Economics

The curriculum of the Department of Economics blends basic economic concepts and their applications with contemporary issues. Courses develop reasoning capacity and analytical ability in students. By focusing on areas of application, students use economic principles to stimulate their powers of interpretation, synthesis, and understanding. The department's individualized counseling encourages majors to tailor their study to career and personal enrichment goals. A major in economics provides an excellent background for employment in the business world while maintaining the objectives of a liberal education. The economics degree pairs nicely with a wide variety of double majors and minors, including finance, math, international studies, area studies, and other social sciences.  In fact, many economic elective courses “double count” towards other major, minor, and core requirements. Economics majors regularly use a variety of up-to-date analytical tools, including Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, and are introduced to Stata, a sophisticated statistical package. The economics major also prepares students for advanced study in graduate or professional schools.

Learning Outcomes for Economics Students

Students who study in the economics department should be able to use models and analytical tools, within an institutional framework, to understand and evaluate economic outcomes.

Goal I

Students will understand the tradeoffs between efficiency and equity that are made as resources are allocated among economic actors

Learning Objectives: Students will be able to

  • appraise various market models
  • use welfare measures to analyze economic tradeoffs

Goal II

Students will describe economic concepts and apply them to real world issues.

Learning Objectives: Students will be able to

  • use theory to explain economic events
  • evaluate the success or failure of policies used to achieve intended economic outcomes

Goal III

Students will acquire quantitative skills to analyze data and use that data and analysis to support logical positions

Learning Objectives: Students will be able to

  • acquire data-gathering skills in order to analyze an existing economic argument or present an economic argument of their own
  • experience using statistical software packages to analyze economic data,
  •  formulate empirically testable hypotheses

Goal IV

Students will use qualitative and quantitative models to interpret the impact of public policy choices

Learning Objectives: Students will be able to

  • identify how economic policies can be utilized to overcome market inadequacies
  • construct economic arguments using both quantitative and non-quantitative forms of evidence

EC 0011 Introduction to Microeconomics3 Credits

This course analyzes the behavior of individual consumers and producers as they deal with the economic problem of allocating scarce resources. The course examines how markets function to establish prices and quantities through supply and demand, how resource costs influence firm supply, and how variations in competition levels affect economic efficiency. Topics may include antitrust policy, the distribution of income, the role of government, and environmental problems. The course includes computer applications.

EC 0012 Introduction to Macroeconomics3 Credits

This course develops models of the aggregate economy to determine the level of output, income, prices, and unemployment in an economy. In recognition of the growing importance of global economic activity, these models incorporate the international sector. The course examines and evaluates the role of public economic policy, including fiscal and monetary policy. Topics may include growth theory and price stability. The course includes computer applications.

EC 0112 Economic Aspects of Current Social Problems3 Credits

Attributes: LCEL LACS Minor: Elective

This course uses a policy-oriented approach to study contemporary economic issues. Topics include government spending, the role of federal budgets in solving national problems, poverty, welfare, social security, population, the limits to growth controversy, pollution, energy, and regulation.

EC 0114 The Economics of Race, Class, and Gender in the American Workplace3 Credits

Attributes: EDCG Educational Studies Cognate, EDDV Educational Studies Diversity, UDIV U.S. Diversity, WSGF Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Gender Focused

This course examines the impact of race, class, and gender differences on decisions made in households and in the workplace. It begins with an in-depth analysis of labor supply decisions and responsibilities of households, moving to an examination of labor demand decisions and wage-rate determination. The course reviews applications of theoretical predictions as they relate to important public policy issues such as child and elder care, social security, pay equity, the glass ceiling, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and poverty.

EC 0120 Environmental Economics3 Credits

Attributes: EVPE Environmental Studies Elective, EVSS Environmental Studies: Social Science, LCEL LACS Minor: Elective, WDIV World Diversity

This course, which presents an overview of the theory and empirical practice of economic analysis as it applies to environmental issues, first establishes a relationship between the environment and economics. It then develops the concept of externalities (or market failures) and the importance of property rights before exploring the valuation of non-market goods. It examines the practice of benefit-cost analysis and offers economic solutions to market failures, while highlighting pollution control practices, especially those based on incentives. Throughout, the course examines current issues regarding environmental protection around the globe.

EC 0140 Health Economics3 Credits

Attributes: HSSS Health Studies: Social Science

This course begins by applying microeconomic theory to the health sector of the U.S. economy. The U.S. experience will be generalized to global health issues and alternative health care systems. Topics include the demand for health care and health insurance, managed care and the role of government, physician compensation, and specialty choice, the role of nurses and other healthcare professionals, the hospital sector, and medical cost inflation.

