The Robert Day School of Economics and Finance

Economic Courses


50. Principles of Economic Analysis. Staff
An introduction to modern economic analysis with emphasis on resource allocation and national income. Stresses the fundamental interdependence of all forms of economic activity in terms of specialization, exchange and competition. Offered every semester.

101. Intermediate Microeconomics. Staff
An analysis of the determination of price and output under various market conditions, from competition to monopoly. Theories of economic choice are applied to consumers, producers and resource owners. Techniques of partial equilibrium analysis are stressed. Prerequisites: Economics 50 and some calculus. Offered every semester.

102. Intermediate Macroeconomics. Staff
The theoretical background for understanding macroeconomic problems and policy options. Topics include evolution of macro thought; the IS-LM system and some alternatives; theories of consumption, investment and money; unemployment; inflation; interest; monetarism; rational expectations; and supply side policies. Prerequisites: Economics 50 and some calculus. Offered every semester.


Economic Theory

103. History of Economic Thought. Wright
The development of economic thought from Smith to Keynes. Emphasis is placed upon the development of analysis, its influence on economic policy, and the historical and philosophical climate in which such developments occurred. Prerequisite: Economics 101. Offered every year.

109. Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy. Wright
A study of moral and economic theories as they relate to public policy. Topics may include the moral and economic implications of governmentally sponsored universal health care, welfare reform, progressive taxation and the redistribution of wealth and/or income, and equality of opportunity. Prerequisite: Economics 101. Offered every year.

Economic History and Comparative Systems

114. Development of the American Economy. Weidenmier
An analysis of the development of the American economy from colonial times to the present. Special emphasis is placed on the interaction of technical and institutional change. The course focuses on specific topics, and students write several brief analytic papers. Prerequisite: Economics 50. Offered every other year.

Quantitative Methods

120. Statistics. Raviv, Staff
Introduction to probability theory and the logic of statistical inference with applications to economics and business. Topics include measures of central tendency and dispersion, point and interval estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation, decision theor, and regression analysis. Prerequisites: Mathematics 30 and Economics 50. Offered every semester.

125. Econometrics. Keil
An introduction to the application of multiple regression techniques for testing and evaluating economic theory. Topics include hypothesis testing, model specification, heteroskedasticity and serial correlation. Extensive use is made of computers for data handling and estimation. Prerequisites: Economics 101, 102, and 120, or permission of instructor. Offered every semester.

126. Econometrics II. Staff
An advanced course in the application of econometric techniques for analyzing micro-level data (entities such as individuals, firms, states, countries, etc.). Topics include instrumental variables estimation, panel data models with fixed effects, maximum likelihood estimation, and dependent variables such as indicators (binary variables), categories, counts and durations. Prerequisite: Economics 125. Offered every year.

127. Special Topics in Econometrics: Economic and Financial Forecasting. Weidenmier
An introduction to time series models with applications to macroeconomics and finance. Topics include single equation forecasting techniques (ARIMA) and system (VAR) estimation, unit roots estimation and testing, and GARCH models. Prerequisite: Economics 125. Offered every year.

129. Game Theory. Raviv
Introduction to economic decision making in strategic interdependent settings where the outcome of one's actions depends also on the actions of others. This course will introduce and develop various concepts, including: Strategies, Payoffs, Players, Rationality and various concepts of Equilibrium which will help us analyze strategic behavior by individuals and firms. These concepts will be illustrated using a variety of economic models from industrial organization. We will analyze famous games like the prisoner's dilemma, the battle of the sexes, and the voting decision. Prerequisites: Economics 101, 102 and 120. Offered every year.

Monetary, Fiscal, and Financial Economics

134. Corporate Finance. Hughson, Staff
This course will serve as an introduction to various topics in financial economics. Some of the topics introduced will include the time value of money, valuation and yield determinations for various financial assets, risk and return, basic portfolio theory, financial options, and efficient markets theory. Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 120. Offered every semester.

134b. Advanced Corporate Finance. Meulbroek
This course is intended as a second course in corporate finance. The course provides an in-depth analysis of how financial managers can create value through financial, strategic, and operating decisions. Topics include: advanced discounted valuation methods, valuation of risky debt, option pricing related to firm debt and equity, real options, corporate risk management, market efficiency and equity-based compensation. Prerequisite: Economics 134. Offered every year.

135. Money and Banking. Burdekin
An analysis of the role of commercial banks, the Federal Reserve and financial intermediaries in the creation and control of money. The effect of monetary policy upon national aggregates is considered in the short- and long-run. Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 102. Offered every year.

136. Derivatives. Yu
Derivatives, such as forwards, futures, swaps and options, constitute an important part of the investment landscape. In 2007, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association estimated the size of the global derivatives market at more than $400 trillion. This course covers basic derivative securities, focusing on their valuation and their application in risk management. Lessons are drawn from derivatives-linked financial disasters in the past two decades. Recent innovations such as interest rate and credit derivatives are also introduced. Prerequisites: Economics 134. Offered every year.

