Economics Courses

Economics Courses

ECON 101 and ECON 102 are offered every Fall and Spring semester, usually in more than one section; sometimes one of them is offered in J Term as well.

ECON 221 and ECON 223 are offered every Fall semester. ECON 222 is offered every Spring semester.

Each of the 300-level electives is offered roughly every two years.

ECON 490 (Senior Thesis) is arranged individually with a professor and can be done during either Fall or Spring.


101 Principles of Microeconomics (3 credits) Introduces students to the theories and principles economists have devised to understand exchange relationships and markets. These principles and theories are applied to analyze economic issues and problems.

102 Principles of Macroeconomics (3 credits) Introduces students to the basic models and concepts used in analyzing the economy as a whole. Core elements include the process of long-run growth, determinants of Gross Domestic Product, and policies for managing the business cycle.

110 The Marketplace (4 credits) In this class, we draw upon national and local data and first-hand experience to examine the nature of exchange in contemporary US society. We then access a variety ethnographic, sociological, historical, and economic principles and interview Oneonta residents to better understand the economic and non-economic value of mainstream global market exchange relative to other more localized forms of exchange. The course culminates in the production of a research project on a topic of student interest and the local dissemination of that research. (FYS)

221 Microeconomic Theory (4 credits) Focuses on the theoretical depiction of decision-making processes of consumers and firms, specifically the models of utility and profit maximization. Topics are considered in a context that includes mathematical and game-theoretic applications and perspectives. Competitive behavior associated with markets is explored in detail. Prerequisite: ECON 101. (QFR)

222 Macroeconomic Theory (4 credits) Investigates the causes and consequences of inflation and unemployment and how these problems are described and theoretically analyzed through national income and product accounts. Monetary and fiscal stabilization policies are emphasized in an international context, with careful consideration given to balance of payments issues, trade deficits and the effect of changes in the value of the dollar and other currencies. Prerequisite: ECON 102. (QFR)

223 Econometrics (4 credits) The method by which real world data is used to test economic theory and/or to make predictions about future economic events. Presents regression analysis as a tool with which the statistical relationship between economic variables may be rejected or validated. Equal time is devoted to understanding econometric theory and to the direct application of that theory to analysis. The course culminates with students preparing an analytical research paper on a specific question of personal interest. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or 102; MATH 108, MATH 121 or a MATH course at the 200 level. (EL, QFR)

311 Economic History (3 credits) Explores economic causes and consequences pertaining to the development of markets in a research seminar setting. Recent topics for investigation have included: the origins of plantations, the emergence of multinational corporations from 1850 to 1900, and 19th and 20th century labor history. Common readings are initially discussed and then each student undertakes a substantial project to investigate a specialized theme. Prerequisites: ECON 101, 102. (ILS)

312 Financial Economics (3 credits) Provides a critical understanding of choice under uncertainty, portfolio formation, and equilibrium asset pricing (such as the CAPM and APT) with an eye toward financial market efficiency and stability and a reliance on basic mathematical tools. Prerequisites: ECON 221, ECON 222. (ILS)

313 Classical Political Economy (4 credits) Contemplates the economic, political and philosophical “visions” in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, Karl Marx’s Capital, and John Maynard Keynes’ General Theory. The development of the liberal ideal of unrestrained individual freedom is traced through the ways these economists interpreted the social reality of their time. The evolution of neoclassical economics 81 is also considered, and the contemporary relevance of these works is discussed throughout the course. Prerequisites: ECON 101, 102. (ILS)

314 Development and Transition (3 credits) Considers various explanations for the disparate levels of economic well- being among nations, both historically and currently. Issues include the potential tradeoff between economic growth and societal equity, miracles and failures, the sustainability of certain development plans, the feasibility of “trickle-down” development, and innovative development techniques at both the grassroots and macro levels. The course includes issues of post-communist transition as a subset of causes for current economic difficulty. Prerequisites: ECON 221, 222. (ILS)

315 Government Policy (3 credits) A critical look at contemporary domestic policy issues using the tools of theoretical and empirical economic analysis. Policy analysis focuses on the areas of taxation, healthcare, education, social security and long term care for the elderly, and poverty alleviation. A significant portion of the course will be devoted to independent student assessment of current policy initiatives—specifically their costs and benefits—relative to similar policy offerings in an OECD country. Prerequisites: ECON 221, 223. (ILS)

