Economics Courses

2014-15 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

ECO 111 PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS (4 sh)
An introduction to the fundamentals of both microeconomics and macroeconomics, including supply and demand, the theory of the firm, consumer behavior, macroeconomic equilibrium, unemployment and inflation. The course also introduces students to economic methodology, including creating arguments, empirical verification and policy decision-
making. Offered fall, spring and summer.

ECO 203 STATISTICS FOR DECISION MAKING (4 sh)
Applications of statistics to create knowledge useful for decision making. Bayesian probability, hypothesis testing, process and quality control and multivariate statistics, including multiple linear regression and forecasting are among the topics covered. A standard spreadsheet program will be used for most applications and oral and written presentation of statistical results will be required. Prerequisite: completion of the first-year core math requirement.

ECO 261-69  SEMINAR: INTRODUCTORY ECONOMIC ISSUES(4 sh)
A series of courses covering contemporary issues in economics not otherwise covered in the curriculum. The topics will vary around a common theme of timeliness. These courses are appropriate to students from across the university irrespective of major or level.

ECO 271-79 INTRODUCTORY SPECIAL TOPICS IN ECONOMICS (1-4 sh)
These courses will be offered occasionally and are designed for students with little or no prior background in economics. Each course will study a timely topic or issue in economics in a manner that will meet the Society requirement of the Studies in the Arts and Sciences graduation requirement.

ECO 301 BUSINESS ECONOMICS (4 sh)
What functions do firms serve, and where do firms fit in a market economy? We will explore these questions by analyzing two perspectives. The first perspective is that firms are rational agents in markets, maximizing profits subject to the constraints of demand, production, cost and market structure. The second perspective is that a firm is a complex organization that has emerged in response to problems of information, strategy and value maximization. In the first perspective, firms are subordinate to markets. In the second perspective, the firm can often coordinate activity more effectively than markets. How — and when — is this possible? Prerequisites: ECO 111, 203 or for statistics majors only MTH 220/STS 212 and MTH 116 or 151. Offered fall, spring and summer.

ECO 302 MONEY AND BANKING (4 sh)
Students learn about the history and structure of the U.S. financial system. Exploration of the interaction between the primary financial markets — money, bonds and foreign exchange — is fundamental to this understanding. The theory and conduct of monetary policy is also developed, with particular attention paid to the evolution of the international monetary system. Applied Macroeconomics. Prerequisites: ECO 111 and 203 or for statistics majors only MTH 220/STS 212. Offered spring.

ECO 310 INTERMEDIATE MACROECONOMIC THEORY (4 sh)
This course concentrates on the theory of economic growth and the business cycle. Building on the simple Keynesian spending model, the IS-LM general equilibrium model is developed. Current policy debates, as well as debates within the discipline, are explored and evaluated. Particular emphasis will be placed on the interaction of the theoretical and empirical components of macroeconomics. Prerequisites: ECO 111; MTH 116 or 121; or permission of the instructor. ECO 203 is required as either a prerequisite or a co-requisite, or for statistics majors only, MTH/STS 212 as a pre- or co-requisite Offered fall and spring.

ECO 311 INTERMEDIATE MICROECONOMIC THEORY (4 sh)
With this study of how individual agents, both firms and households, interact in various kinds of markets, students gain a better understanding of household economic behavior, firm behavior and the conditions under which prices can most effectively allocate scarce resources. Prerequisites: ECO 111; MTH 116 or 121; or permission of the instructor. ECO 203 is required as either a prerequisite or co-requisite, or for statistics majors only, MTH/STS 212 as a pre- or co-requisite Offered fall and spring.

ECO 314 INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND FINANCE (4 sh)
This course focuses on how policies implemented by a country, both in trade and finance, influence its welfare at home and abroad. Topics in trade include specialization and gains from trade; determinants of trade patterns; the role of increased globalization on a nation’s competitiveness and its distribution of income; the political economy of protectionism at the national, regional (NAFTA, EU) and international (WTO) levels; and the use of trade policies to influence development and growth. Topics in finance include balance on international payments, the foreign exchange market, the economic policy adjustments under fixed and flexible exchange rates, and focuses on the problems of international finance and international investments across countries. Applied Macroeconomics. Prerequisite: ECO 111. Offered spring.

