Chair: Edward M. Shepard
Professor: Dixie M. Blackley, Paul R. Blackley, Wayne Grove, Edward M. Shepard
Adjunct Faculty: Mariela Cavo, Hasan Murshed
Economics is the study of individual and collective decisions that relate to the production, consumption and exchange of goods and services. The economics curriculum contributes to a well-balanced liberal arts and business management education by providing students with the fundamental economic concepts necessary to better understand the world around them. The economics major prepares students for careers in a variety of fields including economics, business, law, education and government and to pursue advanced degrees in economics, business, public administration, law or related fields.
The Department of Economics offers both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree. Both programs develop the conceptual frameworks and analytical skills necessary to critically evaluate economic outcomes, issues, and policies. Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree reflect the liberal arts tradition of economics. Requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree emphasize the development of quantitative skills and applications widely used in the business disciplines.
Student Learning Outcomes in Economics
Students who graduate from this program will be able to:
ECO 113. Principles of Microeconomics. 3 Credit Hours.
In this course the student pursues general understanding of the methodology used in economics. Topics studied emphasize models of behavior of consumers and producers as individual participants in the economic system. No prerequisites.
ECO 114. Principles of Macroeconomics. 3 Credit Hours.
The course focuses on using economics methodology in the study of macroeconomic principles. Important topics for consideration include derivation of the GNP and the impact of fiscal and monetary policy on output, employment and the price level. No prerequisites.
ECO 205. Economics of Public Policy Analysis. 3 Credit Hours.
This course introduces basic concepts for public policy economics. These include opportunity cost, demand and supply analysis, market failure and formulations of equity. The three course components include cost-benefit analysis using examples from government programs and environmental regulations; macroeconomics topics such as fiscal and monetary policies to lower unemployment and inflation, international trade policy and policies to promote growth and financial stability; and microeconomic topics such as market issues such as the minimum wage and returns to education and training expenditures. No prerequisites.
ECO 228. Economics of Financial Markets. 3 Credit Hours.
This course includes monetary theory, price level determination, determination of the supply of money, foreign exchange rates, operations of the commercial banks and the Federal Reserve System and monetary policy.
Prerequisites: ECO 113-114.
Cross-listed Courses: FIN 302
ECO 250. Intermediate Microeconomic Theory. 3 Credit Hours.
This course is an intensive investigation of the chief topics of pure microeconomics theory, such as the theory of demand, theory of production, price determination in various markets, factor pricing, indifference analysis, equilibrium, linear programming and welfare theory.
Prerequisites: ECO 113-114.
ECO 252. Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory. 3 Credit Hours.
This course includes an intensive treatment of the following topics: national income accounting, the classical theory of income, employment and the price level, Keynesian macroeconomic analysis, equilibrium, growth theory and similar points.
Prerequisites: ECO 113 -114.
ECO 305. Environmental Economics. 3 Credit Hours.
Application of economic theory and models to critically analyze the state of the environments as well as to identify how we might bring improvements in environmental quality. Coverage of relationships and interactions of the public and private sectors in the creation and control of the different environmental issues. Junior standing required.
Fulfills Core Requirement(s): Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS).
ECO 313. Labor Economics. 3 Credit Hours.
This is a course in specialized economic analysis. It treats theories of wage determination; the supply of, and demand for, labor; measurement of the labor force; the relationship between wage rates, costs and prices; the effects of trade union policies on employment and profits; labor and technological change; determination of labor's share in national income.
Prerequisites: ECO 113-114.
ECO 315. Economic History of the U.S. 1860-1960. 3 Credit Hours.
This course traces the development of the American economy, especially the impact of the two World Wars and the Great Depression and the long run trajectory of economic growth and inequality. Basic economic theory is used to understand those events and changes and the evolution of industrial policy, capital markets, and fiscal and monetary policy and the causes and consequences of the rise of big business and big government, technological change, and education policy. No prerequisites.
ECO 320. Economic Issues in Health Care. 3 Credit Hours.
This course examines the challenging questions of why health care spending in the U.S. continues to rise in spite of efforts to control costs. The focus of the course will be on examining the key issues responsible for cost increases and why this country has one in six individuals without any health insurance and one in four with sub-standard health care. The topics include factors affecting demand and supply of health care services, such as sociocultural considerations and health care threats, demographic changes, in particular aging of the population; economic and legal forces impacting the health care system; and the role of technology in the delivery of health care.
ECO 322. Econ of Crime & Punishment. 3 Credit Hours.
This course will present the economic approach to crime and punishment. There will be an emphasis upon both the economic cost borne by the economy in the aggregate and by individual households in the prevention of crime. The economic approach assumes that both criminals and victims are rational in the sense that they base their choices on the expected benefits and costs of alternative behaviors. Specific topics include economic assessments of the criminal justice system, perspectives on the punishment and reform of criminals, and analyses of the market for illegal drugs, gun control and capital punishment.
ECO 325. Econometrics. 3 Credit Hours.
A study of statistical estimation applied to linear models. Topics include multiple linear regression and simultaneous equations. Applications to economic problems such as estimation of demand relations, consumption functions and labor supply functions are emphasized.
ECO 335. Economics of Poverty. 3 Credit Hours.
This course examines poverty in the United States from an economic perspective. Using the basic concepts of economic analysis, it considers several dimensions of poverty, including the U.S. income distribution, the measurement and incidence of poverty, the characteristics of the poor, and the causes and consequences of poverty. It also provides an overview of the structure, history, and effectiveness of public policy aimed at alleviating poverty.
Cross-listed Courses: SOC 335
ECO 345. Strategic Competition in Mkt Economics. 3 Credit Hours.
This course introduces students to analyses of how the structure of markets and conduct of firms affect economic outcomes such as the efficient use of resources, the pace of innovation, and the profitability of investments. The emphasis is on assessing alternative strategic practices developed by firms to gain market power. Among the topics are a variety of often-used oligopoly models, pricing and nonpricing methods of deterring entry, the use of mergers and acquisitions, product differentiation, and the network economics of high technology markets. Policy responses and their impact on market outcomes are considered throughout.
Prerequisites: ECO 113-114.
ECO 350. The Economics of Sports. 3 Credit Hours.
Professional sports in the United States are multibillion dollar businesses. This course applies the principles of economics to evaluate professional and amateur sports. The topics include league structure, team decision-making, labor-relations, incentive structures, free agency salary caps, and stadium financing and the role of public policy. The economic issues and institutional structure of other areas of sports that may be explored include Title IX, NCAA, golf, tennis, sports equipment, advertising, minor leagues, and the Olympics. Economic factors affect the behavior of participants in sport markets-- owners, managers, media, and players-- just as they affect the behavior of individuals in other markets. Basic economic principles and formal economic models help make sense of many issues in the world of sport. In addition, the sports world is full of evidence which helps illustrate economics in action and provides a wealth of information for testing economic theories. The objective of this course is to offer a deeper understanding of both.
ECO 355. Managerial Economics. 3 Credit Hours.
Application of economic criteria in business decision making. Topics include demand analysis for forecasting, production decisions for multiproduct firms, pricing, capital budgeting and cost benefit analysis.
ECO 390. Independent Study. 1-3 Credit Hours.
A student who wishes to pursue an independent study project for academic credit must submit, prior to registration, a proposed plan of study that includes the topic to be studied and goal to be achieved, the methodology to be followed, schedule of supervision, end product, evaluation procedure and number of credits sought. The proposal must be approved by the supervising faculty member, the department chair and the dean of management. It will be kept on file in the academic dean's office.
ECO 402. Program Evaluation Research Methods And Policy. 3 Credit Hours.
The goal of this course is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the use of behavioral science research methods and theories for program and intervention evaluations. Topics given special emphasis include: measurement strategies and problems, needs assessment, experimental and quasi-experimental field designs, qualitative methods, benefit-cost analysis, statistical approaches to modeling bias and the use of evaluation results in the policy process.
ECO 405. Global Economic Issues. 3 Credit Hours.
Is globalization inevitable and irreversible? Who are the winners and losers? Globalization is the process of integration of markets, politics, and legal systems. Supporters of globalization believe it increases a nation's economic growth and expands opportunities for countries to trade and realize comparative advantages in their areas of strength. Opponents believe it increases inequality within and between nations, threatens employment and living stabdards, thwarts labor and environmental standards, and retards social progress. This course includes a description of the principles and practices of foreign trade and financial institutions; international cartels; and defines globalization; examines its impact on trade; movement of capital and labor; diffusion of knowledge and technology, and distribution of income in the world. Fulfills Core requirement(s): DIV.
Cross-listed Courses: PGS 402
ECO 436. Seminar. 3 Credit Hours.
Topics for papers and discussions are determined by the instructor.
Prerequisites: ECO 113-114 and permission of the instructor.
ECO 490. Internship in Economics. 1-3 Credit Hours.
Participation in a field learning experience closely related to one area of economics. The student interns report as required to the faculty member assigned to supervise this field experience and will be expected to evaluate the experience and relate it to his or her academic program. Three hours of field work per week will be required to generate one credit.
Prerequisite: permission of the department chair.
ECO 498. Honors Research. 3 Credit Hours.
This fulfills the requirement that honors students complete a research project. Subject matter to be arranged.
ECO 501. Economics for Managers. 3 Credit Hours.
This course provides an introduction of economics for managers. It applies macroeconomic methods to business decision making and current global policy issues as well as microeconomic models to consumer, producer and market behavior. Topics include interest rates, inflation, monetary and fiscal policy, and labor markets, as well as demand and cost analysis, industry performance, and market structure.