Economics (EC)

EC 111 Principles of Microeconomics     (3 credits)

PREQ: 3 credits of MA 100 level.

Provides students with an understanding of fundamental economic principles and tools. Presents economic analysis with respect to demand, supply, market equilibrium, costs of production and resource pricing. Examines the market structures of pure competition, oligopoly, monopolistic competition and monopoly. Analyzes the markets for labor and capital.

EC 112 Principles of Macroeconomics     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111.

Analyzes the determinants of aggregate economic activity and the effects of government policies intended to achieve full employment, price stability and economic growth. Topics include inflation, unemployment, interest rates, fiscal policy and the public debt, monetary policy, the balance of payments, and exchange rates. Introduces the economic analysis of international trade, comparative advantage and selected current economic problems.

EC 224 Intermediate Price Theory     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112 & MA I.

Examines price determination in the marketplace and the interactions among consumers, firms and government in the market process. The study of markets and the forces of supply and demand provides a sound basis for understanding pricing, production decisions, cost conditions, industry regulations, and profitability. Consumer behavior and firm decision-making form the fundamental structure for the course of study. Among the topics covered are consumer choice, welfare effects of government policy, production technology, profitability, competitive market analysis, and market power and price discrimination. Analytical tools and the economic modeling techniques are developed through the course. This is a required course for all economics and economics-finance majors.

EC 225 Intermediate Macroeconomics     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112 & MA I.

Analyzes the environment in which business operates, including the influence of the government and Central Bank policies, recessions and expansions, inflation and growth on a business. Provides the tools to analyze the effect of various economic events on production, employment and prices. The course also introduces important debates in economics, such as "supply-side" economics, the impact of a balanced budget amendment, and the role of the Federal Reserve in keeping inflation and unemployment low. Periodic writing assignments help students use the tools learned to analyze current events and policy discussions. This course is required for all economics and economics-finance majors.

EC 245 Business Forecasting     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112 & (GB 210 or GB 213).

Presents an analysis of techniques and models useful for business forecasting of sales and other business variables. Allows the student to give quantitative answers to the questions of business planning in an uncertain environment. Includes judgmental, simulation and statistical forecasting methods. Provides an assessment of alternative techniques and examines the implementation of forecasts in the context of business planning.

EC 251 Development of Economic Thought     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112.

Examines the development of economic thinking with regard to topics such as value, production, distribution, employment and inflation. Outlines the progression of ideas from the classical school, through Marxism and neoclassical thinking to the Keynesian revolution of this century. Examines the post-Keynesian direction of economics and provides an overview of recent theoretical developments in the context of past approaches. Traces the development of economic concepts in the context of economic conditions of the period and concludes with a discussion of the current direction of economic thought.

EC 270 Industrial Organization and Markets     (3 or 4 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112.

Investigates the interdependence of market structure, strategic firm behavior and industry performance, and those relationships. Market structure is analyzed through the study of scale economies, merger activities and entry barriers. Various competitive strategies are examined, such as advertising, price discrimination and technological innovation. Industry case studies are used to providea contemporary, real-world context for the economic analysis.

EC 271 Economics of Regulation and Antitrust     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112

Examines the relationship between government business policy and business response. Considers the various ways in which government attempts to alter business behavior through the use of industry regulation, antitrust legislation, and social regulation such as consumer protection, environmental protection, and occupational safety laws. Discusses the intent of various laws to see that firms behave in socially desirable ways and examines the degree to which the laws have been successful in achieving these results.

EC 272 Economics of Information Technology     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112.

This course will look at a broad array of issues raised by the revolution in information technology. Included will be macroeconomic topics such as whether information technology really created a "new economy, the effect of information technology on productivity, and what can we learn from the dot-com boom and bust. The structure of the information technology sector will be analyzed by looking at several of its unique features and considering their effects. A considerable portion of the course will be taken up with the issues of pricing information goods and services. In addition, economic policy with respect to competition, intellectual property issues, and taxation will be examined.

EC 273 Technology, Innovation and Economic Performance     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112

This course explores the economic aspects of innovation and technology, focusing on their implications for economic performance and competitiveness of firms, industries, regions and countries. Micro-economic aspects of innovation are covered, including topics such as types of innovation, the role of R&D, patents, and characteristics of firms most likely to innovate. Business applications are demonstrated through case studies of industries. At the macro-economic level, interrelationships among technology, innovation and economic growth are analyzed. Factors underlying the ability of regions (such as Silicon Valley and along Route 128), and of countries (such as Ireland, India and China) to succeed or fail in generating technology-based firms and in high-tech economic growth and development are explored.

Note: This course is considered business.

EC 275 The Economics of Sports     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112 & GB 213.

