Economics
Department Information

Economics

Robert Schmidt, Chair
Professors Croushore, Dolan, McGoldrick, Schmidt, Wight
Associate Professors Craft, Mago, Monks, Nicholson
Assistant Professors Curtis, Hamilton, Linask, Mehkari, Mykhaylova
Major

The Economics Major for the Bachelor of Arts Degree

Note: A grade point average of C (2.00) is required in the major with no course grade below a C- (1.7) in an economics course required for the major.

11 units, including

BUAD 202 Statistics for Business and Economics
ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics
ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics
ECON 270 Introductory Econometrics
ECON 271 Microeconomic Theory
ECON 272 Macroeconomic Theory
Four units of economics electives (at least two of which must be at the 300 level)
ECON 480 Senior Capstone Seminar or ECON 491 Honors Thesis in Economics

Note: Majors are encouraged to take ECON 101 and ECON 102 and BUAD 202 during their first year, and ECON 271 and ECON 272 during their second year. A basic foundation in calculus (e.g., MATH 190, MATH 211) is required for ECON 271.

Students may plan their course load to pursue a general major in economics or to study a specific area in economics. Voluntary elective fields have been developed in the areas of business economics, international economics, economic history, public policy, and quantitative economics. Students are encouraged to speak with their academic advisor about the options available to them. Students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in economics are encouraged to seek advice concerning the honors program in economics, the combined major in mathematical economics, and/or taking MATH 235 Multivariate Calculus, MATH 312 Differential Equations, and MATH 245 Linear Algebra.

Minor

The Economics Minor

Note: A grade point average of C (2.00) is required in the minor with no grade less than C- (1.7).

6 units, including

ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics
ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics
ECON 271 Microeconomic Theory
ECON 272 Macroeconomic Theory
Two units of economics electives (at least one of which must be at the 300 level)

A basic foundation in calculus (e.g., MATH 211) is required for ECON 271

Related

Related Majors

Mathematical Economics

International Studies: International Economics

Economics (B.S.B.A. degree)

Business Administration

Honors

Honors Program

Students invited into the honors program may earn honors in economics by completing the following requirements:

  1. ECON 490;
  2. ECON 491;
  3. Two 300-level electives taken for honors credit
Courses
ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics
Units: 1
Fullfills General Education Requirement (FSSA)
Description
Provides students with the analytical perspective to think critically about the market system and social objectives it may serve. Topics include supply and demand, market structure, production, market failure (e.g., pollution), and benefits and costs of government intervention.

ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics
Units: 1
Description
The study of national income determination within a global economy. Topics include inflation, unemployment, GDP determination, money supply, balance of payments, currency markets and role of fiscal and monetary policies.
Prerequisites
Economics 101.

ECON 105 Introduction to Global Economics
Units: 1
Description
Survey of international economic issues for nonmajors. The U.S.'s role in the global economy is covered analytically, historically, and institutionally, with special attention given to balance of payments analysis, exchange rate determination, gains from trade, trade policy, the IMF, GATT, and other topics. Note: This course has no prerequisites and fulfills no prerequisites for other economics or business courses. Cannot be used as an elective toward the arts and sciences or business school economics major or toward the business administration major. Students with majors in the School of Business may not register for ECON 105.

ECON 200 The Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets
Units: 1
Description
Role and functions of money; operation of financial institutions; structure and influence of Federal Reserve System; effects of money and credit on economic activity.
Prerequisites
Economics 101 and 102.

ECON 201 Games and Experiments in Economics
Units: 1
Description
Introduction to game theory. Based on a scientific metaphor that many interactions that we do not usually think of as games such as market competition, collusion, auctions, elections, bargaining can be treated and analyzed as games. Study of how to recognize and model strategic situations, how and when their actions will affect the decisions of others, and how to gain advantage in strategic situations.
Prerequisites
ECON 101

ECON 210 The Economics of the European Union
Units: 1
Description
Comparative analysis of European and United States' economics systems, including a review of the evolution of the European Union. Although the scope of the course is primarily European, Japan and China also are studied.
Prerequisites
Economics 101 and 102.

ECON 211 Economic Development in Asia, Africa and Latin America
Units: 1
Description
Comparative analysis of economic growth, income and wealth distribution, trade and finance, population, agriculture, and industrialization in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
Prerequisites
Economics 101 and 102.

ECON 220 History of Economic Thought
Units: 1
Description
Survey of development of economic analysis with emphasis on contributions from Adam Smith through J.M. Keynes.
Prerequisites
Economics 101 and 102.

