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Course Catalog

UGRD > ECON

Economics

  • ECON 100  Introduction to Economic Issues

    Description:
    This course introduces some of the tools, controversies, and major issues of economics. Students learn basic concepts and methods of measurement used in economics and are introduced to the ways economists analyze economic and social problems. The course focuses each semester on a particular policy topic, giving attention to competing interpretations of the roles of markets, government, firms, and households. Please note that declared economics majors may not enroll in this course. Please note: A student may not receive credit for both ECON 110G and ECON 100.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • ECON 101  Introduction to Microeconomics

    Description:
    A broad introductory survey in which special attention is given to the role of economic principles in analyzing and understanding current economic problems. Emphasis is given to the functioning of markets and to the behavior of individual economic units such as the business firm and the consumer (microeconomics). Other areas of emphasis vary from section to section and may include industrial organization, income distribution, international trade, economics of the environment, and other topics.   More Info

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  • ECON 102  Introduction to Macroeconomics

    Description:
    A broad introductory survey in which special attention is given to the role of economic principles in analyzing and understanding current economic problems. Emphasis is given to examining the overall functioning of the economy and to such matters as unemployment, inflation and recession. Other areas of emphasis vary from section to section and may include economics of government spending and taxation, economic development, alternative economic systems, and other topics.   More Info

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  • ECON 110G  Economic Ideas

    Description:
    This first-year seminar course presents basic economic concepts and tools of analysis in the context of current economic issues. Controversies over the distribution of income, the role of markets, pollution, or globalization are often addressed, although topics vary with the instructor. Students may receive credit for only one of ECON 100, ECON 110G or ECON 112G.   More Info

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  • ECON 112G  US Health Care: Need and Greed

    Description:
    This first-year seminar course examines health care in the U.S. from an economic perspective; we hope: (1) to recognize the relevance of economic analysis to health and medical care issues, (2) to analyze public policy in health and medical care from an economic perspective, and (3) to understand the mechanisms of the health care delivery system within its broad social, political and economic context. Furthermore, we will explore the changing nature of health and medical care in the U.S. , and the implications of this for medical practice, medical education and research, and health policy. Student smay receive credit for only one of ECON 100, ECON 110G or ECON 112G.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • ECON 201  Microeconomic Theory

    Description:
    Analysis of consumer and firm behavior, and of the determination of prices and quantities in both product and factor markets. Equilibrium of the household, the firm, and the industry. Implications of alternative market structures. A theoretically oriented course that builds on the less rigorous foundation provided in introductory economics courses.   More Info

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  • ECON 202  Macroeconomic Theory

    Description:
    An investigation of the forces determining national output, employment, and inflation. Particular attention is paid to those government policies which attempt to affect the overall level of economic activity in the US. A theoretically oriented course that builds on the less rigorous foundation provided in introductory economics courses.   More Info

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  • ECON 205  Statistical Methods

    Description:
    A non-calculus introduction to statistical inference aimed at familiarizing students with common statistical concepts so they will be able to make intelligent evaluations of technical reports. Topics include descriptive statistics; probability, including the normal distribution; hypothesis testing, including t-tests; analysis of variance; regression and correlation.   More Info

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  • ECON 212G  Economics of the Metropolitan Area

    Description:
    Why do some metropolitan areas prosper while others fall on hard times? This intermediate seminar course examines the underlying economic forces that shape the development of metropolitan areas, paying special attention to policy issues regarding land use, housing, transportation, and poverty. The course may count toward the major in economics. Note: In addition to the pre-requisites for all Intermediate Seminars, to enroll in this course students must have completed ECON 101 (Microeconomics).   More Info

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  • ECON 214G  Ecological Economics

    Description:
    This course is an introduction to the field of ecological economics, which examines how the natural environment and human-made economy interact to provide the foundation for human society. This mostly non-mathematical course highlights the differences between mainstream economics and ecological economics, encouraging students to think critically about the assumptions used by each school of thought and the different implications for policy and human wellbeing. Topics include the environmental basis of the economy; the optimal size of the economy and prospects for a non-growing or steady-state economy; personal consumption issues and drivers; social welfare and how this can be measured; and the fair distribution of world resources.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • ECON 308  History of Economic Thought

    Description:
    AA discussion of the rise and development of systematic economic thought. Both orthodox and heterodox economic ideas are studied in light of the social and historical context in which they developed. The course covers the origins of mercantilist thought, the physiocrats, classical political economy through Marx, neoclassical economics, the marginalist school, and the advent of macroeconomics.   More Info

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  • ECON 310  Introduction to Marxist Analysis

