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Economics

Economics has been described as the study of the issues arising from the allocation of limited resources to meet unlimited human needs. A major in economics provides the first stage for those interested in graduate work in economics or business. It also offers a background for careers in law, journalism, government and international affairs, teaching, industrial relations, business and business economics, and public service. For up-to-date information on department faculty, the major, course offerings, visiting lecturers and special events, point your web browser to http://www.oberlin.edu/economic.

Advanced Placement.
The department does not give advanced placement credit. Students who believe they have covered the material in Economics 101 (Introduction to Political Economy) must meet with the department chair to obtain written permission to bypass this course and take more advanced courses.

Entry-Level Course Sequence Suggestions.
Economics 101 - Introduction to Political Economy is a prerequisite for all further study in the department. Although it is possible to complete the major requirements even if Economics 101 is taken as late as the second semester of the sophomore year, we recommend that potential majors take Economics 101 in their first year, and a second-level applied course (numbered 201-250) and Mathematics 133 - Calculus I by the end of their sophomore year. Economics 251, 253, and 255 should be taken no later than the end of the junior year. Note: Mathematics 133 and 113 are prerequisites for Economics 255.

Students planning graduate work in economics or business are strongly encouraged to take as much work in mathematics as can reasonably fit into their schedules. Mathematics 133, 134, and Economics 255 should be considered minimal preparation for graduate study in business. Students who plan to enter business directly after graduation also will find these courses desirable. Most students admitted to graduate programs in economics have backgrounds that include a calculus sequence and linear algebra (Mathematics 133, 134, 231, and 232). In addition, training in mathematical statistics and probability is quite common (Mathematics 335 and 336). Those students considering graduate study in economics are advised to take at least one of the advanced Economic Theory and Methods courses (351, 353, or 355).

Major.
A major in economics is defined as follows:

1. A minimum of 24 hours in economics including Economics 101, 251, 253, one 300-level course, and one 400-level, upper-class seminar;

2. Economics 255 and/or Mathematics 231; and

3. A minimum of 12 hours in other social sciences and mathematics including statistics (Mathematics 113 or 114) and calculus (Mathematics 133 or equivalent).

At least 15 of the minimum 24 hours in economics required for majors must be taken at Oberlin and must include at least two of the following three courses: 251, 253, and 255.

Minor. The minor in Economics consists of at least 15 hours in economics, including Economics 101; at least two of Economics 251, 253, or 255; and one 300-level applied course.

Honors. The department puts special emphasis on its honors program and ordinarily invites up to a quarter of its senior majors to participate. Invitations are extended toward the end of the junior year on the basis of general academic standing and work in the department up to that time. Interested students should consult with a member of the department.

Students wishing to qualify for admission to the honors program must take Economics 251 and 253 before the senior year. In addition, candidates for honors must take Economics 255 by the fall of their senior year and are strongly urged to take it no later than their junior year.

Transfer of Credit. The awarding of transfer credit is at the discretion of the department chair. Two of the following --Economics 251, 253, and 255 must be taken at Oberlin. Students must obtain preliminary approval of transfer credit from the department chair prior to taking economics courses elsewhere.

Winter Term. Members of the Economics Department will be available as sponsors of both on-campus and off campus projects. Internships are available for economics majors at a number of government agencies and private firms.

Research opportunities. Economics majors are eligible to work as research and lab assistants for the Social Science Data Lab (SSDL). The SSDL serves the departments of Anthropology, Economics, History, Politics, and Sociology. SSDL student assistants act as software and data consultants for the Windows NT computer lab located in King 137, obtain, install, and maintain data sets for research use by faculty and students, and serve as research assistants for social science faculty. Interested students should contact the Director of the SSDL. For more information visit the SSDL web page at http://www.oberlin.edu/ssdl. Economics majors are also eligible to work as Albert Rees research assistants and to apply for the Albert Rees Policy Fellowship. Recent Albert Rees Fellows have worked during Winter Term at the President's Council of Economic Advisors in Washington, D.C. Interested students should contact the department chair.

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Introduction to Economics

ECON 101 is the general introductory course and all sections provide a balanced, common core of economic analysis.


101. Introduction to Political Economy 3 hours

3SS, QPh
This course introduces the student to the economic problems of unemployment, inflation, the distribution of income and wealth, and the allocation of resources. The basic tools of analysis for studying these problems are developed and the role of public policy in securing economic objectives is explored. The course is designed to serve as a foundation for further work in economics and as a desirable complement to study in history, government, and sociology. *Prerequisites: MATH 133. Enrollment Limit: 50.
Sem 1 ECON-101-01 MWF 11:00-12:15 Mr. Kasper
ECON-101-02 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Mr. Piron
ECON-101-03 MWF 8:35-9:50 Ms. Gaudin
ECON-101-04 MWF 2:30-3:20 Staff
ECON-101-05* TuTh 8:35-9:50 Mr. Fernandez
Sem 2 ECON-101-01 MWF 11:00-12:15 Mr. Kasper
ECON-101-02 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Mr. Piron
ECON-101-03 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Zinser
ECON-101-04 MWF 2:30-3:45 Ms. Gaudin