316 Race and Gender (3 credits) Utilizes economic analysis to shed light on the roles of race and gender in the contemporary United States economy. Potential topics include labor and credit market discrimination, employment and housing segregation, the male-female and minority-majority wage gap, labor market participation, divorce and domestic violence. While neo-classical economic theory will serve as a point of departure for each issue, the assumptions behind the theory will be carefully scrutinized and empirical evidence in support of and/or against the theory will be brought to bear. Prerequisites: ECON 221, 223. (ILS)

317 Labor Economics (3 credits) The tools of theoretical and empirical economic analysis are used to better understand the processes by which businesses determine the quantity, quality and compensation levels of their employees and the processes by which individuals decide whether, how much and where to work. The course begins with the primary building blocks of labor economics: labor supply and labor demand. It then narrows its scope to look more closely at policy-relevant issues such as welfare reform, labor unionism, unemployment and the minimum wage and affirmative action. A significant portion of the class will be devoted to independent student research on a relevant topic of personal interest. Prerequisites: ECON 221, 223. (ILS)

318 Environmental Economics (3 credits) Applies economic logic to an issue of ongoing importance. The analysis includes externalities and market failure, comparison of command-and-control strategies with market- incentive strategies, evaluation of costs and benefits of alternative proposals, consequences of court decisions to resolve environmental disputes, and the effects of public policies on environment quality. Prerequisites: ECON 221, 222. (ILS)

319 Mathematical Economics and Game Theory (3 credits) Focuses on the application of mathematics and game theory to economics. Topics include unconstrained and constrained maximization, comparative statics, Nash equilibrium, simultaneous and sequential games, and games with asymmetric information. Prerequisites: ECON 221, MATH 120 or equivalent. (ILS)

320 International Economic Policy (3 credits) Evaluates contemporary policy issues and concerns in the international economy. Topics for consideration include; trade relations and managed trade, protectionism, balance of payments disparities, wage inequalities, trading blocs, exchange rate regimes, and the causes and consequences of volatility in financial markets. Students will discuss common readings and undertake a substantial research project on a particular area of interest. Prerequisites: ECON 221, 222. (ILS)

325 Industrial Organization (3 credits) Analyzes firm organization and behavior using microeconomic theory and game theory. Topics include vertical integration, monopoly and natural monopoly, price-discrimination, entry deterrence, mergers, oligopoly, monopolistic competition, limit pricing, and collusion. Prerequisite: ECON 221. (ILS)

326 Monetary Economics (3 credits) Explores the organization of banking and other financial systems, including the operation of central banks such as the U.S. Fed, and their interaction with the macro-economy. During the semester students will examine connections between financial instruments, institutions, and markets and the intent and operation of monetary policy. Prerequisites: ECON 221, 222. (ILS)

328 Agent-Based Modeling (3 credits) Many interesting and important questions in economics resist traditional analytical techniques. Sometimes the math is too complex for analytical solutions. A deeper problem is that many economic phenomena are evolutionary, emergent phenomena arising from the interaction of many independent agents among each other and between them and their environment. This course will teach students how to address such questions using agent-based modeling. Prerequisites: ECON 221 or 222. (EL)

350 Advanced Topics in Economics (3 credits) Advanced topics of current interest. Subjects of these courses will be announced before registration. Prerequisite: ECON 221, 222.

395, 495 Internships in Economics (3-6 credits) Opportunities for career development and applied work for Economics students. Placements are designed to test academic concepts in a work setting and to bring the practical knowledge of a functioning business or institution to the classroom. Prerequisites: Economics major or minor, permission of the department and satisfactory internship qualifications. May be taken for 3 to 6 credits, but only 3 credits may count toward the major or minor requirements.

490 Senior Thesis in Economic Research (3 credits) The Senior Thesis is the capstone to the major in Economics, and represents a substantial research project on a topic of interest. Students will meet periodically with faculty to present work in progress. The course is required of all majors and concludes with submission and presentation of the completed thesis.

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