ECON 221 American Economic History
Units: 1
Description
Use of economic theory and methods to study American history with special emphasis on economic growth. Topics include Native American development up to the arrival of Europeans, transportation revolutions, slavery, agriculture and monetary controversies in the late 19th century, health and nutrition, immigration, technological change, the Great Depression and New Deal, and civil rights.
Prerequisites
Economics 101 and 102.

ECON 230 Environmental Economics
Units: 1
Description
Development and application of economic principles to understand and evaluate causes and solutions to environmental problems such as pollution and conservation. Topics include economics of biodiversity protection, global warming, natural resource damage assessment, measurement of environmental values, and alternative strategies for pollution control. Special attention given to optimal use of exhaustible and renewable natural resources. (Same as Environmental Studies 230).
Prerequisites
Economics 101.

ECON 231 Law and Economics
Units: 1
Description
Application of economic analysis to legal concepts. Using goals of efficiency and wealth maximization, shows how economic theory can unify property law, contract law, tort law, criminal law, and family/sex law, as well as offer new insights to old problems.
Prerequisites
Economics 101.

ECON 232 The Economics of Gender
Units: 1
Description
Uses economic methods to explore how gender differences lead to different economic outcomes for men and women, both within families and in the marketplace. Topics include allocation of time between the household and the labor market, consequences of employment for family structure, theories of discrimination, and occupational segregation. Historical trends and cross-cultural comparisons are discussed at length. Policy areas include antipoverty programs, comparable worth, affirmative action, antidiscrimination legislation, parental leave, and provision of child care. While the focus of the analysis of gender and economics is on the U.S., such findings are not universal and the semester concludes with international comparisons that demonstrate important differences.
Prerequisites
Economics 101 and 102.

ECON 233 Ethics and Economics
Units: 1
Description
Explores ethical considerations that arise in economic analyses. In positive economics, how are choices informed by considerations of duty or virtue (in addition to utility)? In normative economics, how do concepts of welfare and efficiency derive from ethical theories, and how have these changed over time? What competing ethical theories add to our understanding of public policy issues? Preparation for a complex world when economic analysis is viewed as complementary to a critical-thinking process about ethical frameworks. Addresses additional questions such as: What is the moral philosophy behind capitalism? What are the moral limits to markets? Do businesses create and rely upon moral capital?
Prerequisites
Economics 101.

ECON 260 Selected Economic Topics
Units: .5-1
Description
Major areas in economics, application of economic principles, and analysis of policy issues.
Prerequisites
Economics 101 and 102.

ECON 269 Independent Study
Units: .5-1
Description
Specialized study or directed research in an area of economics.
Prerequisites
A written outline worthy of academic credit and permission of department chair.

ECON 270 Introductory Econometrics
Units: 1
Description
Techniques for rigorously testing economic theory and preparation for basic empirical work in economics. Topics will include basic data analysis, a review of comparisons of means, regression analysis (including estimation, functional form, dummy variables, inference, assumptions, violations of assumptions, corrections for violations), and forecasting. Students will be provided with the opportunity to use actual economic data to test economic theories.
Prerequisites
ECON 101, 102; BUAD 202 or MATH 330.

ECON 271 Microeconomic Theory
Units: 1
Description
Theory of price determination in both output and input markets; in-depth analysis of behavior of individual consumers, firms, and industries under various market structures; theories of exchange and distribution.
Prerequisites
ECON 101 and ECON 102 and either MATH 190 or MATH 211.

ECON 272 Macroeconomic Theory
Units: 1
Description
Theory of national income determination; short/medium-run monetary and fiscal policy issues are examined using Keynesian and New Classical models; long-run analysis focuses on recent extensions of the neoclassical growth model.
Prerequisites
Economics 102 and 271.

ECON 300 Industrial Organization and Public Policy
Units: 1
Description
Designed to identify features of industries with various degrees of competition. Issues to be explored include: identifying dominant firm, tight or loose oligopoly, competitive, and monopoly industries; product vs. geographic markets; technological innovations; collusion, product differentiation; mergers; advertising; efficiency; price discrimination; etc. In addition, antitrust policies will be reviewed as they pertain to these issues.
Prerequisites
Economics 271.

