2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog

Economics

Students may complete a major or minor in Economics.

Faculty

Janet Ceglowski, Professor (on leave semester I)
Margaret Clarke, Lecturer
Jonathan Lanning, Assistant Professor
Michael Rock, Professor
David Ross, Associate Professor and Chair
Matthew Weinberg, Assistant Professor

The Economics curriculum is designed to provide an understanding of economic processes and institutions and the interactions among economic, political and social structures. The curriculum helps students master the methods used by economists to analyze economic issues and it enables them to make reasoned assessments of alternative public policies in a wide range of fields.

Major Requirements

The economics major consists of 10 semester courses in economics and one semester of college-level calculus. The required courses for the economics major are:

  • ECON 105 Introduction to Economics
  • ECON 200 Intermediate Microeconomics
  • ECON 202 Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • ECON 203 Statistical Methods for Economists
  • A research seminar in economics (ECON 390-399) that fulfills the thesis requirement. Each seminar focuses on a specific field in economics and requires that a student has successfully completed prior coursework in that field. For example, ECON 316 or 348 is a prerequisite for ECON 396. In exceptional cases, ECON 403 Independent Research may be substituted for this requirement; this requires preapproval of the instructor and the department chair.
  • At least two 300-level electives for which ECON 200 or 202 is a prerequisite
  • Three additional 200- and/or 300-level economics electives
  • A minimum of one semester of college-level calculus (or its equivalent)

Majors are advised to complete ECON 200, 202, and 203 during sophomore year. They must be completed by the end of junior year or before any study away. These three courses should be taken at Bryn Mawr or Haverford. The department does not grant credit for Swarthmore's intermediate microeconomics course, ECON SW011, because it is not calculus-based.

Students who earn a grade below 2.7 in ECON 105 are advised not to major in Economics.

Minor Requirements

The minor in economics consists of ECON 105 and 203; either ECON 200 or 202; and three electives, one of which must have ECON 200 or 202 as a prerequisite.
A minor plan must be approved before the start of the senior year.

More Important Information for Majors and Minors

Students with questions about the Economics major or minor are encouraged to meet with an Economics faculty member.

  • ECON 202 requires sophomore standing to enroll, and ECON 200 and 203 have a 200-level economics elective as a prerequisite. As such, majors are encouraged to enroll in a 200-level economics elective in the semester after they complete ECON 105.
  • Most courses offered by the Haverford economics department count toward the Bryn Mawr economics major and minor. Most courses offered by the Swarthmore economics department may also be counted toward the Bryn Mawr economics major and minor; two important exceptions are SW011 (Intermediate Microeconomics) and SW033 (Financial Accounting).
  • If a student has taken ECON 105, she cannot take another introductory course elsewhere for credit.
  • No more than two of the following courses can be counted toward an economics major or minor at Bryn Mawr: ECON 105, B136, B140, H205, H224 and any other course that does not have ECON 105 as a prerequisite.
  • At least one semester of calculus (MATH 101) is a prerequisite for ECON B200, B202, and B304. Two semesters of calculus (MATH 102) are a prerequisite for ECON H300 and H302.

Honors

An economics major with a minimum GPA of 3.70 in economics, including economics courses taken in the second semester of the senior year, will graduate with honors in economics.

Advanced Placement

The department will waive the ECON 105 prerequisite for students who score a 5 on both the Microeconomics and Macroeconomics AP exams or a 6 or 7 on the Economics Higher Learning Exam of the International Baccalaureate. The waiver does not count as course credit toward the major or minor; majors and minors receiving advanced placement must still take a total of ten and six courses in economics, respectively. Students qualifying for advanced placement should see the department chair to obtain approval for the waiver and for advice on planning their course work in economics.

Study Away

Planning ahead is the key to successfully balancing a semester or year away with the economics major. Students planning a semester or year away must complete the statistical methods and intermediate theory courses (200, 202 and 203) before going away and must consult with the department chair well before the application deadline for study away. If a student wants a particular course to count toward the economics major or minor, she must obtain approval from the department chair before confirming registration at the host institution.

