Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Sunday, June 17, 2018, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.
This catalog was created on Sunday, June 17, 2018.
|Professor:||M. Finkler (John R. Kimberly Professor of the American Economic System (Emeritus))|
|Associate professors:||A. Galambos (Dwight and Marjorie Peterson Professor of Innovation), D. Gerard (The John R. Kimberly Distinguished Professor of the American Economic System, chair)|
|Assistant professors:||H. Caruthers (on leave term(s) I), D. Fitz, J. Lhost (on leave term(s) III)|
Lawrence economics students first acquire a basic knowledge of economic theories, principles, and techniques of analysis. They then apply them to a wide range of problems, from poverty and discrimination to macroeconomic stabilization policy and environmental degradation.
Students learn early on that modern economics is an application of mathematical modeling to the study of human behavior. The interdisciplinary mathematics-economics major provides a strong foundation for graduate work in economics, where mathematical aptitude is at a premium. This route also provides outstanding preparation for technical business careers, such as investment banking, management consulting, and finance.
Required for the economics major
- ECON 100 or 120
- MATH 140 or both MATH 120 and 130; MATH 207
- Intermediate Theory
- ECON 300
- ECON 320
- ECON 380
- Five additional six-unit courses numbered 200 or higher, three of which must be numbered 400-699 not including the Senior Experience requirement.
(Only one tutorial or independent study may count as one of these five courses.)
- Complete the Senior Experience in Economics requirement by taking ECON 601 or ECON 602 as described below.
- The grade-point average for the major will be computed from economics courses and from required mathematics courses. A C average is required.
Required for the interdisciplinary mathematics-economics major
The mathematics component of the major is:
- MATH 140, 150, 160, 207, 300, and 310
- Either MATH 435 or 445 and 6 units in a mathematics course numbered 400 or above, with 435, 440, 445, or 560 recommended
The economics component of the major is:
- ECON 100 or 120
- ECON 300, 320, and 380
(Majors must take all three courses prior to completion of the junior year. The department must approve any exception.)
- Any three six-unit courses numbered between 400 and 580 with those numbered 500 and above strongly recommended.
The interdisciplinary component of the major is:
- Completion of an independent study project that has been approved by both departments.
- A major must have an advisor in each department.
Required for the economics minor
- ECON 100 or ECON 300 (both microeconomics)
- ECON 120 or ECON 320 (both macroeconomics)
- Five additional six-unit courses, at least four of which must be economics courses numbered 200 or above and one that could be a mathematics course. (Only one tutorial or independent study may count as one of these five courses.)
- C average in the minor
ECON 100 and ECON 225 are excellent either as stand-alone courses or as gateways into the discipline.
For the economics or mathematics-economics major:
- Speak to a professor in the department about the selection of a coherent set of electives.
- Take MATH 140 or 120 and 130 as soon as possible. MATH 150 and MATH 210 are also recommended.
- Take ECON 100, a 200-level economics course, and then ECON 300.
- Take ECON 300 early if you have done well in its prerequisites.
- If you do not meet pre-requisites for any course, talk with the instructor and explicitly obtain consent.
- Students preparing for graduate work in economics, public policy, or business or those preparing for an M.B.A. in a quantitative field should plan to take a number of mathematics courses and should consult the economics faculty for advice. The mathematics-economics major is particularly well-suited for these students. Furthermore, students should take ECON 500 and ECON 520 as part of their preparation.
- Students preparing for a career in secondary-school teaching should check state certification requirements.
Course structure and numbering
ECON 100 and 120 are theory-based survey courses. ECON 100 is the best preparation for taking other economics courses, and most courses at the 200 level require only ECON 100. ECON 120 is an alternative to ECON 100, but it may not be adequate preparation for some 200-level courses.
The 200-level courses apply basic theory to particular fields of inquiry. Contingent on basic 100-level preparation, the economics department strives to make the 200-level courses accessible to as many students as possible.
