Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

Economic Statistics (formerly ECON 0210)
An introduction to the discipline of statistics as a science of understanding and analyzing
data with an emphasis on applications to economics. Key topics include descriptive statistics, probability distributions, sampling, random variables, the Central Limit Theorem, estimation, hypothesis testing, p-values, and linear regression. Students will be introduced to a statistical programming language. A weekly one-hour lab is part of this course in addition to three hours of class meetings per week. (Formerly ECON 0210) (Not open to students who have taken ECON 0210, MATH 0116, MATH 0310, or PSYC 0201.) 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

DED

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Course Description

Introductory 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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Introductory 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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

Requirements

AMR, CW, NOR, SOC

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Course Description

Economics and Gender
Economics and Gender is an introduction to using the tools of economics to understand gender-related issues. In the first part of the course we will review economic models of the household, fertility, and labor supply and discuss how they help us interpret long-term trends in marriage and divorce, fertility, and women’s labor-force participation. In the second part of the course we will study economic models of wage determination and focus on explanations of, and policy remedies for, earnings differentials by gender. The final part of the course will focus on new research in economics on gender-related topics. (ECON 0155) 3hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2021

Requirements

CW, SOC

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Course Description

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. Credit is not given for ECON 0210 if the student has taken MATH 0116, or MATH 0310, or PSYC 0201 previously or concurrently. (ECON 0150 or ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

DED

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Course Description

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 0111, (formerly ECON 0210) ECON 0150 or ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

DED

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

AAL, AMR, CW, SOC

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, SOC

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Course Description

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. We devote considerable attention to the dissemination throughout Europe of new industrial and agricultural practices originating in Britain. Along the way, we evaluate how prominent economists perceived and analyzed the events of their time. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

The Chinese Economy
In this course we will explore the economic development of China up until the present day, giving particular attention to the socialist era and the post-1978 reforms. Specific topics to be covered will include growth and structural change, the urban-rural divide, the state’s ongoing role in the economy, demography, and the country’s integration into the global economy. (ECON 0150 or ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Economics of Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to some of the poorest and some of the fastest growing economies in the world. In this course, we will explore the opportunities for sustained, inclusive economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa, the challenges that must be overcome in realizing these opportunities, and the policy options for overcoming these challenges. Topics may include demography, institutions, infrastructure, agriculture, urbanization, climate change, health, natural resources, mobile technology, trade, and regional integration. Students will be exposed to relevant economic theory and recent empirical economic research on Africa. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

SAF, SOC

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Course Description

International Economics: Theory and Policy
This course provides an overview of international trade and finance. We will use economic theory to help us understand how and why countries interact in the global economy and evaluate the effects of different trade, exchange rate, and macroeconomic policies. Topics covered will include the reasons for trade, the winners and losers from trade, trade policies, trade agreements, exchange rates, the balance of payments, causes of and solutions to financial crises, and the role of the WTO and IMF. ECON 0240 does not count towards the ECON major or minor requirements. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

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Course Description

Macroeconomic 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. (MATH 0121 and ECON 0150) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Microeconomic 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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Money and Banking
In this course we will study the connections between the macroeconomy, money, and financial markets. We will explore the role of money, financial instruments, the banking system, and monetary policy in the economy. In addition, we will discuss the causes and outcomes of financial crises with special attention towards the role that monetary policy plays in managing these events. This course is for anyone trying to gain a macroeconomic perspective on banks, financial markets, and monetary policy. (ECON 0111 or ECON 0210 or MATH 0116 AND ECON 0150, OR ECON 0155, OR ECON 0250, OR ECON 0255) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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Course Description

Urban Economics
If economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources, then urban economics is the study of one scarce resource in particular: space. This course will introduce students to new ways of thinking about the causes and consequences of the locational decisions made by firms and households. We will explore how and why cities form, grow and decline, and how they occupy horizontal and vertical spaces. Along the way we will use the tools of economics to discuss a variety of urban issues such as sprawl, transportation, big box stores and malls, the housing bubble, racial segregation, and neighborhood effects. (ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Economics of Religion
Economics and religion have played fundamental roles in human civilization. In this course we will use economic methods (statistical analysis and microeconomic theory) to examine the role that religion plays in economic activity. Topics explored will include the markets for religion, the effects that religion has on economic outcomes and welfare, and the political economy of religion. We will investigate studies and use data from both historical and contemporary time periods. While Christianity will be a prominent religion in the course due to the literature and data that are available, the economic methods used in this course will be applied to other religions. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lct

