Course Offerings | Economics

Division of Social Studies

David Anderson (chair), Robert Brownlee, Mohua Das, Bruce Johnson, James Leady, Robert Martin, Amy Walker, Steven Winrich; students: Katherine Abbott, Nate Olson, John Takach



The Economics Program offers a broad background in economics within a liberal arts educational philosophy. The economics curriculum has four goals: competence in the fundamentals of economic theory; capability in quantitative and communication tools for economic analysis and presentation; familiarity with economic processes, policies, and institutions; and acquaintance with critical perspectives on both economic theory and institutions. Within this broad framework, students can assemble courses to highlight concentrations in finance, international economics, and policy analysis, and to prepare for graduate programs in business, law, public policy, and economics.

The principles of economics course, ECO 110, is the foundation for course work in the program. The course introduces topics in both macro and micro theory, as well as topics in institutions and policy analysis. A second tier of required major courses covers intermediate macro and micro economic theory (ECO 210, ECO 220) and basic statistics and differential calculus with review (MAT 130, MAT 140). It is recommended that the second tier be completed by the end of the sophomore year. Also recommended (but not required) are MAT 141 or 170 and MAT 171, as well as additional related courses in the social sciences.

Junior/senior work in economics emphasizes choice in the selection of courses. Various packages of courses, internships, foreign study, and independent studies can be assembled to highlight particular student interests. Upper-level requirements involve a minimum of seven junior/senior courses. These courses include a senior seminar (ECO 500) and an econometrics course (ECO 390). Economics majors may earn a B.A. or B.S. degree. The B.S. degree in economics adds requirements in empirical analysis (ECO 395) and in mathematical modeling (MAT 350).

The program encourages economics majors to consider course work or minors in mathematics, computer science, social studies, modern foreign languages, history, and philosophy. Elective courses in economics can be selected so as to satisfy the requirements for a minor in political economy. It is strongly recommended that students who are interested in international economics participate in a Centre College off-campus program.


Requirements for the Major

A. Requirements for Bachelor of Arts:
GOV 110;
MAT 130, MAT 140 or equivalent;
ECO 110, 210, 220, 390, 500, and five additional ECO courses numbered 300 or higher.

B. Requirements for Bachelor of Science:**
GOV 110;
MAT 130, MAT 140 or equivalent, MAT 350;
ECO 110, 210, 220, 390, 395, 500, and four additional ECO courses numbered 300 or higher.

**Students who expect to pursue graduate study in economics should elect the Bachelor of Science degree and, at a minimum, complete the requirements for a minor in mathematics. Students seeking the M.B.A. degree should complete MAT 171 in addition to the requirements for the B.S. degree.


Economics Courses

ECO 110 Introduction to Economics
An introduction to economic theory with attention to the construction of simple economic models dealing with consumer behavior, production, pricing, distribution, monetary theory, and national income determination.

ECO 150 Contemporary Public Policy Issues
A critical analysis of leading "liberal" and "conservative" approaches to such current economic problems as tax policy, budgetary deficits, monetary policy, social security, productivity, wage and price controls, and business regulation. A debate format is used with emphasis upon independent student preparation and participation.

ECO 210 Macroeconomic Analysis
An investigation of the economic factors determining the level of national income, prices, unemployment, and the rate of economic growth utilizing a number of different theoretical perspectives. Consumption, investment, and monetary and fiscal theories are studied in detail. Prerequisite: ECO 110 and MAT 140 or equivalent.

ECO 220 Microeconomic Analysis
An investigation of the economic factors determining consumer behavior, production, pricing, and market structures in a partial equilibrium framework. Theories of distribution, welfare criteria, and general equilibrium are examined. Prerequisite: ECO 110 and MAT 140 or equivalent.

ECO 260 Managerial Accounting Systems-I
A study of accounting fundamentals leading to an analysis of the creation and use of accounting data. The latter is a conceptual study of how financial information flows within the firm using contemporary systems analysis techniques.

ECO 270 Managerial Accounting Systems-II
An extension of the study of basic accounting functions to more complex financial entities followed by an introduction to specialized analytical accounting statements and financial decision-making techniques. Prerequisite: ECO 260.

ECO 310 Comparative Economic Systems
Comparative study of various economic systems from market-directed to planned economies. Emphasis upon current functioning of different forms of economically advanced countries. Prerequisite: ECO 110.

ECO 320 Urban Economic Policy Analysis
Analysis of urban and regional economics with focus on existing and alternative private and public policies to deal with socioeconomic problems. Topics include local government finance; housing; transportation; pollution; and factors determining the size, form, and location of cities. Prerequisite: ECO 110.

ECO 330 Theory of Investment
Valuation of investment opportunities considering risk and return. Focus is on equity and fixed income securities, portfolio construction, and investment planning. Prerequisite: ECO 110; ECO 260 or permission of the instructor.

ECO 350 Dispute Resolution
A study of past, present, and future methods of resolving disputes over facts, rights, and decisions. The economist’s tools of theoretical and empirical analysis are applied to prospective dispute resolution techniques to determine their viability. The procedures discussed facilitate negotiations over everything from wages and prices to where to go for dinner. Prerequisite: ECO 110.

ECO 353 Corporate Finance
This course deals with the foundations of finance, both in theory and in practice. Special emphasis is reserved for the two most important decisions taken by every firm: 1) the capital budgeting decision and 2) the financing decision. Risk measurement, evaluation, and management are integral parts of the course of study. Prerequisite: ECO 110 and ECO 260.

