Professors: F. J. Navratil, J. C. Soper, T. J. Zlatoper, L. D. Brooks, W. O. Simmons (Chair); Associate Professors: L. R. Cima, L. N. Calkins (Associate Dean), A. M. Welki, S. K. Kahai; Executive-in-Residence: A. Aveni

The primary goal of the economics faculty is to provide its students, the University, and the community with an understanding of economic theory and practice through quality teaching and advising, significant research, and appropriate community involvement.

The general goals of the economics program are to develop the following qualities in our students:

  • Proficiency in the use of the language of economics in both written and oral form based on knowledge and understanding of economic theory and practice.
  • Cultivation of critical thinking skills and development of a logical, ordered approach to problem solving.
  • Ability to apply the scientific method to problems in social science research.
  • Preparedness for graduate study in economics, and for transition into the workforce.
  • Understanding of the historical significance of economics and its continuing contribution to social outcomes.
  • Ability to evaluate positive and normative economics within the context of their moral and spiritual principles.

Economics is the study of scarcity, of choice, and of efficiency. As British economist Alfred Marshal wrote, “Economics is a study of mankind in the ordinary business of life.” As such it draws on history, philosophy, and mathematics to address such diverse topics as product and resource pricing, inflation, unemployment, interest-rate determination, environmental issues, and federal government expenditure and taxation policies. In addition, the theories and models of economics have been applied to non-traditional areas, including marriage, child-rearing, criminal behavior, discrimination, and ethics.

Major and Minor

Economics is considered one of the most flexible of all the potential fields of undergraduate study for two reasons. First, students can choose to major in economics either through the College of Arts and Sciences (Bachelor of Arts), or through the Boler School of Business (Bachelor of Science). Second, a major in economics provides a comprehensive base for a variety of academic and professional fields. It is an ideal preparation for careers in business and for many graduate programs. Economics majors find employment in banking and other financial institutions, sales, consulting firms, government service, and teaching. In addition, many graduate programs—most notably law, business administration, and economics—regard the study of economics to be particularly beneficial because of its logical, ordered approach to problem solving.

Furthermore, the study of economics—the only social science honored by its own Nobel Prize—is intellectually challenging and rewarding. Economists use the scientific method to develop and test hypotheses and with their findings address vital current issues.

Students who choose to major in economics through the College of Arts and Sciences may apply to the department after completing EC 201-202. Acceptance as a major requires a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average and a 2.0 grade-point average in previous course work in economics.

Major and Minor Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Economics:
33-34 credits hours. EC 201-202, 208, 301, 302, 499, and 15 additional upper-division hours.

Required Support Courses: 3 hours. MT 167. Students planning to pursue graduate work in economics are urged also to take MT 135-136.

B.A. students are urged, but not required, to take additional courses in the Boler School of Business, especially a year-long sequence in accounting. Additionally, students planning to pursue graduate work in economics should take EC 409, 410, and a course in linear algebra.

Bachelor of Science in Economics: 60-64 credit hours.

Business Core: 39-43 hours, including EC 499, and MN 461 or MN 463-464.

Major courses: 21 hours, including EC 301, 302, with 15 hours in upper-division economics in addition to EC courses required in the business core.

All majors must take an economics comprehensive examination during senior year, which will count for a portion of the EC 499 grade. Consult the department for details.

Minor in Economics: 18 hours. EC 201-202 plus 12 credit hours at the 300 or 400 level.

Interdisciplinary Concentrations

  1. International Economics/Modern Languages—offered in conjunction with the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures.
  2. International Business—offered in conjunction with the other academic disciplines of the Boler School of Business and the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures.
  3. International Studies—offered in conjunction with the Center for Global Education.
  4. Mathematics and Economics—offered in conjunction with the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and strongly recommended for those who plan to do graduate work.
  5. Public Administration and Policy Studies—offered in conjunction with the Department of Political Science.

Students interested in one of these concentrations should see the section in this Bulletin on interdisciplinary minors and concentrations (pages 82-89) or, for any of them, the chair of one of the departments involved.

101. INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMIC PROBLEMS AND POLICIES 3 cr. Survey of selected current socioeconomic issues and problems: market structure, costs and competition, international trade, environmental concerns, economic growth, financial panics, inflation, and unemployment. Use of fundamental economic concepts and basic tools of economic analysis. This course cannot be used as part of an economics major, the business core for business majors, or the business minor.

201-202. PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS I, II 3 cr. each. Economic principles and problems. 201 (Microeconomics): the nature of economics and its method, the economic problem, demand and supply analysis, costs of production, market structures, product and resource pricing, and international trade. 202 (Macroeconomics): economic goals, basic information about the American economy, national income accounting, international finance, theories of income determination, economic growth and instability, money and banking, monetary and fiscal policy, the public debt, and selected economic problems. Algebra is used throughout both courses.

208. BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC STATISTICS 3 cr. Prerequisites: BI 107, or competency waiver for Spreadsheet Applications, and MT 167, or MT 135 (or MT 133-134) and EC 208L. Hypothesis testing, chi-square analysis, analysis of variance, correlation, bivariate and multivariate regression analysis, time series, and index numbers. Some student assignments will utilize the computer.

208L. BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC STATISTICS LAB 1 cr. Descriptive statistics, probability and probability distributions, sampling, sampling distributions. Intended for students with credit in an acceptable calculus course who did not take MT 167.