ECON 310 International Trade: Causes, Consequences, and Controversies
Units: 1
Description
Through both theoretical and empirical approaches, students will study international trade in goods and services and develop a framework for analysis of trade policy issues. Major themes include the causes and patterns of trade, the gains from trade and their distribution, the consequences of trade policies such as tariffs and voluntary export restraints, and the institutions of the world trading system including regional trade agreements. The course also considers many of the current issues related to trade such as dumping, trade-related intellectual property rights, trade and the environment, and the decisions of multinational firms.
Prerequisites
Economics 271.

ECON 330 Environmental and Resource Economic Theory
Units: 1
Description
A rigorous treatment of environmental and resource issues, with particular emphasis on problem of designing appropriate institutions and regulations under uncertainty. Topics include emission fees and marketable permits; enforcement, risk regulation, the economics and regulation of the fishery; depletion of nonrenewable resources; and forest use. (Same as Environmental Studies 330.)
Prerequisites
Economics 271.

ECON 331 Labor Economics
Units: 1
Description
Economic analysis of labor markets including labor supply, investment in human capital, labor demand, and wage determination. Policy issues include labor unions, discrimination, and analysis of government programs affecting labor markets.
Prerequisites
Economics 271.

ECON 332 Public Economics
Units: 1
Description
Economic analysis of government spending and taxation with particular emphasis on current public policy issues (e.g., social security, health care and fundamental income tax reform).
Prerequisites
Economics 271.

ECON 333 Federal Reserve Challenge Preparation
Units: .25
Description
Analysis of current macroeconomic events and how they affect monetary policy decisions. Students prepare for the Fed Challenge, competing for a position on the team based on their knowledge of current events, the determinants of monetary policy, and communication skills. The team also is responsible for economic conditions reports and presentations that support the activities of the RSB Student-Managed Investment Fund.
Prerequisites
Economics 200 or 272 and permission of instructor.

ECON 334 Federal Reserve Challenge Competition
Units: .25
Description
Analysis of current macroeconomic events and how they affect monetary policy decisions. Select students prepare and present a mock policy briefing in the Fed Challenge competition at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The team also is responsible for economic conditions reports and presentations that support the activities of the RSB Student-Managed Investment Fund.
Prerequisites
Economics 200 or 272 and permission of instructor

ECON 341 Mathematical Economics
Units: 1
Description
Examines various economic concepts by means of mathematical analysis.
Prerequisites
Economics 271, and Mathematics 212 or 232.

ECON 360 Selected Economic Topics
Units: .5-1
Description
Major areas in economics, application of economic principles, and analysis of policy issues.
Prerequisites
A core course to be announced.

ECON 369 Independent Study
Units: .5-1
Description
Specialized study or directed research in an area of economics.
Prerequisites
Economics 271 or 272, a written outline worthy of advanced credit and permission of department chair.

ECON 370 Advanced Econometrics
Units: 1
Description
Techniques for rigorously testing economic theory. Reinforces and extends the econometric techniques developed in Economics 270. Topics include a review of the classical linear regression model as well as model extensions including dummy and limited dependent variables, panel data estimation, instrumental variables, simultaneous equation systems, time-series analysis, and forecasting. Excel, SPSS, and SAS are used in weekly computer lab sessions.
Prerequisites
ECON 270.

ECON 372 Advanced Macroeconomics
Units: 1
Description
Examination of selected topics in macroeconomics beyond the basic theory level covered in Economics 272. Topics may include forecasting, time-series econometrics, growth theory, analysis of dynamic, stochastic general-equilibrium models, and open-economy macroeconomics.
Prerequisites
Economics 272 and Economics 270 or Business Administration 301.

ECON 480 Senior Capstone Seminar
Units: 1
Description
Utilizes theoretical and applied economic models from previous economics courses. Semester assignments guide students through a major research project of one of the following forms: contemporary economic analysis, historical economic analysis, viewpoints in economic analysis, or quantitative economic analysis. Students develop an economic question; gain access to existing knowledge; demonstrate command of existing knowledge; use existing knowledge to explore an issue of interest; understand the steps to complete a substantial research project; and sharpen written communication skills. Note: Participation in the honors program fulfills the capstone requirement.
Prerequisites
Economics 271 and 272, Economics 270 or Business Administration 301, and senior standing.

ECON 490 Honors Seminar in Economics
Units: 1
Description
Honors seminar.
Prerequisites
Departmental invitation.

ECON 491 Honors Thesis in Economics
Units: 1
Description
Capstone independent research project and honors paper. Note: Participation in the honors program fulfills the capstone requirement.
Prerequisites
Departmental invitation.