ECON B105 Introduction to Economics

An introduction to micro- and macroeconomics: opportunity cost, supply and demand; consumer choice, the firm and output decisions; market structures; efficiency and market failure; the determination of national income, including government spending, money and interest rates; unemployment, inflation and public policy.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Weinberg,M., Clarke,M., Lanning,J.

ECON B136 Working with Economic Data

Applies selected principles of economics to the quantitative analysis of economic data; uses spreadsheets and other tools to collect and judge the reliability of economic data. Topics may include measures of income inequality and poverty; unemployment, national income and other measures of economic well-being; cost-benefit of public and private investments; construction of price indices and other government statistics; evaluating economic forecasts; and the economics of personal finance.
Division I and Quantitative Skills
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B136
1.0 units
Ross,D.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ECON B140 Self Interest and Social Behavior

Introduces students to an interdisciplinary, decision and game theoretic model of social behavior where self interest may be sought by rational choice, biological or cultural evolution. Applications include voting, market behavior, public policy formation, mate choice, the development of ethics and structuring environments to enhance cooperation. Designed for students interested in an interdisciplinary approach to social behavior, this course may be used toward the economics major only with the permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: MATH B101 (or equivalent) or consent of the instructor.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Alger,D.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ECON B200 Intermediate Microeconomics

Systematic development of the analytical framework economists use to explain the behavior of consumers and firms. Determination of price; partial and general equilibria; welfare economics. Application to current economic problems. Prerequisites: ECON 105, MATH 101 (or equivalent), one 200-level applied microeconomics elective.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Ross,D.

ECON B202 Intermediate Macroeconomics

The goal of this course is to provide a thorough understanding of the behavior of the aggregate economy and the likely effects of government stabilization policies. Models of output, inflation, unemployment and interest rates are developed, along with theories of consumption, investment, economic growth, exchange rates and the trade balance. These models are used to analyze the likely macroeconomic effects of fiscal and monetary policies and to explore current macroeconomic issues and problems. Prerequisites: ECON B105, or H101 and H102, MATH B101 or equivalent, and sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Ceglowski,J.

ECON B203 Statistical Methods in Economics

An introduction to econometric terminology and reasoning. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, and statistical inference. Particular emphasis is placed on regression analysis and on the use of data to address economic issues. The required computational techniques are developed as part of the course. Prerequisites: ECON B105, or H101 and H102, and a 200-level elective.
Quantitative Skills
Quantitative Methods (QM)
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B206
1.0 units
Lanning,J.

ECON B207 Money and Banking

Analysis of the development and present organization of the financial system of the United States, focusing on the monetary and payment systems, financial markets, and financial intermediaries. Prerequisites: ECON B105, or H101 and H102.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Stahnke,R.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ECON B208 Labor Economics

Analysis of labor markets. Focuses on the economic forces and public policies that determine wage rates, and unemployment. Specific topics include: human capital, family decision marking, discrimination, immigration, technological change, compensating differentials, and signaling. Prerequisite: ECON 105.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Lanning,J.

ECON B213 Taming the Modern Corporation

Introduction to the economics of industrial organization and regulation, focusing on policy options for ensuring that corporations enhance economic welfare and the quality of life. Topics include firm behavior in imperfectly competitive markets; theoretical bases of antitrust laws; regulation of product and occupational safety; environmental pollution; and truth in advertising. Prerequisite: ECON H101 or B105.
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B213
1.0 units
Ross,D., Alger,D.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ECON B214 Public Finance

Analysis of government's role in resource allocation, emphasizing effects of tax and expenditure programs on income distribution and economic efficiency. Topics include sources of inefficiency in markets and possible government responses; federal budget composition; social insurance and antipoverty programs; U.S. tax structure and incidence. Prerequisites: ECON B105 or H101.
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B214
1.0 units
Weinberg,M.