299. SPECIAL TOPICS 1-3 cr. Specialized focus in selected areas of economics. May also include independent study work.

301. MICROECONOMICS 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202 and MT 167, or permission of chair. Detailed analysis of the behavior of consuming and producing units, determination of prices and outputs through the market, resource allocation and distribution. Problems of decision making and planning.

302. MACROECONOMICS 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202 and MT 167, or permission of chair. Theories of the determination of the level of national economic activity: output, income, employment, and its relationship to economic growth, stability, and the price level. Particular emphasis on the components of aggregate demand and aggregate supply.

311. MONEY AND BANKING 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202. Money and credit; historical and institutional development of the U.S. financial system; monetary theory; policies of financial regulators.

312. ECONOMICS OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202. Theoretical and empirical analysis of public (government) expenditures and taxation. Topics include welfare economics, public goods, externalities, theories of distributive justice, income taxation, tax incidence, taxation and efficiency, and some discussion of public choice theory.

315. ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202. Designed to acquaint students with analytical tools of environmental economics, including cost-benefit analysis, user charges, rationing of scarce resources, investment allocation criteria, and public expenditure criteria.

321. LABOR AND HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202. Examines the organization, functioning, and outcomes of labor markets; the decisions of prospective and present labor market participants; and public policies that relate to the employment and payment of labor resources. Typical topics include determination of wages, prices, profits; individual human capital acquisition and labor supply decisions; labor unions and collective bargaining; labor law and public policy; contemporary issues such as discrimination, immigration, and health.

331. INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION AND PUBLIC POLICIES 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202. Analysis of imperfectly competitive markets, focusing on the interactions among market structure, firm behavior, and market outcomes. Topics include a review of market structures, firm motives, measures of concentration, merger theory and policy, barriers to entry, monopolization, oligopoly models, pricing strategies, vertical strategies, market power, game theory, collusion and cartel theory, technological progress, and antitrust legislation.

332. ECONOMICS OF REGULATION 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202. Application of economic theory and techniques to regulated industries and public utilities. Recent developments in regulated industries and deregulation. Focus on the making of economic theory regulation, brief history of economic regulation, the regulatory process, capture theory, natural monopoly regulation, traditional rate-of-return regulation, incentive regulation, dynamic issues in natural monopoly regulation, telecommunications regulation, regulation of potentially competitive markets, theory of price and entry/exit regulation, methods for estimating the effects of regulation, and economic regulation of transportation.

342. INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202. International trade theory, commercial policy, and economic interdependence. Exchange rates and the foreign exchange market, the balance of payments, parity conditions, and the international monetary system.

343. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202. Theoretical and policy issues in economic growth and development with emphasis on specific country policies and experience; alternative development paths; problems of development planning; policies for achieving growth and development in emerging countries; and conditions necessary for continued growth in advanced countries.

345. ECONOMIC HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES (HS 345) 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202. Growth of the U.S. economy from colonial times to post-World War II period. Development of transportation, commerce, labor, agriculture, industry, money and banking; economic and political issues and the increasing role of government in the economy.

352. COMPARATIVE ECONOMIC SYSTEMS 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202. Examines the major economic systems of the world in both theory and practice. Focuses on a general understanding of how economic systems work and how economic theory interacts with government policy, history, and culture to explain economic performance in capitalist regulated markets, socialist regulated markets, socialist centrally planned economies, transitional economies, and other emerging economic systems.

361. URBAN AND REGIONAL ECONOMICS 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202. Application of analytical techniques of economic theory to urban and regional problems. Economic rationale of cities, urban and regional growth and development, classical location theory, analysis of urban markets, and policy approaches to urban and regional problems.

405. SEMINAR IN ECONOMICS 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202, and/or as announced. Contemporary issues in economics not covered in depth in other departmental courses. Specific topic, method of presentation, and student requirement designated by the seminar leader. Examples might include, but are not limited to, the portfolio approach to exchange rates and the balance of payments; alternatives to standard international trade models; causes and consequences of income and wealth inequalities.

409. MATHEMATICAL ECONOMICS 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202 and MT 167 or MT 135 or MT 133-134; or permission of chair. Economic analysis from a mathematical perspective. Static equilibrium analysis, comparative statics, and optimization using matrix algebra and calculus.

410. ECONOMETRICS 3 cr. Prerequisites: EC 201-202 and 208; or permission of chair. Recommended: EC 301 and/or 302 and 409. Building econometric models, understanding different econometric methods, estimating models using computer packages.

498. INDEPENDENT STUDY 1-3 cr. Prerequisites: economics major; upper-division status; 3.0 GPA in economics; permission of chair and instructor. Research project supervised by a department member willing to act as advisor. The student selects an aspect of economics, establishes goals, and develops a plan of study. Plan must be approved by chair and filed with dean’s office. Consult chair for departmental guidelines established for such study.

499A. INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH PROJECT IN ECONOMICS I 0 cr. Prerequisites: economics major; senior standing or permission of chair. The preliminary stages of an integrative senior seminar for all economics majors, including topic development and identification, MFAT preparation, and literature review. Offered fall semester only.

499B. INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH PROJECT IN ECONOMICS II 3 cr. Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of EC 499A or permission of chair. Completion of a faculty-supervised research project, including multiple drafts and a presentation of the student’s work. Offered spring semester only.