92136

ECON 100 A

 Principles of Economics

Pavlina Tcherneva

  W  F     11:50-1:10 pm

HEG 102

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Economics & Finance; Global & International Studies  This course is a one-semester introduction to the essential ideas of economic analysis. The microeconomics component of the course develops the basic model of consumer and firm behavior, including demand and supply, in the context of an idealized competitive market and examines several ways in which the real world deviates from this model—including monopoly and other forms of imperfect competition; information problems; minimum wages and other price controls; taxes; and government regulation. The macroeconomics component studies the aggregate behavior of modern economies - the factors leading to economic growth, explanations of booms and recessions, unemployment, interest rates, inflation, and budget deficits or surpluses – and the government’s ability (or inability) to use monetary and fiscal policies to achieve economic goals such as full employment and price stability. This course replaces the two-semester introductory microeconomics and macroeconomics sequence and is the foundational course in the economics curriculum. Prerequisite: passing score on Part I of the Mathematics Diagnostic. Class size: 22

 

92137

ECON 100 B

 Principles of Economics

Michael Martell

 T  Th    10:10-11:30 am

ALBEE 106

SA

SSCI

See above. Class size: 22

 

92138

ECON 100 C

 Principles of Economics

Kris Feder

 T  Th    1:30-2:50 pm

HEG 102

SA

SSCI

See above. Class size: 22

 

92139

ECON 100 D

 Principles of Economics

Daniella Medina

T  Th     10:10-11:30 am

RKC 115

SA

SSCI

See above. Class size: 22

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92140

ECON 201

 Intermediate Microeconomics

Aniruddha Mitra

 T  Th    10:10-11:30 am

OLIN 202

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Economics & Finance  Microeconomics is the study of how individual economic units (households and firms) interact to determine outcomes (allocation of goods and services) in a market setting. In this course, we attempt to achieve the following three objectives: (1) Understand all the concepts covered in Introduction to Microeconomics in terms of mathematics; (2) Study advanced topics such as choice under uncertainty and information asymmetry that have traditionally relied on mathematics for illustration of ideas; and (3) Learn how to use mathematics to conduct in-depth economic analysis. In order to meet the last objective, we will devote most of the weekly “lab” sessions toward problem solving. During the lab sessions, students are expected to take turns explaining how to solve a particular problem to the rest of the class. A firm grasp of the materials covered in this course is essential to reading economics journal articles and pursuing advanced studies in economics.   Prerequisites: Calculus I and ECON 100. Class size: 22

 

92141

ECON 202

 Intermediate Macroeconomics

Pavlina Tcherneva

  W  F     10:10-11:30 am

ALBEE 106

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Global & International Studies  This course is the continuation of the introductory macroeconomics course. In it, students will get acquainted with main models that macroeconomists use to analyze the way economies behave. The course starts by looking at the models that explain long run economic growth. We then focus our attention on investigating economic theories that explain short run business cycles, the periods of recessions and booms that occur on a regular basis. An important part of the course is to investigate the role of governments in affecting the long run and short run economic prospects of their countries. We apply the acquired theoretical knowledge to a range of current economic issues, including budget deficits and national debt, international trade, and the role of institutions.  Prerequisite: either ECON 100, or the combination ECON 101 / ECON 102, MATH 110.   Class size: 20

 

92142

ECON 210

 early history of Economic Thought I

Kris Feder

M  W      1:30-2:50 pm

ALBEE 106

SA

SSCI

This course follows the development of economic thought through the early twentieth century. We read the Physiocrats, who gave us “laissez faire” and who advised France’s landowning aristocracy that everyone would thrive if, paradoxically, the monarchy eliminated all taxes except a “unique” tax on land rent. We study classical political economy, shaped by great philosophers from Hume to Mill—including Adam Smith, whose Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) predated by seventeen years The Wealth of Nations and its much-hyped “invisible hand” of the market. We observe how the use of calculus transformed the methods, the models, and even the questions of economic theory. We trace the genesis of neoclassical economics, which dominates the discipline today. We explore heterodox thought from the socialist debate to the Austrian school, whose distinctive theories of production, capital, and time later morphed into the “free market” position associated with conservative political ideology. We ask: What problems did economic philosophers seek to resolve? How did economics emerge as a distinct discipline to become professionalized in the universities? How did theory respond to changing economic and political environments? Which ideas remain at the core of economic thought, and which have been jettisoned? Have any insights been forgotten?