The 300-level courses are intermediate theory courses geared toward economics majors, while the 400-level courses are advanced applications classes. The 500-level courses are graduate-school preparatory courses.
Senior Experience in Economics
The economics curriculum culminates with a one-term three-unit senior experience course required for all majors. Each year, two sections of the course will be offered. In one section (ECON 601), in which the students read a monograph by a formidable economist or a piece of central interest to economists and engage in active discussion, each student produces a term paper in reaction to the reading. In the paper, each student must relate the reading to theories and applications he or she studied in economics courses. The monograph will be selected by the faculty member teaching the course. This senior experience option is designed to mirror the Freshman Studies experience at the end of the student’s career at Lawrence. In the other section (ECON 602), each student is expected to produce a well-researched paper that stands up to the standards of the profession. To register for this section, students must already have a paper prepared in a 400-level course. Students must submit to the instructor a one-page proposal on how the previous paper will be improved, refined and polished in content and in form so that it stands up to the standards of the profession. The instructor’s approval of this proposal is a prerequisite for registration.
In addition to the two options described above, an entrepreneurial project may also be approved as a senior experience after early and in-depth consultation with the department chair and the student’s advisor. Students pursuing double majors, double degrees, and education certification, are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisors and relevant department chairs to plan and negotiate their overall senior experience as early as possible, especially if they are interested in pursuing an interdisciplinary capstone that integrates their interests in both majors, or combines their student teaching with a project in their major.
Interdisciplinary mathematics-economics (economics-mathematics) majors may choose to meet their senior experience requirement by taking one of the above workshop senior experience courses or by satisfying the requirement of the Department of Mathematics for interdisciplinary mathematics-economics majors’ requirement. In either case, they will need to demonstrate the ability to combine topics in both disciplines – bringing appropriate techniques of mathematics or statistics to bear on the study of economics, or learning mathematics or statistics suggested by models in economics. Students who plan to complete this interdisciplinary major must have their senior experience proposal approved by one advisor in the Department of Mathematics and one in the Department of Economics prior to the term in which they plan to complete the experience.
Courses - Economics
ECON 100: Introductory EconomicsA first course in economics focusing on the basic analytical framework used by contemporary economists. The central topics typically include supply and demand, market competition, market power, incomplete markets (e.g., externalities and public goods), trade, and taxation. Classroom experiments are frequently employed to develop economic intuition.
ECON 120: Introductory MacroeconomicsA study of the principles, concepts, and methods of economic analysis, with a theoretical focus on the determination of national income. Special attention given to governmental expenditure and taxation, monetary policy, inflation, and unemployment.
ECON 151: Introduction to Environmental PolicyThis course applies principles of economics and political science to environmental issues, including pollution, resource limitation, and environmental degradation. It is designed to foster an understanding of the environmental policy-making and regulatory process in the United States and globally.
ECON 170: Financial Accounting and Entrepreneurial VenturesA study of accounting principles and procedures, leading to a review of financial statements and to an understanding of how accounting data are used to analyze business and economic activities.
ECON 191: Directed Study in EconomicsDirected study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
ECON 195: Internship in EconomicsApplied work with a private firm or public-sector agency in economics, arranged under the direction of an instructor in the department. In each case, the academic credit is based on related readings, reports, and presentations.
ECON 200: Economic DevelopmentThis course seeks to provide students with a broad based understanding of economic development and the choices countries face. To obtain such an understanding, students will read the works of contemporary economists who provide a variety of approaches to poverty alleviation and the tradeoffs that must be confronted. Emphasis will be placed on close reading, class discussion, and on writing a number of papers that compare and contrast different views of economic development.
ECON 202: Global Economic RelationsThis course covers the major concepts utilized in the field of international political economy. Major issues covered include debates about globalization, trade policy and free-trade agreements, monetary policy and currency regulation, aid and development, immigration policy and labor migration, global corporations, and international institutions such as the World Bank, IMF, and WTO.