ECON B215 Urban Economics

Micro- and macroeconomic theory applied to urban economic behavior. Topics include housing and land use; transportation; urban labor markets; urbanization; and demand for and financing of urban services. Prerequisite: ECON 105, or 101 and 102.
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B215
1.0 units
Stahnke,R.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ECON B225 Economic Development

Examination of the issues related to and the policies designed to promote economic development in the developing economies of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Focus is on why some developing economies grow faster than others and why some growth paths are more equitable, poverty reducing, and environmentally sustainable than others. Includes consideration of the impact of international trade and investment policy, macroeconomic policies (exchange rate, monetary and fiscal policy) and sector policies (industry, agriculture, education, population, and environment) on development outcomes in a wide range of political and institutional contexts. Prerequisite: ECON B105, or H101 and H102.
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B225
1.0 units
Rock,M.

ECON B234 Environmental Economics

Introduction to the use of economic analysis explain the underlying behavioral causes of environmental and natural resource problems and to evaluate policy responses to them. Topics may include air and water pollution; the economic theory of externalities, public goods and the depletion of resources; cost-benefit analysis; valuing non-market benefits and costs; economic justice; and sustainable development. Prerequisites: ECON B105, or H101 and H102.
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B234
Counts toward Environmental Studies minor
1.0 units
Rock,M.

ECON B236 The Economics of Globalization

An introduction to international economics through theory, policy issues, and problems. The course surveys international trade and finance, as well as topics in international economics. It investigates why and what a nation trades, the consequences of such trade, the role of trade policy, the behavior and effects of exchange rates, and the macroeconomic implications of trade and capital flows. Topics may include the economics of free trade areas, world financial crises, outsourcing, immigration, and foreign investment. Prerequisites: ECON B105, or H101 and H102. The course is not open to students who have taken ECON 316 or 348.
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B238
1.0 units
Ceglowski,J.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ECON 242 Economics of Local Government Programs

Considers the determinants of human impact on the environment at the neighborhood or community level and policy responses available to local government. How can economics help solve and learn from the problems facing rural and suburban communities? The instructor was a local township supervisor who will share the day-to-day challenges of coping with land use planning, waste disposal, dispute resolution, and the provision of basis services. Prerequisite: ECON 105
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B204
Counts toward Environmental Studies minor
1.0 units
Ross,D.

ECON B243 Economic Inequality and Government Policy Choices

This course will examine the U.S. economy and the effects of government policy choices. The class will focus on the potential trade-offs between economic efficiency and greater economic equality. Some of the issues that will be explored include tax, education, and health care policies. Different perspectives on issues will be examined. Prerequisite: ECON B105, or H101 and H102.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Vartanian,T.

ECON B285 Democracy and Development

From 1974 to the late 1990's the number of democracies grew from 39 to 117. This "third wave," the collapse of communism and developmental successes in East Asia have led some to argue the triumph of democracy and markets. Since the late 1990's, democracy's third wave has stalled, and some fear a reverse wave and democratic breakdowns. We will question this phenomenon through the disciplines of economics, history, political science and sociology drawing from theoretical, case study and classical literature. Prerequisite: one year of study in political science or economics.
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS POLS-B385
Counts toward Peace & Conflict Studies concentration
1.0 units
Ross,M., , Rock,M.

ECON B304 Introduction to Econometrics

The econometric theory presented in ECON 203 is further developed and its most important empirical applications are considered. Each student does an empirical research project using multiple regression and other statistical techniques. Prerequisites: ECON 203 or 204; B200 or both B202 and MATH 201.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Weinberg,M.

ECON B311 Game Theory and Applications

Teaches students to develop, use and assess the game theoretic models of imperfect competition, political economy, biological and cultural evolution. Considers how environments may be structured to enhance cooperation. Prerequisite: ECON B200 or equivalent.
1.0 units
Alger,D.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ECON 313 Industrial Organization and Public Policy

The study of the interaction of buyers, sellers and government in imperfectly competitive markets. Prerequisites: ECON 203 or 204; B200.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Ross,D.