    Description:
    An introduction to Marxist economic analysis, giving students an initial exposure to the basic concepts and methods of analysis of Marxist economics. Several themes and concepts run throughout the course; these include the processes of alienation and exploitation, the operation of contradictions and the role of dialectics, and the role of the state in capitalistic societies.   More Info

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  • ECON 318  The Economics of State and Local Governments

    Description:
    An examination of the role that state and local governments play in financing and implementing the delivery of public goods and services. The levels and history of state and local expenditures and revenues, economic theories of the role of government, the relationship between the federal government and state and local governments, and the specific taxes used to finance state and local government activities are examined, with special attention paid to the current fiscal situation of the states, especially Massachusetts.   More Info

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  • ECON 325  American Economic History

    Description:
    The economic history of the United States, focusing on selected topics, including, for example: early industrialization, slavery, the rise of large firms, and the Great Depression. Several themes are given emphasis, including: the diversity of the U.S. population and the way different groups have played different roles in the country's economic development; the interaction between the state and the economy; the role of education and technological change; the great material success of the U.S. economy and the disruptions in that success.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • ECON 327  Political Economy of Development in Africa

    Description:
    This course explores the political economy of development within Africa since independence. It provides an overview of major economic development debates in post-colonial Africa. Particular attention will be given to the economic and political legacies of colonialism, agrarian change, industrialization, resource mobilization, trade diversification, institutional reforms, aid, debt & capital flight, violence and state capacity. This course seeks to combine theoretical debates with country case studies as a way to illustrate the diversity of experiences within the African continent.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • ECON 331  Money and Financial Institutions

    Description:
    An economic analysis of the US financial system, including examination of the major types of financial assets, financial markets, and financial institutions, as well as the major factors that determine asset prices and the structure of interest rates. Attention is given to the nature and operation of banking firms and the structure and regulation of the banking industry. Other topics may include the Federal Reserve and monetary policy; the determination of the money supply; recent trends in the banking industry; lending discrimination and community reinvestment; and current public policy issues in the areas of banking and finance.   More Info

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  • ECON 334  International Trade

    Description:
    An examination of alternative theories of international trade, including traditional neoclassical free trade approaches and newer theories addressing imperfect competition, economies of scale, national competitiveness issues, and managed trade. Topics also include the economic analysis of trade policies and trade imbalances: quotas, tariffs, GATT, free trade areas, NAFTA, trade problems and policies in economically developed and developing countries.   More Info

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  • ECON 335  International Finance

    Description:
    An examination of the theory of international finance, balance of payments and foreign exchange markets, open economy macroeconomic policy with capital mobility and exchange rate flexibility, international monetary regimes, and international monetary reform.   More Info

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  • ECON 336  Economic Development

    Description:
    Topics include the economic meaning of underdevelopment; the role played by different kinds of resources; the evaluation of alternative "strategies" for economic growth and development; and the interaction between the problems of the under-developed countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the policies of the US and other developed countries.   More Info

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  • ECON 337  Emerging Economies in Asia

    Description:
    This course provides an overview of the development and current concern of the major economies of Asia from historical, contemporary, and comparative perspectives. Topics include an examination of the causes and consequences of periods of rapid economic growth, the consequences of financial crises, and likely future impacts of Asia on the world economy.   More Info

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  • ECON 338  The Latin American Economy

    Description:
    Description and analysis of the economic characteristics and problems of Latin American countries.   More Info

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  • ECON 339  Political Economy of International Migration

    Description:
    This course investigates theories of and empirical evidence concerning (1) why humans migrate internationally, (2) their geographic destination and duration of stay in the host nation, (3) their labor market and fiscal effects, (4) their health and use of public medical assistance, and (5) the amount, frequency, mechanisms, and effects of remitting money to their home country.   More Info

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  • ECON 343  The Political Economy of Black America

    Description:
    This course studies the economic, political and sociological status of African-Americans and competing explanations for the persistence of differences in unemployment, income, wealth and poverty between African-Americans and white Americans. Explanations explored include scientific explanations that are biological and sociological in origin; popular explanations derived from responses to national opinion polls on white and black racial attitudes and cultural practices; and race-biased explanations drawn from evidence proffered by heterodox analysts of the existence and persistence of pervasive racial discrimination in economic, political and social life.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • ECON 345L  Natural Resources & Sustainable Development

    Description:
    This class introduces the economic approach to sustainable growth and economic development by, among other things, examining questions surrounding natural resource management. The first third of the course focuses on the role economics can and cannot play in examining natural resources issues, schools of thought concerning the extent to which natural resources are scarce, and what sustainable economic growth means. The second third of the class focuses on exposing you to the tools economists and policy decision makers use to examine natural resource issues. Finally, the final third of the course focuses on applying the concepts you have learned to specific natural resource issues. ECON 345L and EEOS 345L are the same course.   More Info

