firms, the accounting for long-term liabilities and investments and an introduction to cost budgets and cost standards. Tools for planning and performance control are emphasized. Studies of cost behavior and the classification of costs to reflect their behavioral characteristics are covered. 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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