Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
ECON 0150 - Intro Macroeconomics ▲ ▹
An introduction to macroeconomics: a consideration of macroeconomic problems such as unemployment and inflation. Theories and policy proposals of Keynesian and classical economists are contrasted. Topics considered include: banking, financial institutions, monetary policy, taxation, government spending, fiscal policy, tradeoffs between inflation and unemployment in both the short run and the long run, and wage-price spirals. 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0155 - Intro Microeconomics ▲ ▹
An introduction to the analysis of such microeconomic problems as price formation (the forces behind demand and supply), market structures from competitive to oligopolistic, distribution of income, and public policy options bearing on these problems. 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0200 - Health Economics & Policy ▹
Health Economics and Policy
In this course we will focus on the health care system of the United States. We will apply standard microeconomic tools to the problems of health and health care markets. The course provides the fundamental tools with which to understand how the health care market is different from the markets for other goods. For example, students will learn about the dominant presence of uncertainty at all levels of health care, the government's unusually large presence in the market, the pronounced difference in knowledge between doctors and patients, and the prevalence of situations where the actions of some impose costs or benefits on others (e.g., vaccinations, drug research). (ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0205 - Economics of Investing
Economics of Investing
This course explores introductory issues in the pricing of financial instruments and the organization of financial markets. This includes developing methods to price stocks and bonds, evaluate portfolios and understand financial derivatives, and applying these methods to actual financial data in an accessible and non-technical manner. This course does not count as an elective toward the economics major, but will count towards the economics minor. Students who have taken ECON 0316 or ECON 0317 are not allowed to register for ECON 0205. (ECON 0150 or ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013
ECON 0210 - Economic Statistics ▲ ▹
Basic methods and concepts of statistical inference with an emphasis on economic applications. Topics include probability distributions, random variables, simple linear regression, estimation, hypothesis testing, and contingency table analysis. A weekly one-hour lab is part of this course in addition to three hours of class meetings per week. (ECON 0150 or ECON 0155) Credit is not given for ECON 0210 if the student has taken MATH 0116, MATH 0310, or PSYC 0201 previously or concurrently. 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. lab
Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0211 - Regression Analysis ▲ ▹
Introduction to Regression Analysis
In this course regression analysis is introduced. The major focus is on quantifying relationships between economic variables. Multiple regression identifies the effect of several exogenous variables on an endogenous variable. After exploring the classical regression model, fundamental assumptions underlying this model will be relaxed, and further new techniques will be introduced. Methods for testing hypotheses about the regression coefficients are developed throughout the course. Both theoretical principles and practical applications will be emphasized. The course goal is for each student to employ regression analysis as a research tool and to justify and defend the techniques used. (MATH 0121; and ECON 0150 or ECON 0155; and ECON 0210; or by approval) 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. lab
ECON 0212 - Empirical Economic Research ▲
Empirical Research Methods in Economics
In this course we will provide students with the tools to conceptualize, design, and carry out a research project in economics. Topics will include survey design, sampling and power, experimental design (in and out of the lab), natural experiments, and other approaches to identifying causal relationships. Drawing from several sub-disciplines in economics, students will examine, replicate, and critique various studies. Emphasis will be placed on the formulation of valid, feasible research questions, and on the description and interpretation of results. (ECON 0211) 3 hrs. lect.
ECON 0220 - American Economic History
American Economic History since 1900
This course will provide an overview of the major themes in the growth and development of the modern American economy. Topics will include the economic history of railroads, automobiles, foreign trade, banks and financial markets. We will also examine the role of the courts and government policy in American economic development, with special emphasis on the rise and decline of Laissez-Faire as the dominant mode of economic regulation in the nation's labor and financial markets. (ECON 0150 or ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.
Spring 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012
ECON 0222 - Economics of Happiness ▹
Economics of Happiness
We will explore the economics of happiness in both the micro and macro realm. We start with the neoclassical model of rational individuals who know with great precision what makes them happy. Next we explore behaviorist challenges to that model, including issues of regret, altruism, fairness, and gender. On the macro side, we investigate the puzzle of why, though most of us like more income, a growing GDP does not seem to make societies happier; we examine the impact of the macroeconomic environment on individual happiness. Finally we touch on current policy issues such as quantitative happiness indicators that have been adopted around the world, “paternalistic” policy measures to increase happiness, and the no-growth movement. (ECON 0150 or ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0224 - Econ History of Latin America
Economic History of Latin America
Latin America is a region rich in resources, yet it has long struggled to achieve sustainable development. When, why, and how did Latin America fall behind other regions? In this course we will study the evolution of the Latin American economies from colonial times to the present. We will consider the role of natural resources, institutions, and international markets in shaping the region’s trajectory. Using applied economic analysis, we will explore the challenges, opportunities, and constraints the region faced across history. (ECON 0150) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2011, Spring 2013
ECON 0225 - Econ Dev In Latin America
Theories of Economic Development in Latin America
This course is designed to provide a survey of the most important issues facing Latin American policymakers today. The course will place contemporary problems in their historical perspective and will use applied economic analysis to examine the opportunities and constraints facing the economies of Latin America. (ECON 0150) 3 hrs. lect.
