Course Descriptions

ECON101Principles of Economics An introduction to the concerns and methods of economics, covering both microeconomic and macroeconomic principles. This course analyses how markets work and how economic decisions are made. It considers the interactions of firms and households in individual markets as well as the workings of national and international economies. The class will examine current economic issues and study how policy can be used to address economic problems.
ECON155Mathematical Methods for Business & Econ Economics Designed to give economics and business students the quantitative skills necessary for upper-level courses in the department. The principal topics covered are graphing of linear and nonlinear functions, basic rules of differentiation, optimization techniques, and mathematics of finance (compounding and discounting). Students may substitute MATH 112 for ECON 155. Students that have successfully completed MATH-112 will not be allowed to earn credit for ECON/BUSN 155. Prerequisite: ECON-101, and at least a high school algebra course.
ECON/BUSN160Statistics for Business and Economics Designed to give economics and business students the quantitative skills necessary to understand as well as undertake a serious research project. The emphasis in this course is on statistical inference and basic econometrics. The principal topics covered are probability and probability distributions, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis. Computer software will be used to apply these techniques to relevant economic problems. Students may substitute MATH 260 for ECON 160.Prerequisite: ECON-101. Note: Cross-listed with BUSN-160
ECON225Economics of Development and Growth The course explores the topic of economic development; what is the meaning of economic development and why some countries are "developed," while others are not. It explores what tools and policies can be used to improve the level of income and development in nations. It studies theories of economic development and models of economic growth and sheds light on topics such as population growth, human capital, income inequality, environmental impacts, and institutional frameworks.Prerequisite: ECON-101
ECON235Environmental and Resource Economics Study of the economic perspective of environmental and resource problems and issues; the management and allocation of renewable and nonrenewable resources; the trade-off between economic growth and environmental amenities; and the impacts of natural resource availability on economic growth. Emphasis on the development and application of economic theory to contemporary natural resource issues.Prerequisite: ECON-101
ECON/SEMN240Economics for Global Travelers This Sophomore Seminar examines how economics can contribute to a better understanding of the world and our place in it. We will look at differences, similarities, and linkages among the economiecs of various nations. We will study flows of money, products, people, technologies, and ideas across national borders. The approach will be non-technical with an emphasis on understanding economic ideas. We will spend more time writing and discussing than on models or equations. Does not count toward economics or business major.Prerequisite: Sophomores only. Cross-listed with ECON-240.
ECON/BUSN245Money, Banking, and Financial Markets This course is intended to give students a broad overview of the functions of the financial system and monetary policy in the U.S. and the global economy. It covers the Bond, Stock and Foreign exchange markets and how interest rates, stock prices and the value of the dollar in terms of foreign currency are determined. Bank balance sheets, Interest rate risk, liquidity, asset and capital adequacy management are also covered. The functions, history and role of the Federal Reserve (The Fed), the goal of monetary policy and monetary policy tools are discussed in detail.Prerequisite: ECON-101; ECON-155 or MATH-112. Restricted to those who have not had ECON 306 and/or BUSN350. Open to Junior and Senior Economics and Business majors and all Sophomore and First-Year students. Cross-listed with ECON-245.
ECON262Fiscal & Monetary Policy in Times of Cri Crisis Since the financial crisis of 2009, countries have used unusual and novel fiscal and monetary policies in their attempts to stabilize and grow their economies. New policies include austerity bail-outs, zero interest rates, and quantitative easing. We will examine the theoretical underpinnings of these policies as well as their real world impacts.Prerequisite: ECON-101 and BUSN/ECON 155, MATH-110, MATH-111, or MATH 112
ECON265Issues in Urban Economics This course is both an introduction to urban economics and an in-depth study of one current urban issue. We will examine why cities exist, where they develop, and how they grow and decline. We will also study the economic aspects of contemporary urban planning and development policy issues such as land use zoning, housing, traffic congestion, publicly vs. privately provided goods.Prerequisite: ECON-101
ECON270Labor Economics The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of how labor market function. The topics include labor supply and labor demand, wage determination, human capital and education, unemployment, discrimination, and labor mobility. By the end of the course, students should be able to understand the theoretical concepts and empirical tools used to analyze labor markets and related public policy issues. Prerequisite: ECON-101 and ECON-160
ECON/BUSN275Industrial Organization and Public Policy Industrial Organization studies the impact of market structure on strategy, conduct, and economic performance. This course will use industry studies to develop the theoretical framework of industrial organization, to examine economic problems related to different market structures, and to analyze public policy. We will spend a substantial amount of time on the history of individual industries. We will explore U.S. public policy towards industry, with an emphasis on antitrust. Prerequisite: ECON-101. Open to Junior and Senior Economics and Business majors and all Sophomore and First-Year students. Cross-listed with BUSN-275.
ECON280Law and Economics Law and Economics studies the interaction between the legal system and the market system. It examines why law is necessary for markets to function and it uses economic principles to analyze laws. This course uses basic tools of economics to understand a variety of legal issues. Topics covered include property and contracts, civil vs. criminal law, antitrust, environmental regulation, and international trade policy and regulation.Prerequisite: ECON-101
ECON/BUSN290Selected Topics in Economics Special Topics offerings focus upon topics not addressed in the department's regular offerings. The course can be repeated with a different topic. Check the course schedule to see when Special Topics courses are being offered. Prerequisite: ECON-101 Open to Junior and Senior Business majors and all Sophomore and First-Year students.
