Our undergraduate degree in economics offers a variety of classes in the four main areas of economics. Below we describe some illustrative classes. Our classes are tailor-made by our faculty, given their expertise and students’ interests. This means that our classes are truly unique, but also that they vary year-to-year, depending on the available faculty.
International Trade (Econ 121) studies the economic rationale for international trade, the determinants of trade flows between countries, and the impact of trade on the distribution of income. This provides a foundation to study the economic and social impact of policies like quotas and tariffs.
Growth theory (164) tackles the big question: Why do some countries grow faster than others? The class provides a theoretical foundation using both the “neoclassical” and “endogenous” growth models. It also discusses key moments of economic history, such as the Industrial Revolution and Great Depression, drawing important lessons to better understand our modern economy.
Money and Banking (160) discusses the monetary system of the US. What is the role of the Federal Reserve System and how does it implement monetary policy? How does the Fed’s monetary policy influence interest rates, output and inflation?
Public Economics (130) introduces students to major government welfare programs such as pensions, social security and unemployment benefit. How should healthcare be financed? How should the money used to pay for it be raised?
Environmental Economics (134) studies policies that are designed to protect the environment. It uses empirical data to test hypotheses about pollution’s causes and consequences, and studies the design of policies that mitigate the harm, such as emissions taxes, standards, and cap-and-trade programs.
Labor Economics (150) studies the economics of the labor market. What are the impact of unions, or government policies like minimum wages? How do labor markets encourage investment in training, or discriminate between different groups of employees? What is the impact on labor supply decisions of such diverse factors as child care costs, commuting costs, income tax rates, and income replacement programs?
Behavioral economics (148) incorporates insights from psychology and other social sciences to improve the realism of economic models by incorporating features such as aversion for losses, problems with self-control, or concern for others. The class reviews some of the standard assumptions made in economics, examines evidence on how human behavior systematically departs from these assumptions and explores alternative models of human decision-making in order to help improve economic analyses.
Industrial Organization (170) studies the interaction between firms that possess market power. How do these firms use pricing to raise their profits? How do they interact strategically? Can government policies raise welfare without dampening incentives to innovate? What factors should Antitrust authorities look at in evaluating mergers or other market practices?
Mathematical Economics (145) provides a mathematical toolkit that is useful in a variety of areas of economics. The class also covers a variety of cutting edge topics in economic theory, such as the design of matching markets, or the study of auctions.
Economics Forecasting (144) teaches students about the time-series methods of forecasting used in economics, business, and government. The class discusses how to model trends, seasons and cycles, and provides a hands-on approach to real-world data analysis methods widely used by economists and other professionals.
Financial Econometrics (147) introduces student to the econometric modeling techniques used in empirical and computational finance. It first reviews the essential concepts in time series econometrics, and applies this to popular financial econometric models and estimation methods.
Advanced Econometrics (143) covers a variety of important empirical techniques. How do you analyze panel data (e.g. wages of many workers over many years)? How do you analyze qualitative dependent variables (e.g. the decision of whether or not to work)? How do you separate causation and correlation?