Courses in Economics (Division 358: arranged by groups)

A. Introductory Courses

201. Principles of Economics I. 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 or 003) taught by the professor and three hours of section meetings each week (Sections 004 to 053) 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). Discussion sections begin on January 5th. Any student absent from the first two discussion section meetings will be dropped from the course. (Juster)

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

Economics 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, international trade, and economic 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 035) each week by a teaching assistant. The section meetings are limited to 35 students. (Gramlich)

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 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.

B. Economic Theory and Statistics

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

This course 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 construction 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. Main lecture will meet twice a week. Sections will meet once a week. (Borenstein)

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. (Balakrishnan, Laitner, Huber)

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, regression theory, 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. (Bound)

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).

See Statistics 405.

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

Economics 406 is an introduction to the statistical analysis of economic relationships. Most of the course focuses on the theory and application of regression analysis. Students are expected to be familiar with elementary calculus. The course work includes examinations and assignments including computer exercises involving analysis of economic data. Previous computer experience is NOT a prerequisite. (Kmenta)

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

This course provides an introduction to Marxian and neo-Marxian analysis of capitalistic 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. (Weisskopf)

C. Economic Stability and Growth

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

Economics 411 focuses on modern financial markets and the role of monetary policy in influencing asset prices and the economy. Monetary and financial economics are developed at a formal level. Topics covered include financial institutions and markets, interest rate determination, portfolio theory, capital markets, the money supply process, money demand, and monetary policy. Evaluation will be based on homework assignments, two midterms, and the final exam. Method of instruction is lecture and discussion. Econ 411 is the first course in a departmental sequence; the other course in the sequence is Econ 412. The required prerequisite is Econ 402, Intermediate Macroeconomics. It is helpful to have had statistics (Econ 404 or 405) and Econ 401, Intermediate Microeconomics, also. (Wolfe)

412. Stabilization Policy. Econ. 402. 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. (Warner)

D. Labor Economics

422. The Structure of Labor Markets. Econ. 401. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 320 or 326. (3). (Excl).

This course is centered around important policy questions. For example, should the power of unions be curtailed? What has been the impact of imports on wage levels and working conditions? How can we understand the employment implications of corporate takeovers? Is the fact that women earn 57 percent of what men earn PRIMA FACIE evidence of systematic discrimination by employers? What is the meaning of the court cases on job discrimination? Can the government lower unemployment? Can new types of labor contracts such as the proposed "share economy" reduce the nation's unemployment? Lecture format with midterm and final exam. (Stafford)

E. Industrial Organization and Public Control

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

This course examines the changing, and developing, international economy, its consequences for the United States economy, and the demands for an "Industrial Policy" to address these consequences. Topics include: trade and proposed barriers to trade, anti-trust in international markets, labor market dislocations and adjustments, automation and research and development. Emphasis is placed on the interacting economic and political dimensions of these topics. Writing or debate presentation required as well as a midterm, final, and occasional problem sets. (Stafford)

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

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).

This course describes and analyzes attempts by governments to curb the exercise of monopoly power. While emphasis is placed on American policies, especially antitrust law and regulatory commissions, some attention is devoted to public policy in Western Europe. Knowledge of material covered in Economics 431 will be presumed. Classes will be conducted in the Socratic manner. (Adams)

435. Financial Economics. Econ. 401 and 405 or equivalent. (3). (Excl).

The course will introduce the economic analysis of financial markets and financial decision making. Topics covered will include asset pricing theory, net present value analysis, arbitrage strategies, portfolio management, and financial market behavior. The course will develop a capacity to understand and analyze policy issues relating to financial markets. There will be substantial emphasis on creative use of economic methods to think critically and constructively, through case studies of currently relevant policy problems such as regulation of mergers and takeovers and government loan guarantees. Students will work with spreadsheet and financial analysis programs, will experience the feel of the "pit" through experimental computer markets and guest lectures from market professionals, and will keep up with current finance news through daily reading of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. (Mackie-Mason, Varian)

F. International Economics

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. (Smith)

442. International Finance. Econ. 402 or the equivalent. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 340. (3). (SS).

The course deals with macroeconomic analysis and issues for an open economy. Topics include: the foreign exchange market and the balance of payments; the income-absorption and monetary-asset market approaches to national income determination and the balance of payments; macro-stabilization policies and central bank intervention under fixed and floating exchange rates; Eurocurrency markets; monetary integration; and reform of the international monetary system. Grading will be based on two midterms and a final exam. There will be optional homework assignments. Economics 441, the other half of the international sequence, is not a prerequisite. (Maret)

G. Comparative Economic Systems

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 capitalistic market economy, a socialist market economy (with and without workers' management of firms), and a centrally planned economy; (3) Comparative analysis of selected economies' policies and performance; and (4) analysis of current reforms in socialist economies. Reading assignments in various sources; lectures. Two examinations. No papers. In departmental sequence in Comparative Economic Systems. (Dernberger)

454. Economics of Japan. Econ. 201 and 202. (3). (SS).

Analysis of Japan's economic organization, structure and performance. Special emphasis is placed on the character of Japanese economic planning, the behavior of Japanese enterprises, the Japanese labor force, and the Japanese household. There will also be ample discussion of Japan's international economic relations. Attention will be given to bilateral and multilateral conflicts in overseas product, financial and technology markets. The class has a lecture format, but questions are welcomed. Course grade will be determined by two one hour exams and a final. Can be used with Economics 451, 453, 455, 456, 491, 492 and 493 to meet requirements of Economics concentrators for two course sequence in a field. (Saxonhouse)

H. Economic Development and National Economies

360. The Underdeveloped Economies. Econ. 201 and 202. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 461. (3). (SS).

Examination of the structure and problems of the low-income nations; and analysis of the economic issues of development policy; and discussion of the economic relationships between the poor and rich nations of the world. Designed for students who wish a relatively nontechnical introduction to the problems of economic development. (Steedman)

462. The Economics of Development II. Econ. 401 and Econ. 360 or 461. (3). (SS).

This course is designed to encourage students to confront general issues and problems of economic development by examining specific countries and institutions. Each case study entails lectures, readings, and extensive class discussion. The case study approach attempts to relate the theoretical issues learned in previous courses to real problems faced by individuals and governments. A selection of topics includes: China's One Child Policy, Absolute Poverty in Bangladesh, Agrarian Policy in Revolutionary Nicaragua, Undocumented Migration from Mexico to the U.S., The World Bank's Project Strategies, and Intergenerational Conflict in the Family. Students are expected to have completed Economics 461 and to be familiar with economic theory. Course grades will reflect performance on a midterm, final, and term paper. (Kossoudji)

J. Public Finance

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, and the social security tax. Examination of commonly proposed tax changes. Lecture method; midterm and final exams; term paper. Text: PUBLIC FINANCE, H. Rosen. (Slemrod)

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 midterm and final exams, but no paper. Readings will include Cooter and Ullen's LAW AND ECONOMICS and Polinsky's INTRODUCTION TO LAW AND ECONOMICS. (White)

K. Economic History

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

This course surveys topics in the Economic history of the United States from colonial times to the present. Topics include the economic and political aspects of The Revolutionary War, The Constitutional Compromise, The Industrial Revolution, Slavery, The Civil War, The Rise of Big Business and Government, The Great Depression. Also included are interpretive overview of labor history, monetary history, and race and economics. The course requires knowledge of economics on the level of Economics 201. Optional midterm; final and class discussion is required. Lecture. (Whatley)

N. Institute of Public Policy Studies Courses

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

Section 001 This course teaches students how to evaluate government programs. It covers the mechanics of benefit-cost analysis, how scarce or unemployed resources should be priced, the choice of proper time-discount rates, treatment of income distribution issues, environmental benefits, inter-governmental grants, and regulatory problems. An essential part of the course is a term project each student selects a program and evaluates it. (Gramlich)

Section 002. This course teaches students how to evaluate government programs. It covers the mechanics of benefit-cost analysis, how scarce or unemployed resources should be priced, the choice of proper time-discount rates, treatment of income distribution issues, environmental benefits, inter-governmental grants, and regulatory problems. The concluding section handles methodological issues such as the optimal scale of an evaluation and the potential of social experimentation. An essential part of the course is a term project each student selects a program and evaluates it. (Courant)

O. Interdisciplinary Survey Courses

396/Hist. 333/Pol. Sci. 396/REES 396/Slavic 396/Soc. 393. Survey of Eastern Europe. May not be included in the minimum 24 credits required for a concentration in economics. (4). (SS).

See REES 396. (Meyer)

428/Asian Studies. 428/Phil. 428/Pol. Sci. 428/Soc. 426. China's Evolution Under Communism. Upperclass standing or permission of instructor. May not be included in the minimum 24 credits required for a concentration in economics. (4). (SS).

See Political Science 428. (Oksenberg)

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 covers basic financial accounting principles for a business enterprise. Topics include the accounting cycle, merchandising accounts, asset valuation, income measurement, partnership accounting, and corporation accounting.

CSP section available. See the Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP) section in this GUIDE.

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).

This course completes the coverage of financial accounting principles and provides an introduction to management accounting. Topics include investments, long-term liabilities, the statement of changes in financial position, consolidated statements, job-order and process cost accounting, special analysis for management, and standard costs.


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