137. Special Topics in Corporate Finance. Cronqvist, J. Smith, Staff
The course is organized around the theme "financing and governance during a firm's lifecycle." We study financing in the early stages of a firm and discuss the initial public offering process. Next we study governance in public firms, including the role of large shareholders, executives' pay, independent directors and proxy fights. We ask whether governance affects firm valuations. Finally, we study bankruptcy, financial restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, and leveraged buyouts in large, mature corporations. The goal is to provide students the opportunity to develop deep understanding of the theory and practice that underlie corporate financial policy and corporate governance. Prerequisites: Economics 86, 101, 120, and 134. Offered every year.

138. Current Issues in Money and Finance (with Practicum). Burdekin
Focuses on a number of major current issues in monetary and financial policy. Topics include the political and economic forces that stimulate inflationary pressures, the debate over the effects of fiscal deficits and strategies for conducting monetary policy in a world of financial innovations and international interdependence. Practicum component requires collaboration on a research project that will be orally presented to an appropriate outside mentor. Prerequisites: Economics 101, 102, and 120. Offered every year.

139. Topics in Investments and Valuation. Hughson
An advanced treatment and analysis of capital markets, financial instruments and portfolio theory. Topics covered include asset valuation, risk measurement and control, and portfolio design for large institutions. Prerequisites: Economics 102 and 134. Offered every year.

International and Developmental Economics

118. The Processes of Environmental Policymaking. Ascher
This course focuses on how environmental conversation and natural-resource policies are developed and chosen in the policy processes of the United States and other countries. This focus permits examination of the methodologies of evaluating environmental policy options, the processes of policymaking, and the institutions involved in conservation, environmental improvement, and other policies that affect the environment. The analytic approaches include the policy sciences framework for understanding the process itself, the methodologies of ecosystem valuation, and the issues involved with different types of policy instruments for environmental and conservation management. Also listed as Government 118. Prerequisites: Economics 50 and Government 20. Offered every year.

140. The World Economy. Staff
A survey of international trade, financial markets and monetary relations, including their analytical foundations, empirical and institutional manifestations, and policy implications. Prerequisite: Economics 50. Offered every semester.

141. International Economics. Arndt
A survey of international trade theory and policy, open-economy macroeconomics, and international financial markets. Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 102. Offered every semester.

142. Politics and Economics of Natural Resource Policy in Developing Countries (seminar). Ascher
This seminar addresses how resource-dependent countries ought to husband these resources and invest the proceeds productively. It employs the policy sciences framework to explore the political and economic-policy challenges of minimizing the abuse of resource endowments due to mis-pricing, corruption, intra-governmental conflicts, and perverse governance arrangements. It examines the economics of resources and environmental services, why governments abuse natural resources, and what strategies hold promise for better resource use and environmental protection. Cases are drawn predominantly from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Also listed as Government 132e. Prerequisites: Economics 101 and Government 20. Offered every other year.

145. International Money and Finance. Lambertini
Presents basic elements of balance of payments and exchange rate theory and policy, open economy macroeconomics, international financial management, and the evolution of the international monetary system. Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 102. Offered every year.

148. Regional Economic Integration. Arndt
This course examines the costs and benefits of preferential economic integration in Europe, North America and Asia and considers the future of proposed groupings like the Free Trade Area of the Americas. The increase in recent years of preferential trade arrangements between advanced and poor countries raises important questions about their role in economic development. In the financial and monetary areas, integration is a reality in Europe and under serious discussion in other regions, where it is widely viewed as a superior alternative to existing exchange-rate arrangements. Course work includes readings and team-based area studies. Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 102. Offered every other year.

Economic and Legal Organization

161. Sports Economics. J. Smith
An integrative economics course with a focus on professional and intercollegiate sports. The course builds on microeconomic theory of industrial organization, antitrust economics, labor economics, financial economics and public finance. Specific topics include: organizational structure of sports leagues, tournament compensation, team production, the draft, salary compensation, endorsements, salary caps, player value, franchise value and stadium finance. Prerequisites: Economics 101, 120, and at least two of the following courses: Economics 86, 125, 165, 167 or 175. Offered every other year.

164. Economics of Strategy. J. Smith
In a business economics setting, strategy is concerned with long-term "big picture" decision-making, including determining firm boundaries, evaluating the firm's competitive environment, designing internal organization and compensation structure, and identifying the relation between strategy and organizational decisions. Besides exploring examples of strategic management decisions through case studies, the course develops a formal analytic framework for thinking about strategic management decisions based on recent developments in the fields of economics and strategy, including game theory. Prerequisites: Economics 86 and 101. Offered every other year.

