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Economics Courses

ECON 051. Economic Principles and Problems. 3 Units.

Students are introduced to the nature, significance and scope of economics. The principles of economic analysis are developed and used to examine current and/or controversial economic issues. Some sections may cover a wide variety of issues while may be offered with a particular focus (e.g. Environmental Economics, Health Economics, Economics of Gender.) This course is ideal for students who are unlikely to take another economics course and does not count towards the major or minor. Students can receive credit for ECON 051 only if it is taken prior to both ECON 053 and ECON 055. (GE1B)

ECON 053. Introductory Microeconomics. 4 Units.

Economic decisions of individuals and firms are studied as well as the evaluation of efficiency and equity in individual choice processes. The course examines the economics of monopoly and competition as well as the economics of pollution and governmental regulation. Prerequisites: Completion of the Fundamental Skills Math requirement, or placement into MATH 005 or MATH 005E. (GE1A, PLAW)

ECON 055. Introductory Macroeconomics: Theory and Policy. 4 Units.

Students study the national economy with special emphasis placed on policies designed to meet the national goals of full employment, stable prices and economic growth. The course examines the spending and saving behavior of households and business, government spending and taxing policies, and the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies. Prerequisites: Completion of the Fundamental Skills Math requirement, or placement into MATH 005 or MATH 005E. (GE1B, PLAW)

ECON 071. Global Economic Issues. 4 Units.

This course is an introduction to international trade, international finance and economic development. Economic principles and tools are used to understand the interconnected global economy. Topics include trade theory and policy; regional and multilateral trading system; trade and climate change; balance of payments; foreign exchange markets and exchange rate determination; and the role of foreign aid private capital flows and trade policy in economic development. Prerequisites: ECON 053; ECON 051 or 055. ECON 071 cannot be taken for credit if the student has taken or is concurrently enrolled in ECON 121 or ECON 123. ECON 071 is also listed as an SIS course. (ENST)

ECON 087. Internship. 1-4 Units.

ECON 087A. Internship. 1-4 Units.

ECON 093. Special Topics. 4 Units.

ECON 101. Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis. 4 Units.

The behavior of individuals and firms in a market economy are examined along with price theory, distribution and welfare economics. The course provides a rigorous development of the tools that economists use for studying the allocation of resources. Prerequisite: ECON 053 with a "C-" or better.

ECON 101L. Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis Laboratory. 1 Unit.

This addition to ECON 101 presents microeconomic theory in a more rigorous, formal and mathematical way. This course is necessary for students who complete the Bachelor of Science – Mathematical Economics Track or who plan to attend graduate school in Economics. Prerequisites: ECON 053; MATH 033 or MATH 051.

ECON 103. Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis. 4 Units.

This course examines the measurement of the level of economic activity the determinants of national income, employment and the price level. It also studies use and appraisal of economic data in the context of a dynamic market economy as well as stabilization problems and the relevance of fiscal, monetary and income policy. Prerequisites: ECON 053 and ECON 055 with a "C-" or above.

ECON 103L. Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis Laboratory. 1 Unit.

This addition to ECON 103 presents macroeconomic theory in a more rigorous, formal and mathematical way. It is necessary for students who complete the Bachelor of Science – Mathematical Economics Track or plan to attend graduate school in Economics. Prerequisites: ECON 053 and ECON 055; MATH 033 and MATH 051.

ECON 111. History of Economic Thought. 4 Units.

The rise and fall of schools of economic thought around the world, as well as specific ideas, theories, doctrines, applications and policies are examined. The course connects the history of economic thought with the history of the underlying economies. We examine the effects of economic evolution, economic revolution and changes in technology resources, as well as contemporary political, social and religious developments. Expect lively discussions, particularly of the political influences that affect individual economists and the implications of their work. We read works about and by Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, modern microeconomists, Veblen, Keynes, and others. Prerequisites: ECON 053 and ECON 055 or permission of instructor.

ECON 121. International Trade. 4 Units.

Students study the economic theory surrounding the exchange of goods and services between countries and the application of this theory to current international issues. Topics include the determination of world trade patterns, the effects of changing trade patterns on income distribution within a country; the pros and cons of trade barriers; trade concerns of developing countries; and the effects of international trade on the world’s natural environment. This course is also listed as an SIS course. Prerequisites: ECON 053 and ECON 055.

ECON 123. International Finance. 4 Units.

Students study the financial side of international economics. Topics include balance of payments accounts and the foreign exchange market; exchange rate determination and the macro economy; the international debt crisis and capital flight; and the history of international monetary systems. This course is also listed as an SIS course. Prerequisites: ECON 053 and ECON 055.