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  • ECON 349L  Economic Approaches to Environmental Problems

    Description:
    An introduction to the economist's approach to solving environmental problems. The course examines applicable economic theories, then uses them to develop a framework for analyzing a wide range of environmental issues. Topics include benefit/cost analysis; measurement of environmental damages; and current government approaches to solving air, water, and solid waste pollution problems. ECON 349L and EEOS 349L are the same course.   More Info

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  • ECON 351  Economic Philosophy

    Description:
    This course examines the history, evolution, and current state of the philosophy of science underlying economics. The central aim of the course is to provide students with a deep understanding of how economic analysis works, and, thereby, to help students critically interpret the claims of current economic research and rhetoric. The course is divided thematically into four parts, studying: (1) the pre-history of modern economics, (2) the foundation and evolution of modern economics, (3) critical responses to modern economic philosophy, and (4) current work in economics.   More Info

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  • ECON 370  Special Topics

    Description:
    This course provides an opportunity, at the 300 level, for the department to offer one-time-only courses on special topics of current interest to faculty members and students. It also is sometimes used as a way of offering proposed new courses on a trial basis before they are officially approved as part of the economics curriculum.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • ECON 372  Comparative Economic Systems

    Description:
    An examination of alternative systems of economic organization. Analysis of the failed command economies of the former Soviet Bloc and discussion of the progress and prospects for reform in Russia, Poland and Hungary. Special attention is given to comparing alternative capitalist systems (US, Sweden, Germany, Japan and South Korea). Issues of concern include market and non-market mechanisms of allocation and distribution, workers' control, economic democracy, centralization and decentralization, and the relation of economic affairs to political and social affairs.   More Info

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  • ECON 380  Health Economics

    Description:
    An analysis of how health care markets function with specific reference to the US health care delivery system. Topics include the economic, social, and demographic factors determining the demand for health care services, the supply of various kinds of health care services, the financing of health-sector services, and alternative systems of health care delivery and financing.   More Info

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  • ECON 385  Economics of Education

    Description:
    This course deals with a variety of questions about the role of education in the economy and about economic aspects of the educational system. First, attention is given to the historical development of US public education and to different theories trying to explain that development. Students examine such issues as: Does education make people more productive? If so, how? Does education affect people's behavior in ways that make them "fit" better or worse in the large enterprises of the economy? Whose interests are served by the structure of our educational system? How does the educational system affect economic, social and political equality? Much of the course is devoted to particular controversies, for example, the issue of school choice, merit pay for teachers, the equalizing or disequalizing impacts of schooling, the importance of education in making the US "more competitive."   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • ECON 390  Labor Market Economics

    Description:
    An analysis of labor as an economic resource. Topics include the demand and supply of labor; wage determination and the structure of labor markets; income distribution, discrimination and inequality; unemployment and contingent work; labor as a macroeconomic variable, and public policies affecting the labor market.   More Info

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  • ECON 391  Unions and Collective Bargaining

    Description:
    An analysis of work and the institutions of workers. The course surveys labor history, labor unions, labor laws, organizing, collective bargaining, strikes, international competition, and how globalization is affecting work and worker's ability to organize and improve their working conditions.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • ECON 392  Women's Economic Roles

    Description:
    Women's labor-unpaid and paid-is a crucial, yet often overlooked or undercounted component of economic activity in industrial countries. This course presents an historical overview of the economic roles of women in the US and how economic theories explain these roles. The course focuses on why women's economic status has remained subordinate to men's and discusses policies directly affecting women's economic position.   More Info

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    • TBA
  • ECON 394  Sex-Segregated Labor Markets

    Description:
    A study of women's inferior economic status. Review of theoretical and empirical work on topics including women's labor force participation, job segregation, wage differences and discrimination, and considerations of proposals for changes in public policy.   More Info

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  • ECON 395  The Economics of Social Welfare

    Description:
    A study of major economic security programs in the United States, such as Social Security and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. The course begins with an examination of historical events leading to the programs of the American welfare system, analyzes the benefit and cost structure of the current system, and assesses the effects of recent attempts to reform that system.   More Info

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  • ECON 406  Introduction to Behavioral Economics

    Description:
    Behavioral economics is a new, and quickly growing field that attempts to provide a more realistic understanding of judgment and decision making in an economic context. In this course, we will discuss the short-comings of the standard economic model, and how these short-comings can be replaced with more plausible assumptions about decision making. We will apply these principles in the areas of labor markets and firm organization, financial markets, and public policy.   More Info

