Economics

Overview

Economics is the study of decision-making and policy-making in the context of a world constrained by scarcity. We aim to help our students understand how decisions are linked to incentives and how policies can help align individual incentives with social objectives, including an efficient use of the world's resources and an equitable distribution of its output. We also aim to equip our students with the rigorous theoretical and empirical tools of our profession to enable them to better analyze and guide the decision making of individuals, the conduct of businesses and nonprofit enterprises, and the policies of governments and international organizations.

The Department aims to ensure that students majoring in Economics (1) understand the framework that professional economists use to analyze social and economic issues; (2) recognize how economic behavior and policies can affect both the aggregate level of prosperity and differentials in prosperity across members of society distinguished by characteristics such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status; (3) have proficient decision-making and problem-solving skills; (4) are competent in writing and speaking; and (5) possess critical-thinking skills that enable them to apply the theoretical and empirical tools of professional economists to a wide range of issues.

Major Requirements

A major in economics requires a minimum of ten courses. 

The major can be completed in fewer than four years, but it is almost impossible to complete the major in less than three years.

COURSEWORK

ECON 101Principles of Economics I

4 units

ECON 102Principles of Economics II

4 units

Calculus 1Scientific Modeling and Differential Calculus

4 units

ECON 250Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

4 units

ECON 251Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory

4 units

ECON 272Applied Econometrics

4 units

Three 300-level ECON electives

12 units

ECON 495Senior Seminar

4 units

Two of the three 300-level elections must be completed at Oxy.

Choosing Electives

The economics department offers many electives, so it is helpful to think about how these electives might be grouped with other non-economics courses to give more intellectual continuity to a course of study. For example:

Students interested in obtaining a Ph.D. in Economics are encouraged to complete:
MATH 120Calculus 2

4 units

MATH 150Statistical Data Analysis

4 units

MATH 212Multivariable Calculus

4 units

MATH 214Linear Algebra

4 units

MATH 310Real Analysis

4 units

ECON 305Game Theory

4 units

And at least one of:
MATH 330Probability

4 units

MATH 332Mathematical Statistics

4 units

MATH 342Partial Differential Equations

4 units

MATH 370Numerical Analysis

4 units

MATH 372Operations Research

4 units

Students interested in a career in public policy are encouraged to complete:
POLS 101American Politics and Public Policy

4 units

Or

UEP 101Environment and Society

4 units

An internship or service learning experience

0 or 2 units

And at least one of the following:
ECON 301Environmental Economics and Policy

4 units

ECON 302Industrial Organization

4 units

ECON 308Public Finance

4 units

ECON 311International Economics

4 units

ECON 312International Finance

4 units

ECON 320Economic Development

4 units

ECON 324The Economics of Immigration

4 units

ECON 325Labor Economics

4 units

ECON 328Economics of Race and Gender

4 units

ECON 351Macroeconomic Policy Since the Great Depression

4 units

Students interested in Environmental Economics are encouraged to complete the following environmental science introductory courses in addition to the regular Economics requirements:
Introduction to Geology:

GEO 105Earth: Our Environment

4 units

Or

GEO 106Earth and the Human Future

4 units

Introduction to Biology:

Students must select one course from the list below:

BIO 105Marine Biology

4 units

BIO 106Biology of California

4 units

BIO 110Organisms on Earth

4 units

BIO 115General Zoology

4 units

Environmental Biology:

BIO 260Biodiversity and Organization of Marine Ecosystems

4 units

Or

BIO 270Ecology

4 units

Economics Component:

ECON 301Environmental Economics and Policy

4 units

Fundamental Geology:
GEO 245Earth's Climate: Past and Future

4 units

GEO 255Spatial Analysis with Geographic Information Science

4 units

Students interested in obtaining a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) and/or having a career in management are encourage to complete:

ECON 233Accounting and Financial Analysis

4 units

An internship

0 or 2 units

And

ECON 326Economics of Human Resource Management

4 units

Or

ECON 350Managerial Economics

4 units

SECOND-STAGE WRITING REQUIREMENT

Students majoring in Economics will satisfy the second-stage writing requirement by arranging (with the instructor) for ECON 272 or an ECON 300-level course to be designated as the student's writing course. Students need to notify the instructor of the course they are wishing to designate as their writing course before the end of the semester. Writing courses cannot be retroactively counted. Also, students can only designate one course as their writing course in a given semester. The writing requirement must be satisfactorily completed by May of the student's junior year. Students who fail the requirement or who fail to meet the deadline will be required to both take a college writing course in the senior year and demonstrate acceptable writing skills in the senior comprehensive in order to graduate. Students should familiarize themselves with the departmental requirement at the time of declaring the major. See the Writing Program and consult the department chair for additional information.