Class size: 22

 

92143

ECON 214

 Labor Economics

Michael Martell

 T  Th    11:50-1:10 pm

RKC 101

SA

D+J

SSCI

Cross-listed: American Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies  This course focuses on the economic forces and public policies that affect employment and wages.  We examine theoretical models of labor markets and how well they hold up to real-world empirical data.  Topics emphasized include labor demand and supply, minimum wage laws, theories of unemployment, job search and matching models, family and life-cycle decision-making, human capital, efficiency wage theory, compensating wage differentials, worker mobility and migration, unions, and discrimination. Prerequisite: Economics 100.

Class size: 22

 

92144

ECON 221

 Economic Development

Sanjaya DeSilva

M  W      3:10-4:30 pm

RKC 102

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Africana Studies; Asian Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies; Global & International Studies; Human Rights; Latin American Studies; Science, Technology, Society  This course explores the economic conditions and problems faced by what economists call the "developing world". We begin by critically examining various definitions of economic development. The rest of the course is divided into three parts: the first part explores several key manifestations of development such as economic growth, industrialization, urbanization, globalization, inequality and poverty; the second part examines institutional determinants of development, including markets, political systems and culture; the third part deals with policies designed to address specific development goals, such as providing education, promoting gender equity or expanding access to financial markets. Classroom discussions will be supplemented by several book reports and discussions on popular contemporary books on development, and a semester-long case study each student will carry out on development experiences of a country of their choice. Prerequisites: ECON 100. Class size: 22

 

92145

ECON 229

 Introduction to Econometrics

Sanjaya DeSilva

M  W      11:50-1:10 pm

ALBEE 106

MC

MATC

Cross-listed: Economics & Finance; Environmental & Urban Studies; Global & International Studies  This course explores the tools economists use to summarize and interpret data. The first half of the semester introduces the concepts of random variables, probability distributions, sampling, descriptive statistics and statistical inference. The second half focuses on simple and multiple regression analysis. The emphasis is on acquiring a practical knowledge of econometric methods (theoretical foundations and advanced techniques are covered in Econ 329); students will learn how to organize and analyze data using Excel and STATA, how to read and interpret published empirical research, and how to carry out an empirical research project. This course fulfills the statistical methods requirement for the economics major. Prerequisite: Economics 100 and Pre-calculus.  Class size: 18

 

92146

ECON 238

 Economics of Aging

L. Randall Wray

T   Th    10:10–11:30 am

LEVY

SA

SSCI

This course explores the financial challenges facing individuals and society as a whole as the nation ages. Some experts estimate the “unfunded entitlements” due largely to Social Security and Medicare to total many tens of trillions of dollars. Many young people today fear that Social Security will go bankrupt long before they will reach retirement age. Costs of medical care continue to grow faster than GDP. Many private pensions are underfunded, and employers are switching from defined benefit plans to risky defined contribution plans. Will we be able to take care of growing numbers of seniors? If Social Security fails, will you have to support your own parents? Will you be able to accumulate enough retirement savings to see you through your “golden years”? How has “Obamacare” ameliorated gaps in our healthcare system? Does the proposal pushed by Bernie Sanders to extend Medicare-like coverage to all Americans make sense? This course examines the demographics, the finances, and the public policy aspects of these issues.