ECON290Health Economics This course is designed to provide students with issues related to efficiency, effectiveness, value, and behavior in the production and consumption of health and health care. The course will cover the following topics: the production of health, the demand for health care, government's influence on health behaviors, health insurance's effect on the demand for medical care, employer-sponsored health insurance's impact on labor market outcomes, and insurance's effect on health. The class will also include guided discussions of current health care topics. Students should be able to think critically about health-related policy issues by the end of the class. This course can count for the Economics Major. Prerequisite: ECON-101
ECON/BUSN290Introduction to Investments The objective is to provide students with an overview of investment management. This course describes the investment market, the players/participants, and securities. Students will also learn about risk and return is measured, diversification and its impact on risk and portfolio construction, the trade-off between risk and return, and market efficiency.Prerequisite: ECON-101 Open to Junior and Senior Business majors and all Sophomores.
ECON305Intermediate Microeconomics This course deals with (1) the study of the theories of household and firm behavior, equilibrium analysis, market structure, pricing, economic efficiency, and social welfare; and (2) the applications of microeconomics theory to solve real problems faced by actual decision makers in industry and government. Students are encouraged to take a 200 level Economics or Business course before taking ECON 305 though it is not a requirement. Prerequisite: ECON-101; ECON-155 BUSN-155 or MATH-112; 200-level Economics or Business course recommended. Open to Junior and Senior BUSN/ECON majors and all Sophomore and First-Year students.
ECON306Intermediate Macroeconomics This course introduces the major schools of thought in macroeconomics theory, including the Classical, Keynesian, Monetarist, New Classical, and New Keynesian models. Topics covered include: the determinants of long-run economic growth; IS-LM framework and aggregate demand and supply framework in both closed and open economies; the short run fluctuation of the economy; the influence of monetary, fiscal, and exchange rate policy; and alternative theories about aggregate supply. Students are encouraged to take a 200 level Economics or Business course before taking ECON 306 though it is not a requirement.Prerequisite: ECON-101; ECON-155 BUSN-155 or MATH-112; 200-level Economics or Business course recommended. Open to Junior and Senior BUSN/ECON majors and all Sophomore and First-Year students.
ECON360Econometrics A course that focuses on econometric theory and practice. Topics covered include the classical regression model, serial correlation, and time series estimation. In this computer lab based course, students will apply econometric techniques to economic questions and issues. Prerequisite: ECON/BUSN-160 or MATH-260 or 261 and ECON-305 or ECON-306 Open to Junior and Senior Economics and Business majors and all Sophomores and First-Year students.
ECON380Research Methods in Economics This course is a required junior research seminar for those wishing to do a SIP in the Economics Department. The overarching goal of this course is for students to learn basic business research methods and skills sufficiently to complete a Econoics Department SIP successfully. Rising senior class students will learn how to design meaningful research projects, organize and write a compelling literature review, collect and analyze data with statistical methods appropriate for testable hypotheses, and write a final research report. This course is mandatory for those planning to do a SIP in economics. A companion course, Research Methods in Business, will be taught at the same time.Prerequisite: BUSN/ECON-160 and ECON-305 or ECON-306 Open to Junior Economics majors only.
ECON405International Trade Explores the gains from specialization and trade within the context of various international trade models. Studies the instruments of trade policy and their welfare effects and carefully explores the political economy of trade policy.Prerequisite: ECON-305
ECON/BUSN410Open Economy Macroeconomics This course introduces basic concepts and analytical framework of open economy macroeconomics. It explores balance of payments, fixed and floating exchange rate, international financial markets, as well as equilibrium income in the open economy. It also provides students basic knowledge about how government policies affect private-sector performance in a global setting.Prerequisite: ECON-306
ECON415Public Sector Economics Examination of federal, state, and local budget priorities and programs from both theoretical and case study approaches. Implications of different taxing and spending decisions will be analyzed.Prerequisite: ECON-305
ECON490Advanced Topics in Economics Or Business The content for this course varies each quarter. Prerequisite: Take ECON-235 and Seniors Standing
ECON/BUSN490The Opioid Crisis This senior seminar explores the intersection of the War on Drugs, pharmaceutical company profit seeking, international poverty and the search for marketable crops, and impacts on American communities and families. We will examine markets, market failures, business models, and government intervention along the way.Prerequisite: ECON-305 and ECON-306 Open to Senior Economics and Business majors.
ECON490Financial Frictions & Monetary Policy This seminar provides a critical in depth understanding of the relationship between the financial sector and monetary policy in the context of the 2008/09 financial crisis. It covers the topics related to conventional and unconventional monetary policy, the Zero Lower Bound (ZLB) and forward guidance, the effect of monetary policy on asset prices, monetary transmission mechanisms, moral hazard and adverse selection in financial markets, the yield curve and term premiums and the role of monetary policy in financial stability. Most of the topics will be supported by empirical exercises on Eviews or Matlab. Prerequisite: Econ 306 Open to Senior Economics and Business majorsPrerequisite: ECON-306. Open to Senior Economics and Business majors.
ECON593Senior Individualized Project Each program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Individualized Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum -> Curriculum Details and Policies section of the Academic Catalog for more details.Prerequisite: ECON 380, permission of department and SIP supervisor required.