Economics

Courses

101 - Principles in Economics I

An introduction to the economic way of thinking that includes both micro- and macroeconomic topics. We begin with an analysis of how market supply and demand help allocate resources and discuss market power, market failures, and the role of government regulation. We explore the determination of gross domestic product, the problems of unemployment and inflation, and macroeconomic policy making.

102 - Principles in Economics II

A continuation of Economics 101 that completes the coverage of economic principles by incorporating the development of more sophisticated analytical tools. Microeconomic topics include production costs, the behavior of firms under different market structures (competition, monopoly, and oligopoly), taxation and income distribution, and input markets. Macroeconomic topics include the Keynesian model of output determination, the monetary system, and the effects of fiscal and monetary policies. Prerequisite: Economics 101

151 - Entrepreneurial Leadership in the 21st Century

The 21st century has witnessed an explosion of practical interest, research, teaching on entrepreneurship and leadership across sectors of economic, social and political life. Entrepreneurial leadership connects critical thinking to creative problem-solving and solution seeking. The range of models includes technology innovators, social entrepreneurs, policy innovators, non-profit leaders, responsible business managers among others. This course will provide students with a synthetic and multi-disciplinary overview to entrepreneurial leadership at the individual, organizational, and societal levels. Students will engage with the latest thinking, practical case-studies, and guest-entrepreneurs from the social, economic, cultural and political spheres. Same as DWA 151

197 - Business Internship

Internship in a business or management setting. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. May not be repeated for credit.
2 units

233 - Accounting and Financial Analysis

Accounting principles and practices. Recording financial data, assets, liabilities, owner equity, income and expenses, preparing and analyzing financial statements. Not open to freshmen except by permission of instructor.

250 - Intermediate Micro-Economic Theory

Foundations of microeconomic theory. Topics include the analysis of consumer theory and decision making, the theory of the firm under perfect competition, general equilibrium, and market inefficiency arising from monopolistic/oligopolistic/strategic behavior, incomplete information, externalities, and public goods. Should be completed before the end of the sophomore year. Prerequisites: Economics 102 and Calculus 1 or equivalent. May be taken before or after Economics 251.  Should not be taken in the same semester as Economics 251. 

251 - Intermediate Macro-Economic Theory

A study of the factors which influence and are involved with the national economy. Aggregate analysis as applied to problems of national income accounting and determination, inflation, unemployment, modern economic growth, and the influence of the money supply. Prerequisites: Economics 102 and Calculus 1 or equivalent. May be taken before or after Economics 250Should not be taken in the same semester as Economics 250.

272 - Applied Econometrics

The use of regression and correlation to test economic hypotheses. Emphasis will be on the use and interpretation of single equation regression techniques rather than on their derivation. Not open to seniors Prerequisites: Economics 102; Calculus 1 and Mathematics 146 or equivalents; one additional Economics course above Economics 102; and familiarity with computers.
CORE REQUIREMENT MET: MATH/SCI

297 - Independent Study in Economics

Application of modern research methods to current problems in economics and related fields.
2 or 4 units

301 - Environmental Economics and Policy

The purpose of this course is to illustrate the role that economics can play in creating and improving environmental policy. We will apply the theories of economic efficiency, cost-benefit analysis, market failure, and property rights to environmental policy and regulation. We will cover the principles of market-based environmental policies and their applications in the world today. We will touch on all aspects of the economy's interaction with the environment including air and water pollution, global warming, environmental health, non-market valuation, and resource extraction. Prerequisite: Economics 101 or 102.

302 - Industrial Organization

A study of firms and industries in the United States economy. Topics include the acquisition and use of market power by firms, strategic behavior of firms in oligopoly markets, and antitrust policy. The course will approach topics from both theoretical and applied perspectives. Prerequisite: Economics 250

304 - The Chinese Economy

This course will analyze the Chinese economy since 1949. It will review the economy's development, the historical legacies of the command economy, and the economic reforms that brought about the transition to a market economy. The course also will analyze the current problems and future challenges that face the Chinese economy. It will end with a discussion of the relationship between the Chinese economy and the rest of the world. Prerequisite: ECON 102
CORE REQUIREMENT MET: CENTRAL/SOUTH/EAST ASIA and REGIONAL FOCUS

305 - Game Theory

This course is an introduction to the study of strategic interaction using the tools of game theory. The focus of the course is on developing a set of analytical techniques, with the goal of understanding and using game theoretical models in economics. The first part of the course introduces the basic framework and tools of game theory. The second part of the course covers a number of economic (and some non-economic) applications of game theory; specific topics may include auctions, bargaining, voting, and market competition. Prerequisite: Econ 250 or permission of instructor.