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  • ECON 415  Economic Demography

    Description:
    This is a course in population economics. In this course you will gain an understanding of global and national demographic trends and the theories of demographic change underlying these trends. Much of the course will focus on the economics of the family. We will analyze marriage, fertility, intergenerational ties, and mortality at the level of the individual and the household.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • ECON 417  Public Finance

    Description:
    An examination of the role of the public sector in the U.S. economy, focusing on expenditures and tax theory. Topics usually include: welfare economics and justification for government intervention in the market economy, and explanation of the federal budget, theories of growth in government, benefit/cost analysis, income redistribution theory, tax incidence, and the effect of different forms of taxation on consumption, labor supply, savings, and investment.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • ECON 418  Political Economy of Violent Conflict

    Description:
    This course examines the Political Economy of Violent Conflict with a focus on low and middle income countries over the last 3 decades. Particular attention will be given to the theories and causes of war, the ways wars are waged, resource conflicts, financing of wars, the effect of war on the economy, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction and nation building. This course seeks to combine theoretical debates with country case studies as a way to illustrate the diversity of experiences and complexity of understanding conflict. Throughout this course gender will be considered as an important conceptual category in understanding the patterns, prevalence, and impacts of violence in war-affected countries.   More Info

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  • ECON 432  Industrial Organization

    Description:
    Presentation of a framework for the analysis and evaluation of the performance of American industry and an examination of a group of American industries to illustrate the usefulness of this framework in explaining the price, output and product policies in those industries. The course also includes an analysis of antitrust activities as a public policy designed to promote better market performance.   More Info

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    • TBA
  • ECON 435  The Multinational Corporation

    Description:
    Examination of the patterns, trends, and theories of direct foreign investment, and impacts of multinational corporations on home and host countries. Topics include effects of MNCs on trade, employment, wages, technology, and economic development. Papers, class presentation, and class discussion required.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • ECON 452  Econometrics

    Description:
    This is a course in the techniques of estimating economic models. The uses and pitfalls of empirical estimation in economics will be examined. In addition to lectures, there will be a weekly two-hour computer lab, where students will apply these methods using econometric software.   More Info

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  • ECON 476  Internship in Economics

    Description:
    Carefully supervised field work for eight or sixteen hours per week in Boston-area institutions that conduct research on economic issues-e.g. government and non-government organizations. Open to a limited number of students each spring; applications are typically due in November. More information is available from the Economics Department.   More Info

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  • ECON 478  Independent Study

    Description:
    Research and reading in any area in economics: the purpose of this course is to allow the student to do advanced work in an area of economics to which he or she has already been exposed or to investigate an entirely new area. (Course offered in the fall only.)   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • ECON 479  Independent Study

    Description:
    Research and reading in any area in economics: the purpose of this course is to allow the student to do advanced work in an area of economics to which he or she has already been exposed or to investigate an entirely new area.   More Info

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  • ECON 481  Senior Independent Study

    Description:
    Reading and research, under the direction of an individual faculty member, that builds on knowledge and skills obtained in a student's previous economics courses and that culminates in the production of a substantial research paper. Students will be allowed to enroll in ECON 481 only after the completion of a written proposal that obtains written approval from the supervising faculty member and from the department chairperson. (Fulfills the capstone requirement.)   More Info

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  • ECON 489  Senior Honors Project

    Description:
    Closely supervised individual research on a topic chosen by a student in consultation with a faculty supervisor. The course's aim is to enable highly qualified students to undertake the preliminary exploration-reading, thinking, data-gathering-necessary for the successful undertaking of writing a senior honors thesis during the following term. The thesis prospectus must be completed and accepted by the student's proposed thesis supervisor before enrollment. Enrollment is limited to economics majors with at least 80 credits and an overall cumulative GPA of 3.25 who have completed at least 7 economics courses with a GPA of 3.5; permission of both a faculty supervisor and the department chairperson is required. (Fulfills the capstone requirement.)   More Info

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  • ECON 490  Senior Honors Thesis

    Description:
    Closely supervised individual research resulting in the completion of a senior honors thesis. Topics will be mutually agreed upon by students and their faculty supervisors, on the basis of the thesis prospectus (See Economics 489). At the beginning of the term the department chairperson will, in consultation with the thesis supervisor, appoint a second reader for the thesis, who will be available for consultation during the term. On completion of the thesis, and its acceptance by the supervisor and the second reader, the student will present an oral summary of his or her research at a seminar open to all economics students and faculty. (Fulfills the capstone requirement.)   More Info

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