ECO 315 ECONOMIC HISTORY (4 sh)
This course introduces and analyzes the importance of economic issues in the history of nations and regions. In the words of J.M. Keynes, “indeed the world is driven by little else.” The course is structured so that work will focus on a particular region of the world. The overarching objective of the course is to develop students’ appreciation of the importance of economic activity and economic structures in the historical development of society. Prerequisites: Junior standing or ECO 111.

ECO 317 GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT (4 sh)
This course is designed to help students investigate the economic status of women in the labor market, how that role has changed over time and the differences between labor market outcomes for both men and women. It involves a comparison of women and men with respect to labor supply (market and nonmarket work), wage rates, occupational choices, unemployment levels, and the changing role of work and family. Topics include discrimination, pay inequity, occupational segregation, traditional and nontraditional work, resource ownership, poverty, race, the global economic status of women and public policy issues, such as comparable worth and family-friendly policies designed to bridge the gap between women and men. Prerequisites: Junior standing or ECO 111.

ECO 320 HEALTH ECONOMICS (4 sh)
Over the past decade, some of the most heated political debates have centered on health care policy and reform. In this class, we will investigate health and healthcare markets using economic theory and analysis. As an applied economics course, our goal will be to objectively assess the allocation of scarce resources within the context of the U.S. health care system. Topics may include the demand and supply of health care and health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, comparative health systems and reform, causes and consequences of obesity, and economic models of tobacco and alcohol addiction. Prerequisite: ECO 111 and ECO 311 or permission from instructor.

ECO 321 LABOR ECONOMICS (4 sh)
This is a course in the economics of labor markets. The course develops theory regarding labor demand, labor supply, equilibrium outcomes in the market for labor services, and public policy affecting labor markets. It also recounts for modification of traditional wage theory. Economic aspects of labor unions, bargaining theories of wages, minimum wage
legislations, labor supply incentives of various welfare programs, occupational licensure, labor mobility, migration and discrimination theories are issues of interest. Prerequisite: ECO 111 and ECO 311 or permission from instructor.

ECO 335 ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS (4 sh)
This course explores the interaction of economic forces and policies with environmental issues. What are the costs of pollution and what are we buying for those costs? Who bears the burden of environmental damage? How might we reduce environmental impact and how do we decide how much damage is appropriate? Applied Microeconomics. Prerequisite: ECO 111. Offered spring.

ECO 347 INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMETRICS (4 sh)
This course explores the statistical problems associated with the measurement and evaluation of economic models. As such, it requires the simultaneous consideration of economic theory. The focus of the course is on the application of econometric techniques to real world problems encountered in economics. We begin with simple regression analysis and proceed to investigate the problems of multicollinearity, heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation. Advanced topics include limited dependent variable models and cointegration. Prerequisites: ECO 111 and ECO 203, or for statistics majors only, MTH 212 and MTH 116 or 121 or higher or permission of instructor.

ECO 348 MATHEMATICAL ECONOMICS (4 sh)
This course is designed to provide students in economics and mathematics with an opportunity to learn and use the tools of economics in the manner in which they are employed in the profession. While mathematical techniques such as constrained optimization and multidimensional modeling will be taught, the principal aim of the course is to develop students’ facility with using mathematics as a basis for economic reasoning. Prerequisites: ECO 203, ECO 310, ECO 311 and MTH 116 or higher or permission of instructor.

ECO 349 HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT (4 sh)
Students survey the evolution of economic thought from antiquity to the present and learn to identify and critically evaluate various schools of economic thought. In particular, students will develop a sense of economics as part of the larger sweep of intellectual advancement and the place thoughts about economic matters occupy in human knowledge.
Prerequisites: ECO 310 and 311 or permission of instructor.

