Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Sunday, July 12, 2020, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.
This catalog was created on Sunday, July 12, 2020.
|Professor:||M. Finkler (John R. Kimberly Professor Emeritus of the American Economic System)|
|Associate professors:||D. Fitz, A. Galambos (Dwight and Marjorie Peterson Professor of Innovation), D. Gerard (The John R. Kimberly Distinguished Professor of the American Economic System) (on leave term(s) III), J. Lhost|
|Assistant professor:||H. Caruthers|
The Lawrence economics department emphasizes abstract modeling and quantitative reasoning skills. Students acquire a basic knowledge of economic theories, principles, and techniques of analysis. They then apply these concepts and tools to issues such as poverty and discrimination, 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 major in economics
Students who major in economics will learn to comprehend an economic journal article, including the interpretation of quantitative evidence and regression analysis results, and to prepare an economic analysis (either micro or macro) and communicate effectively the results of that analysis orally and in writing. Students will learn to construct tables and graphs from available public sources that identify relevant trends for public or private policy decision-making, and they will use the methods of economics to analyze a broad spectrum of problems in social science.
The major in economics requires the following:
- ECON 100: Introductory Economics
- The following mathematics courses:
- MATH 140: Calculus I or both MATH 120: Applied Calculus I and MATH 130: Applied Calculus II
- MATH 107: Elementary Statistics (or equivalent)
- Intermediate theory (majors must take all three courses prior to completion of the junior year; the economics department must approve any exception):
- ECON 300: Microeconomic Theory
- ECON 320: Macroeconomic Theory
- ECON 380: Econometrics
- Two additional six-unit courses numbered 200 or higher (six units of tutorial or independent study may count as one of these two courses) and three additional six-unit courses numbered 400 or higher. A maximum of six units of internship credit can count for these requirements. The Senior Experience requirement does not count toward these five courses.
- Complete the Senior Experience in economics by taking ECON 601: Senior Experience: Reading Option or ECON 602: Senior Experience: Research Paper Option as described below.
Required for the interdisciplinary major in mathematics-economics
Students who complete the major in mathematics-economics will pursue the outcomes described for the economics and mathematics majors with an explicit focus on economics in constructing and critiquing mathematical arguments. Students pursuing the major must have an advisor in each department.
The major in mathematics-economics requires the following:
- The mathematics component of the major is:
- The following mathematics courses:
- MATH 140: Calculus I
- MATH 155: Multivariable Calculus
- MATH 200: Complex Sequences and Series
- MATH 240: Probability
- MATH 300: Foundations of Algebra
- MATH 310: Foundations of Analysis
- Either MATH 435: Optimization or MATH 445: Mathematical Statistics
- Six additional units in a mathematics course numbered 400 or above, with 435, 440, 445, or 560 recommended
- The following mathematics courses:
- The economics component of the major is:
- ECON 100: Introductory Economics
- The following theory courses (majors must take all three courses prior to completion of the junior year; the economics department must approve any exception):
- ECON 300: Microeconomics
- ECON 320: Macroeconomics
- ECON 380: Econometrics
- Any three six-unit courses numbered between 400 and 580
- The interdisciplinary component of the major is:
- Completion of an independent study project that has been approved by both departments.
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 research paper that stands up to the standards of the profession. To register for this section, students must already have a research idea, generally developed in a 400-level course, and discuss a research proposal with the 602 instructor. Students must explain 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. Instructor approval of this proposal is a prerequisite for registration.
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.
Required for the minor in economics
- ECON 100: Introductory Economics or ECON 300: Microeconomic Theory
- Six additional six-unit courses, at least five of which must be economics courses numbered 200 or above and one that could be a mathematics course. Only six units of tutorial or independent study may count as one of these six courses.
Teacher certification in economics or broad-field social studies
Economics majors can seek certification to teach economics or broad-field social studies at the secondary level. For certification in broad-field social studies, students must complete the economics major and a minimum of two courses each in two other social studies (anthropology/sociology, government/political science, history, or psychology) and at least one course in each of the remaining social studies. Students are strongly encouraged to take a course in U.S. history and a course in global history. A course in environmental studies is also required. Students who plan to seek teacher certification should review the requirements in the Education section of the catalog and meet with the director of teacher education, preferably before the end of the sophomore year.
Course structure and numbering
ECON 100 is a survey course and is an excellent introduction to the discipline, even for those with high school courses.
The 200-level courses apply basic theory to particular fields of inquiry and should be accessible to students with a sound introductory course.
The 300-level courses are intermediate theory courses that are foundational for the economics discipline, and a sequence of 300-level classes is required of all majors.
The 400-level courses are advanced applications classes.
The 500-level courses are graduate-school preparatory courses.
The Senior Experience courses are at the 600-level.
ECON 100 and ECON 225 are excellent either as stand-alone courses or as gateways into the discipline. We recommend that all majors and minors take these courses.
For the economics or mathematics-economics major:
- Speak to a professor in the department about mapping curricular choices.
- Take MATH 140 or MATH 120 and 130 as soon as possible. MATH 150 and MATH 240 are also recommended.
- Take ECON 100, a 200-level economics course, and then ECON 300.
- Talk to the instructor and explicitly obtain consent to enroll if you do not meet prerequisites for a course.
- Students preparing for graduate work in economics, public policy, business, statistics, or an M.B.A. in a quantitative field should plan to take a number of mathematics courses. These students should consult the economics faculty for advice. The mathematics-economics major or a double major in economics and mathematics are particularly well-suited for these students. Any student interested in graduate economics should take ECON 500 and ECON 520 and several selected mathematics courses as part of their preparation.
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 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 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.