Class size: 18

 

92147

ECON 304

 Macroeconomic Stability

Pavlina Tcherneva

   Th       10:10-12:30 pm

OLIN 304

SA

SSCI

This course will examine the nature of economic instability and financial crises in modern history and the Keynesian contributions to macroeconomic stabilization policy. Students will be introduced to John Maynard Keynes’s investment theory of the business cycle and Hyman P. Minsky’s financial theory of investment.  We will grapple with the controversial question of government intervention by examining the theoretical justifications for and against intervention, the optimal level of intervention, and the effects of complete absence of intervention. We will also discuss specific economic policies that deal with important problems such as inflation, unemployment, poverty, financial crises, and other. The relative effectiveness of monetary and fiscal policies will also be discussed.  Prerequisite: ECON 202   Class size: 15

 

92344

ECON 317

 INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION

Aniruddha Mitra

T   Th      1:30 – 2:50 pm

HEG 106

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Economics & Finance  Industrial organization is the study of how industries function and how firms interact within an industry. While this is part of the general agenda of microeconomics, industrial organization distinguishes itself by its emphasis on the study of firm behavior in imperfectly competitive markets. The primary objective of this course is to investigate how firms acquire market power or the ability to influence the price of their product; the strategic behavior of firms that possess market power; and the effect of policy intervention in such industries.  Prerequisite: Economics 201 

Class size: 15

 

92148

ECON 329

 Advanced Econometrics

Gautam Sethi

M  W      11:50-1:10 pm

OLINLC 210

MC

SSCI

Cross-listed: Economics & Finance In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama bemoaned that in the United States women get paid only 77% of the wages earned by men for comparable work, a claim that involves comparing two population means and tested using sample data. While such a comparison might seem straightforward, it is actually hard because other factors -- how sample data are collected, which individuals choose to participate in the labor market, variations in their education and family background etc. -- are likely to affect the sample means. Using sophisticated methods, econometrics allows analysts to cleverly isolate the effect of the wage gap due to gender alone. It is this last aspect that makes econometrics both challenging and exciting, and this course promises to take you on an exciting sleuthing journey at the end of which you could expect to develop the skills of a thoughtful data detective.  Class size: 15

 

92302

ECON / FIN 390

 CONTEMPORARY DEVELOPMENTS IN FINANCE

Taun Toay

  T          3:30– 5:50 pm

OLIN 307

MC

MATC

Cross-listed:  Economics The seminar will contrast the academic analysis of financial economics with the coverage it receives in the newspapers and on the nightly newscast. The stories on the news are almost always connected with people, whether we observe them shouting bids in a trading floor or talking on two phones simultaneously. Financial markets are dominated by people behaving in many different ways. Yet traditional finance theories concentrate on efficient markets, predictable prices that are determined by the concepts of present value, rates of return and analysis and pricing of computable risks. Human behavior has neither a place in the theory nor a need to be studied. This prevailing view has recently been challenged by the new paradigm of behavioral finance that considers the many anomalies of "rational" behavior and "efficiency" of markets. The new paradigm concerns itself with economic decision-making and investor psychology, and specifically with questions relating to how and why people exhibit a mixture of rational and irrational behavior. The seminar will examine the influence of economic psychology in the decision-making process of various agents as well as in the market's dynamics. Several guest lecturers will also offer their informed views in the development of ontemporary finance.  Class size: 15

 

 

92664

ECON 502

 Advanced MACROECONOMICS

Dimitri Papadimitriou

   T         9:30am–12:50pm

LEVY 203

 

 

The primary objective of macroeconomic analysis is to explain the phenomena of aggregate movements in output, employment, and the price level. This course examines the intellectual influences that have shaped the development of macroeconomic theory and policy since the beginning of the 20th century. Students acquire the skills needed to:  1) identify the main theoretical and methodological differences among competing approaches; 2) discuss the empirical evidence supporting each approach; and 3) explain why particular policy instruments are considered appropriate (or inappropriate) for achieving macroeconomic stability. This is a graduate-level course in the Levy Economics Institute. Prerequisite: ECON 202,  Intermediate Macroeconomics.