ECO 355 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS ECONOMICS (4 sh)
Business Economics focuses on where firms fit in the analysis of market activity, how economists see the problem of organizing economic activity, understanding when markets solve that problem and why they sometimes do not and how businesses have emerged as a response to the organization problem. This course considers these issues both domestically and globally. This course is open to Business Fellows only with the prerequisites of ECO 111, ECO 203, and MTH 121 or higher. Offered fall.

ECO 357 FORECASTING AND TIME SERIES ECONOMETRICS (4 sh)
This course begins with a review of simple linear regression and then continues with more advanced topics in multiple regression such as autocorrelation, heteroscedasticity, multicollinearity, regression interaction terms, functional forms, partial F and Chow tests, among others. The course concludes with time series forecasting techniques such as exponential smoothing models, moving averages and more sophisticated techniques such as time-series decomposition, ARIMA (Box-Jenkins) and others. The course material is applied to economic, business and financial topics. Excel with the add-in package ForecastX and SAS Enterprise Guide software will be used.

ECO 361-69 SEMINAR: INTERMEDIATE ECONOMICS ISSUES (4 sh)
These courses will be offered occasionally and are designed for students with some background in economics. Each course will study a timely topic or issue in economics in a manner that will meet the Society requirement in the Arts and Sciences or the Advanced Studies graduation requirement.

ECO 371-79 INTERMEDIATE SPECIAL TOPICS IN ECONOMICS (1-4 sh)
A series of courses reflecting new contributions in economics or specialized areas not otherwise covered in the curriculum. Topics have included “Starting a Small Business,” “The European Union via the Internet” and “The Economics of Sport.” Prerequisites: Will vary with the topic but will generally include junior standing or ECO 111 and 203.

ECO 381 INTERNSHIP IN ECONOMICS (1-8 sh)
This course provides opportunities for students to apply concepts and information gathered in the economics classroom to actual experience in the community. Placements may include businesses, not-for-profit organizations or teaching assistants in lower-division economics classes. Prerequisites: Junior standing or ECO 111 and 203 or permission of instructor. Offered fall, winter, spring and summer.

ECO 391 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-4 sh)
Students pursuing the major or minor in economics may complete individual study in an area of special interest that is not otherwise covered in regular course offerings. Study is to be undertaken under the guidance of a member of the economics faculty. An Independent Study form must be completed prior to registration. Prerequisites: Junior standing or ECO 111 and 203 or permission of instructor. Offered fall, winter, spring and summer.

ECO 399 RESEARCH IN ECONOMICS (1-4 sh)
In collaboration with an economics faculty member, students undertake an empirical or theoretical study of a topic in economics. Research topics may include a review of the relevant research literature, data collection and analysis, and a presentation or report when the study is completed. A research proposal form, completed by the student in conjunction
with the faculty member, is required for registration. Students may register for 1-4 hours of credit per semester and may register for more than one semester of research. Prerequisites: Junior standing or ECO 111 and 203. Offered fall, winter, spring and summer.

ECO 410 ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT (4 sh)
This is a blend of Economic Growth and Economic Development. In the first half of the course we will develop the neoclassical growth model—the workhorse of modern macroeconomics to provide the theory for why countries experience economic growth and raise standards of living. The second half of the course will focus on Economic Development. By combining economic models and case studies, one can draw lessons regarding what approaches have worked to alleviate poverty. The course pays particular attention to situations that have led to economic crises and growth miracles.  We will also take a critical look at the role of the United Nations in economic development. Prerequisites: ECO 310, completion or concurrent enrollment in either ECO 301 or ECO 311 or permission of instructor.

ECO 421 INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION AND REGULATION (4 sh)
This is a policy course concerned with the structure of firms and markets and their interactions. Real world market frictions such as limited information; transaction costs; costs of adjusting prices; advertising, research and development expenses; government actions; and barriers to entry by new firms into a market will be examined. This course offers a critical understanding of specific industries such as computers, airline, automobile, telecommunications, etc. Students study how firms in such industries strategically react to rivals and customers and further examine the impact of antitrust regulation, public utility regulation and social regulation on American business. Applied Microeconomics. Prerequisites:
Completion or concurrent enrollment in ECO 310 and ECO 311 or permission of instructor.

