Courses Offered by the Economics Department
Note not all courses are taught every quarter.
Introduction to microeconomics and its applications to business decisions and public policy. Topics include supply, demand, and the coordinating role of prices in a market economy; the behavior of business firms, including output and pricing decisions; competition and monopoly; government policies and regulations affecting markets. (4 Units)
Special section of ECON 1 emphasizing environmental applications of economics. Introduction to microeconomics and its applications to business decisions and public policy. Topics include supply, demand, and the coordinating role of prices in a market economy; the behavior of business firms, including output and pricing decisions; competition and monopoly; government policies and regulations affecting markets. (4 units)
Determinants of national income and product in the long run and short run; inflation, unemployment, and business cycles; monetary and fiscal policies; and economic growth. Prerequisite: ECON 1. (4 units)
Analysis of international trade theory and policy, balance-of-payments adjustments and exchange-rate regimes, and economic development. Prerequisites: ECON 1 and 2. (4 units)
Honors section. Analysis of international trade theory and policy, balance-of-payments adjustments and exchange-rate regimes, and economic development. Prerequisites: ECON 1 and 2. Must be in the University Honors Program or Leavey Scholars Program, or have permission of instructor. (4 units)
Introduction to statistical methods for analyzing economic data. Emphasis on applications of multiple regression and establishing causality in observational data. Prerequisites: A grade of C− or better in ECON 1 and 2, and MATH 11 or 30, and MATH 8 or OMIS 40 or equivalent. Economics majors only, or by permission of instructor. Must enroll simultaneously in ECON 42. (4 units)
Hands-on course in obtaining and analyzing data using statistical software. Prerequisites: A grade of C− or better in ECON 1 and 2, and MATH 11 or 30, and MATH 8 or OMIS 40 or equivalent. Economics majors only, or by permission of instructor. Must enroll simultaneously in ECON 41. (2 units)
Data acquisition, manipulation, and visualization using statistical software, with hands-on applications to economics. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or better in ECON 41 and 42; or OMIS 30, 40, and 41. (2 units)
All upper division courses offered by the Economics Department are listed below.
Prerequisites: Unless otherwise noted, a grade of C− or better in ECON 1, 2, and 3 is required for all upper-division economics courses.
Exploration of the relationship among food production, resource use, and the environment. Topics include biotechnology, the green revolution, resource depletion, environmental degradation, and food safety. Also listed as MGMT 173. Prerequisite: None. (5 units)
Economic analysis of environmental issues and government policies for environmental protection. Applications to important environmental issues, such as global climate change, water and air pollution, hazardous wastes, biodiversity, and endangered species. Prerequisite: A grade of C− or better in ECON 1. (5 units)
Theory of rational individual choice and its applications to decision making, consumer demand, and social welfare; and economics of uncertainty and information. Additional prerequisite: A grade of C− or better in MATH 11 or 30. (5 units)
Theory of the firm; determination of price and quantity by profit-maximizing firms under different market structures; strategic behavior; general equilibrium; market failure and government policies. Additional prerequisites: A grade of C− or better in the following courses: ECON 113 and MATH 11 or 30. (5 units)
Macroeconomic analysis, emphasizing modern economic models for explaining output, employment, and inflation in the short and long run. Macroeconomic policymaking, including fiscal and monetary policy. Additional prerequisite: A grade of C− or better in MATH 11 or 30. (5 units)
Microeconomic analysis of the role of government in the market economy. Supply of public goods and services, government’s role in controlling externalities and regulating private industry, and the economics of the political process. (5 units)
Theoretical, institutional, and historical approach to the study of money and banking, with particular emphasis on the relationship between the monetary and banking system and the rest of the economy. (5 units)
Economic analysis of law and legal institutions focusing on the common law areas of property, contracts, and torts. (5 units)
Causes and consequences of economic growth and poverty in less developed countries; analysis of the role of government policies in economic development. (5 units)
Examination of the economic development of sub-Saharan African countries, with particular emphasis on the relationships between economic growth and their social, political, and economic structures. Additional prerequisites: A grade of C− or better in ECON 41 and 42, or by permission of instructor. (5 units)
Explores the gendered nature of poverty in the developing world, with special focus on sub-Saharan Africa, using applied statistical analysis, and economic theory. Also listed as WGST 121. Additional prerequisites: A grade of C− or better in ECON 41 and 42 or permission of instructor. (5 units)
The development of the U.S. economy during the 20th century. Topics include the causes and consequences of economic growth, the Great Depression, the rise of government regulation, the changing role of women in the workforce, and the increasing internationalization of markets during the postwar period. Additional prerequisite: A grade of C− or better in ECON 115. (5 units)
Development of Western and non-Western economies since the late 19th century. Topics include globalization and economic integration, convergence and divergence in economic growth across countries, international monetary systems, and the impact of alternative policies and institutional regimes on economic performance. Additional prerequisite: A grade of C− or better in ECON 115 or permission of instructor. (5 units)