ECON 203: Latin American Economic DevelopmentThis course combines economic theory, policy and historical accounts to understand the forces shaping Latin American economic development. Students will gain an understanding of major theories and trends in Latin American development while analyzing specific development issues, including equitable growth, agriculture, migration, gender equity, education, and health. Students will complete thoughtful critiques of readings, problem sets analyzing real data, and in-depth evaluations of specific issues.
ECON 204: Effective AltruismEffective altruism acknowledges that individuals want to help others while examining the most effective ways to do so. Taking a global approach that draws on development, health and experimental economics, this course compares differences in relative welfare and opportunity and evaluates the effectiveness of causes like health interventions, cash transfers, and gender equity. Emphasis placed on close reading problem sets, quizzes, research papers and discussions.
ECON 205: Introduction to International EconomicsThis course aims to develop an understanding of international economic issues and policies in open economies. The course will provide a general body of knowledge on topics such as gains from trade; patterns of trade; effect of trade on welfare; exchange rate policy regimes; international organizations; financial crises; and the effect of government policies on trade and the exchange rate. You will get exposed to economic modeling and learn analytical tools that can be applied to understand the changing world economy and analyze problems in international economic policy. You are encouraged to explore the potential and limitations of international economics in dealing with real-world problems. This course will assist you in improving your economic writing skills as well as your ability to read critically and understand discussions on international economic issues in the press.
ECON 206: Field Experience in DevelopmentStudents engaged in this course will have the opportunity to do field research in a developing country. Each student will develop and implement a project that concerns economic, political, and/or environmental issues important in Sierra Leone, Jamaica, or another selected country. Students will also have the opportunity to learn from both national and local leaders in political, economic, environmental, and social development issues. Class members will travel to a developing country during a term break. Students must register for this course in the term prior to the planned travel and in the subsequent term, when they will present their research to the wider Lawrence community.
Location for 2016-17: Students will travel to Sierra Leone and/or Morocco during winter break. Admission is by application to Prof. Skran. Students should register for both fall and winter terms.
ECON 208: Sustainable China: Environment and EconomyThis course integrates environmental and economic topics relevant for understanding sustainability in the Chinese context, including economic development, natural resource management, urban growth, and environmental policy. It is a prerequisite for a December study trip to China.
ECON 211: In Pursuit of InnovationThis course acquaints students with various aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship, broadly understood. Topics cover methodologies, theories, and history of innovation. The course focuses largely on projects pursued by teams which conceive and conduct ventures that illuminate innovation and entrepreneurship. Class activities include lectures, discussions, student presentations. Experienced guest experts will offer advice and guidance to student teams. May not be taken on an S/U basis.
ECON 212: Corporate FinanceThis course studies the function of finance and the flow of funds within the corporation. Topics include financial analysis, decision making, capital acquisition and use, and strategic planning. Three comptetencies will be emphasized: numeracy through financial analysis, decision-making based on financial information, and communication skills through conveying analyses and decisions to the end user (the board, shareholders, other stake holders). Lecture with case studies assignments, and exams.
ECON 215: Comparative Economic SystemsThis course introduces students to the different ways societies have organized economic activity in the past and in the present as well as to how economic and social policy questions are addressed under these different arrangements. Students will study the economies of the Western world, the former Soviet bloc countries, and Asian countries at various stages of economic development.
ECON 223: Quantitative Decision-MakingThe students will learn how to develop formal, quantitative approaches to structuring difficult problems, particularly those problems involving probabilistic factors. We will develop and practice the steps of defining a problem, gathering data, formulating a model, performing numerical calculations, evaluating numerical information, refining the model, analyzing the model's alternatives, and communicating the results.
ECON 225: Decision TheoryThis course will present a thorough introduction to decision theory, the study of how people should or do make decisions. Building on that foundation, game theory, the science of strategy, will be introduced, with economic applications.