307 - Economics of Information

This course focuses on the economic implications of asymmetric information, which exists when one party in a relationship is better informed than another. For example, the seller of a used car has better information about the car's quality than the buyer; the owner of a firm cannot perfectly monitor the effort levels of employees. Asymmetric information represents an important deviation from the perfectly competitive model, and can give rise to inefficient outcomes. Applications that will be covered include corporate governance, labor markets, auctions, and public decision making. Concepts will be covered in a mathematically rigorous way. Prerequisite: Economics 250.

308 - Public Finance

An investigation of the economic principles of "market failure" and government involvement in the economy, especially in the efficiency and income redistribution effects of major U.S. tax/expenditure policies. We will develop a theoretical structure with which to analyze the microeconomic functions of government, and then apply this structure to analyze and evaluate current governmental policies in the areas of social security, health care, welfare reform, the environment, education, and especially the design and reform of the federal tax system. Prerequisite: Economics 250.

309 - Free Market Economics: The Austrian Perspective

Comparative Economic Systems: The Austrian Perspective. The Austrian School of Economics, so-named because of the national origin of its founders, is an alternative approach to economics that emphasizes methodological individualism and subjectivism. The Austrian School of Economics traces its roots back to the works of the Spanish Scholastics of the sixteenth century and stresses the importance of the individual, private property, limited government and the organizing power of the free-market. Students will read from authors such as Menger, Mises, Hayek, Kirzner, Rothbard and Hoppe and evaluate various properties of a state-planned economy versus a decentralized free market economy. Prerequisites: Economics 102.
 

311 - International Economics

Economic activity in a global context. The first part of the course covers the causes and consequences of international trade, with a consideration of both national welfare and income distribution issues. Coverage then turns to trade policy in theory and practice, with a focus on the current global trading environment under the World Trade Organization. The course finishes by examining international investment and debt issues, including the role played by the International Monetary Fund during global financial crises.
May not be taken for credit by students who have taken DWA 220/POL 232
Prerequisite: Economics 102;  or permission of instructor.

312 - International Finance

The theory and analysis of foreign exchange markets, macroeconomic policy-making in an open economy setting, international investment flows, and international financial institutions. The course also examines the international monetary system over the past century and looks at innovations in global financial institutions. Prerequisite: Economics 251

314 - Economic Institutions in Historical Perspective

This course examines the historical development and the role of institutions underlying market economies. It discusses the many forms which institutions, i.e., social norms, laws, and regulations, affect economic behavior and performance. Based on examples from United States and European economic history, topics will include contract enforcement, trading institutions, political institutions, financial institutions, property rights in land and environmental resources, regulation of labor and capital markets, and the origin and development of one of the most important economic institutions  the firm. We will pay particular attention to institutions that emerged in response to market failures and to the changing nature of economic institutions over time. Prerequisite: Economics 102

315 - Economics of Financial Markets

An empirical and analytical study of financial markets. Topics covered will include net present value calculations, the capital asset pricing model, financial derivatives, the efficient market theory, the term structure of interest rates, and banking. Prerequisites: Economics 250 and 251

319 - Law and Economics

This course examines the application of economics to the law. Studies of actual cases reveal how economics can be applied to address such questions as 1) whether an action violates the law, 2) who has experienced economic harm as a result of that action, and 3) what is the legally prescribed consequence. Specific applications include property rights related to technical innovation, competition in concentrated industries, and the extent of corporate liability. The primary context is the United States, but other legal systems provide some specific comparisons. Prerequisite: Economics 250

320 - Economic Development

Theoretical and empirical analysis of the process of economic development in Less Developed Countries. After examining several theories of growth and development we will discuss inequality and poverty, the effects of population growth and rural-urban migration, saving and financial markets, international trade, foreign aid and foreign borrowing, agriculture, and the role of the Government. Case studies will be drawn from the development experiences of Asian, Latin American, and African economies. Prerequisite: Economics102

324 - Economics of Immigration

This course examines the economic causes and consequences of immigration. The focus of the course will be on the United States' experience. However, we will also examine aspects of other international migrations. The course will focus on the economic reasons that motivate people to migrate to other parts of the world, the labor market and fiscal impacts of immigration on sending and receiving countries, and the economic consequences of U.S. immigration policy choices. Prerequisite: Economics 101

325 - Labor Economics

The goal of Labor Economics is to enable you to use economic analysis and reasoning to understand wage and employment determination in U.S. labor markets. This course will expose you to current theoretical and empirical debates within the discipline. We will cover such topics as labor force participation, labor demand unemployment, labor mobility, wage structure, labor unions, human capital investments (education and training), internal labor markets, and labor market discrimination. Relevant public policy issues such as the minimum wage, living wage ordinances, compensating wage differentials, immigration policy, affirmative action, income inequality, and welfare programs also will be addressed in this course. Prerequisite: Economics 250.  