Origins and evolution of economic ideas in their historical and philosophical context. Emphasis on the theories of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and Karl Marx, as well as the emergence of modern microeconomics and macroeconomics in the 19th and 20th centuries. (5 units)
Macroeconomic history of the United States since 1869. Productivity, economic growth, inflation, and recession in the US from the end of the Civil War to the present. Particular emphasis on the Great Depression and the Great Recession. Additional prerequisite: A grade of C− or better in ECON 115. (5 units)"
This course is an introduction to behavioral economics: the attempt to incorporate insights from psychology into economics. Though behavioral economics is a relatively new field, it has already led to multiple Nobel Prizes and is beginning to have a substantial impact in the field of economics, finance, marketing, management, and political science. In this course, we will study how behavioral economists explain a range of economic phenomena, and how those explanations differ from standard economic ones. The use of experiments to identify behavioral economic phenomena will be emphasized. We will study various ways in which (so-called) irrationality influences people's judgment and decision-making. Behavioral economics is invaluable to anyone with an interest in human behavior. No previous acquaintance with behavioral economics is necessary. Additional prerequisite: a grade of C- or better in Econ 113 and Econ 41 or OMIS 41 (5 units)
Tools of economic analysis applied to sports in pursuit of broader lessons and insights. Topics will include labor market discrimination, cartel theory, cognitive biases, strategy, labor unions, public policy, and profit maximization. The overriding objective is to use the observability of sports to help us understand economic decision-making in non-sports environments. Additional prerequisites: A grade of C– or better in ECON 41, 42, 113, and 114 (Econ 114 can be taken concurrently with Econ 142). (5 units)
This course covers topics related to the labor market including theory of labor supply and demand, determination of wages and employment in the labor market, human capital theory, income inequality, unemployment, and labor market discrimination. The course will cover basic institutional background and statistics on each issue, and develop economic models important to the evaluation of each topic. Applications to policy issues including minimum wage, negative income tax, unionization, and unemployment insurance. Emphasis on data analysis and empirical methods applied to the labor market. Additional prerequisites: A grade of C− or better in ECON 113, Econ 114 and ECON 41 and 42. (5 units)
This course deals with the important economic issues linked to education and will present an overview of the main theoretical and empirical knowledge available. The topics covered in this course will include: the impact of class size, the role of teachers, the return to education, the role of school choice and of tuition fees in higher education, and the role of early investment in long term labor outcomes. The course will discuss empirical methodologies used to analyze education systems worldwide. Examples will be taken from both developing and developed countries.
Goals of the course: Introducing students to the available literature on education and the methodology used to analyze education systems worldwide. At the end the course, students will be acquainted to rigorous quantitative methods used to analyze education and will have been in contact with the most prominent results available in the economics of education.
Additional prerequisites: A grade of C− or better in ECON 41 and 42. (5 units)
Health care spending currently accounts for 18% of GDP in the U.S., and is one of the fastest growing areas of public expenditure. The purpose of this course is to familiarize you with the US healthcare system, and introduce you to economic models related to the study of health care provision and payment. The topics covered in this course include demand for health care, health insurance markets, pharmaceutical companies and innovation, and U.S. institutions such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act.
Additional prerequisites: a grade of C- or better in ECON 41, 42, and 113. (5 units)
Economic analysis of real estate markets, including supply of and demand for land and improvements, legal aspects of real estate ownership and transactions, government
regulation and taxation of real estate, and real estate markets in urban and regional economies. Additional prerequisite: ECON 41 and 42 or OMIS 41 (5 units)
Examines theories and evidence regarding poverty and economic inequality in the United States. Evaluates alternative public policies aimed at combating poverty. (5 units)
Study of theories of economic justice with applications to economic issues and policy. Alternative theories to be considered include utilitarian, libertarian, welfare-economic, egalitarian, feminist, and religious moral perspectives. Topics include poverty and income distribution; economic inequality and mobility by class, gender, and race; the role of the government in promoting justice; effects of globalization; and justice under different economic systems. Additional prerequisite: A grade of C− or better in ECON 113. (5 units)
Analysis of current and historical differences in economic status by race, ethnicity, and gender; theory and evidence of discrimination; role of government policies. Additional prerequisite: A grade of C− or better in ECON 41 and 42. (5 units)
The standard classical models of microeconomic and macroeconomic theory are generalized and reformulated as mathematical systems. The primary goal of the course is to extract empirically testable propositions that would permit testing model veracity. Linear algebra and the tools of calculus including power series, the implicit function theorem, envelope theorems, and duality are used as the basis of analysis. Additional prerequisites: A grade of C− or better in MATH 11 or 30, and MATH 12 or 31, and ECON 113, or permission of instructor. (5 units)