ECON 245: Law and EconomicsAlong with an introduction to legal analysis, a study of the political economy of four core areas of the law: property, contracts, torts, and crime and punishment. Applies rational-choice theories to both economic and political decisions involving the law.
ECON 251: The Economics of LondonThis course provides a significant variation on the Urban Economics course (ECON 250) that is offered on campus. First, it focuses on one city, London UK, as the context for the analysis. Secondly, it addresses the London economy from both economic history and contemporary economic analysis perspectives. London has remained a vibrant city from the late middle ages to the present through a variety of changes to its character, its economy, and the diversity of its population.
ECON 252: Sustainable CitiesHow can cities be sustainable? The increasing urbanization of the world's population, shift to service-driven economies, and growing diversity of cities make this question pressing and complicated. This course introduces economic, environmental, and social dimensions of the urban sustainability problem and explores responses to it through a two-week December study trip to London and Amsterdam and winter term studies and poster presentations. Program fee is required. Students pay their own airfare.
ECON 255: Start-Up TheatreOpen to students from theatre, economics, and other students interested in entrepreneurship in the performing arts. Topics change each year. May be repeated when topic is different up to 6 total units.
ECON 271: Public EconomicsPublic economics covers a range of topics from taxation to social insurance and redistribution to homeland security. The course develops a template for framing and analyzing public policy issues that provides a basis for understanding the rationale for government intervention, the alternative policy instruments that can be used to affect economic outcomes, and the economic tools used to evaluate the effects of intervention.
ECON 280: Environmental EconomicsThe course shows how economists analyze environmental problems and the types of solutions they propose (if any). Topic coverage includes property rights and externalities, cost-benefit analysis, regulatory policy instruments, the interplay between policy and innovation, and basic models of political economy.
ECON 290: The Economics of Medical CareAn analysis of how the economic organization of medical care affects the health and well-being of the population. Topics include who is treated, how much the treatment costs, and who pays the bill. Particular emphasis given to the roles of insurance and various national health policies and reform proposals.
ECON 291: Health Policy: A Comparison of U.S. and U.K. ApproachesThis course compares U.K. and U.S. health systems, markets, and public health policies. In particular, the course will analyze trade-offs made in each country among access to care, the cost of care and the quality of care as well as how resources are generated and allocated for each system.
ECON 295: Topics in EconomicsEach offering will build on modeling and reasoning techniques developed in the introductory-level courses (ECON 100 or 120). Topics depend on the instructor and will vary year-to-year. Topics include, but are not limited to, economics of the arts, financial economics, economics of sports, and economic history. May be repeated for credit if the topic is different.
ECON 300: Microeconomic TheoryA study of the microeconomic foundations of economics. The course focuses on equilibrium models for consumers and firms in competitive markets, as well as deviations from perfect competition.
ECON 320: Macroeconomic TheoryAn exploration of contemporary theories of employment, income, inflation, and stabilization as regards the United States and other industrialized countries. Emphasis on the application of models to foster understanding of macroeconomic policy.
ECON 380: EconometricsStatistical techniques and statistical problems applicable to economics, focusing on ordinary least-squares regression, classical inference, and detections of and adjustments for violations of the Classical Assumptions.
ECON 390: Tutorial Studies in EconomicsIntermediate readings, discussions, and essays in economic problems of special interest to the student.
ECON 391: Directed Study in EconomicsDirected study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
ECON 395: Internship in EconomicsApplied work with a private firm or public-sector agency in economics, arranged under the direction of an instructor in the department. In each case, the academic credit is based on related readings, reports, and presentations.
ECON 399: Independent Study in EconomicsIntermediate research on a topic of the student’s choice, organized in consultation with an instructor.
ECON 400: Industrial OrganizationIndustrial organization is the study of how markets are structured and why it matters. The course begins with the standard applied microeconomic treatment of economic regulation (e.g., antitrust, natural monopoly, advertising restrictions) and then explores disequilibrating phenomena, including entrepreneurship and innovation.