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Game Theory
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 will learn the basics of what constitutes a game and how games are solved. (ECON 0155 and MATH 0121 required; ECON 0255 recommended) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing: Economic Journalism*
Drawing on core courses in the major, students will strengthen their understanding of economic analysis and develop their writing skills by addressing contemporary economic issues in a journalistic format. In a series of weekly assignments, including book reviews, op-eds, and coverage of recent research articles, students will translate the language of formal economics into pieces that are both interesting and accessible to educated non-economists. Most class sessions will be organized as workshops devoted to critiquing the economic and expository content of student work. (ECON 211 and ECON 250 and ECON 255) 3 hr. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

CW, SOC

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Course Description

Operations Research
Operations research is the utilization of quantitative methods as an aid to managerial decisions. In the course, several of these methods will be introduced and studied in both a mathematical context and a physical context. Topics included will be selected from the following: classification of problems and the formulation of models, linear programming, network optimization, transportation problems, assignment problems, integer programming, nonlinear programming, inventory theory, and game theory. (MATH 0200 or waiver)

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

DED

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Course Description

Theory and Measurement in Economic History
Economic historians study past events, employing diverse methodologies to understand technology adoption, market integration, and the effect of institutions on performance. In this course we will focus on strategies economists use to learn about the past itself and to use past events to understand how all economies function. We will ponder especially conflicts and complementarities between theoretical and empirical reasoning. Each student will complete a research proposal that justifies applying a set of tools to address an economic history question. (ECON 0111 [formerly ECON 0210] and ECON 0255 or IPEC 0240 [formerly ECON 0240]) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2021, Fall 2021

Requirements

CMP, CW, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

International Economics
International trade and financial flows are increasingly important in today’s interconnected world. In this advanced course we will use tools from introductory and intermediate courses to help us analyze the causes and consequences of these flows. We will investigate why countries trade, what they trade, who gains (or loses) from trade, and the motives and effects of trade policies. We will then consider the monetary side of the international economy, including the balance of payments, the determination of exchange rates, and financial crises. This course is not open to students who have taken ECON 0240 or IPEC 0240. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0255) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2021

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Course Description

Advanced Macroeconomic Theory and Policy
In this course we will build on ECON 0250 to further develop the analytical tools for exploring key macroeconomic outcomes and policy. Topics covered may include, but are not limited to, economic growth; distribution; institutions; monetary, fiscal and macroprudential policy; and behavioral macroeconomics. We will explore modern developments in macroeconomic theory, and compare and critically evaluate the ability of different theoretical perspectives to provide insight into current events and the efficacy of macroeconomic policy (MATH 0121 or equivalent and (ECON 0250 or IPEC 0240 [formerly ECON 0240] and ECON 0211). 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

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Course Description

Structuralist Macroeconomics: Theory and Policies for Developing Countries
In this course we will examine key macroeconomics challenges faced by developing countries . In contrast to the senior seminar in Macroeconomics of Development, which focuses on long-run growth, this course focuses on short-run and medium-run macroeconomic issues; as such, it builds more closely on the Macroeconomic Theory core course. The topics covered include structural constraints on aggregate demand, fiscal and monetary policies, distributive conflict, and debt. We will examine these topics through a combination of formal theoretical models and real-world applications. (MATH 0121 and ECON 0240 or ECON 0250) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

AAL, CW, SAF

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Course Description

Empirical Methods in Macroeconomics
This course is designed to provide students the tools needed to carry out empirical research projects in macroeconomics. We will examine current empirical methods used to identify causal effects in macroeconomics using both time series and panel data sets. We will cover different identification strategies such as timing restrictions, external instruments, and the narrative approach. We will then apply these different methods to the analysis of contemporary and historical macroeconomic data. Prerequisites: (ECON 0211 and ECON 0250) 3 hrs. lct.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021

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Course Description

Federal Reserve Challenge
In this course we will study the tools of monetary policy to achieve the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate of maximum employment and stable prices. We will use macroeconomic theory, data, and cutting-edge research to analyze current economic conditions. The class will formulate a monetary policy recommendation for the U.S. central bank, emulating the Federal Open Market Committee, and five members of the class will present this recommendation in the annual Fed Challenge Competition at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. For a final project, each student will design their own mock monetary policy briefing and present it to the class (ECON 0111 [formerly ECON 0210] and ECON 0250).

