Course Descriptions

Economics Courses

ECON 101 Principles of Economics An introduction to the concerns and methods of economics, covering both microeconomic and macroeconomic principles. This course analyses how markets work and how economic decisions are made. It considers the interactions of firms and households in individual markets as well as the workings of national and international economies. The class will examine current economic issues and study how policy can be used to address economic problems.
ECON 160 Statistics for Business and Economics Designed to give economics and business students the quantitative skills necessary to understand as well as undertake a serious research project. The emphasis in this course is on statistical inference and basic econometrics. The main topics covered are probability and probability distributions, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis. Computer software will be used to apply these techniques to relevant economic problems. Students may substitute MATH 260 for ECON 160. ECON-101 with a C- or better. Cross-listed with BUSN-160. Students can only earn credit for one of the following courses: MATH-260, MATH-261, ECON-160, or BUSN-160.
ECON 225 Economic Development and Growth The course explores the topic of economic development; what is the meaning of economic development and why some countries are "developed," while others are not. It explores what tools and policies can be used to improve the level of income and development in nations. It studies theories of economic development and models of economic growth and sheds light on topics such as population growth, human capital, income inequality, environmental impacts, and institutional frameworks. ECON-101 with a C- or better
ECON 235 Environmental and Resource Economics Study of the economic perspective of environmental and resource problems and issues; the management and allocation of renewable and nonrenewable resources; the trade-off between economic growth and environmental amenities; and the impacts of natural resource availability on economic growth. Emphasis on the development and application of economic theory to contemporary natural resource issues. ECON-101 with a C- or better
ECON 240 Economics for Global Travelers This Sophomore Seminar examines how economics can contribute to a better understanding of the world and our place in it. We will look at differences, similarities, and linkages among the economics of various nations. We will study flows of money, products, people, technologies, and ideas across national borders. The approach will be non-technical with an emphasis on understanding economic ideas. We will spend more time writing and discussing than on models or equations. Does not count toward economics or business major. Sophomores only. Cross-listed with ECON-240.
ECON 245 Money, Banking, and Financial Markets This course is intended to give students a broad overview of the functions of the financial system and monetary policy in the U.S. and the global economy. It covers the Bond, Stock and Foreign exchange markets and how interest rates, stock prices and the value of the dollar in terms of foreign currency are determined. Bank balance sheets, Interest rate risk, liquidity, asset and capital adequacy management are also covered. The functions, history and role of the Federal Reserve (The Fed), the goal of monetary policy and monetary policy tools are discussed in detail. ECON-101 with a C- or better and MATH-112. Restricted to those who have not had ECON 306 and/or BUSN350. Open to Junior and Senior Economics and Business majors and all Sophomore and First-Year students. Cross-listed with BUSN-245.
ECON 262 Fiscal & Monetary Policy in Times of Crisis Since the financial crisis of 2009, countries have used unusual and novel fiscal and monetary policies in their attempts to stabilize and grow their economies. New policies include austerity bail-outs, zero interest rates, and quantitative easing. We will examine the theoretical underpinnings of these policies as well as their real world impacts. ECON-101 with a C- or better
ECON 265 Issues in Urban Economics This course is both an introduction to urban economics and an in-depth study of one current urban issue. We will examine why cities exist, where they develop, and how they grow and decline. We will also study the economic aspects of contemporary urban planning and development policy issues such as land use zoning, housing, traffic congestion, publicly vs. privately provided goods. ECON-101 with a C- or better
ECON 275 Industrial Organization and Public Policy This course studies the impact of market structure on strategy, conduct, and economic performance. This course will use industry studies to develop the theoretical framework of industrial organization, to examine economic problems related to different market structures, and to analyze public policy. We will spend a substantial amount of time on the history of individual industries. We will explore U.S. public policy towards industry, with an emphasis on antitrust. ECON-101 with a C- or better. Cross-listed with BUSN-275.
ECON 280 Law and Economics This course studies the interaction between the legal system and the market system. It examines why law is necessary for markets to function and it uses economic principles to analyze laws. This course uses basic tools of economics to understand a variety of legal issues. Topics covered include property and contracts, civil vs. criminal law, antitrust, environmental regulation, and international trade policy and regulation. ECON-101 with a C- or better