ECON 405: The Economics of Innovation & EntrepreneurshipThis course examines economic theories of innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E), the role of I&E in the economy, and policy questions related to I&E. Theories are discussed in the context of the history and current prevalence of innovation and entrepreneurship in modern economies.
ECON 410: Advanced Game Theory and ApplicationsThis course develops game theory, the science of strategic interaction, i.e., interdependent individuals seeking to promote their self interest, with applications in economics, biology, and philosophy. The mathematical nature of game theoretic models will be reflected in a focus on problem solving. Sufficient mathematical maturity required.
ECON 415: Individuality & CommunityThis course studies how political theorists responded to the emergence of open societies in the West. It focuses on the scope of personal autonomy, the consequences of commerce and luxury, the best political and economic arrangements, and other topics explored by writers from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century.
ECON 420: Money and Monetary PolicyAn examination of the role of money in market economies and its influence on the performance of such economies. This course emphasizes the role of central banks, financial institutions, and global capital flows.
ECON 421: InvestmentsThis course blends a web-based course on investment philosophies with classroom discussion of economic and valuation principles. It aims for students to develop an understanding of contemporary financial markets and instruments as well as how economic fundamentals apply to the evaluation of investment alternatives and strategies. Students will apply such knowledge to craft their own economic philosophies and implementation strategies.
ECON 430: Capital and GrowthAn examination of the determinants of long-term economic growth and productivity. Particular attention given to the role of capital, international competitiveness, savings, tangible investment, and the role of public policy in all such areas.
ECON 444: Political Economy of RegulationThis course focuses on the tension between politics and expertise that characterize the administrative regulatory state often called "the fourth branch of government." Several competing models of political economy shape an exploration of the continuing evolution of the U.S. regulatory system, the process by which regulations are proposed, written, implemented, and enforced, and the tools used to evaluate the costs and benefits of regulations.
ECON 450: Economics of the FirmEven in a “market” economy, the preponderance of economic activity is carried out through firms and other organizations. The course examines economic theories of the firm, and explores some of the canonical questions, such as why are there firms, how the separation of ownership and control of a firm shapes decision making, what determines the boundary between organizations and markets (e.g., make-or-buy decisions), what types of firms are most innovative, and how new technologies affect organizational structure.
ECON 460: International TradeAn inquiry into the historical and theoretical foundations of international trade, leading to a critical analysis of contemporary problems and policies.
ECON 465: International FinanceThe course focuses on macroeconomic issues and policies in open economies such as the United States. The course will provide a general body of knowledge on topics such as exchange rate policy regimes; international financial organizations; the interaction between macroeconomic policies and exchange rate regimes; and financial crises. It presents economic models and analytical tools that can be applied to understand the changing world economy and analyze problems in international economic policy.
ECON 481: Advanced Econometrics & ModelingThe course explores advanced econometric topics in model specification, estimation, and prediction (e.g., two-stage least squares, limited dependent variables and logistic regression, nonparametric regressions, censored regressions, time-series analysis). Techniques are introduced through work related to the instructor’s areas of interest and expertise (e.g., labor, development, health, education).
ECON 495: Advanced Topics in EconomicsTopics will vary with instructor and year; thus, if the substance of the course changes, students may take Advanced Topics more than once. Each offering will employ analytical techniques developed in the intermediate-level courses (Economics 300, 320, and 380.) Substantive topics might include, but would not be limited to, economics of the arts, economics of sports, computational finance, international finance, public sector economics, economics of the environment, and studies of specific industries.
Topic for Winter 2018: Institutional and Organizational Analysis
The course introduces instititional and organizational economics (institutions, property rights, transaction costs) to the conventional neoclassical economics paradigm to understand contractual choice and economic performance. It also applies fundamental economic and social science tools, such as agency theory, the Coase Theorem, credible commitments, structure-induced equilibrium, and the Riker Objection, to the study of formal policy institutions.