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, DED

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Course Description

The Economics of Climate Change
In this course we will apply the tools of economic analysis to the problem of global climate change. The goal is to expose students to how economists approach this important policy problem. The course will begin with a review of reasons for policy interventions in markets and policy instrument choice. We will then focus on the measurement of damages from emissions of greenhouse gases. Subsequent topics will include: discounting, technology and abatement costs, benefit-cost analysis, uncertainty and catastrophic risk, and policies in practice. (ECON 0255; ECON 0265 encouraged). 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

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Course Description

Introduction to Public Economics
This course serves as an introduction to the study of the government's role in modern market economies. In particular, we will explore the design and impact of government expenditure programs and taxation systems on the welfare and behavior of its citizens. We will consider the following questions: 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? In this course we will cover a wide range of issues in public economics with a primary focus on current policy debates in the United States, employing standard empirical and theoretical tools used in public economic research. Selected topics include: income taxation, social security, regulation of pollution and other externalities, public goods such as national defense and education spending, welfare programs, inequality, health insurance and other social insurance programs, redistribution, the indirect consequences of taxation, tax evasion, as well as applications of behavioral and experimental economics to these areas. (ECON 0255) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Introduction to Behavioral and Experimental Economics
This course surveys research incorporating psychological and other experimental evidence into economics. Topics will include: attitudes towards risk (e.g., prospect theory) and time (e.g., self-control); judgment and decision-making biases; fairness, altruism, and public goods contributions; bargaining and financial market anomalies; incentives (e.g., performance pay and nudges). (ECON 0255 required; ECON 0280 recommended) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2022

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Course Description

Economics of Discrimination
In this seminar we will explore the economics of discrimination from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. After reviewing the main theoretical frameworks, we will discuss recent empirical studies on issues of discrimination associated with race, ethnicity, gender, or nationality, focusing on applications in the labor market. We will then investigate to what extent inter-group contact or policies such as quotas or affirmative action can address discrimination. Students will explore a specific topic of interest (e.g., police violence, sexual orientation, sport, education, etc.) in more detail and develop a research proposal. (ECON 0211 and ECON 0255 or ECON 0240) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020

Requirements

CMP

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Course Description

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) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

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Course Description

The Macroeconomics of Economic Development
In this course we will examine macroeconomic aspects of economic development. We will explore theoretical models combining insights from growth theory, classical development theory, and structuralist macroeconomics. Topics include dualism, surplus labor, increasing returns, poverty traps, and the role of external and demand constraints in the growth process. We will also review applied work and case studies, in order to understand how these theories illuminate concrete issues that have faced developing countries (ECON 0240 or ECON 0250) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

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Course Description

Macroeconomics of Depressions
In this course we will develop a framework for analyzing liquidity traps, economic depressions, and failures of macroeconomic stabilization policy. We will contrast the causes of and policy responses to the Great Depression, Japan’s “Lost Decades,” the Great Recession, and the ongoing depression in Greece. We will also study the international transmission of the Great Depression through the gold standard and the global transmission of the Great Recession through modern financial and trade linkages. Throughout, we will track the evolution of views on stabilization policy, austerity, and the costs of prolonged periods of depressed demand. (ECON 0250 or IPEC 0240 [formerly ECON 0240]) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021

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Course Description

Globalization and US Inequality
Does globalization increase inequality in the United States? In this course we will study how trade, automation, immigration, and financial integration relate to the distribution of income, wealth, and employment in the US over the last century. In the first part of the course we will study theoretical frameworks to shed light on this question. In the second part, we will turn to the data and read peer-reviewed articles, discussing evidence for and against globalization increasing US inequality. Lastly, we will debate policy prescriptions, to address these issues. (ECON 0211 and ECON 0240 or ECON 0250) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