ECON 290 Selected Topics in Economics Special Topics offerings focus upon topics not addressed in the department's regular offerings. The course can be repeated with a different topic. Check the course schedule to see when Special Topics courses are being offered. ECON-101 with a C- or better Open to Junior and Senior Business majors and all Sophomore and First-Year students.
ECON 290 Health Economics This health economics course is designed to introduce students to economic tools used in analyzing health care outcomes and challenges. Topics of this course will include basic economic concepts important for the study in health economics, aspects of the US health care market, why health is different from other goods, health externalities, health insurance, information asymmetries, healthcare reform, and disparities in access to health care. Students should be able to think critically about health-related policy issues by the end of the class. This course can count for the Economics Major. Cross-listed with CGHL-295. Prerequisite: ECON-101 ECON-101 with a C- or better
ECON 305 Intermediate Microeconomics This course deals with (1) the study of the theories of household and firm behavior, equilibrium analysis, market structure, pricing, economic efficiency, and social welfare; and (2) the applications of microeconomics theory to solve real problems faced by actual decision makers in industry and government. ECON-101 with a C- or better and ECON-155 BUSN-155 or MATH-112 are required; a 200-level Economics or Business course os recommended. Open to Junior and Senior BUSN/ECON majors and all Sophomore and First-Year students.
ECON 306 Intermediate Macroeconomics This course introduces the major schools of thought in macroeconomics theory, including the Classical, Keynesian, Monetarist, New Classical, and New Keynesian models. Topics covered include: the determinants of long-run economic growth; IS-LM framework and aggregate demand and supply framework in a closed economy; the short run fluctuation of the economy; the influence of monetary and fiscal policy; and alternative theories about aggregate supply. ECON-101 with a C- or better and MATH-112 is required; 200-level Economics or Business course is recommended. Open to Junior and Senior BUSN/ECON majors and all Sophomore and First-Year students.
ECON 315 Public Sector Economics Examination of federal, state, and local budget priorities and programs from both theoretical and case study approaches. Implications of different taxing and spending decisions will be analyzed. ECON-305
ECON 360 Econometrics This course focuses on econometric theory and practice. Topics covered include the classical regression model, serial correlation, and time series estimation. In this computer lab based course, students will apply econometric techniques to economic questions and issues. ECON/BUSN-160 or MATH-260 or 261 and ECON-305 or ECON-306 Open to Junior and Senior Economics and Business majors and all Sophomores and First-Year students.
ECON 405 International Trade This course explores the gains from specialization and trade within the context of various international trade models. The course studies different market failures impact on the gains from trade. It studies the instruments of trade policy and their welfare effects and carefully explores the political economy of trade policy. Prerequisite: ECON-305. Cross-listed with BUSN-405. ECON-305
ECON 490 The Opioid Crisis This senior seminar explores the intersection of the War on Drugs, pharmaceutical company profit seeking, international poverty and the search for marketable crops, and impacts on American communities and families. We will examine markets, market failures, business models, and government intervention along the way. ECON-305 and ECON-306 Open to Senior Economics and Business majors.
ECON 490 Financial Frictions & Monetary Policy This seminar provides a critical in depth understanding of the relationship between the financial sector and monetary policy in the context of the 2008/09 financial crisis. It covers the topics related to conventional and unconventional monetary policy, the Zero Lower Bound (ZLB) and forward guidance, the effect of monetary policy on asset prices, monetary transmission mechanisms, moral hazard and adverse selection in financial markets, the yield curve and term premiums and the role of monetary policy in financial stability. Most of the topics will be supported by empirical exercises on Eviews or Matlab. Prerequisite: Econ 306 Open to Senior Economics and Business majors ECON-306. Open to Senior Economics and Business majors.
ECON 490 Financial Crisis This course examines various economic ramifications of the financial crisis of 2008-09 and of the financial crisis which has accompanied the pandemic of 2020. We look at what a financial crisis is and how it affects a national and global economic system. ECON-305 and ECON-306. Must be a senior major to register.
ECON 490 Climate Change This senior seminar encourages students to think critically about the risks posed by climate change, the innovations and policies which could mitigate these risks, and the political economy of effective risk management. The course will emphasize tradeoffs, issues of international, intranational, and intertemporal distributive justice, as well as the nature of risk, itself. Take ECON-235 and Seniors Standing
ECON 593 Senior Integrated Project Each program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Integrated Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum -> Senior Integrated Project section of the Academic Catalog for more details. ECON 380, permission of department and SIP supervisor required.
ECON 595 SIP: Coursework Only senior business or economic majors may register.

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