Spring 2010, Fall 2010
ECON 0226 - Law and Economics
Law and Economics
In this course we will use the tools of economics to analyze legal institutions and examine the way that the law influences incentives and behavior. Particular emphasis will be placed on how economics informs law in the areas of property, contracts and torts (accidents). Much attention will also be given to the evolution of the law and the extent to which this evolution promotes or discourages economic efficiency. (ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.
Spring 2011, Fall 2011
ECON 0228 - Econ of Agricultural Transtion ▲
Economics of Agricultural Transition
In 1860 farmers made up over half the population of this country and fed about 30 million people. Today they number 2% of the population and produce more than enough to feed 300 million people. In this course we will look at the history, causes, and results of this incredible transformation. While studying the economic forces behind the changing farming structure, we will examine farm production, resources, technology, and agricultural policy. Field trips to local farms and screenings of farm-related videos and movies will incorporate the viewpoint of those engaged in agriculture. (ECON 0150 or ECON 0155) 2hrs. lect., 2 hrs. lab
Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013
ECON 0229 - Econ Hist/Hist of Econ Thought ▲ ▹
Economic History and History of Economic Thought
This course will provide an introduction to economic history and the history of economic thought. We will investigate and understand the causes and consequences of important historical events and trends, such as industrialization and globalization, from an economic perspective. This evaluation involves studying how prominent economists perceived and analyzed the events of their time. (ECON 0150) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0230 - Transformation in Eurasia ▲
Comparative Transformation in Eurasia
In this course we will explore the transformation over the past generation of Eurasia’s formerly socialist economies. We will focus on the experiences of the region’s two largest countries, Russia and China. Though the main focus is on economic aspects of the transformation, we will also pay attention to the political and historical forces that have influenced the process. (ECON 0150 or ECON 0155; or by approval) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013
ECON 0240 - Int'l Econ: A Policy Approach ▲ ▹
International Economics: A Policy Approach
This course provides an overview of international trade and finance. We will discuss why countries trade, the concepts of absolute and comparative advantage, and gains from trade. We will explore commercial policies, arguments for and against tariffs, non-tariff barriers, dumping and subsidies, the role of the WTO, as well as the pros and cons of regional free trade associations. In the second part of the course we will primarily concentrate on international macroeconomics, focusing on foreign exchange rates, balance of payments, origins of and solutions to financial crises and the history and architecture of the international monetary system. (Formerly ECON 0340) (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0250 - Macro Theory ▲ ▹
Macroeconomic theory analyzes whether the market effectively coordinates individuals' decisions so that they lead to acceptable results. It considers the effectiveness of monetary, fiscal, and other policies in achieving desirable levels of unemployment, inflation, and growth. The theories held by various schools of economic thought such as Keynesians, monetarists, and new classicals are considered along with their proposed policies. (ECON 0150) 3 hrs. lect.
ECON 0255 - Micro Theory ▲ ▹
Microeconomic theory concentrates on the study of the determination of relative prices and their importance in shaping the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in an economy. We will study the optimizing behavior of households in a variety of settings: buying goods and services, saving, and labor supply decisions. We will also examine the behavior of firms in different market structures. Together, the theories of household and firm behavior help illumine contemporary economic issues (discrimination in labor markets, mergers in the corporate world, positive and negative externalities, for example). (MATH 0121 and ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.
ECON 0265 - Environmental Economics ▲
This course is dedicated to the proposition that economic reasoning is critical for analyzing the persistence of environmental damage and for designing cost-effective environmental policies. The objectives of the course are that each student (a) understands the economic approach to the environment; (b) can use microeconomics to illustrate the theory of environmental policy; and (c) comprehends and can critically evaluate: alternative environmental standards, benefits and costs of environmental protection, and incentive-based environmental policies. (ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013
ECON 0275 - Urban Economics ▲ ▹
How and why do cities form? Why do people live in the suburbs and commute to the Central Business District? Why do tech industries want to locate right next to each other in Silicon Valley? Are toll roads just there to annoy us, or is there some economic rationale for them? This course combines economic theory and empirical evidence to provide an overview of the forces beyond our spatial organization as well as a survey of urban problems relating to land use, traffic, housing, and racial segregation. (ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.
Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0280 - Game Theory ▲ ▹
Game Theory I
Game theory is general in scope and has been used to provide theoretical foundations for phenomena in most of the social and behavioral sciences. Economic examples include market organization, bargaining, and the provision of public goods. Examples from other behavioral sciences include social dilemmas and population dynamics. In this course students learn the basics of what constitutes a game and how games are solved. This course is meant to be a broad introduction; students with advanced training in economics (or math) are encouraged to enroll directly in ECON 0390. (Formerly ECON 0380) (ECON 0155 and MATH 0121 required; ECON 0255 recommended) 3 hrs. sem.
Fall 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0311 - Theoretical Econometrics
Theoretical Econometrics will introduce students to the theoretical reasoning underpinning regression analysis as covered in ECON 0211. The course will begin with regression analysis as a method of data summary, focusing on geometric properties that hold for all data sets. We will introduce progressively the assumptions of the classical linear regression model to provide clear relationships between probabilistic assumptions and statistical properties and the arguments that justify them. We will conclude by exploring generalizations to basic regression that are motivated by violations of the classical assumptions. Throughout the course, students will encounter the interaction between economic and econometric modeling. (ECON 0211) 3 hrs. lect.
ECON 0316 - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance and Accounting
Finance has become an integral part of economics, as shown by the number of Nobel Prizes awarded in recent years to scholars who have made contributions to the field. This course focuses on the financial side of the modern corporation, for the stakeholders as well as the shareholders. We start with financial accounting as a means of measuring the health of a company and of discerning the transparency and accuracy of its financial statements. (As Enron and other companies showed, it pays to be skeptical.) We then move to strategic planning and the growth of the firm, and to decisions on how to finance that growth as between equity and debt. We conclude with valuation models based on cash flow. At the end we hold a buy-side sell-side competition, in which students work in teams to value real companies and present them to the class as attractive investments. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. lab
Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012
ECON 0317 - Investments/Financial Markets
Investments and Financial Markets
As wealth has grown in importance as an economic variable, professional economists and practitioners alike have studied the behavior of financial markets, and the behavior of people in those markets. The markets for equities, bonds, commodities, and foreign exchange are each quite independent, and yet prices in several markets may suddenly correlate, especially in a crisis. This course presents a wide range of techniques to analyze markets. In equities, we study valuation models and portfolio diversification. In bonds, we study the yield curve and concepts such as duration and convexity. In commodities, we study both fundamental analysis and technical analysis. In foreign exchange, we study interest rate parity and purchasing power parity. And, we study derivatives and options pricing models. The management of wealth ultimately depends on the management of risk, and we conclude with a study of risk management techniques. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155 and ECON 0210) 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. lab
Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013
ECON 0327 - Economic Development in Africa
Economic Development in Africa
This course will survey the main issues of economic development in Africa. We will begin with a review of the theory of economic growth and development, and will progress to applying it in the African context. We will attempt to identify the factors that impede or promote economic development and poverty reduction in Africa and will examine the roles of international trade, investment, development assistance, and globalization. Selected countries and cases will be studied in greater depth. Some additional problems we will consider are: mineral dependence and development; the consequences of AIDS; corruption, governance, and stagnation in Africa; and, the role of multilateral organizations such as the World Bank, the IMF and African Development Bank. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155.) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2009, Spring 2010
ECON 0328 - Economics of Global Health ▲
Economics of Global Health
In this course we will examine global health from an economics perspective while attempting to understand it from both the demand and supply sides. We will review the current economic research relevant to these topics. Microeconomic theory will be used to explain why individuals might make what are seemingly poor health decisions. In addition, we will be using data from the Demographic Health Surveys to examine the health and well-being of individuals living in poor countries. Topics will include the effects of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and poor sanitation. (MATH 0121; and ECON 0150 or ECON 0155; and ECON 0210; or by approval) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2012, Fall 2013
ECON 0335 - European Economic Integration
European Economic Integration: Lessons and Perspectives
This course introduces students to the European integration process and its beneficial and adverse effects. Specifically, we will ask: What is the role of Europe in the global economic system? What are the policy implications of an economic integration? Can integration only work when countries are at a similar stage of development? If not, what are the implications? We will also discuss economic integration in various parts of the world with particular reference to North America and Southeast Asia. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.
ECON 0336 - Political Econ of Development
The Political Economy of Development
Why have some countries developed more rapidly than others? How can governments help or hinder the development process? In this course we will address these broad questions by analyzing the development of Asian, Latin American, and African countries. To gain a historical perspective we will begin with the experiences of the now "developed" countries, followed by an examination of how countries have confronted the dilemmas of development, such as corruption, income inequality, and environmental degradation. By studying development through a political economy lens, we will present the intersections between a political and economic understanding of the complex process of development. (Not open to students who have taken PSCI/ECON 1027)
ECON 0337 - Democ/Develop/Globalization ▲
Democracy, Development, and Globalization
In this course we will address crucial issues that both economists and political scientists have considered fundamental to their disciplines: how nations become democratic, develop economically, and confront globalization and regionalism. We will focus on theories that come from various disciplines to explain these phenomena. Following several weeks of theoretical discussion, we will focus on case studies from Latin America, Europe, Russia, Eastern Europe, and China. Our approach will focus on integrating various disciplines to understand these inherently interdisciplinary issues. Students will be expected to write research papers that will utilize foreign language sources, as appropriate. This course is equivalent to ECON 0337 and PSCI 0337.
ECON 0338 - The Japanese Economy
The Japanese Economy
The Japanese economy offers not only some interesting and idiosyncratic features, but also key insights into current economic issues in China and the United States. In this course we will start with the devastation of postwar Japan and then ask how the Japanese addressed pressing economic issues. We will analyze the Japanese fiscal, monetary, and trade policies adopted within Japan and explore how these policies reflected and influenced the financial, business, and labor sectors. We will also trace how Japan's success in constructing a low risk, middle-class society eventually precipitated the problems in the 1990’s that remain unresolved. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.