Requirements

AMR, NOR

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Course Description

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 0250 or IPEC 0240 [formerly ECON 0240] or ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

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Course Description

Population Economics
In this course we will use an economic perspective to analyze changes in fertility, mortality, marriage, and household structure in both industrialized and developing countries. We will explore how these changes interact with labor markets, poverty, inequality, urbanization, migration and the status of women using the theoretical and empirical tools of applied economic analysis. Students will engage in data-driven projects to study demographic behavior. Experience with statistical analysis is strongly encouraged. (ECON 0255 or 0240 required; ECON 0211 strongly recommended) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2021

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Course Description

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 IPEC 0240) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR

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Course Description

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. (ECON 0210 or MATH 0310 or MATH 0311 and ECON 0240 or ECON 0250, or by approval)

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Fall 2019

Requirements

CMP

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Course Description

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 or IPEC 0240 [formerly ECON 0240]) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

Requirements

EUR

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Course Description

International Trade
Since March 2020 when the world economies went into cascading lockdowns, global trade has been severely impacted. As the global economy slowly opens up, we will answer some age old and some new questions - First, what factors determine flow of international goods and services? Second, how are the gains and losses from international trade distributed amongst nations? Do all benefit, or are some countries made better off at the expense of others? Third, how does trade affect the internal allocation of resources and distribution of income within a country? Fourth, why do national governments try and influence or control international trade flows? Finally, how does international trade affect the low- and middle-income countries in today's global economy especially in the post Covid world? (ECON 0255 or ECON 0344 or IPEC 0240 [formerly ECON 0240]) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

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 0250 or IPEC 0240 [formerly ECON 0240]) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2022

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Course Description

Historical Development of the World Economy
Many of the controversies and tensions modern economies have to contend with today, such as growth, inequality, and instability, emerged during the last few centuries. In this seminar we will use economic and historical tools to develop a better understanding of the profound transformations in technology, finance, and international trade over time. We will analyze the challenges the world faced as capital, labor, and commodity markets became rapidly integrated, including financial crises, rising income and wealth inequality, and modernizing policies. (ECON 0210 and ECON 0250 or IPEC 0240 [formerly ECON 0240]) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

History of the Firm
In this course we will trace the history of firms from the Classical Age to the present, using theoretical and empirical economics to understand what makes a “firm,” how firms have been organized throughout history, why firm organization may differ across countries (e.g., early industrial firms in Europe vs. Latin America vs. the United States), and what firm structure implies for economic performance. Our discussion will rely on subfields like institutional economics, development, and finance. Final research papers will evaluate the organizational history of a single firm or the development of firm structures in an industry or country. (ECON 0211 and ECON 0255 or ECON 0240 or IPEC 0240; or by approval) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

CMP, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

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 economics of renewable and non-renewable resources, the theory of externalities and public goods, the Coase theorem, the Ostrom perspective; and sustainability. Second, we study selected topics including the promise and challenges of economic growth, the future of fossil fuels and renewables, and the imperative of climate justice. (ECON 0210 and (ECON 0255 or IPEC 0240 [formerly ECON 0240]) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Environment and Development
Climate change, air pollution, tropical deforestation: there is little doubt that economic development affects, and is affected by, the global and local environment and natural resources. In this course we will explore the complex relationship between environment and development using the theoretical and empirical tools of applied economic analysis. We will begin with pioneering research papers on the empirics of economic growth, examine the macroeconomic evidence, and then move to the micro foundations of the poverty-environment nexus. Major topics will include the resource curse and environmental Kuznets curve hypotheses, approaches for understanding responses to climate variability and disasters in poor communities, management of natural resources in smallholder agriculture, choosing policy instruments for pollution reduction, conservation, and environmental protection, and relationships between human health and the environment. We will conclude with a number of selected topics and issues of contemporary policy relevance. (ECON 0111 (formerly ECON 0210) and ECON 0255 or IPEC 0240 [formerly ECON 0240]) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

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 0111 (formerly ECON 0210) and ECON 0211 and ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

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Course Description

Space Economics
In this course we will study the economics of outer space. Specific topics include: the existing terrestrial space economy, the historical development of the launch and space observation sectors, the physical constraints of space travel (the rocket equation, life support units), and dual-use technologies; orbit use, focusing on satellites, orbital debris, and emerging industrial concentration; the use of lunar resources, particularly ice extraction and dust management; and the economics of extra-terrestrial human settlements. (ECON 0210 and (ECON 0250 or ECON 0255); ECON 0265 strongly recommended.)