165. Industrial Organization. Goeree, Filson
Covers the latest theories and empirical evidence concerning the organization of firms and industries. It compares the traditional structure-conduct-performance paradigm with recent advances based on microeconomic theory including transactions cost economics, game theory, strategic behavior, contestability and information theory. The focus is on applying theories of industrial organization to common business practices and on evaluating U.S. antitrust policy toward these practices. Prerequisite: Economics 101. Offered every year.

166. Empirical Industrial Organizations with Practicum. Goeree, Staff
This course introduces the student to applied analysis of business structures by integrating theoretical models of industrial organization (IO) with empirical testing. The objective of the course is to develop the skills needed to bring IO theory to the data. To this end, the course will present empirical work on key IO topics, link theory to empirics, and relate theoretical and empirical results to antitrust policy issues. Among the topics covered are the real-world policy implications of market power, collusion, mergers, new product innovations, price discrimination and advertising. Prerequisites: Economics 101, 120 and 165. Offered every other year.

167. Law and Economics. Helland
An analysis of the importance of law in the allocation of economic resources and of economics in the operation of the legal system. Topics include property and externalities, contracts, torts, criminal law, civil procedure and the rationing of justice. Prerequisite: Economics 101. Offered every other year.

Labor, Demographic, and Resource Economics

175. Labor Economics. Antecol
This is an introductory survey of modern labor economics. The first part of this course develops simple models of labor demand and supply. These analytical tools are then used to analyze the determinants of earnings inequality, including issues such as human capital accumulation, labor market discrimination, unionization and worker-firm contractual arrangements. Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 120. Offered every year.

178. Economics of Population. Staff
Uses an economic perspective to analyze demographic change, including recent dramatic changes in fertility, mortality and marriage in both industrialized and developing countries. Employs microeconomic models to analyze individual and household decisions on such key demographic issues as fertility, marriage and family organization, human capital investment and labor force participation. Demonstrates the interaction between economic and demographic change using data for a wide variety of countries. Emphasizes hands-on analysis and requires the completion of a data project utilizing econometric methods. Prior or concurrent enrollment in econometrics is recommended. Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 120. Offered every year.

186. Public Choice Economics. Borcherding
Analysis of the role of government in the economy and problems of collective decision making. Prerequisite: Economics 101. Offered occasionally.

Public Sector Economics

188. Public Finance. Hess, Staff
Explores the reasons for government intervention in the economy, the extent of that intervention, and the responses of private agents to government actions. Demonstrates how economic models and research can inform our thinking about public policy issues. Includes a wide range of topical issues such as the effects of welfare reform and the merits of switching to a flat tax. Uses examples drawn from the United States and elsewhere. Prerequisites: Economics 101, 102 and 120. Offered every year.

Managerial Economics

190. Ethics and Management. Staff
A case method survey of ethical problems confronted by individuals in management positions. Emphasizes combining situational case studies, legal awareness, and alternative solutions based on theories of moral philosophy. Among areas covered are insider trading, tax evasion, audit failure, various conflicts of interest, and sexual harassment. Instruction focuses on legal and ethical principles and the application of critical thinking when faced with career-related moral dilemmas. Prerequisite: Economics 50. Offered every year.

191. Business Law. Taylor
An introduction to the American legal system emphasizing commercial transactions. Topics include: torts, property, contracts, sales, commercial paper, secured transactions, securities regulations, and bankruptcy. Prerequisite: Economics 50. Offered every semester.

Seminars and Independent Study

180. Seminar in Research Methods. Staff

This one-half credit course is a complement to preparation of a senior thesis in economics. The department strongly recommends this course for all majors who are preparing a senior thesis in economics, and the course is required for all students seeking to qualify for honors in economics. Students may take the course either the semester before enrolling in thesis, or take it concurrently with the senior thesis. Topics include identifying research questions, developing and testing hypotheses, analyzing and critiquing literature, empirical and theoretical methodology, and oral presentation. Course must be taken Credit-No Credit. Offered every semester. 197s. Special Topics in Economics. Willett, Staff

These courses explore topics of current interest to faculty and students. Topics vary from year to year. Offered every year. In 2008-2009 the topic will be Poverty and Discrimination and the course will be taught by Professor Bjerk. This course will explore issues of poverty and discrimination from an economist point of view. The first part of the course will focus on understanding the causes and consequences of poverty, along with the policies that have been used to address these issues. The second part will focus on racial and gender discrimination. Several theoretical models of discrimination will be developed and then evaluated within the context of the current empirical work. Finally, we will consider the various connections between the discrimination literature and the broader issues of poverty discussed at the outset of class. Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 120, or permission of the instructor.

199. Independent Study and Research. Staff
Students who have the necessary qualifications and who wish to investigate an area of study not covered in regularly scheduled courses may arrange for independent study under the direction of a faculty reader. See "Academic Policies and Procedures" for details. Offered every semester.