Economics Minor

Overview for Economics Minor

An economics minor provides a systematic analysis of economic issues through the study of the allocation of scarce resources into production and the distribution of production among the members of society.

Notes about this minor:

  • This minor is closed to students majoring in economics.
  • Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.

The plan code for Economics Minor is ECON-MN.

Curriculum for 2023-2024 for Economics Minor

Current Students: See Curriculum Requirements

Course
Prerequisite
Choose one of the following:
    ECON-101
Principles of Microeconomics
Microeconomics studies the workings of individual markets. That is, it examines the interaction of the demanders of goods and services with the suppliers of those goods and services. It explores how the behavior of consumers (demanders), the behavior of producers (suppliers), and the level of market competition influence market outcomes. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
    ECON-101H
Honors Microeconomics
This course introduces students to some of the important questions addressed in Microeconomics and the methodology used to address these questions. We will look at some of the basic models of consumer and firm behavior and study how implications are derived from these. We will also see how some of these simple models give insight into diverse questions such as: Should food stamps be given away freely to those who are poor, or should they be required to purchase them? Why are general practitioners (as opposed to specialists) disproportionately located in smaller towns? Why do firms bundle goods rather than just selling them separately? As far as the final impact is concerned, is there a difference in whether a tax is imposed on the sellers of a product or on buyers of a product? Microeconomics gives the tools to understand and evaluate implications of government as well as business policy decisions. In addition, it provides the foundation for the study of many other sub-disciplines in economics. (Honors Students) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
Required Course
ECON-201
Principles of Macroeconomics
Macroeconomics studies aggregate economic behavior. The course begins by presenting the production possibilities model. This is followed by a discussion of basic macroeconomic concepts including inflation, unemployment, and economic growth and fluctuations. The next topic is national income accounting, which is the measurement of macroeconomic variables. The latter part of the course focuses on the development of one or more macroeconomic models, a discussion of the role of money in the macroeconomy, the aggregate supply-aggregate demand framework, and other topics the individual instructor may choose. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Electives
Theory and Policy
Choose two or three of the following:
    ECON-401
Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
This course develops the tools that are commonly used to study the allocation of resources in a private enterprise economy. Topics covered include the theory of consumer behavior, cost and production, and alternate market structures. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course and MATH-161 or MATH-171 or MATH-181 or MATH-181A or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
    ECON-402
Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
The central question of macroeconomics is the determination of output, employment, and prices. This course develops models which incorporate behavioral assumptions concerning consumption, investment, and the role of money and their relationship to macroeconomic variables. Macroeconomics, unlike microeconomics, has been in a constant state of flux during the 20th and into the 21st century. Theories which purport to explain macroeconomic behavior have come into and gone out of fashion depending upon institutional changes and external factors. This course will primarily focus on examining four macroeconomic theories; the Classical, Keynesian, Monetarist, and New Classical models. In addition, macroeconomic public policy will be analyzed in the context of recent economic history. This analysis will be extended to consider open economy macroeconomics in a global context. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course and ECON-201 and (MATH-161 or MATH-171 or MATH-181 or MATH-181A) or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
    ECON-405
International Trade and Finance
This course first surveys the sources of comparative advantage. It then analyzes commercial policy and analyzes the welfare economics of trade between countries. Some attention is paid to the institutional aspects of the world trading system. Finally, the course introduces the student to some salient notions in international finance such as national income accounting, the balance of payments, and exchange rates. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course and ECON-201 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
    ECON-406
Global Economic Issues
This course is focused on understanding economic problems in a global perspective. The students will study the impact of globalization on economic growth and income disparity among countries. Global economic issues such as poverty, hunger, refugees, and transnational terrorism will be studied. We will also discuss global efforts to attain progress such as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The course work will emphasize the analysis of international economic data. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
    ECON-407
Industrial Organization
The study of the structure, conduct and performance of contemporary American industry. Involves the application of the tools of microeconomic analysis and empirical evidence to aid in understanding the behavior of modern industry. In addition, the course considers the historical determinants of contemporary market structure and the public policy measures designed to preserve a competitive market structure. The course concludes with an examination of alternative intellectual property rights mechanisms and how alternative mechanisms impact firm-level and economy-level innovation rates. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
    ECON-421
Natural Resource Economics
This course develops an economic perspective on one of the most important and challenging issues facing global society: the allocation, use, and preservation of natural resources. The course presents and discusses the methodology economists use to inform natural resource managers and policy makers. Economic thought and analysis are used to evaluate a variety of issues in this area. The course concludes with a brief discussion of the interdisciplinary aspects of natural resource management. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
    ECON-422
Benefit-Cost Analysis
Benefit-Cost Analysis fosters better understanding of the efficiency consequences of governmental micro-economic actions, both regulatory and fiscal. The course explores the logic, value and limitations of benefit-cost analysis as a public policy tool commonly used, and misused, in comparing the relative merits of alternative government actions. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
    ECON-430
Managerial Economics
Managerial Economics involves the application of economic theory to business decision-making. Most of the emphasis is microeconomic in nature, the theory of the firm and consumer theory, but there is some macroeconomic influence, particularly in the forecasting area. Since this is an applied economics course, it has a strong quantitative flavor. (Prerequisites: (ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course) and ECON-201 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
    ECON-431
Monetary Analysis and Policy