ECON 125. Economic Development. 4 Units.

Examines the plight of the world’s poor countries. Discussions of the extent of world poverty. and a review of the evolution of ideas on the topic of economic development over the past three decades are included. The course considers the following types of questions: What are the causes of development and/or underdevelopment? Are Third World countries merely at a primitive stage of development analogous to European countries prior to the Industrial Revolution? What are the roles of climate, the legal system, education, health and sanitation, natural resources, technology, multinational corporations, religious beliefs and so on? Are rich countries making a meaningful effort to aid poor countries? Can we, or even should we, help? Should emphasis be placed on the agricultural or industrial sector? This course is also listed as an SIS course. Prerequisites: ECON 053 and ECON 055 or permission of instructor. (ENST)

ECON 131. Public Finance. 4 Units.

Students study the role of the government in the economy. The course uses the tools of economic analysis to examine how government policies affect not only the efficiency with which the economy operates but also the welfare of its citizens. This course covers both the expenditure and the taxation sides of government activity, examines public choice questions of policy selection and implementation and, throughout the course, considers the equity implications of government actions. Primary focus is on government at the national level; however, significant attention is paid to issues relevant or specific to state and local governments. Prerequisites: ECON 053; ECON 051 or 055.

ECON 141. Money and Banking. 4 Units.

The nature of money and credit and their roles in directing the economic activity of a nation are examined. The course discusses the development and operation of the central bank and monetary institutions of the United States as well as problems of achieving full employment and price stability through monetary policy. Prerequisites: ECON 053 and ECON 055, or permission of instructor.

ECON 151. Urban Economics. 4 Units.

An economic analysis of the evolution, growth, and decline of urban areas and the location choice decisions of households and firms within urban areas. Attention then focuses on normative analyses of urban policy issues such as housing, poverty, crime and pollution. Prerequisite: ECON 053.

ECON 154. Industrial Organization and Policy. 4 Units.

The history, structure, conduct, and performance of industry as well as currently proposed industrial policy is examined. After studying the evolution of modern U.S. industries and firms; monopoly, oligopoly, and competitive structures in addition to anti competitive conduct among firms, the course analyzes government regulation of business, especially antitrust and price regulation policies, as well as recent trends to deregulation and reindustrialization. Prerequisite: ECON 053. Recommended: ECON 101.

ECON 157. Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. 4 Units.

The application of economic theory to natural resource and environmental issues is examined. Microeconomic principles are used to suggest what a proper balance between human activity and environmental quality might be and to analyze current environmental policy. Topics include renewable and non-renewable resources, common pool resources, climate change, non-market valuation, cost-benefit analysis, role of government and the private sector in environmental preservation. Prerequisite: ECON 053. (ENST)

ECON 160. Mathematical Economics. 4 Units.

A mathematical analysis of neoclassical theories of production and consumption. This course studies differential calculus and linear algebra applied to unconstrained and constrained extrema, including the envelope properties of optimization problems. Primary emphasis is placed on the application of mathematics to economic theory. Topics include competitive and noncompetitive firms and industries, Cobb-Douglas and CES production functions, the Slutsky equation, and applications of homogeneous functions to economics. Prerequisites: ECON 101, ECON 103, MATH 051 or permission of instructor.

ECON 161. Empirical Methods. 4 Units.

This course teaches students to use current statistical software to perform empirical analysis of economic theory and applications. It is designed to provide students with practical data and econometric analysis skills for the workplace (private sector or government). The course will cover data collection, entry management, analysis and presentation. Some Familiarity with computer programming is recommended. Prerequisites: ECON 053; ECON 055; MATH 035 or MATH 037 or MATH 130 or MATH 131 or INTL 101; or permission of instructor. (PLAW)

ECON 171. Political Economy. 4 Units.

This course introduces students to rational choice theory and applies it to the study of elections. The course starts with an analysis of group choice; how small and large groups make decisions and how different voting mechanisms aggregate individual preferences. The rigorous tools learned in the first half of the course are then used to analyze election behavior of political agents; namely voters, political candidates, and interest groups. Voter turnout, political polarization, campaign finance, and presidential elections are among the topics discussed. Prerequisites: ECON 051 or ECON 053.

ECON 173. Strategic Games and Behavior. 4 Units.

This course introduces the concepts and tools of game theory as an analytical framework for understanding strategic interactions and decision-making. The focus is on non-cooperative games with applications to economics as well as other areas. Coverage will include a variety of solution concepts such as Nash equilibrium in pure and mixed strategies, subgame perfect equilibrium and Bayesian equilibrium; simultaneous, sequential, and repeated games; and games with imperfect or asymmetric information. The emphasis of the course will be on the applicability of game theoretic analysis to real-world interactions. In addition, basic concepts of behavioral economics will be introduced and used to understand how and why the equilibria that result in many games are not those that would be predicted by rational choice theory. Prerequisite: ECON 053 or permission of the instructor.

