Course Offerings

Spring 2018

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.

Exploring Childhood in Denmark: 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 Denmark and the United States. Students spend one week in the U.S. and three weeks in Denmark. 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 - Guse, Aaron J. (Joseph) / Markowitz, Harvey J.

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.

Special Topics in Economics

ECON 295 - Casey, James F. (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.

Spring 2018, ECON 295-01: Introduction to Sustainable Development (3). Prerequisites: ECON 100 or 101. Open to first-years and sophomores only. In September 2015, many countries adopted a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2015-2030 to replace the Millennium Development Goals when they expired in 2015. These SDGs set targets for the three pillars of sustainable development -- reducing poverty, protecting the environment, and increasing equality of opportunity for those who may have had less-than-equal opportunity in the past. This course provides an introduction to the concept, theories, and potential outcomes of sustainable development. Additionally, we take a case-study approach and look at policies and programs that have aimed to address each of the SDGs. Students are introduced to sustainability through policies addressing oceans, biodiversity, climate, energy, education, social investment, and health. Casey.

Winter 2018

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. Economics is the study of how a society (individuals, firms, and governments) allocates scarce resources to the production and consumption of goods and services. The course includes a survey of the fundamental principles used to approach microeconomic and macroeconomic questions.

Introduction to Economics

ECON 100 - Kaiser, Carl P.

Open only to students who have not taken ECON 101 and/or ECON 102. Economics is the study of how a society (individuals, firms, and governments) allocates scarce resources to the production and consumption of goods and services. The course includes a survey of the fundamental principles used to approach microeconomic and macroeconomic questions.

Introduction to Economics

ECON 100 - Silwal, Shikha B.

Open only to students who have not taken ECON 101 and/or ECON 102. Economics is the study of how a society (individuals, firms, and governments) allocates scarce resources to the production and consumption of goods and services. The course includes a survey of the fundamental principles used to approach microeconomic and macroeconomic questions.

Introduction to Economics

ECON 100 - Grajzl, Peter

Open only to students who have not taken ECON 101 and/or ECON 102. Economics is the study of how a society (individuals, firms, and governments) allocates scarce resources to the production and consumption of goods and services. The course includes a survey of the fundamental principles used to approach microeconomic and macroeconomic questions.

Principles of Macroeconomics

ECON 102 - Smitka, Michael J. (Mike)

Emphasis on performance of the aggregate economy. Analysis of unemployment, inflation, growth, and monetary and fiscal policies.

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 - Collins, Taylor A.

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.

Urban Economics

ECON 229 - Shester, Katharine L.

A study of the economics of cities. Students discuss why cities exist, what determines city growth, and how firms make city location decisions. We then shift our focus to within-city location decisions, and we discuss land-use patterns, housing, and neighborhoods. Our discussion of housing and neighborhoods focus on a number of issues related to urban poverty, including the effects of segregation and housing policies on the poor.

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.

Public Finance and Public Policy

ECON 250 - Goodenberger, James S.

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.

Development Economics

ECON 280 - Smitka, Michael J. (Mike)

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 295 - Scharadin, Benjamin P.

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 2018, ECON 295-01: Food Economics (3). Prerequsite: ECON 100 or ECON 101.   Household food choice has many determinants, such as culture, socio-economic status, and the food environment. This course explores the economic determinants of food choice and how economists have adapted household models over time to account for the increased complexity of the food market. Early in the term, microeconomic theory and empirical literature are used to explain current issues in household food choice centered around poverty (money or time) and low access/availability. After a brief quantitative-methods boot camp, we use publicly available data to address research questions around household food economics. Scharadin.

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.

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 - Collins, Taylor A.

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.

Winter 2018, ECON 395A-01: Macro Forecasting (3). Prerequisite: ECON 100 or ECON 102, and ECON 203 . This course is focused on time series analysis and forecasting methodologies that are applied to issues in business, finance, and economics. It covers various analytical techniques used by economists to model and forecast the macro and micro levels of economic activity. Topics include smoothing techniques, time series decomposition methods, regression-based forecasting, ARMA models, and unit-root and structural-change tests. Students learn to perform time series regressions, undertake forecasting exercises, and test a variety of hypotheses involving time series data. Stata and Excel software are used throughout. Collins .

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.

Winter 2018, ECON 395B-01: Environmental Valuation (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 and 210. Recommended: ECON 255 . A broad overview of environmental valuation, with an emphasis on choice modeling. Environmental valuation is an important subfield of environmental economics, and very important to informing the decision-making process in the formulation of environmental policy. Both the USEPA and its counterpart in Australia require choice modeling to examine environmental impacts of proposed policies or projects. Students acquire advanced quantitative skills, including multinomial regression analysis (including complex versions such as random parameter models) and experimental design.Kahn.