This course allows students to develop a detailed economic understanding of theprofessional and amateur sports industry. Relying on economic principles andwell-developed economic models, the course material analyzes a variety orcurrent-day issues facing the spoliing industry. Topics include: competitivebalance issues, such as, revenue sharing, salary caps, and luxury taxes;govemment's role in the sports industry, and; player issues, such as, racial andwage discrimination, free agency, and superstar effects.

LSM: QP

Note: This course is considered business.

EC 298 Experimental course in EC     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC111 & EC112.

Experimental courses explore curriculum development, with specific content intended for evolution into a permanent course. A topic may be offered twice before it becomes a permanent course. Students may repeat experimental courses with a different topic for credit.

EC 299 Experimental Course in Econ     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112 & GB 213.

Experimental courses explore curriculum development, with specific content intended for evolution into a permanent course. A topic may be offered twice before it becomes a permanent course. Students may repeat experimental courses with a different topic for credit.

Focus: INTL

EC 311 International Economics     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112.

Presents the basis of international trade through both classical models and recent complementary trade theories. Analyzes the impact of trade, i.e., who gains and who loses, with implications regarding the politics of trade. Examines commercial policy, trade blocks, links with development, and consequent north-south conflicts. Shows the determination of exchange rates, and the relationshipwith the U.S. balance of payments.

Focus: INTL

LSM: EEGS; GP

EC 315 The Economics of Multinational Corporations     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112.

Analyzes the unique nature of multinational corporations and how multinational corporations are affected by, and affect, the national and world economies. Evaluates the impact on multinational corporations of many economic events such as capital flows and asset markets, exports, competition, labor relations and foreign exchange rates. Includes a critical examination of tax policies with regard to multinationals and the effect of such policies on the transfer (intersubsidiary) prices of the firm. Examines the future role of multinational firms in the U.S. and world economy.

LSM: GP

EC 321 International Economic Growth and Development     (3 to 5 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112.

Analyzes the long-term performance of an economy in terms of the related concepts of growth and development. Examines alternative explanations for the growth record of developed economies as well as their prospects for continued growth. Presents an overview of the economic performance of less developed countries and examines critical aspects of development such as capital accumulation, technological change, population growth, labor and manpower issues, agriculture and trade. Examines development policies in the areas of inflation and planning, and considers issues related to economic ties between developed and developing economies.

Focus: INTL

LSM: EEGS; GP

EC 331 Modern Economic Systems     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112

Describes and analyzes the different approaches to organizing economic systems in the latter half of the twentieth century, e.g., modern capitalism, modern socialism, command systems, and mixed variants. Contrasts the differing roles played by government in the regulation and direction of the economy. Notable attention is paid to the differences in the use of fiscal, monetary, incomes and international trade policies to affect economic activity. Countries representing major differences in approaches include the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, China, Hungary, Russia and others.

Focus: INTL

EC 333 Economics of the European Union     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112

Economics of the European Union analyzes the implications of European integration for international business and public policy. Emphasis is given to theories and issues in international trade and finance. Examines EU-U.S. trade disputes and the introduction of the Euro. The role of monetary and fiscal policy in resolving problems of unemployment and inflation in the European Union is discussed. Other issues covered in the course include rigidities in the European labor market, migration and agriculture. The course concludes with a module on the prospects for and implications of EU expansion.

Focus: INTL

EC 341 Urban and Regional Economics     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112

Analyzes the economic forces determining where cities develop and grow. Studies the location decision of firms and how land and housing prices are determined in a regional economy. Examines the role and effects of city government on the metropolitan economy. Discusses urban problems such as poverty, discrimination, housing, pollution and crime. Problem-solving, economic analysis, and analytical writing are emphasized in the course.

LSM: AMP; DSC; EEGS

EC 343 Health Economics     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112.

Uses economic tools to understand various issues and problems pertaining to health and medical care. Examines in considerable detail the structure, conduct and performance of health insurance, physician, hospital and pharmaceutical industries. Discusses the role, design and effects of the Medicare and Medicaid programs and alternative delivery systems like Health Maintenance and Preferred Provider organizations on the functioning of health-care markets.

EC 346 Environmental Economics     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112.

Uses a modular approach to investigate the economics of environmental issues and policy solutions. Economic modeling is used to illustrate how environmental damage can be viewed as a market failure. Using this approach, analytical tools are developed to evaluate environmental policy solutions such as direct regulation, pollution taxes, abatement subsidies, and the trading of emissions rights. In addition to analyzing environmental policy, the course examines the importance of environmental issues to the corporate sector and the ways in which businesses are responding both to new regulations and consumer awareness of environmental risks.

