2017-2018 Catalog

ECON 495 Senior Seminar

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. 

Industrial Organization

This course introduces the field of Industrial Organization, which is the study of firms in markets. We will analyze the acquisition and use of market power, strategic interactions among firms, and the role of government competition policy. Our approach will blend two alternative, but complementary, methodologies: theoretical modeling of strategic firm behavior and industry equilibrium, and the factual detail found in case studies of specific industries. Not open to students who have taken ECON 302.

Prerequisite: ECON 272 (may be taken concurrently) and ECON 250

Open Economy Macroeconomics

The course provides an overview of models, methods, research, and current issues in Open Economy Macroeconomics. Today, an international perspective to study Macroeconomics is perhaps more important than ever before. Countries do not operate in isolation, but events in one country affect people around the world. Why do some countries grow faster than others? What are the effects of monetary and fiscal policy, domestically and abroad? Why do some countries run trade deficits and others trade surpluses? Does it matter? And why do some countries encounter financial crises and what can we do about them? In trying to answer these questions, the first part of the semester will be devoted to asset-based models of exchange rates and price level determination, and the second to open economy models of the short and medium run.

Prerequisite: Economics 251 and Economics 272 (may be taken concurrently).

Macroeconomic Policy since the Great Depression

In the current economic climate, what should macroeconomic policymakers do to help the United States economy? This course analyzes 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 United States monetary and fiscal policy since the Great Depression, and on the role of history in guiding contemporary macroeconomic policy decisions and debates. Not open to students who have taken Economics 351.

Prerequisite: Economics 251 and Economics 272 (may be taken concurrently).


4 units