Advanced Research Seminar in Economics

ECON 399 - Shester, Katharine L.

This capstone course builds upon the foundations developed in ECON 398. The central element is a major independent research project. This project is carried out with continual mentoring by a faculty member. Students document their research in a formal paper and offer an oral presentation summarizing their research results.

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 Study

ECON 401 - Silwal, Shikha B.

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.

Fall 2017

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.

Principles of Microeconomics

ECON 101 - Silwal, Shikha B.

Survey of economic principles and problems with emphasis on analysis of consumer behavior, firm behavior, market outcomes, market structure, and microeconomic policy. The first half of a two-term survey of economics. Should be followed by ECON 102.

Principles of Microeconomics

ECON 101 - Scharadin, Benjamin P.

Survey of economic principles and problems with emphasis on analysis of consumer behavior, firm behavior, market outcomes, market structure, and microeconomic policy. The first half of a two-term survey of economics. Should be followed by ECON 102.

Principles of Macroeconomics

ECON 102 - Collins, Taylor A.

Emphasis on performance of the aggregate economy. Analysis of unemployment, inflation, growth, and monetary and fiscal policies.

Principles of Macroeconomics

ECON 102 - Smitka, Michael J. (Mike)

Emphasis on performance of the aggregate economy. Analysis of unemployment, inflation, growth, and monetary and fiscal policies.

Principles of Macroeconomics

ECON 102 - Kaiser, Carl P.

Emphasis on performance of the aggregate economy. Analysis of unemployment, inflation, growth, and monetary and fiscal policies.

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 - Guse, Aaron J. (Joseph)

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 - Goldsmith, Arthur H. (Art)

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.

Macroeconomic Theory

ECON 211 - Collins, Taylor A.

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.

Women in the Economy

ECON 251 - Shester, Katharine L.

Students explore how economic theory and analysis can be applied to examine the multiple roles that women play in our society. In particular, we examine linkages and changes in women's human capital, marriage, fertility, family structure, and occupation and labor supply decisions in the post-World War II era. We also investigate the magnitude and causes of the gender wage gap. We assess how much of the gender wage gap can be explained by education and occupational choice, and how much appears to be due to discrimination. We also learn about {and try to explain} the differences in labor-market outcomes for women with and without children. Finally, we access the causes and consequences of teenage pregnancy and single motherhood.

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

ECON 255 - Goodenberger, James S.

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.

Development Economics

ECON 280 - Smitka, Michael J. (Mike)

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.

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.

Mathematical Economics

ECON 320 - Grajzl, Peter

An introduction to fundamental mathematical methods of economic analysis with a variety of applications from both microeconomics and macroeconomics. Topics covered include theory and applications of linear algebra, multivariable calculus, static optimization, and comparative statics. The course is highly recommended for anyone planning to undertake graduate studies in economics or a closely related field. Should not be taken if completed ECON 220: Mathematical Economics.

Economics of the Environment in Developing Countries

ECON 356 - Kahn, James R. (Jim)

This course focuses on the unique characteristics of the relationship between the environment and the economy in developing nations. Differences in economic structure, political structure, culture, social organization and ecosystem dynamics are emphasized as alternative policies for environmental and resource management are analyzed.

Special Topics in Economics

ECON 395A - Silwal, Shikha B.

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.

Fall 2017, ECON 395A-01: Topic: Economic Culture and Development (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203. Economic development is deeply rooted in cultural factors, such as identity, belief, trust, and religion. These cultural factors in turn are rooted in history and economic development. The course explores historic origins of cultural factors and how those cultural factors have direct implication for economic development.   Development, as such, is understood within the backdrop of slow-changing, structural, and systematic elements. We also make use of data availability, methodological improvements, and empirical literature to advance our understanding of the economics of being poor. Silwal.

Special Topics in Economics

ECON 395B - 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.

Fall 2017, ECON 395B-01: Topic: U.S. Economic History (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203. This course examines selected topics in the economic development of the U.S. economy.  The goals are to review major themes in U.S. economic history, to study professional research papers to learn how economists develop and interpret historical evidence, and to give students hands-on experience analyzing historical data.  Major themes include: migration flows to and within the U.S.; slavery and African-American economic progress since emancipation; transportation and industrialization; the Great Depression; and long-run changes in education, income, and urbanization. Shester.

Special Topics in Economics

ECON 395C - Anderson, Michael A.

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.

Fall 2017, ECON 395C-01: International Trade (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203. This course examines a set of topics in International Economics, with an emphasis on policy.  We examine the current debates on who wins and who loses from trade and immigration, as well as the role of trade agreements like NAFTA in the U.S. economy.  We focus on a narrower range of topics in order to investigate issues in greater depth including examining primary research. Anderson .

Directed Individual Study

ECON 401 - Casey, James F. (Jim)

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.