This course is a study of monetary behavior and the role of monetary institutions in the modern economy. The primary focus of the course is upon understanding how money plays a role in individual decision making units (i.e., households and businesses) and ultimately affects the macroeconomy (e.g., output, employment and inflation). The first part of the course begins with a discussion of economic methodology including introduction to regression analysis and an overview of money and the financial system; the course then proceeds to a discussion of interest rates, portfolio analysis and exchange rates. The second part of the course considers how money affects the macroeconomy by discussing the money supply process and considering theories which explain how changes in the money supply affect the economy. (Prerequisites: (ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course) and ECON-201 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
    ECON-441
Labor Economics
Labor Economics encompasses aspects of human involvement in the production & distribution of goods and services. We will examine models of behavior starting with the supply of and derived demand for labor. Through the course, we will investigate questions such as: What determines the amount an individual earns for their labor? What are the benefits associated with attaining a college degree? Is the minimum wage an effective policy tool? Is there convincing evidence of discrimination in the work place? (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
    ECON-445
History of Economic Thought
A survey of the various schools of thought that have developed in economics from Aristotle to the present. Representative economists from each of the major schools (Pre-Classical, Classical, Marxian, Neo-Classical, Keynesian, Monetarist, etc.) are studied. (Prerequisites: (ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course) and ECON-201 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
    ECON-448
Development Economics
This course provides an introduction to development economics, which focuses on the problems and challenges faced typically but not exclusively by the developing countries. In this course we will study the economic transformation of developing countries by focusing on the characteristics of land, labor and credit markets in rural areas of developing countries. We will survey the large literature on modeling economic growth and discuss relevant case studies from developing countries. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
    ECON-450
Health Care Economics
Examines the economics of health care, the organization of its delivery and financing, and analyzes access to care issues, the role of insurance, the regulation of hospitals, physicians, and the drug industry, the role of technology, and limits on health care spending. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
   ECON-453
 Behavioral & Experimental Economics
Over the past few decades, Experimental and Behavioral Economics have become two of the fastest growing and exciting fields of economics. This course will provide students with an introduction to many interesting concepts in both fields. In doing so, students will learn how experimental methodology can be used to provide insights about economic behavior in the areas of market exchange and strategic decision making. Additionally, students will be exposed to interesting topics in Behavioral Economics including: biases and heuristics, decisions under risk and uncertainty, inter-temporal choice, social preferences, bounded rationality, and learning. The concepts and methods covered in this course will be primarily illustrated by presenting recent experimental and theoretical studies, running in-class experiments, and by participating in group projects. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
   ECON-520
 Environmental Economics
This course examines the relationship and apparent conflict between economic growth and environmental quality, the economics of environmental issues and policy, the environment as a resource and a public good, and the ability and lack of ability of free markets and the government to deal adequately with pollution and other environmental problems. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Quantitative
Choose one or two of the following:
   ECON-401
 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
This course develops the tools that are commonly used to study the allocation of resources in a private enterprise economy. Topics covered include the theory of consumer behavior, cost and production, and alternate market structures. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course and MATH-161 or MATH-171 or MATH-181 or MATH-181A or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
    ECON-403
Econometrics I
Econometrics I provides students with the opportunity to develop their skills in applied regression analysis. It covers various regression estimation techniques, data preparation and transformation, and the interpretation of regression results. There is particular emphasis on the dangers of misuse of regression techniques. The course covers regression analysis for both cross-sectional and time series data. (Prerequisites: (ECON-101 or ECON-101H) and (MATH-161 or MATH-171 or 1016-171T or MATH-181 or MATH-181A) and (STAT-145 or CQAS-251 or MATH-251 or STAT-205 or STAT-251) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
    ECON-404
Mathematical Methods: Economics
Mathematical Methods: Economics provides students with an introduction to quantitative techniques used in economics such as matrix algebra, one- and multi-variable differential calculus, and unconstrained and constrained optimization. The emphasis of the instruction is on the application of these techniques to fortify and broaden a student's understanding of traditional economic topics like utility maximization, cost minimization, duality in consumer theory, expected utility, and profit maximization. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 and MATH-161 or MATH-171 or MATH-181 or MATH-181A or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
    ECON-410
Game Theory with Economic Applications
Game theory uses a mathematical approach to study situations of strategic interdependence, i.e., situations with two or more players in which each player's decision influences payoffs of other players and players are aware of this fact when making their decisions. Game theory has been applied to understand diverse economic, political and biological phenomena. We will study how to formulate situations of strategic interdependence as game theoretic models; how to explain/predict behavior of the parties involved, through the use of various equilibrium concepts; and/or identify guidelines for appropriate behavior. The concepts and methods will be illustrated with many examples. The objective is to introduce you to language of game theory and its methodology, and to develop analytical reasoning skills. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   ECON-411
 Computational Economics
The objective of the course is to introduce students to computational modeling in economics. The course is intended for students who wish to learn what role computation can play in economics, how to create computational models for studying economic phenomena, and how to use these computational economic models to draw insights into economic phenomena. We will use programming languages such as Julia, Python and R for modeling and analysis. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
   ECON-433
 Financial Economics
The main objective of the course is to analyze financial decision-making and the role of the financial sector in modern life. The course explores economic theory and modeling of asset pricing, risk management, and digital currency (cryptocurrency). The course examines the history of financial institutions and regulations in an economy and the important roles they have in promoting economic stability and growth. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 and ECON-201 and (MATH-161 or MATH-171 or MATH-181 or MATH-181A) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall).