James B. Jermain Professor of Political Economy
Office Hours: Sunday 8:00-10:00 PM in the Wilson Library Cafe; Wednesday 9:00-11:00 AM in my office WNS 305F; or by appointment
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I joined the Economics Department in the fall of 1995, shortly after completing my Ph.D. at Yale, where I worked with John Geanakoplos, David Weiman and Benjamin Polak. I have a BA (First Honors) from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and an MA from Queen’s University at Kingston, also in Canada. I teach courses in macroeconomics, labor economics and economic theory, and do research in behavioral economics and radical political economy.
I am married to Carolyn Craven, a development economist and award-winning children's book author. We share our old Vermont house with our remarkable twin daughters, Emma Laurel and Catriona Mari, now thirteen, and three cats.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
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
Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013
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 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 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 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 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, Winter 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, 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)
INTL 0505 - EUS Independent Research
European Studies Independent Project
Winter 2011, Winter 2012