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Fall 2022 Electives and Selected Topics Courses

ECON 1230 – Healthcare and Medical Economics (CRN 16366) 

Instructor: Thomas Barnay 

Schedule: MWR 1:35 pm – 2:40 pm 

This course will enable you to recognize the relevance of economics to health and medical care and apply economic reasoning to understand health-related issues better; to understand the mechanism of healthcare delivery in the United States within broad social, political, and economic contexts; to explore the changing nature of health and medical care and its implications for medical practice, medical education and research, and health policy; and to analyze public policy in health and medical care from an economic perspective. 

ECON 1240 – Economics of Crime (CRN 19007) 

Instructor: Madhavi Venkatesan 

Provides an overview of core issues specific to the economics of crime. Examines the social costs of crime, the determinants of criminal behavior, and the design of enforcement policies. Topics may include incarceration, policing, the deterrent effect of punishment, gun policy, cyber crime, drug policy, and racial bias within the criminal justice system. Social factors relating to education, poverty, family structure, and the environment may be considered. 

ECON 1245 – Economics of Inequality (CRN 20213) 

Instructor: Gustavo Vicentini 

Schedule: WF 11:45 am – 1:25 pm 

The course is an introduction to inequality from an economic perspective.  It starts with a historic perspective by discussing the causes and consequences of inequality in ancient civilizations, the Greek and Roman empires, the middle age, and up to the early twentieth century.  It then covers a variety of more contemporaneous issues, such as:  How to empirically measure inequality; how inequality is related to scarcity, appropriability, and inheritability; the effect of large-scale war on inequality; how inequality is related to economic growth and globalization; taxation and inequality; the causes and consequences of inequality in different sectors of society such as education, health care, housing, labor market, and upward mobility; and public policies to address inequality.  The course concludes with a forward-looking exploration of how inequality might evolve within the near future. 

ECON 1260 – Contested Issues in the U.S. Economy (CRN 14093) 

Instructor: Nancy Kimelman 

Schedule: TF 1:35 pm – 3:15 pm  

Are you interested in how economic issues impact daily life in the United States? Do you enjoy a good conversation about ethics or controversial issues? This course covers many of the contested economic issues that the United States faces as a nation—the size of government, the national debt, the war on drugs, national healthcare, taxation, and many more. An important social system in any society is the economic system—the allocation of scarce resources. In the large and complex economy of the United States, there is controversy over what goods and services are produced and how they are distributed. To understand the nature and causes of these issues requires a course where theory is a tool of analysis, not the focus. Economics is not value free. Attention is given to the role of ethics and how our moral values shape policy. Course topics vary from semester to semester. 

ECON 1291 – Development Economics (CRN 11976)  

Instructor: Mohammad S. Alam 

Schedule: TF 9:50 am – 11:30 am 

Join us as we explore social and economic development around the world. Topics include income, poverty, inequality, human development, geography, growth, impact evaluation, health, education, financial markets, trade, and gender inequality. Analyzes four key elements of economic development: income, poverty, inequality, and human development. Offers students an opportunity to understand the determinants of economic growth. Focuses on major policy issues concerning health, education, credit, savings, gender differences, and globalization. Studies which interventions worked and which did not. Exposes students to readings and perspectives from several academic disciplines. Emphasizes one unifying methodological theme: the usefulness of empirical economic tools in assessing the arguments presented in debates about development. 

ECON 1711 – Economics of Sustainability (CRN 16368) 

Instructor: Madhavi Venkatesan 

Schedule: TF 9:50 am – 11:30 am 

In this course students will gain an understanding of the significance of behavioral assumptions on economic outcomes and social norms, specifically as these relate to the perceived value of resources and the broader ecosystem. Further students will learn the importance of economic concepts such as externalities and elasticity in relation to a market-driven economy, price, and consumption behavior.   

Through the use of elementary life cycle analysis, students will be exposed to both the definition and responsibilities of the rational agent as these relate to the establishment of sustainable outcomes. Upon completing the course, students will be able to articulate the relationship between economic growth and climate change and reconcile the historical relationship between social values and sustainable outcomes.   

Please note: No credit for students who already took Economics of Sustainability as a Selected Topics class. 