LSM: EEGS

EC 351 Contemporary Economic Issues     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112

Applies the principles of economics to critically analyze current economic problems and issues. Treats such problems as poverty, population, pollution, health, economic welfare, American business in an evolving global environment, ecology, income redistribution programs, agricultural policy, economic discrimination, foreign trade, and balance of payment problems.

EC 361 Introduction to Econometrics     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112 & GB 213.

Introduces the student to the building and estimation of statistical models used to test economic theory. Familiarizes students with the sources of economic data and with the difficulties encountered in empirical testing of these models. The methods employed and problems encountered in testing economic theory are also applied to other areas such as finance and marketing.

LSM: QP

Note: May not be taken by students who have completed MA 252.

EC 370 Behavioral and Experimental Economics     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112.

This course introduces the complementary fields of experimental economics and behavioral economics. Behavioral economics adds insights from psychology to the economic model of behavior. In so doing, it looks beyond the standard neoclassical model of how people and firms make decisions, examining ways in which behavior is not consistent with strict rational self-interested decision-making. This includes “irrational” behavior such as overvaluing losses and failing to exert the effort needed to find the exact choice that maximizes personal payoffs. It also includes social preferences, where people care about the payoffs of others and not just their own out of concerns for fairness or altruism. Frequently, students will review how standard economic theory predicts people will behave ina given situation, and compare that to how people actually behave.

Focus: DIV

EC 381 Research in Managerial Economics     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 224 & (ME or EF major or Dept Chair Approval) & (CC7 or WP)

This capstone course analyzes business problems in terms of microeconomic principles and methods. Students are required to apply economic reasoning to managerial decisions in demand forecasting, production and cost analysis, pricing and competitive strategies. Course material integrates economic theory with statistical techniques and concepts from other business disciplines through a series of case studies and analytical models. As a capstone course, requires students to prepare a research project that integrates the principles and methods developed in this course with their area of concentration (or in finance for economics-finance majors).

Focus: CI

EC 391 Monetary Economics     (3 credits)

PREQ: FI 305 & (FI 320 or FI 306) & EC 225 & (CC7 or WP). Open to EF or FI majors, to others with Dept Chair Approval; not available to those with credit for EC 211.

This course will take an especially close look at how monetary policy impacts the major financial markets, particularly the bond market. After examining the impact of monetary policy on the domestic economy, we will shift our analysis to the international arena. This will include an evaluation of the impact of money on both spot and forward exchange rates, and we will also examine the relative merits of fixed and flexible exchange rate systems. This analysis will then be applied to various real world cases such as the EMU, currency boards, and exchange rate crises. The final section of the course will focus on some of the major issues faced by U.S. monetary policymakers. We will examine the tools, targets and goals of Federal Reserve policy, with particular emphasis on some of the current debates of U.S. monetary policy.

Focus: CI

Note: May not be taken by students who have completed EC 211 (Money and Banking).

EC 398 Experimental Course in Ec     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC111 & EC112 & (CC5 or WP)

Experimental courses explore curriculum development, with specific content intended for evolution into a permanent course. A topic may be offered twice before it becomes a permanent course. Students may repeat experimental courses with a different topic for credit.

EC 401 Directed Study in Economics     (3 credits)

Permits superior students to study special topics. (Allows repetition for credit.).

EC 402 Seminar in Economics     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112. Instructor permission required. Students must contact the professor to register.

Makes it possible for small groups of advanced students to work on selected topics. (Allows repetition for credit.).

Note: Not offered regularly. Check with department chair for availability.

EC 420 Managerial Economics Internship     (3 credits)

Instructor permission required.

The internship provides the student with an opportunity to apply principles of economics while working in business or government. The internship experience enables the student to understand the relationship between academic experience and business practice prior to graduation. Such a work experience is helpful in defining career goals and adjusting academic programs to prepare to meet those objectives. Additional benefits include building self-confidence, learning to work with others in a goal-related atmosphere, and establishing a contact for possible employment upon graduation.

EC 454 College Fed Challenge     (3 credits)

PREQ: EC 111 & EC 112 & (CC5 or WP). EC 225 is preferred but not required. IP required.

The intent of EC 454 is to expose selected students to a rigorous exploration of advanced macroeconomic and monetary economics concepts with a special emphasis on the conduct of monetary policy by the Federal Reserve. During the semester, students will read chosen articles, write policy briefings and make policy oriented presentations. All aspects of the course will emphasize teamwork. The culminating experience of the course will be participation in the College Fed Challenge. The CFC is a prestigious competition sponsored by the Boston Federal Reserve System. Teams from area colleges make presentations to a panel of judges made up of economists from the Boston Fed.

Note: Course requires instructor permission.