ECON 0340 - Int'l Econ: A Policy Approach
International Economics: A Policy Approach
This course provides an overview of international trade and finance. We will discuss why countries trade, the concepts of absolute and comparative advantage, and gains from trade. We will explore commercial policies, arguments for and against tariffs, non-tariff barriers, dumping and subsidies, the role of the WTO, as well as the pros and cons of regional free trade associations. In the second part of the course we will primarily concentrate on international macroeconomics, focusing on foreign exchange rates, balance of payments, origins of and solutions to financial crises and the history and architecture of the international monetary system. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013
ECON 0356 - Competition & Strategy
Competition and Strategy
This course addresses issues relevant to the central questions of competition among and strategies used by successful business and social organizations. We will focus on how firms achieve and sustain superior performance in the face of competitive pressures. The course couples the introduction of relevant concepts and analytical tools for industry and competitive analysis with their application to real-world case studies in a variety of industries. Students will be expected to develop a sophisticated understanding of the forces that drive competition and success through applied economic analysis, extensive public speaking and presentation practice and venture consulting engagements with early-stage Vermont-based organizations. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155). 3 hrs. lect., 1.5 hrs. lab.
ECON 0360 - Econ of Imperfect Competition
Industrial Organization: Economics of Imperfect Competition
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, that is, the ability to influence price, and how this power is used in practice. The major themes of exploration will be the sources and limits of market power; the strategic behavior of firms that possess market power; and the effect of policy intervention in industries with market power. We will be particularly interested in the role of limited information; advertising expenditure; barriers to entry; and investment in research and development. (ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.
Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012
ECON 0362 - Public Finance
In this course we will analyze the role of government in our economy and address questions such as: When is government intervention appropriate? What is the most effective form of this intervention? How does it affect consumers and producers? Topics will include public goods, externalities, income transfer, and social insurance programs. We will study the equity and efficiency considerations in the design of tax systems, as well as the incentive effects of taxes by examining personal and corporate income taxes, consumption, and wealth taxes. (ECON 0255) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2012, Spring 2013
ECON 0375 - Monetary Theory and Policy ▲
Monetary Theory and Policy
This course will cover the determination of interest rates, portfolio theory, the demand for money, and the supply of money process. Emphasis will be on the difficulties faced by the Federal Reserve in its goals of achieving a steady growth in aggregate demand while doing its best to ensure that monetary disorder, such as that which characterized the Great Depression, does not reoccur. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.
Spring 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Fall 2013
ECON 0380 - Game Theory
Game Theory I
Game theory is general in scope and has been used to provide theoretical foundations for phenomena in most of the social and behavioral sciences. Economic examples include market organization, bargaining, and the provision of public goods. Examples from other behavioral sciences include social dilemmas and population dynamics. In this course students learn the basics of what constitutes a game and how games are solved. This course is meant to be a broad introduction; students with advanced training in economics (or math) are encouraged to enroll directly in ECON 0390. (ECON 0155 and MATH 0121 required; ECON 0255 recommended) 3 hrs. sem.
Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013
ECON 0390 - Game Theory II
Game Theory II
This course is a more or less self-contained sequel to ECON 0380. The focus is on games with asymmetric information, and the list of topics includes games of moral hazard with hidden action or hidden knowledge, adverse selection games, mechanism design and contract theory, games of screening and signaling, and auctions. We shall also consider their application to such diverse fields as labor economics, finance, industrial organization and political economy. (ECON 0255 required; ECON 0380 recommended) 3 hrs. sem.
Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012
ECON 0399 - Experimental Economics ▲
How do economic incentives influence people’s behavior? In this course students will learn how to test economic models of behavior (e.g., consumption, investment, production) using the experimental lab. Topics include: How and why do markets work? Do people act collectively to provide public goods? What are the determinants of bargaining outcomes? (ECON 0255 required; ECON 0380 or ECON 0390 recommended) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2012, Fall 2013
ECON 0401 - Inequality and Justice
Poverty, Inequality and Distributive Justice
This seminar will explore recent theoretical and empirical research on socioeconomic inequality. The definitions, causes and consequences of inequality at both the individual (micro) and national and international (macro) levels will be considered. (ECON 0211 and ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.
ECON 0410 - Economics of Sin
The Economics of “Sin”: Sex, Crime, and Drugs
In this course we will apply traditional microeconomic principles to non-traditional topics such as adultery, prostitution, teen pregnancy, crime and punishment, drugs and drug legalization, and gambling. We will ask the following questions throughout the course: To what extent is "sinful" behavior rational and utility-maximizing? What role does the government play in regulating "sinful" behavior and what are the consequences of these government interventions? The primary focus will be on the United States but brief comparisons will be made to "sinful" behavior and policy interventions in other countries. (ECON 0211 and ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.
Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2013
ECON 0411 - Applied Econometrics ▲
This course is designed to further students' understanding of parameter estimation, inference, and hypothesis testing for single and multiple equation systems. Emphasis will be placed on specification, estimation, and testing of micro/macro econometric models and using such models for policy analysis and forecasting. Large cross-sectional as well as panel data sets will be used for estimation purposes. (ECON 0211 and ECON 0250 and ECON 0255; or by approval) 3 hrs. sem.
Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2013
ECON 0412 - Empirical Finance
How do hi-tech firms decide to launch new products? How do portfolio managers decide to invest in stocks of hi-tech companies? These are the kinds of practical issues we will cover in this course. Modern financial theory and practice revolve around quantitative techniques for estimating expected returns on investments, whether the launch of a new product or the creation of a new mutual fund, and for measuring the performance of those investments over time. In the first part of the course, you will delve into cash flow analysis as it can be applied to a wide range of situations. In the second part, you will study financial markets and techniques for trading and investing in those markets. At the end you will create an investment portfolio based on your own areas of expertise and your own style of investing. (ECON 0211 and ECON 0316) 3 hrs. sem., 1 hr. lab
Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013
ECON 0424 - Econ Prosperity Global Economy
Economic Prosperity in the Global Economy
The forces of globalization have powerful and controversial effects today, but this phenomenon has deep historical roots. At the center of the globalization debate is whether prosperity is delivered to developing countries. In this course we will study the transformation to the global economy by exploring commodity, labor, and capital markets from a historical perspective. We will analyze the links among the economic dimensions of globalization, development, and growth. Our objective will be to examine the characteristics and evolution of globalization and its impact on overall growth, education, health, inequality, and poverty. (ECON 0250 or ECON 0340) 3 hrs. sem.
Fall 2009, Spring 2012, Spring 2013
ECON 0425 - Economic Development Seminar ▹
Seminar on Economic Development
Much of the world still faces the daily pain of poverty. Developing countries have to accelerate their growth rates, eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities, address environmental concerns, and create productive employment. We examine the major analytic and policy issues raised by these challenges and study the need for a productive balance between market forces and positive state action. With the help of case studies from Asia, Latin America, and Africa, we focus on different development strategies adopted, the choice of policy instruments, and methods of implementation. (ECON 0210 or MATH 0116 or MATH 0310 or PSYC 0201) 3 hrs. sem.
Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0428 - Population Growth... ▲
Population Growth and the Global Future
This course will show how economic analysis can be used to assess the impact of rapid population growth on economic development, the environment, and economic inequality. It will analyze the rapid "graying" of the industrialized countries and their struggle to cope with international migration. It will assess the causes of urban decay in the North and the explosive growth of cities in the South. The course will consider household-level decision-making processes; the effects of changing family structures; and the need to improve the status of women. (ECON 0250 or ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.
Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013
ECON 0429 - Trade & For. Aid in Latin Amer ▹
Trade and Foreign Aid in Latin America
This course is designed to provide an in-depth examination of a number of critical issues that currently confront policymakers in Latin America. The topics of development, regionalization and free trade, and the efficacy of foreign aid will be analyzed in the context of Latin American economic development. (ECON 0250 or ECON 0255 or ECON 0240 or ECON 0340) 3 hrs. sem.
Fall 2012, Winter 2014, Spring 2014
ECON 0430 - Post-Communist Econ Transition ▹
The Post-Communist Economic Transition
This seminar will use the “natural experiment” of the post-communist transition to better understand the origin and consequences of various economic and political institutions. Drawing on research related to China and Russia as well as other formerly communist economies in Europe and Asia, we will explore such themes as property rights reform, the finance-growth nexus, contract enforcement institutions, and the economic consequences of corruption and different political regimes. (Formerly ECON 0340) (ECON 0210 or MATH 0310 or MATH 0311 and ECON 0240 or ECON 0250, or by approval)
Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0431 - Economics of European Union
Economics of the European Union
This course will introduce students to the major economies of Western Europe and also the economic functions and structure of the institutions of the European Union. The course aims to familiarize students with the theoretical economic and policy issues that are currently of concern in the European Union. Moreover, the course aims to analyze economic problems that are of particular relevance to the member states of the European Union, such as the coordination of policies within an intergovernmental supranational framework and how to sustain the integration dynamic. (ECON 0250) 3 hrs. sem.
ECON 0444 - International Trade
We will study a variety of theories relating to trade between nations in goods, services, and assets. Effects and desirability of commercial policy, tariffs, and other controls on trade will be examined. Issues of export promotion, import substitution, strategic trade policy, foreign direct investment, role of multinationals, outsourcing, and economic integration will be analyzed in depth. We will also explore the relationship between increased capital flows, financial crises, and trade flows in the world economy. Particular attention will be paid to trade and economic development linkages in the context of the current debates on globalization. (ECON 0250 required; ECON 0340 recommended; or by approval) 3 hrs. sem.
Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2012
ECON 0445 - International Finance ▲ ▹
An analysis of the world's financial system and the consequences for open economies of macroeconomic interdependence. Particular topics include: exchange rate determination, balance of payments adjustments, and monetary and fiscal policies in open economies. Special attention is paid to the issues and problems of the European Economic Community and European integration and debt in developing countries. (ECON 0240 or ECON 0250) 3 hrs. sem.