326 - Economics of Human Resource Management

An application of economic analysis to various topics in personnel economics, including compensation and incentives, hiring, training, downsizing/buyouts, stock options, pensions, and teams, among many others. In order to add realism to, and applications for the analysis, students will discuss and evaluate numerous real-world mini-cases and more formal case studies. Students will be evaluated on the quality of their written work, problem sets, examinations, and discussion, and a variety of class formats will be used. Prerequisite: Economics 250. Note: students who take this course may not take Professor Moore's section of Economics 495

327 - Economics of Gender- Marriage, Motherhood & Money

An examination of the historical and contemporary economic positions of women in the United States, this course is designed as an overview of major theories, trends and debates on the topic of gender in the labor market. We will examine gender differences in economic outcomes through the use of economic models, including feminist extensions and critiques of such models. Topics include: the family as an economic unit; gender differences in education, work, training and income; and the economics of marriage, divorce and fertility. Course prerequisites: Economics 102
May not be taken by students who have credit for Economics 328.

328 - Economics of Race and Gender

An examination of the historical and contemporary economic positions of women and minorities. Topics include the economics of slavery, racial and sexual discrimination, labor market segmentation, wage differentials, labor force participation, red-lining, and income inequality. Relevant public policy issues such as affirmative action and welfare also will be addressed. Prerequisite: Economics 102
May not be taken by students who have credit for Economics 327.

332 - Economic Issues in Contemporary Asia

This course is a study of current economic issues in China, South Korea, Japan and India. These countries include two of the largest economies in the world (China and Japan), one of the fastest growing developed countries in the world (South Korea), and a rapidly growing country with enormous potential (India). The first part of the course will focus on the recent growth and development of China and South Korea, including the similarities between the rise of the US and the rise of China. The second part of the course will focus on Japan and India. A continuing topic will be to try to understand the usefulness and the limitations of Western economic thinking in understanding major non-Western economies and societies. Prerequisite: Economics 101 Counts as a “300-level class” for the purpose of completing an economics major only if the student has not taken Economics 304. Prerequisite: ECON 101 or 102
CORE REQUIREMENT MET: CENTRAL/SOUTH/EAST ASIA and REGIONAL FOCUS

337 - The Great Depression

The Great Depression of the 1930s was the most significant crisis of capitalism in modern history. It was global in its reach, decreasing economic output and production and bringing international trade and finance to a halt. Businesses and households suffered from banking crises, the restriction of credit, as well as the loss of employment. In the recent 2008 financial crisis, the memory of the Great Depression has often been invoked as a possible worst-case scenario. In this course, we will study the economic and historical circumstances that led to the instability of the economies in the 1920s and the devastating crash that followed. We will learn about the underlying economic models that explain the devastating economic collapse and analyze the political, social, and cultural ramifications of the widespread economic crisis. These include the political challenges to the existing systems of parliamentary democracy embodied in Fascism and Nazism, as well as those from the left. We will examine the social implications of massive unemployment and mass poverty, including homelessness, family dissolution, and "hoboism." We will look at cultural responses to the crisis, including attempts to represent the crisis realistically, as in the "New Realism" movements, and efforts to offer distraction from the devastation, such as the Shirley Temple and Busby Berkeley Hollywood films. We will also discuss the role of the interwar Gold Standard in propagating the crisis and look at policy measures taken to stimulate economic activity. Last we will analyze the macroeconomic lessons that have been learned from the Great Depression and look at their implementation and effectiveness in fighting the current economic slump. We will focus on the United States and selected European nations. Prerequisite: Economics 101 or 102. This is the same class as History 337

340 - Behavioral Economics

This course will provide an introduction to the relatively new field of Behavioral Economics. Standard models of economic theory provide a useful, but not always realistic way to characterize how individuals make decisions. In this course we will investigate the evidence showing how people may behave in ways that are not predicted by this standard theory. Individuals may exhibit nonstandard preferences, nonstandard beliefs, or nonstandard decision-making. We will look at each of these in turn with applications that may include saving, finance, labor supply, gift giving, voting, and addiction. The methodology of the course will not itself deviate from the standard way of doing economics; we will state clear assumptions, build models, determine their logical conclusions, and think about how to empirically test both the assumptions and implications of such models. Prerequisite:Economics 250 

350 - Managerial Economics

The application of economic theory and analytical tools to business and management decision making. Topics to be covered will include examples from a variety of fields, including pricing, ethics, entrepreneurial startups, strategy, new products, acquisitions, marketing, human resources, and production. The course will include a large number of case studies with required student presentations. Prerequisite: Economics 250

351 - Macroeconomic Policy Since the Great Depression

Since the financial crisis of 2008, the U.S. economy has languished:  unemployment has remained elevated, job growth has been anemic, and poverty rates have risen to levels not seen in decades.  What should policymakers do to help get the U.S. economy out of this mess?