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Research 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 ECON 0280) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2022

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Course Description

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 the major or minor requirements.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

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)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023

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Course Description

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)

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Data Science Across Disciplines
In this course we will gain exposure to the entire data science pipeline—obtaining and cleaning large and messy data sets, exploring these data and creating meaningful visualizations, and communicating insights from the data in a meaningful manner. During morning sessions, students will attend a combined lecture where they will learn the tools and techniques required to explore new and exciting data sets. During afternoon sessions, students will break out into smaller groups to apply these tools to domain-specific research projects in Art History, Biology, Economics, or Japanese and Linguistics.
Students enrolled in Professor Abe’s (Japanese) afternoon section will use the tools of data science to create visualizations of social and emotive meanings that surface through Japanese language/culture materials. Participants will use these visualizations to engage in various theoretical and pedagogical topics pertaining to (educational) linguistics.
Students enrolled in Professor Allen’s (Biology) afternoon section will use the tools of data science to investigate the drivers of tick abundance and tick-borne disease risk. To do this students will draw from a nation-wide ecological database.
Students enrolled in Professor Anderson’s (History of Art and Architecture) afternoon section will use the tools of data science to create interactive visualizations of the Dutch textile trade in the early eighteenth century. These visualizations will enable users to make connections between global trade patterns and representations of textiles in paintings, prints, and drawings.
Students enrolled in Professor Myers’ (Economics) afternoon section will use the tools of data science to create an interactive visualization of the landscape of abortion policy and access in the United States. This visualization will allow users to explore how abortion access varies across the country and how this variation in turn correlated with demographic, health, and economic outcomes.
This course will utilize the R programming language. No prior experience in statistics, data science, programming, art history, biology, economics, or Japanese is necessary

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

DED, SOC, WTR

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Course Description

Health Care Law, Economics and Regulation
In this course we will explore why health care is one of the most highly regulated industries in the U.S. and how government intervention impacts market outcomes. We will discuss how laws and regulation are used to contain health care costs, protect consumers from anti-competitive practices, and ensure consumer privacy and safety. We will rely on actual cases to understand legal frameworks, regulatory structures, and economic outcomes. Students may also have the opportunity to travel to Montpelier, VT to see health policy, legislation, and regulation in action. (ECON 0155 recommended but not required) (This course may be used to fulfill a 200 level elective towards the economics major requirements.)
Robin J. Lunge, JD, MHCDS is a Member of Vermont’s Green Mountain Care Board, which is charged with designing and administering health care payment and delivery system reform as well as regulating the health care industry. Previously Lunge served as Governor Shumlin’s Director of Health Care Reform for close to 6 years, coordinating health reform efforts for his administration. She also worked as a nonpartisan staff attorney at Vermont Legislative Council for 8 sessions and provided drafting and staff support in health and human services issues to members of the Vermont Legislature./

Terms Taught

Winter 2022, Winter 2023

Requirements

AMR, NOR, SOC, WTR

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Course Description

Consumer Psychology
How does Amazon convince us to buy things we do not need? How has Netflix managed to get us to spend 18% of our waking hours watching its content? In this course, we will learn the fundamentals of consumer psychology and the ways in which consumer behavior can be influenced. Using social psychology and behavioral economics, we will study how consumers form opinions, make purchase decisions, and advocate for products and causes they care about. We will study examples of interventions by companies and NGOs that successfully influenced consumers’ opinions and behaviors and debate the ethical implications of such interventions. (This course may be used to fulfill a 200 level elective towards the economics major requirements.)

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

SOC, WTR

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