ECON B314 The Economics of Social Policy

Introduces students to the economic rationale behind government programs and the evaluation of government programs. Topics include health insurance, social security, unemployment and disability insurance, and education. Additionally, the instructor and students will jointly select topics of special interest to the class. Emphasis will be placed on the use of statistics to evaluate social policy. Prerequisites: ECON 200 and 203.
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B314
1.0 units
Weinberg,M.

ECON B315 Economics of Information and Uncertainty

A study of economic behavior under conditions of incomplete information and uncertainty. Topics include problems of moral hazard and adverse selection in agency theory and signaling model, sequential games of incomplete information, bilateral bargaining and reputation. Applications include optimal insurance contracts, financial bubbles, credit rationing, and the value of information. Prerequisite: ECON B200.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Stahnke,R.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ECON B316 International Macroeconomics

Examines the theory of, and current issues in, international macroeconomics and international finance. Considers the role of international factors in macroeconomic performance; policy-making in an open economy; exchange rate systems and exchange rate behavior; international financial integration; and international financial crises. Prerequisites: ECON B202 and ECON B203.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Ceglowski,J.

ECON B324 The Economics of Discrimination and Inequality

Explores the causes and consequences of discrimination and inequality in economic markets. Topics include economic theories of discrimination and inequality, evidence of contemporary race- and gender-based inequality, detecting discrimination, and identifying sources of racial and gender inequality. Additionally, the instructor and students will jointly select supplementary topics of specific interest to the class. Possible topics include: discrimination in historical markets, disparity in legal treatments, issues of family structure, and education gaps. Prerequisites: At least one 200-level applied microeconomics elective, Economics 203 or 204, and Economics 200 or 202.
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B334
Counts toward Africana Studies concentration
1.0 units
Lanning,J.

ECON B348 International Trade

Study of the major theories offered to explain international trade. Includes analyses of the effects of trade barriers (tariffs, quotas, nontariff barriers), trade liberalization, and foreign investment by multinational corporations on growth, poverty, inequality, and the environment. Prerequisite: ECON B200.
Division I: Social Science
Counts toward International Studies minor
1.0 units
Stahnke,R.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ECON B350 Policy Analysis and Economic Advocacy

The goal of this seminar is mastering the ability to translate the fruits of academic research and applied economic analysis for audiences outside of the academy. Participants will collaborate with faculty colleagues in the production of publishable advocacy papers in the context of two topical policy modules. Prerequisites: ECON B203, B200, B202 and at least one 200-level elective.
1.0 units
Ross,D., Alger,D.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ECON B393 Research Seminar in Industrial and Environmental Regulation

Thesis seminar. Each student does a semester-long research project on a relevant topic of interest. Research topics include the interaction of buyers, sellers, and government in imperfectly competitive markets. Prerequisite: ECON B200; B203; B213 or B234 or B313.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Ross,D.

ECON B395 Research Seminar in Economic Development

Thesis seminar. Each student is expected to engage in a semester long research project on a relevant topic in economic development. The major work product for the seminar is a senior research paper of refereed journal article length. Students are expected to participate in all group meetings and all one-on-one meetings with the professor. Prerequisites: ECON 225 and either ECON B200 or B202.
1.0 units
Rock,M.

ECON B396 Research Seminar: International Economics

Thesis seminar. Each student does a semester-long research project on a relevant topic of interest. Research topics in international trade or trade policy, international finance, international macroeconomics, and international economic integration are appropriate. Prerequisites: ECON 316 or 348, or permission of instructor.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Ceglowski,J.

ECON B403 Supervised Work

An economics major may elect to do individual research. A semester-long research paper is required; it satisfies the 300-level research paper requirement. Students who register for 403 must submit an application form before the beginning of the semester (the form is available from the department chair). The permission of both the supervising faculty member and department chair is required.
1.0 units
Ceglowski,J., Ross,D., Rock,M.