ECON 0450 - History of Economic Thought ▲
History of Economic Thought
This course offers a historical and analytical perspective on the development of economic ideas. It asks the question: Why is economics what it is today? A number of international issues will be considered, such as the differential development of economic ideas in different countries, comparative advantage and its relation to trade, and the development and spread of socialist ideas. In this course students will read Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and Frederich Hayek. (ECON 0250 and ECON 0255; or by approval) 3 hrs. sem.
Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2013, Fall 2013
ECON 0455 - Competitive Strategy
What drives sustainability and market success in business and social organizations? How do competitive forces within and among industries shape competitive strategy? We will focus on the dynamics of how organizations create, execute and evaluate competitive strategies in diverse competitive environments using real-world cases. A premium will be placed on improving your writing and public speaking skills. Your Middlebury Solutions Group engagement will give you critical applied analysis and teaming experience in developing paths to profitability for early-stage enterprises. (ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem., 1.5 hrs. lab
Fall 2009, Fall 2010
ECON 0456 - Economics of Strategy
Economics of Strategy
In this seminar we will analyze how modern economists think about a firm's strategic decisions. Our discussion will include the boundaries of the firm, the structure of the industry, the position of the firm in an industry and the nature of competition in the environment. We will combine a theoretical framework of strategic behavior with real life decisions of companies. (ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.
Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011
ECON 0460 - Industrial Organization
Industrial Organization: A Policy Approach
This course uses models of monopoly and competition to investigate enterprise behavior and to consider implications for market structure and resource allocation. In addition to focusing on factors determining the number of market participants, the course examines the role of transactions costs, product differentiation, imperfect knowledge, and contestability in determining market outcomes. Special attention is given to issues of monopoly regulation and antitrust law in the United States and internationally. (ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.
Spring 2010, Fall 2011
ECON 0465 - Environmental Economics Topics ▹
Special Topics in Environmental Economics
The objective of this seminar is that each student achieves fluency in a set of advanced concepts in environmental economics. The seminar is divided into two main sections. First, we introduce the core theory and policy implications of environmental economics. These include the theory of externalities and public goods; the Coase theorem; and policy instrument choice. Empirical methods used to measure the costs and benefits of environmental policies are also introduced. Second, we study some selected topics: the economics of local air pollution and greenhouse gases; the design of market-based environmental policies; the economics of non-renewable resources, including fossil fuels and old-growth forests; and the management of renewable resources, including fisheries and second-growth forest resources. (ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.
Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0470 - Public Finance
This course examines the role of government in modern market economies, focusing primarily on the United States. In particular we will explore the design and impact of government expenditure programs and taxation systems on the welfare and behavior of its citizens. Among the general questions considered are the following: When is government intervention in the economy appropriate? What is the most effective form of intervention? What effects do government policies have on incentives for firms, individuals, and others in the private sector? The course will cover a wide range of issues in public finance with a primary focus on current policy debates and issues. Topics covered include: school choice, pollution and the environment, income distribution and social insurance, health policy, Social Security, U.S. tax system and tax reform. (ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.
ECON 0475 - Monetary Theory/Financial Inst
Monetary Theory and Financial Institutions
This seminar provides the student with the basic knowledge and analytical tools to operate in today's money and financial markets. We start with the markets themselves, how they are structured and how prices are determined, such as interest rates and foreign exchange rates. We then study private sector institutions, including banks, securities houses, insurance companies, and fund management companies, and the challenges they face in the Age of the Internet. And we close with a study of how the Federal Reserve and other central banks determine monetary policy. (ECON 0250) 3 hrs. sem., 1 hr. lab
Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012
ECON 0480 - Labor Economics ▲
This seminar will explore the economics of labor markets from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. Topics covered include: labor force participation, wage determination, welfare and minimum wage policies, education and on-the-job training, compensating differentials, dual labor markets, inequality and discrimination, unions, immigration, employment relations, and household bargaining. (ECON 0255 required; ECON 0211 strongly recommended)
Fall 2012, Fall 2013
ECON 0485 - The Economics of Sports ▹
The Economics of Sports
This is a survey course of topics illustrating how microeconomic principles apply to the sports industry. Topics covered will include the industrial organization of the sports industry (notably, issues of competitive balance and the implications of monopoly power), the public finance of sports (notably, the impact teams have on host municipalities), and labor issues related to sports (including player worth and discrimination). The prerequisites for this course are meant to ensure that students can both understand fundamental economic concepts and present the results of econometric research as they apply to the sports industry. (ECON 0210 and ECON 0211 and ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.
Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0490 - Comparative Economics
Comparative Institutional Economics
This seminar provides an introduction to comparative institutional economics, a new and evolving field that explores the nature, origin and impact of the rules that govern economic interaction. Particular attention will be given to the different ways in which societies enforce contracts and define property rights. Drawing on examples from present day developed and developing countries, as well as more distant history, we will ask how and why such institutional differences arise and whether they matter for economic performance. (ECON 0250 or ECON 0255; or by approval) 3 hrs. sem.