The course will discuss the mathematical tools needed to analyze dynamic situations in economics. Applications to optimal decision-making over time with respect to natural resource allocations, manufacturing and storage paths, consumption/investment decisions, and stability of economic systems are discussed. Topics include optimal control, dynamic programming and calculus of variations. Additional prerequisites: A grade of C− or better in MATH 11 or 30, and MATH 12 or 31, and ECON 113, or permission of instructor. (5 units)
This course introduces game theoretical concepts and tools. Theoretical topics include Nash equilibrium, Subgame perfection, Bayesian-Nash equilibrium, Harsanyi transformation, commitment, and Perfect Bayesian Equilibrium. Applications to topics such as oligopoly, strategic investment, and agency theory are discussed. Additional prerequisites: A grade of C− or better in MATH 11 or 30, and MATH 12 or 31, and ECON 113, or permission of instructor. (5 units)
Statistical analysis of cross-section and panel data, with economic applications. Topics include identification of causal effects using panel methods, instrumental variables, and quasi-experimental techniques; models with binary outcomes; sample selection. Hands-on analysis of data using statistical software. Additional prerequisites: A grade of C− or better in MATH 11 or 30, and MATH 12 or 31, and ECON 41, 42, and 113. (5 units)
Methods to forecast and interpret hypotheses about time-varying economic variables. Topics include stationary and non-stationary series; characterizing time series in tractable ways; separating regular (trend and seasonal) and irregular parts of a time series; and examining identification and estimation strategies. Synthesize, present, and evaluate time series analysis to assess credibility. Additional prerequisites: A grade of C− or better in ECON 41 and 42, and ECON 115. (5 units)
Analysis of the theories of international trade and strategic interactions; assessment of the empirical patterns of trade; analysis of the political economy of protection; and applications to policies guiding international competition. Additional prerequisite: A grade of C− or better in ECON 113. (5 units)
Analysis of the monetary aspects of international economics, including the balance of payments, exchange rates and foreign exchange markets, speculative attacks and currency crises, and the implications of international trade and capital flows for macroeconomic activity and policy. Additional prerequisite: A grade of C− or better in ECON 115. (5 units)
This course provides a helicopter tour of the economics of intellectual property. The objective of the course is to offer students with an overview of some of the most topical and relevant (from a business and policy perspective) and interesting (from an academic and general interest perspective) topics surrounding intellectual property. The course covers in particular recent events related to intellectual property, such as the debate on vaccine patents, software patents, “patent wars”, patent litigation involving patent trolls, and standard essential patents. It also introduces students to the economics of other intellectual property rights, including trademarks, copyright, and design rights. The course material varies substantially across topics; it is both theoretical and empirical and cuts across a number of disciplines, most importantly law and economics.
Additional prerequisites: a grade of C- or better in ECON 113 and Econ 114. (5 units)
The economic determinants and consequences of innovation. Topics include research and development, joint ventures, patents and other intellectual property, university-industry and government-industry collaboration, and the relationship between antitrust and other regulatory policies and technological advances. Additional prerequisite: A grade of C− or better in ECON 114. (5 units)
Digitization has dramatically reduced the costs of data storage and transmission. The transformative force of the internet has, in many areas, changed fundamentally the ways consumers and companies interact. The course explores the impact of different digital technologies on the behavior of markets and market outcomes. It combines tools and insights from a number of fields, including industrial organization, labor economics, the economics of innovation, and applied econometrics. Topics covered include big data, copyright and online piracy, apps markets, online retailers, social media, online gaming, and virtual currencies. Additional prerequisite:: A grade of C- or better in ECON 113 AND ECON 114. (5 units)
Dynamic macroeconomic models are artificial economies that are designed for doing applied time-series analysis and policy simulation. This course provides an introduction to such models. Topics include a review of analytical and numerical tools for dynamic optimization; quantitative analysis of business cycle using the neoclassical growth theory; monetary policy analysis and projection using new Keynesian models; and other selected topics of economic dynamics. Problem sets include both theoretical and computer exercises. Additional pre-requisites: A grade of C– or better in Econ 41, Econ 42, Econ 113 and Econ 115 (5 units).
Designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of macroeconomics and useful rigorous analytical and statistical skills. Topics covered include economic growth, and monetary and fiscal policies in business cycles. Analyze these topics in theoretical models, and validate the theories using actual data with R. Additional prerequisites: A grade of C– or better in ECON 41, 42, and 115. (5 units)
Seminar on contemporary economic theories and problems. Admission by invitation only. (5 units)
Independent projects undertaken by upper-division students with a faculty sponsor. Independent studies are normally permitted only under special circumstances. Prerequisite: Written proposal must be approved by instructor and chair at least one week prior to registration. (1–5 units)