EC 0150 Media Economics3 Credits

This course analyzes the operation and consumption of the music, television, and entertainment industries within a microeconomic framework. Students will learn what forms of competition drive the production and distribution of media in the context of a changing technical environment. Theories of different media market settings will be illustrated and then concepts reinforced by real-world examples, including the changing operation of music production and distribution as the internet evolves, and the ways in which current media companies integrate seemingly different products. To explain these processes the topics of competition, pricing, industry structures, and regulatory environments will be explored.

EC 0152 Economics of Sport3 Credits

This course develops and examines the tools and concepts of economic analysis as they apply to the sports industry. Topics in professional sports include free agency, salary cap, and new franchises. The course also explores economic issues and institutional structures of sports such as golf and tennis, and the broader industry including the National Collegiate Athletic Association, sports equipment, advertising, minor leagues, and the Olympics. Students gain an increased understanding of how economics affect them through this combination of sports and economics.

EC 0185 Regional Economic Development3 Credits

This course includes two key components: a theoretical examination of the basic theories of regional economic development such as growth poles, spillovers, infrastructure requirements, and center-periphery analysis; and an application of these theories to a specific economic issue. Students participate in a comprehensive study of a significant economic issue facing a Connecticut community, in cooperation with a regional agency, resulting in detailed analysis of the issues and potential solutions. Fieldwork is required.

EC 0204 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory3 Credits

Prerequisite: EC 0011.

This course builds upon and expands the theoretical models of EC 0011. The course introduces indifference curves to explain consumer behavior; short- and long-run production functions, showing their relationship to product costs; and the efficiency of various competitive market structures. Topics include marginal productivity theory of income distribution, monopoly, and general equilibrium theory.

EC 0204L Intermediate Microeconomic Theory Lab1 Credit

Corequisite: EC 0204.

In this lab, students actively engage in the science of economics. Activities include lectures on mathematical methods, advanced problem-solving projects, collaborative teamwork experiences, and computer simulations. Note: This lab is required of all students pursuing the BS in economics; it is optional for students earning the BA.

EC 0205 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory3 Credits

Prerequisite: EC 0012.

This course, which includes computer applications, analyzes the determination of national income and output; fiscal and monetary tools; and growth, inflation, and stabilization policies.

EC 0205L Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory Lab1 Credit

Corequisite: EC 0205.

In this lab, students actively engage in the science of economics. Activities include lectures on mathematical methods, advanced problem-solving projects, collaborative teamwork experiences, and computer simulations. Note: This lab is required of all students pursuing the BS in economics; it is optional for students earning the BA.

EC 0210 Money and Banking3 Credits

Attributes: BUEL Business Elective

Prerequisite: EC 0012.

This course covers the commercial banking industry, the money market, Federal Reserve operations and policy making, and monetary theory.

EC 0224 Labor Economics and Labor Relations3 Credits

Prerequisites: EC 0011, EC 0012.

Nearly 70 percent of income earned in the United States is a return to labor. This course applies the fundamentals of microeconomic and macroeconomic analysis to important decisions that people make in labor markets. From an employee's perspective, questions include: Should I work in exchange for a wage? If so, how much? How will my work affect my lifestyle and family decisions? Should I go to school to improve my skills? From an employer's perspective, questions include: Should I hire workers? If so, how many? How should I pick workers out of a pool of applicants? What techniques should I use to provide incentives for these workers? Many of the answers to these questions require complex analysis and an understanding of the impact of government policy on the workplace. The course explores a variety of public policy issues such as minimum wage programs, government welfare programs, workplace regulatory requirements, Title IX, immigration, and the union movement.

EC 0225 Environmental Economics3 Credits

Attributes: EVME Environmental Studies Major Elective, EVPE Environmental Studies Elective, EVSS Environmental Studies: Social Science, PJST Peace and Justice Studies

Prerequisites: EC 0011, EC 0120.

This in-depth examination of the economic tools used in environmental economics and policymaking builds on basic environmental economic concepts and provides the opportunity to put those concepts into practice. The course explores common externalities and market failures in the United States and analyzes governmental policies used to control them.

EC 0230 Comparative Economic Systems3 Credits

Attributes: LCEL LACS Minor: Elective, WDIV World Diversity

Prerequisites: EC 0011 or EC 0012.

Is communism dead? Is capitalism the only real economic system left? This course explores the various economic systems that are used to distribute resources, i.e., to decide "who gets what" in a nation's economy. The course considers the differences between alternative distribution mechanisms, what it means to transition from one system to another, and how these economic decisions are affected by political and national realities. Because there are so many international alternatives to be explored, each semester focuses on an economic region of the globe: Asia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Africa, or Latin America. This course, where appropriate, is available for credit in international studies or area studies programs.

EC 0231 International Trade3 Credits

Prerequisite: EC 0011.

This course covers international trade theory, U.S. commercial policy (tariffs, quotas), common markets, trade with and among developing nations, balance of payments disequilibria, and multinational enterprises.

EC 0233 International Economic Policy and FInance3 Credits

Prerequisite: EC 0012.