ECON 0495 - Behavioral Economics
In this seminar we will study a range of psychological phenomena that affect economic behavior in individual and social settings. Particular emphasis will be placed on the relationship between psychology and economic theory, and the extent to which the study of economics can be improved by incorporating research on human emotions and bounded cognitive ability. A second point of emphasis will concern what the psychological-economic view of human motivation and behavior implies for debates over public policy. (ECON 0255 required; ECON 0380 strongly recommended) 3 hrs. sem.
Spring 2011, Spring 2012
ECON 0499 - Behavioral/Experimental Econ ▲ ▹
Topics in Behavioral and Experimental Economics
In this seminar we will consider current research topics in behavioral and experimental economics. Although the theme for the course is likely to change from semester to semester, all students will design their own study, gather decision-making data, and write a research paper summarizing their main findings. (ECON 0255 and one of the following: ECON 0280, ECON 0390, or ECON 0399) 3 hrs. sem.
Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0500 - Individual Special Project ▲ ▹
Individual Special Project
If you choose to pursue an area that we do not offer or go in depth in an area already covered, we recommend the Individual Special Project option. These ECON 0500 proposals MUST be passed by the entire department and are to be submitted to the chair by the first Friday of fall and spring semester, respectively. The proposals should contain a specific description of the course contents, its goals, and the mechanisms by which goals are to be realized. It should also include a bibliography. According to the College Handbook, ECON 0500 projects are a privilege open to those students with advanced preparation and superior records in their fields. A student needs to have a 3.5 or higher G.P.A. in Economics courses taken at Middlebury in order to pursue an Individual Special Project. ECON 0500 does not count towards one of the 10 courses for the major.
Fall 2009, Winter 2010, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014
ECON 0700 - Senior Research
Senior Research Workshop
Prior to enrolling in ECON 0700, students must have taken a minimum of 6 economics courses at Middlebury approved to count towards the major requirements. These senior workshops will be composed of no more than eight students who will work independently on a project in a specific area for two semesters (fall/winter or winter/spring) and will meet to collectively discuss and present their research. Students who have prearranged a research topic with the professor will be given priority in admission to the seminar. Also, because of limited resources for guiding senior work, students with a single major in economics will be given priority over double majors who will do senior work in other departments. Students interested in pursuing departmental honors must take a Senior Research Workshop (ECON 0700) during their senior year. To receive departmental honors the student must receive a minimum grade of A- in the Senior Research Workshop project and have a 3.5 or higher GPA in all economics courses taken at Middlebury approved to count towards the major requirements. High Honors requires an A in the Senior Research Seminar and a 3.75 or higher economics GPA, and Highest Honors an A in the seminar and a 3.9 or higher economics GPA. (Approval required)
Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013
ECON 0701 - Senior Research Workshop I ▲ ▹
Senior Research Workshop I
In this first semester, students will design and begin their projects. Emphasis will be on designing a novel research question (while making the case for its importance) and an appropriate strategy for answering it. This requires immersion in the academic literature on the topic. General research principles and tools will be taught in class, as a group, while those specific to individual projects will be covered in one-on-one meetings. By the end of the term, students will outline their plan for completing the project, including demonstrating that it is a feasible research question for which the necessary information (e.g., data or source materials) is available or can be generated by the student (e.g., lab or other experiment). (Approval required)
Fall 2009, Winter 2010, Spring 2010, Fall 2013, Winter 2014
ECON 0702 - Senior Research Workshop II ▹
Senior Research Workshop II
In this second semester of the senior research workshop sequence, the focus is on the execution of the research plan developed in ECON 0701. Most instruction is now one-on-one but the workshop will still meet as a group to discuss and practice the presentation of results in various formats (seminars, poster sessions, et cetera) to the rest of the workshop and others in the college and broader communities. Feedback and critiques from such presentations will be incorporated into the project, which will culminate in a research paper in the style of an economics journal article. (ECON 0701; Approval required)
Winter 2014, Spring 2014
ECON 1005 - Economics of Imperialism
The Economics of Imperialism
In this course we will examine several aspects of the economics of imperialism. It begins with a review of the several varieties of empire along with reading some of the "classics" on the subject by John Hobson, Charles Conant, Rudolf Hilferding, and others. Next will be a historical examination of the British Empire to review its economic causes and effects. Was it, as we are now increasingly told, a force for economic progress? Or was it a dressed-up form of plunder? The course concludes with a consideration of the notion of "The Imperialism of Free Trade" and the contemporary foreign economic policy of the United States. This course may count towards the economics major requirements as a 0200 level elective.
ECON 1010 - Pop-Economics
The runaway success of Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s Freakonomics has (at least briefly) made it “cool” to talk about economics in mixed company. In this course, we will read Freakonomics and a handful of the most engaging popular economics books of the last 50 years, including Steven Landsburg’s The Armchair Economist, John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Affluent Society, Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, and and several others. Students will apply new econ-think skills in a series of in-class debates and in analyzing pop-econ material from various contemporary media outlets.