ECO 430 EXPERIMENTAL ECONOMICS (4 sh)
This course will develop your ability to learn from experience. We will explore the general principles of experimental design and review the history of experimental economics. The primary student task in the course will be to design, implement, analyze and describe a significant experiment. We will use the statistical software SAS to analyze the data. No previous experience with SAS is needed. Prerequisites: Completion or concurrent enrollment in ECO 310 and 311 or permission of instructor.

ECO 432 PUBLIC FINANCE (4 sh)
This course lies at the intersection of economics and political science. The principal issue is an examination of the question: “What is the proper role of government in the economic sphere?” Specific topics include optimal taxation, tax incidence, expenditure analysis, how governments decide among alternative programs, public production, and bureaucracy and equity-efficiency tradeoffs. The course deals with the relationships among governments at the federal, state and local levels from both theoretical and applied perspectives. Applications vary from year to year, but will likely include health care, defense, social insurance, welfare and education. Applied Microeconomics. Prerequisites: Completion or concurrent enrollment in ECO 310 and 311 or permission of instructor.

ECO 440 URBAN ECONOMICS AND PLANNING (4 sh)
A study of the development of cities and how public policy has and can affect their form and health. Land values, urban problems, urban transportation, zoning and planning and local government finance will be covered. Prerequisites: Completion or concurrent enrollment in ECO 310 and 311 or permission of the instructor.

ECO 465 SENIOR THESIS WORKSHOP (2 sh)
This seminar will develop your abilities to do independent research using the concepts and tools of economic analysis. The principal assignment for this fall semester course is to undertake a research project and to produce and present a literature review and a proposal for your senior thesis. The thesis itself will be due at the conclusion of the spring semester. Offered fall semester.

ECO 471-79 ADVANCED SPECIAL TOPICS IN ECONOMICS (1-4 sh)
A series of courses reflecting new contributions in economics or specialized areas not otherwise covered in the curriculum. Prerequisites: Will vary with the topic but will generally include completion or concurrent enrollment in ECO 310 and 311. Offered fall, winter and spring.

ECO 481 ADVANCED INTERNSHIP IN ECONOMICS (1-4 sh)
This course provides opportunities for students to apply concepts and information gathered in the economics classroom to actual experience in the community. Placements may include businesses, not-for-profit organizations or teaching assistants in lower-division economics classes. Prerequisites: Will vary with the topic but will generally include completion or concurrent enrollment in ECO 310 and ECO 311 or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to economics majors. Offered fall, winter, spring and summer.

ECO 491 ADVANCED INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-4 sh)
Students pursuing the major or minor in economics may complete individual study in an area of special interest that is not otherwise covered in regular course offerings. Study is to be undertaken under the guidance of a member of the economics faculty. An Independent Study form must be completed prior to registration. Prerequisites: Will vary with the topic but will generally include completion or concurrent enrollment in ECO 310 and ECO 311 or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to economics majors. Offered fall, winter, spring and summer.

ECO 495 SENIOR THESIS (2 sh)
This is the culmination of the economics major and serves as the student’s required comprehensive evaluation in the major field of study. For this research project, economics majors work individually with a professor to build on work done in previous courses, culminating in a work of presentation quality. The completed work is to be presented in a public forum such as Elon’s Spring Undergraduate Research Forum, national or regional professional society meetings or at a campus-level economics symposium. In addition, all students are to present their work before the collected faculty, students and guests of the economics department. Prerequisites: ECO 310, 311 and eight additional hours of economics numbered 300 or above; senior economics majors only.

ECO 499 UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH (1-4 sh)
In collaboration with an economics faculty member, students undertake an empirical or theoretical study of a topic in economics. Research projects may include an extensive review of literature, data collection and econometric analysis and public presentation (oral or written) of the study after completion. Prerequisite: Approval of faculty mentor and department chair.  

This page was updated June 27, 2014.