ECO 354 The Legal Environment of Business
A study of the legal, ethical, and global environment of business. Topics include the sources of American law, the workings of our judicial system, business ethics and social responsibility, product liability, deceptive trade practices, international law, and environmental regulation. Prerequisite: ECO 110 and ECO 220 or permission of the instructor.

ECO 360 Economic Development
Cross-cultural study of poverty in low-income societies relative to material affluence in high-income societies. Emphasis given to Third World rural communities with comparisons to Western individualist material cultures and values. Western economic-development thought critiqued via readings in anthropology and globalist perspectives. Prerequisite: ECO 110.

ECO 370 History of Economic Thought
Study of the economic world views of major economists. Special emphasis is given to "classical" economic thought. The various theories are critically evaluated in order to focus attention on the strengths and weaknesses of modern economic thought. Prerequisite: ECO 110.

ECO 380 American Economic History
Applies economic analysis to an examination of the institutions, resources, and events which have shaped the economic development of the United States. Prerequisite: ECO 110.

ECO 390 Econometrics
A study of the regression and correlation methods that are used to test economic hypotheses using empirical observations. Bivariate and multivariate single equation models are discussed. Special topics include multicolinearity, serial correlation, specification error, and heteroskedasticity. An introduction to simultaneous equation systems is included. Prerequisite: ECO 210, 220, and MAT 130 or permission of the instructor.

ECO 395 Empirical Analysis in Economics and Finance
A course designed to give students working knowledge of the statistical tools routinely used in economics and finance. With computer-based projects, the course is taught in a laboratory setting. Topics covered include the use of spreadsheet programs for elementary statistical analysis and report writing, the applications of database software, and the use of state-of-the-art econometric programs for more sophisticated analysis. Prerequisite: ECO 390.

ECO 405 Labor Economics
Economic and social forces determining the character and utilization of human resources in a market economy. Topics include labor supply, labor demand, collective bargaining, mobility, human capital, unemployment, technological changes, and wage rates. Prerequisite: ECO 110.

ECO 406 Applied Micro Theory: The Case of Sports
Through a study of the extensive literature on the economics of college and professional sports, various topics in macroeconomic theory, such as monopoly and cartels, racial discrimination, and the relationship between earnings and productivity are examined. The class emphasizes the mastery of the tools of economic analysis as well as the historical and institutional factors peculiar to sports. Prerequisite: ECO 220.

ECO 410 Economic Journalism
Application of micro- and macroeconomic theory to the description and analysis of local, national, and world issues. Through a series of assignments made as if the student were the economics reporter for a large newspaper, the course fosters a capacity for rigorous economic reasoning and clear, precise writing. Prerequisite: ECO 210, 220.

ECO 415 Political Economy of Economic Democracy
An ethical, political, and economic appraisal of worker ownership and control of the production process. Both comparative and noncomparative approaches are used in an attempt to establish the possibilities of workplace democracy. Prerequisite: ECO 110.

ECO 420 International Trade
A study of the pure theory of international trade and finance and the operation of international economic institutions within their relevant contexts. Topics include analysis of tariffs, common markets, exchange rate policies, the significance of balance of payments, and the coordination of international and domestic policy by national governments. Prerequisite: ECO 110, 220. ECO 210 is recommended.

ECO 430 Money and Banking
A study of the behavior of financial institutions including commercial banks, savings and loans, the Federal Reserve, and the U.S. Treasury, and the role of money in macroeconomic stabilization theory and policy. Prerequisite: ECO 110, 210.

ECO 440 Public Finance
A study of the efficiency and equity aspects of government finance and public expenditures and revenues, stressing various taxes at the federal, state, and local levels. Prerequisite: ECO 110, 220.

ECO 445 Managerial Finance
A study of how firms efficiently manage their financial resources and maximize the value of their owner’s investment. Capital budgeting, capital structure, and working capital management are the three fundamental management decisions discussed. Specific topics include financial statement analysis, long- and short-term financial planning, valuation, risk and return, cost of capital, mergers and acquisitions, international finance and options. Prerequisite: ECO 260 or permission of the instructor.

ECO 450-459 Special Topics in Economics - 2002-2003 Topics:


ECO 452 Environmental Economics
An examination of problems associated with pollution and resource depletion. Students are introduced to the usefulness and limitations of welfare economics as a tool in improving the quality of life. Prerequisite: ECO 110.


ECO 455 Experimental Economics
An introduction to issues, methodology, and especially, applications in the field of experimental economics. Daily experiments and simulations explore bargaining, auctions, competition, market failures, voting, contributions to public goods, lottery choice decisions, and similar topics. Through experimental design and data analysis, student understanding of microeconomics will be reinforced. Prerequisite: ECO 110.



ECO 460 International Finance
A survey of characteristics of international finance with particular attention to international mediums of exchange and exchange rates in a global economy. Topics include fixed and flexible exchange rates, balance of payments, interest-rate parity, purchasing-power parity, exchange risk management, capital flows, and Eurocurrency banking. Prerequisite: ECO 210 and MAT 130.

ECO 470 Managerial Economics
Development and practical application of tools of supply, demand, cost, capital, and profit analysis to organizational decision-making. Additionally, a study of the problems of economic measurement and forecasting methods, business planning, and product strategy. Prerequisite: ECO 220 and 390.

ECO 480 Industrial Organization
A theoretical and empirical analysis of the structure of industrial markets and the behavior of business firms. Topics include strategic behavior, mergers, product differentiation, pricing, entry, and advertising. Prerequisite: ECO 220 or permission of the instructor.

ECO 500 Senior Seminar