ECON 1013 - Current Debates in Economics
Current Debates in Economics
This course will expose students who are not majoring or minoring in economics to certain current debates in economics professions, such as free trade vs. protectionism, work fare vs. welfare, pros and cons of federal deficits, deregulated financial markets, bank bailouts, immigration, and environmental activism. Basic economic tools to facilitate better understanding of the assigned readings will be covered in the class lectures. In addition, students will be required to read and present key articles which focus on some of these ongoing debates. The main objective of this course is for students to have a better appreciation of the opposing opinions in such debates. (Not open to economics majors/minors; not open to those students who have received credit for ECON 0150 or 0155)
ECON 1015 - Derivative Markets/Fin Bubbles
Derivatives Markets and Financial Bubbles
The Western financial system virtually imploded in 2007-2008, an event from which the economy is slowly recovering today. Banks across the US and Europe collapsed and had to be rescued by governments. Policymakers worried that a meltdown on the order of the Great Depression could occur. All eyes turned to a little known set of financial products known as derivatives as the culprits in this near catastrophe. What are derivatives? How did they, almost overnight, cause the destruction of well-known and seemingly solid companies like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and AIG? This course provides an overview of the derivatives and structured finance markets that traces their development and contribution to the financial crisis. Designed to be accessible to all, we address the building blocks of bonds, futures, swaps, and options. We will explore derivatives from 16th century Japan to the present. Historic asset bubbles, including the 17th century Dutch Tulip mania, the dot com bubble, and the U.S. real estate markets will be considered. All these events will be related to both micro and macro economic concepts.
Winter 2011, Winter 2012, Winter 2013
ECON 1016 - Economics and Morality
Economics and Morality
Someone "thinks like an economist" by objectively and analytically assessing the costs and benefits of various activities. In this course, we will examine why so many people consider the economic way of thinking to be immoral. Topics discussed will include gift-giving, voting, trade, price gouging, organ sales, and price controls, among others. Attention will be given to the commonalities and unique features that span these issues, and what, if anything, should be done to bridge the gap between how economists and non-economists view them. Addressing these specific issues will help illuminate the proper scope of the economic way of thinking and point to ways in which economic arguments can best be used to improve the world.
ECON 1017 - Stats and Sports Statistics ▹
The Application of Statistics to Sports
The central problem of quantitative analysis in any social science is trying to explain the complex and multivariate character of individual human and institutional behavior. The problem of quantitative research, in turn, is that of finding a statistical method that yields a useful approximation of reality. The objective of this course is to give students with an interest in athletic games an opportunity to apply the tools of statistical analysis to the study of several sports topics of their own choosing. (MATH 0116 or ECON 0210 strongly recommended)
Winter 2011, Winter 2014
ECON 1018 - Philosophy & Economics
Philosophy & Economics
Philosophy and economics address several of the same issues from different perspectives. In this course we will introduce the defining characteristics of philosophical and economic analysis, and then examine several social issues through both disciplinary lenses. How do these perspectives complement and conflict with one another? Possible topics include redistribution of income and wealth, discrimination (in housing, hiring, education, etc.), various kinds of rights (human, property, etc.), and global justice. This course may count towards the economics major requirements as a 0200-level elective or as elective credit towards the Philosophy major.
ECON 1019 - Econ Development/Central Asia
The Dynamics of Gender in the Economic Development of Central Asia
A Kyrgyz proverb claims a frog-headed [stupid] man is better than a golden-headed [intelligent] woman. This proverb typifies the conceptual division of genders in Central Asia prior to the Soviet era. After independence, however, women began taking an active role in the region’s developing economies. The growth of women entrepreneurs provided the impetus for a transformation in the dynamics of gender that has produced surprising results in many parts of this global region. In this course we will journey through the history, culture, politics, and economies of the region to gain an understanding of the forces impacting the dynamics of gender and economic development of Central Asia. This course may count towards the economics major requirements as a 0200-level elective or as elective credit towards the WAGS major.
ECON 1020 - Intro to Global Accounting
An Introduction to Financial Accounting Under National and International Financial Accounting Standards
In this course we will explore basic accounting as a management tool. Included will be an in-depth discussion of the development of accounting standards throughout much of the world. Selected chapters from the text Financial Accounting by Rod Monger will be required reading and also be the primary source for assigned homework.
Winter 2012, Winter 2013
ECON 1023 - Financial Services to Unbanked ▹
Extending Financial Services to the Unbanked
In this course, taught by two experienced international development professionals, we will explore different interventions and tools used for poverty alleviation, financial inclusion, and the extension of financial services to the unbanked poor in emerging markets. We will look at the use of microfinance, microinsurance, financial literacy, and the rising use of technology to achieve these goals in developing countries. Guest speakers will discuss case studies and themes from the course. (This course counts as elective credit towards the major in Economics)
Winter 2013, Winter 2014
ECON 1027 - Political Econ of Development
The Political Economy of Development
In this course we will take an economic and political perspective in examining some of the most significant current questions in the field of development. Why have some countries developed more rapidly than others? How can governments help or hinder development prospects? These broad questions will be addressed by analyzing the development experiences of Asian, Latin American, and African countries. To gain historical perspective, we will study selected theories of development and the experiences of the now "developed" countries, followed by an examination of how countries have confronted the dilemmas of development such as poverty, inequality, and corruption.