ECON 180. Labor Economics. 4 Units.

This course examines labor's role in the market system and the response of labor and government to market failures. Microeconomic analysis of labor supply and demand, wage and employment determination, and the effects of discrimination are also studied as well as the development of the labor movement from a chronological and theoretical perspective with emphasis on the collective bargaining process. The influence of public policy on labor relations and labor market functioning is also discussed. This course is also listed as a Gender Studies course. Prerequisite: ECON 053. (ETHC)

ECON 183. Health Economics. 4 Units.

This course applies the tools of microeconomics to the study of health care. It provides an analysis of how decisions are made by health care providers, consumers, and third parties responsible for payments (e.g. health insurers). The course is built around individuals' demand for health care and the supply of services by doctors and hospitals. Topics covered include health insurance, managed care and industry competitions, the pharmaceutical industry, the role of the government as a provider of care, long-term care, international health comparisons, and cost-benefit analysis/cost-effectiveness analysis. Prerequisite: ECON 051 or ECON 053.

ECON 187. Internship. 1-4 Units.

ECON 190. Econometrics. 4 Units.

Students study the methods used to test economic theory with real-world data. The course presents the theory underlying common econometric methods and gives students experience in applying these analytical tools to data from a variety of sources. Students learn to develop testable hypotheses based on economic theories they have learned in earlier courses and to make reliable statistical inferences about these hypotheses. Students gain a working, applicable knowledge of the skills and software used by many professional economists and sought by many employers. Prerequisites: ECON 053; ECON 055; MATH 35 or MATH 037 or MATH 130 or MATH 131 or INTL 101. (PLAW)

ECON 191. Independent Study. 2-4 Units.

ECON 193. Special Topics. 1-4 Units.

ECON 197. Independent Research. 1-4 Units.

ECON 197D. Independent Research. 1-4 Units.

ECON 199. Economic Analysis Capstone. 3 Units.

This course is designed for Senior-level economics majors and minors to apply what they have learned about economic theory and tools of analysis to the types of problems and issues they may be required to address as practicing economists or in any other capacity their chosen career requires. Students will conduct research, review literature, analyze data and evaluate solutions for real-world economic policy questions. Prerequisites: ECON 101; ECON 103; MATH 037 or MATH 039 or INTL 101; Senior Standing.

Students who successfully complete an Economics degree, will have achieved the following Program Learning Outcomes:

Thinking critically from an economic perspective

Apply the theory and tools of microeconomic and macroeconomic analysis to explain historical outcomes and to critique contemporary policy from an economic perspective. 

Conducting economic analysis

Inform decision-making by developing an analytical framework to conduct research—working independently and as part of a team—including identifying, compiling, and synthesizing relevant information and interpreting data using appropriate statistical analysis.

Applying mathematical approaches to economics

Apply mathematical tools, concepts or approaches, as appropriate, to enhance comprehension of economic concepts and models. 

Communicating economic concepts and analysis

Clearly, concisely, and accurately communicate—orally or in written form—the process, results, and implications of economic analysis to a range of audiences. 

Economics Faculty

J. Farley Ordovensky Staniec, Associate Professor and Chair, 1993, BS, University of Delaware, 1986; MA (1988) and PhD, Duke University, 1993,

Michelle M. Amaral, Associate Professor, 2007, BS, University of the Pacific, 1998; MA, University of Virginia, 2001; PhD University of California, Davis, 2007,

Benjamin N. Dennis, Associate Professor, On Leave, 1996, BA, Michigan State University, 1990; PhD, Harvard University, 1996.

Dennis O. Flynn, Professor Emeritus, 1979, BS University of Nevada; MS, PhD University of Utah.

William E. Herrin, Professor, 1985, BS, Wilkes College, 1980; MA (1982) and PhD, State University of New York, Binghamton, 1985,

David E. Keefe, Professor Emeritus, 1978, BS, Cornell University, 1965; PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1980.

Sharmila K. King, Associate Professor, 2001, BA, University of York, England, 1992; MA, San Francisco State University, 1996; PhD, University of California, Davis, 2001,

Peter J. Meyer, Associate Professor, 1985, AB, Harvard University, 1972; PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1979.

Manizha Sharifova, Assistant Professor, 2015, University Degree in Economics, Khujand State University, Tajikistan; MSc, University of Manchester, England; PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2015.,