This course explores international financial relations. Topics include the international monetary system, exchange rate systems, balance of payments adjustment mechanisms, and changes in international finance relations. It treats theoretical concepts and considers governmental policy approaches to the various problems.

EC 0235 Economic Development of Third World Nations3 Credits

Attributes: LCEL LACS Minor: Elective, WDIV World Diversity

Prerequisites: EC 0011, EC 0012.

This course considers the nature and causes of problems facing low-income nations, with a focus on the impact that various economic policies have on promoting economic development.

EC 0250 Industrial Organization and Competitive Strategy3 Credits

Prerequisite: EC 0011.

Using microeconomic theory, this course examines the economic behavior of firms and industries, identifying factors affecting the competitive structure of markets and using these structural characteristics to evaluate the efficiency of resource use. Topics include mergers, measures of concentration, pricing, entry barriers, technological change, and product development.

EC 0252 Urban Economics3 Credits

Prerequisites: EC 0011, EC 0012.

This course analyzes the development of modern urban areas by applying the tools of economic analysis to their problems. Topics include transportation, housing, and the provision and financing of public services.

EC 0270 Engineering Economics3 Credits

Prerequisite: EC 0011.

Engineering projects must be analyzed based upon their technical soundness, but also upon their ability to attract investment dollars in a market economy. This course prepares engineering students to apply microeconomic, finance, and statistical methods as they analyze the economic feasibility of projects. Students will learn about capital budgeting, risk and uncertainty, demand analysis, production and cost modeling, and linear programming. They will apply Excel and other computer-based simulations to analyze data. The goal of the course is ultimately to provide the student with the economic decision-making skills he or she needs to plan, design, and finance engineering projects.

EC 0276 Public Finance3 Credits

Prerequisites: EC 0011, EC 0012.

This course examines government expenditure and tax policies with an emphasis on evaluation of expenditures; the structure of federal, state, and local taxes; and the budget as an economic document.

EC 0278 Economic Statistics3 Credits

Attributes: EVAP Environmental Studies: Applied Professional Skills

Prerequisites: EC 0011, EC 0012.

This course introduces students to descriptive statistics, probability theory, discrete and continuous probability distributions, sampling methods, sampling distributions, interval estimation, and hypothesis testing. A weekly lab provides opportunities for active exploration and application of course concepts.

EC 0278L Economic Statistics Lab1 Credit

Corequisite: EC 0278.

In this lab, students actively engage in the science of statistics. Activities include lectures on mathematical methods, advanced problem-solving projects, collaborative teamwork experiences, and computer applications appropriate to statistical analysis. Note: This lab is required of all students pursuing the BS in economics; it is not required for students earning the BA.

EC 0290 Mathematical Economics3 Credits

Prerequisites: EC 0011, EC 0012, MA 0016.

This course applies mathematical models and concepts to economic problems and issues. Mathematical techniques include calculus and matrix algebra. Economic applications include the areas of consumer theory, theory of the firm, industrial organization, and macroeconomic modeling.

EC 0298 Independent Study1-3 Credits

For economic majors only, this course is open to seniors by invitation or mutual agreement with the instructor.

EC 0299 Internship3 or 4 Credits

Students, placed in a professional environment by the department, use economic and analytical skills acquired from their courses in a non-academic job setting. Students submit a written assignment detailing their internship experience to a faculty sponsor by the end of the term. Enrollment by permission only.

EC 0320 Financial Markets and Institutions3 Credits

Prerequisite: EC 0210.

Topics include capital markets, financial intermediaries, equities, bonds, options, futures, security analysis, portfolio theory, and the efficient markets hypothesis. Students manage a hypothetical portfolio and use a computer model.

EC 0380 Econometrics3 Credits

Prerequisites: EC 0011, EC 0012; EC 0278 or MA 0217.

This course introduces students to the process used to formulate theories of economic behavior in mathematical terms and to test these theories using statistical methods. The course discusses the technique and limitations of econometric analyses as well as methods available for overcoming data problems in measuring quantitative economic relationships.

EC 0397 Microeconomics Seminar3 Credits

This seminar seeks to familiarize participants with recent developments in the discipline and sharpen research skills. Students complete a research project concerning a topic of their choice. The course includes computer applications. Enrollment by permission only.

EC 0398 Macroeconomics Seminar3 Credits

This seminar seeks to familiarize participants with recent developments in the discipline and sharpen research skills. Students complete a research project concerning a topic of their choice. The course includes computer applications. Enrollment by permission only.

Professors

Franceschi
LeClair
Nantz, c
hair

Associate Professors

Aksan
Lane
Murray

Vasquez-Mazariegos

Assistant Professors

Hiller
Shadmani

Assistant Professor of the Practice

Keefe

Instructor of the Practice

Martin

Lecturers

McCloghry

Professors Emeriti

Buss
Deak
Kelly
Miners