ECON 1916 – Economics of Conflict (CRN 19008)  

Instructor: Jill Dupree 

Schedule: MWR 10:30 am – 11:35 am  

In this class, students will develop models of the drivers of conflict and resolution based on economic principles of cost and benefit. We will explore a variety of situations that culminate in conflict and consider what economics tells us about how to avoid or resolve these situations. Students will apply the concepts to current and past conflicts, creating case studies illustrating the various models. 

ECON 3290 – History of the Global Economy (CRN 19011)  

Instructor: Mohammad S. Alam 

Schedule: TF 1:35 pm – 3:15 pm 

Travel back into the complex and fascinating history of the global economy. 

In this course, you will learn aboutideological biases in economics; the extent of global disparities around 1800; evolution of global disparities since 1800; evolution of international integration and international trading and monetary regimes, 1800–2000; theories explaining global disparities: classical, neoclassical, Marxian, neo-Marxian, and structuralist; import-substituting industrialization: Latin America, Asia, and Africa; international debt crises: nineteenth and twentieth centuries; the new global regime; structural adjustment: GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and WTO (World Trade Organization); and socialist interlude: a socialist experience and transition to capitalism. 

Prerequisite(s): ECON 1116 with a minimum grade of D- or ECON 1115 with a minimum grade of D- 

ECON 3404 – International Food Policy (CRN 19012) 

Instructor: Aysen Tanyeri-Abur 

Schedule: WF 11:45 am – 1:25 pm

Feast on food policy! 

This course will provides an introduction to policy analysis using a systems approach in the context of agriculture and food policies. Through a case study learning approach, the course describes the rationale for and types of food policies in developed and developing countries. Policy areas cover food security, nutrition, poverty alleviation, markets, production and supply, and natural resource and climate change. Participants discuss and analyze the dynamics of change in the role of government, structure of food demand, value chains, institutions and governance, and implications for local, regional, and global food systems. 

Prerequisite(s): ECON 1116 with a minimum grade of D- 

ECON 3416 – Behavioral Economics (CRN 14893, CRN 19013)  

Instructor: Silvia Prina 

Schedule: TF 9:50 am – 11:30 am (CRN 14893) 

                                       OR 

 TF 3:25 pm – 5:05 pm (CRN 19013) 

Do you want to understand why we often make decisions that are not in our self-interest? With the help of economics and some insights from psychology, this course will help you better understand human behavior. 

 Behavioral Economics incorporates insights from psychology and other social sciences into economics. We question some of the assumptions made in standard microeconomic utility-driven models, discuss how behavior departs from these assumptions, and test theories with data. Our goal is to understand how behavioral predictions change when certain assumptions are reconsidered. Topics include deviations from standard models in terms of (i) preferences (present bias, reference dependence, and social preferences), (ii) beliefs (projection bias), and (iii) decision-making (cognition, attention, and framing), as well as (iv) market and policy reactions to such deviations. We draw on empirical evidence from a wide range of fields, including development economics, health economics, labor economics, industrial organization, and finance. 

Prerequisite(s): ECON 1116 with a minimum grade of D- ; (ECON 2350 with a minimum grade of D- or MATH 2280 with a minimum grade of D- or MATH 3081 with a minimum grade of D- or MGSC 2301 with a minimum grade of D- or POLS 2400 with a minimum grade of D- or PSYC 2320 with a minimum grade of D- ) 

ECON 3423 – Environmental Economics (CRN 19014) 

Instructor: Ilter Bakkal 

Schedule: MWR 9:15 am – 10:20 am 

Apply the tools of economics to engage with important environmental issues. We will explore taxonomy of environmental effects; externalities; the commons problem; taxation, regulations, marketable permits, and property rights as a solution; measuring benefits of cleaner air and water, noise abatement, and recreational areas; global issues including tropical deforestation and acid rain; and the relevance of economics to the environmental debate. 

Prerequisite(s): ECON 1116 with a minimum grade of D- 

ECON 3424 – Law and Economics (CRN 16373) 

Instructor: Michael Stone 

Schedule: MWR 1:35 pm – 2:40 pm 

Law and Economics uses economic theory to explain the evolution of the common law (judge-made law). In addition, it highlights how the law can be contoured to achieve particular social goals. Students will probably find the course to be easier if they first take Micro Theory (though it’s not a prerequisite).  

Prerequisite(s): ECON 1116 with a minimum grade of D- 

ECON 3440 – Public Finance (CRN 20295) 

Instructor: Thomas Barnay 

Schedule: MWR 4:35 pm – 5:40 pm 

This course will give you an  overview of the economics of government and the role of public policy; to figure out when and to what degree the government should intervene in the economy to address market failures; to examine the impact of public policies on efficiency, economic growth, and equity; to understand price intervention (taxes, welfare, social insurance, public goods) and regulation (minimum wages, FDA regulations, zoning laws, labor laws, minimum education standards, environmental regulations, legal code…) and finally to better understand public regulation in specific markets (education, healthcare and labor). 

Prerequisite(s): ECON 1116 with a minimum grade of D- 

ECON 3442 – Money and Banking (CRN 19016)  

Instructor: Martin Konan 

Schedule: MW 2:50 pm – 4:30 pm 

Covers the nature and functions of money, credit, and financial markets in the modern international economy. Analyzes financial markets and institutions, central banking, and the effects of interest and foreign exchange rates on the real economy. 

Prerequisite(s): ECON 1115 with a minimum grade of D- 

ECON 3460 – Managerial Economics (CRN 19017)  

Instructor: Ilter Bakkal 

Schedule: MWR 1:35 pm – 2:40 pm  

Explores the application of economic principles to the solution of managerial decision-making problems in areas such as demand estimation, cost estimation and control, pricing and marketing strategies, employee incentives, financing of capital investments, and responses to government regulation and taxation. Case studies and simulation models are typically used as pedagogical tools. 

Prerequisite(s): ECON 1116 with a minimum grade of D- 

ECON 3470 – American Economic History (CRN 19018) 

Instructor: Jill Dupree 

Schedule: MWR 1:35 pm – 2:40 pm 

Covers the economic history of the United States from the colonial period to the present. Includes studies of the development of major economic institutions and the effects of technological change. Examines economic reasons for the spread of an industrial market economy in the nineteenth century and the successes and failures of this economy in the twentieth century. 

Prerequisite(s): ECON 1115 with a minimum grade of D- ; (ENGW 1111 with a minimum grade of C or ENGW 1102 with a minimum grade of C or ENGL 1111 with a minimum grade of C or ENGL 1102 with a minimum grade of C ) 

ECON 3481 – Economics of Sports (CRN 20195)  

Instructor: Gerald Porter 

Schedule: MWR 9:15 am – 10:20 am  

If you’re curious about the economics behind your favorite professional sports, this course is sure to be a home run! Walk away a more informed fan. 

In this course, the goal is to investigate what economics has to say about sports as an economic activity: what tools of economic analysis apply to sports, whether sports require different economic tools, what the evidence has to say about key questions. Focuses on professional team sports, although some attention is paid to college sports and to individual professional sports. 

Prerequisite(s): ECON 1116 with a minimum grade of D- 

ECON 3520 – History of Economic Thought (CRN 16374)  

Instructor: Ilter Bakkal 

Schedule: MWR 10:30 am – 11:35 am  

Traces the evolution of Western economic thought. Covers several important periods and schools of economic thought including mercantilism, physiocracy, classical, Marxist, neoclassical, and Keynesian. Emphasizes the relationship between historical changes in society and economic thought, focusing on changes in the types of questions economists ask and the analytical tools they use. 

Prerequisite(s): ECON 1115 with a minimum grade of D- ; ECON 1116 with a minimum grade of D- ; (ENGL 1111 with a minimum grade of C or ENGL 1102 with a minimum grade of C or ENGW 1111 with a minimum grade of C or ENGW 1102 with a minimum grade of C ) 

ECON 3916 – Fintech (CRN 14894) 

Instructor: James (Kurt) Dew 

Schedule: MWR 1:35 pm – 2:40 pm 

“Some courses I teach. This is a course I live! When I’m putting together lectures, projects, and the rest, it feels inadequate. I can’t put into words the joy that creating and destroying value in our marketplaces has given me over the 40 years I have been privileged to do so. This is your opportunity to participate in the same process of value creation! Much of the course is focused on derivatives and their structure. I have had a hand in designing three of the most important derivatives: Eurodollar futures, S&P futures, and OTC interest rate swaps. All three are deeply flawed. We consider possible improvements to these and other major financial markets. The second part of the course will develop your skills in the use of the current market technology and instruments. Here you will learn the arithmetic of the markets and how it might be simplified, empowering firms to use financial markets to their advantage. Finally, in a project conducted in small groups, you will dissect one of these markets to determine where it fails and how it may change to better meet financial market needs. You will then present a project that explains your findings. Student projects that are exceptional are uploaded and featured on my site in LinkedIn.” – James (Kurt) Dew

Please note: No credit for students who already took Changing Market Technology as a Selected Topics class. 

Prerequisite(s): ECON 1116 with a minimum grade of D- 

ECON 4640 – Financial Economics (CRN 19019)  

Instructor: Mark Hooker  

Schedule: TF 1:35 pm – 3:15 pm 

I You will be introduced to the theory of investments, including the principles of risk and return, the theory of portfolio selection, asset pricing models such as the capital asset pricing model (CAPM) and arbitrage pricing theory (APT), valuation of stocks, bond pricing and the term structure of interest rates, and options (what they are and how to use them). Geared toward nonbusiness majors who are interested in a rigorous course in finance. 

Prerequisite(s): (ECON 2315 with a minimum grade of D- or ECON 2316 with a minimum grade of D- ); (ECON 2350 with a minimum grade of D- or MATH 2280 with a minimum grade of D- or MATH 3081 with a minimum grade of D- or MGSC 2301 with a minimum grade of D- or POLS 2400 with a minimum grade of D- or PSYC 2320 with a minimum grade of D- ) 

ECON 4680 – Competition Policy and Regulation (CRN 20196)  

Instructor: Tim Tardiff 

Schedule: TF 3:25 pm – 5:05 pm 

How do you determine whether markets are performing well? Competition Policy and Regulation presents a framework that addresses how markets operate, i.e., how firms compete with each other in offering and pricing their products and whether these decisions result in a market structure conducive to providing beneficial products. Topics include models used in economics and public policy to evaluate market performance, antitrust and competition policies designed to promote better market performance, and historical and contemporary examples and case studies of the implementation and efficacy of these policies. 

Prerequisite(s): ECON 2316 with a minimum grade of D- 

ECON 5200 – Topics in Applied Economics – Computational Finance & Financial Econometrics  (CRN 16376) 

Instructor: Mark Hooker 

Schedule: TF 9:50 am – 11:30 am 

This course has four main sections. The first applies standard econometrics to empirical finance questions such as estimating stock betas and efficient markets tests. The second uses more advanced econometrics for nonstationary data and limited dependent variables, with applications like cointegration/statistical arbitrage and bankruptcy modeling. The third section covers quantitative research and portfolio management techniques like factor portfolio sorts (possibly with AI and “big data”), and the fourth applies quant techniques to valuing derivatives such as monte carlo simulations for pricing exotic options. Prerequisites are an introductory finance class (Econ 4640 or equivalent), differential calculus, econometrics (Econ 2560 or equivalent) and basic software programming (we will use matlab). Open to Juniors, Seniors, and graduate students. 

ECON 5200 – Topics in Applied Economics – Energy Economics (CRN 19023) 

Instructors: Margarita Patria, Derya Eryilmaz 

Schedule: W 4:45 pm – 8:05 pm 

The goal of the course is to provide you with marketable skills and fundamental knowledge needed for a career in modern energy space. Both instructors have extensive experience in economic consulting focusing on energy economics and market design. There will be some guest speakers, representing broader energy industry as well.  The course will highlight applications of economic theory, such as deregulation, industrial organization, auction design and data analysis techniques using applied econometric models.  The course consists of two parts. First part of the course is an overview of energy markets. Students will learn about different energy sources, economics used to design competitive and regulated power markets, fundamental forces shaping supply and demand, and price-setting mechanisms. Our focus is electricity markets in US: their history, on-going transformation, design and most current issues. The second part of the course is hands-on analysis of the energy market data. The analysis is done in Stata and Excel. The goal is to provide students with data visualization skills to aid decision making. Open to Juniors, Seniors, and graduate students. 

ECON 5293 – Agriculture and Development (CRN 19024)  

Instructor: Aysen Tanyeri-Abur 

Schedule: TF 9:50 am – 11:30 am 

You will explore, primarily, the role of agriculture in the evolving development context and the global economy. The course reviews historical and current thinking on agriculture and development to offer students a theoretical and applied perspective on agricultural development and structural transformation in developing countries. We will discuss current and emerging trends in agriculture, including agriculture’s central role in rural poverty reduction; food security, health, and nutrition issues related to natural resource use; and global developments in agriculture trade and investment within the overall framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. 

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