This course revolves around this question.  It does so by analyzing the current macroeconomic policy challenges facing the United States from the vantage point of modern macroeconomics and economic history.  Students will read state-of-the-art empirical research in macroeconomics and develop a sense for how macroeconomists conduct research and make policy recommendations.  Special emphasis will be placed on exposing students to the major developments of U.S. macroeconomic policy since the Great Depression and on the role of history in guiding contemporary macroeconomic policy decisions and debates.  Prerequisite:  Economics 251.

361 - Topics in Macro-Economic Theory and Policy

This course examines issues in macroeconomics beyond those typically addressed at the intermediate level with a strong emphasis on macroeconomic policy. Specific topics include intertemporal choice in macroeconomics, inflation targeting and the risk management approach to monetary policy, international macroeconomics, recent advances in the study of the aggregate labor market, real business cycle models, government debt and the intertemporal government budget constraint, and time series macroeconomics. Prerequisite: Economics 251

397 - Independent Study in Economics

Advanced independent research in economics. For example, advanced Econometrics can be taken on an independent study basis. Prerequisites: Economics 250 and 251 or permission of instructor.

495 - Senior Seminar in Economics

An intensive application of economic analysis to issues chosen by the instructor, in consultation with students during the course. The course emphasizes the development of analytical, writing, team-work and presentation skills and is meant to be an opportunity for students to apply their economic training to specific topics. Complete descriptions of the seminars offered in a given year will be mailed out to students prior to the Spring registration. Senior status is required for this course. Students who will be off campus in the fall of their senior year must contact the department chair by the end of their junior year to arrange a substitute senior seminar.  Prerequisites:  Economics 272 (may be taken concurrently) and either Economics 250 or 251

Section 1 -  Economic Development
This seminar attempts to answer the following question, why are some countries so rich and others so poor. We will use economic principles to investigate how culture, religion, education, geography, climate, natural resources and the role of government and types of institutions determine wealth and economic growth. The course will focus on conceptual issues and their quantification, data analysis, and will not be oriented around mathematical derivations. Prerequisites: Economics 272 and Economics 250.   May not be taken by any student who has taken or is planning on taking Economics 320.

Section 2 - Free Market Economics: The Austrian Perspective
This seminar investigates an alternative approach to economics, the Austrian School of Economics, which emphasizes methodological individualism and subjectivism. The Austrian School traces its roots back to the works of the Spanish Scholastics of the sixteenth century and stress the importance of the individual, private property, limited government and the organizing power of the free-market. Students will read from authors such as Menger, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard and Hoppe and evaluate various properties of a state-planned economy versus a decentralized free market economy. Prerequisites: Economics 272 and Economics 250.  May not be taken by any student who has taken or is planning on taking Economics 309.

Section 3 -  Macroeconomic Policy since the Great Depression.
Since the financial crisis of 2008, the U.S. economy has languished:  unemployment has remained elevated, job growth has been anemic, and poverty rates have risen to levels not seen in decades.  What should policymakers do to help get the U.S. economy out of this mess?

The course revolves around this question.  It does so by analyzing the current macroeconomic policy challenges facing the United States from the vantage point of modern macroeconomics and economic history.  Students will read state-of-the-art empirical research in macroeconomics and develop a sense for how macroeconomists conduct research and make policy recommendations.  Special emphasis will be placed on exposing students to the major developments of U.S. macroeconomic policy since the Great Depression and on the role of history in guiding contemporary macroeconomic policy decisions and debates.  Prerequisites:  Economics 272 (or permission of the instructor) and Economics 251.  May not be taken by any student who has taken or is planning on taking Economics 351.

Section 4 -  Compensation, Productivity, and the New Economics of Personnel
All sections of Economics 495 have as their goal to further develop students' analytical thinking, writing, team-work, and presentation skills.  Our particular seminar will develop these skills by applying economic analysis to various topics in personnel economics, including compensation and incentives, hiring, training, downsizing/buyouts, stock options, pensions, and teams, among many others.  In order to add realism to, and applications for, the analysis, students will discuss and evaluate numerous real-world mini-cases and more formal Harvard Business School case studies.  Students will be evaluated on the quality of their written work, team problem sets, written examinations, and the quality of their contributions to the discussions of the case studies.  A variety of class formats will be used.  Prerequisites:  Economics 272 (or permission of the instructor) and Economics 250.  May not be taken by any student who has taken or is planning on taking Economics 326.

499 - Honors Thesis

Independent research with one-on-one faculty mentoring. After a brief introduction to thesis research methods, students will develop a topic and then write and present an honors thesis. Prerequisites: Senior status; Economics 250, 251, and 272 (or permission of the instructor); and permission of the department.


  • Chair Office: Fowler 225
  • E-mail: econ@oxy.edu
  • Phone: (323) 259-1304
  • Fax: (323) 259-2704