COMPREHENSIVE REQUIREMENT

Economics students meet their comprehensive requirement by successfully completing ECON 495 with a grade of C or above in the fall semester of their senior year. Students who will be off campus during the fall semester of their senior year must contact the department chair by the end of their junior year to make alternative arrangements.

HONORS

Majors can earn honors by taking ECON 498 in the spring semester of their senior year and by writing and defending, in that class, a thesis that is judged by the department faculty to be of honors quality. Enrollment in ECON 498 is limited to students with GPAs of 3.5 or higher (both overall and within the department). Interested students should consult with their academic advisor and then apply to the department chair in the fall semester of their senior year.

OFF-CAMPUS AND TRANSFER CREDITS

  • Students who have passed a microeconomics or macroeconomics class at another college or university will be allowed to skip ECON 101.
  • Economics majors must complete the following courses at Occidental and may not satisfy them with transfer credits: ECON 250, ECON 251, ECON 272, at least two 300-level electives, and their Senior Comprehensives course.
  • Students may take one accounting course for College credit, either at Occidental or through transfer credits. Students may not receive College credit for any other business-related course.
  • Students who have received a score of 4 or 5 on either AP Calculus test have met the departmental Calculus I major requirement (and the calculus pre-requisite for courses that require Calculus I).
  • Students who have received a score of 5 on both the AP Microeconomics test and the AP Macroeconomics test will be allowed to skip ECON 101 and ECON 102. Students who have received a score of 4 on both the AP Microeconomics test and the AP Macroeconomics test, or a score of 4 in one and 5 in the other, will be allowed to skip ECON 101. Students who have an AP Microeconomics score of 5 may be allowed to skip ECON 101 after consultation with the economics department.

Minor Requirements

COURSEWORK

Students must complete the following coursework:

ECON 101Principles of Economics I

4 units

ECON 102Principles of Economics II

4 units

ECON 250Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

4 units

ECON 251Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory

4 units

Calculus 1Scientific Modeling and Differential Calculus

4 units

Calculus 1: Please note that Calculus 1 is a prerequisite for ECON 250 and ECON 251.

Electives:

ECON Two 300-level courses in economics

8 units

Or

ECON 272Applied Econometrics

4 units

And

ECON One 300-level course in economics

4 units

Courses

Economics Courses

Faculty

Regular Faculty

Kirsten Wandschneider, chair

Associate Professor, Economics

M.Sc., Ph.D., University of Illinois

Bevin Ashenmiller

Associate Professor, Economics; Advisory Committee, Urban and Environmental Policy

B.A., Princeton University; Ph.D., U.C. Santa Barbara

Lesley Chiou

Associate Professor, Economics

B.A., U.C. Berkeley; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Andrew Jalil

Assistant Professor, Economics

A.B., Sc.B. Brown University; Ph.D. U.C. Berkeley

Brandon Lehr

Associate Professor, Economics

B.A., U.C. Berkeley; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mary Lopez

Associate Professor, Economics; Affiliated Faculty, Latino/a and Latin American Studies

B.A., U.C. Riverside; M.A., Ph.D., University of Notre Dame

Robby Moore

Elbridge Amos Stuart Professor of Economics

B.A., Pomona College; A.M., Ph.D., Harvard University

Jesse Mora

Assistant Professor, Economics

B.A., Claremont McKenna; M.A., John Hopkins-SAIS; M.A., Ph.D., U.C. Santa Cruz

Diana Ngo

Assistant Professor, Economics

B.S., Harvard University; Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley

Woody Studenmund

Laurence de Rycke Professor of Economics

A.B., Hamilton College; M.A., Ph.D., Cornell University

On Special Appointment

Yating Chuang

Part-Time Non-Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Economics

B.A., National Tsing Hua University; M.P.P., University of Maryland, College Park; Ph.D., University of Madison, Wisconsin

Daron Djerdjian

Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Professor, Economics

B.A., U.C. Los Angeles; Ph.D., Syracuse University

Matthew Hill

Part-Time Non-Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Economics

A.B., Princeton University; M.A., Ph.D., U.C. Los Angeles

Sarah Meacham

Part-Time Non-Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Economics

B.A., M.A., Ph.D., U.C. Los Angeles

Laurel B. Mitchell

Part-Time Non-Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Economics

B.B.A., College of William and Mary; Ph.D., Columbia University





Amy Ramnarine

Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Economics

B.S., Florida A&M University; M.A., Ph.D., Florida International University

Daryl Ono

Non-Tenure Track Instructor of Accounting, Economics

B.A., U.C. Los Angeles; Ph.D., Pacific Western University


Victoria Umanskaya

Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Economics

B.A. (DHE), Saratov State University; Ph.D., University of Wyoming