150. Computer Spreadsheets for Economists 2 hours
2SS

This is an introduction to the use of spreadsheet software to analyze economic data and calculate economic models. Topics will include: creating, organizing and editing a spreadsheet, finding and importing data off of the Internet, using a spreadsheet to analyze a database, to visually analyze data, to perform financial and other economic analysis, and to create tables and graphs for inclusion into a document. Microsoft Excel 2000 will be the software package used in the course. No previous programming experience is assumed. Familiarity with Microsoft Windows 95/98/NT will be helpful. Notes: CR/NE grading. Enrollment Limit: 20.
Sem 1 ECON-150-01 W 2:00-3:50 Mr. Fernandez
Sem 2 ECON-150-01 W 2:00-3:50 Mr. Fernandez

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Applied Economics I

(Courses with only ECON 101 as a prerequisite)


206. Financial Management 4 hours

4SS, QPf

Next offered 2002-2003.

209. Economic Development 3 hours
3SS, CD, QPh, WR

A survey or problems that have constrained economic progress of developing economies and the newly industrializing economies of Eastern Europe. A review of economic policy experiences. The course considers the general issue of poverty and income distribution, within and between countries. Topics include: population growth, agriculture and land reform, migration, education, environmental decay, privatization strategies of individual countries and groups of countries, and analyzing issues of transition to a market-oriented economy. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or equivalent.

Sem 1 ECON-209-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Zinser

210. Economic Development in Latin America 3 hours
3SS, CD, QPh, WR

Next offered 2002-2003.

211. Money, Credit and Banking 3 hours

3SS, QPh
Next offered 2002-2003.

219. Labor-Management Relations 3 hours
3SS, QPh, WR

An introduction to the problems of labor economics and industrial relations, primarily in the U.S. Emphasis is placed on the development of the labor force, wages, the increased importance of white-collar employment, the goals of labor and management, collective bargaining, and major issues of public policy. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or equivalent.

Sem 1 ECON-219-01 MWF 2:30-3:45 Mr. Kasper

223. Education and Welfare 3 hours
3SS, QPh

This course focuses on the determinants of schooling and its rate of return, including college education; examines the relation between schooling and income inequality; describes and analyzes changes in U.S. welfare policy and the effects of those changes on poverty rates and social behavior. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or equivalent.

Sem 2 ECON-223-01 MWF 2:30-3:45 Mr. Kasper

224. Law and Economics 3 hours
3SS, QPh, WR

This course provides an introduction to the economic analysis of legal issues and explores the relationship of legal institutions and laws to economic efficiency and social goals, such as justice. Topics are chosen from among the following: property rights, externalities and environmental control, administrative processes, crime, contracts and liability (e.g. product liability and medical malpractice), public utility and antitrust regulations, individual rights and discrimination. Criticisms of the economic analysis of the law are also examined. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or equivalent.

Sem 2 ECON-224-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Mr. Zinser

225. Political Economy of European Integration 3 hours
3SS, CD, QPh

Next offered 2002-2003.

227. International Trade and Finance 3 hours
3SS, QPh

An introduction to international economics with an emphasis on the economic analysis of international transactions, financial interdependence, and current trade conflicts, as well as discussions of the historical development of international institutions. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or equivalent.

Sem 2 ECON-227-01 MWF 9:00-9:50 Ms. Craig

231. Environmental Economics 3 hours
3SS, QPh

Application of economic analysis to environmental issues. Topics include economic determination of and policies to deal with air and water pollution, solid waste, use of exhaustible and renewable natural resources, and the extent to which public policies dealing with these contribute to economic efficiency. The course will also present economic analysis of issues arising in connection with preservation of endangered species, assessment of risk, cost-benefit analysis, and environmental degradation in developing countries. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or equivalent. Identical to ENVS 231.

Sem 1 ECON-231-01 MWF 2:30-3:45 Ms. Gaudin

232. Experimental Economics 3 hours
3SS, QPh

A significant number of important economists have now adopted experimental techniques in the quest for answers to problems such as: do competitive markets really reach equilibrium; how fast does it take them to do that; and how efficient are the results? We shall try to answer such questions by studying a range of "classic" experiments and attempting to replicate their results, and illustrate the wide range of questions addressable by these methods. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or equivalent. Consent of instructor required.
Sem 2 ECON-232-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Piron

Intermediate Economic Theory and Methods

This sequence of courses ECON 251, ECON 253, and ECON 255 is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in economic theory and analysis. ECON 251 and ECON 253 may be taken in either order.

251. Intermediate Macroeconomics 3 hours
3SS, QPh

Intermediate macroeconomic theory with special attention to the roles of monetary and fiscal policies in stabilizing the price level, fostering high levels of employment and promoting economic growth. Prerequisites: ECON 101 and sophomore standing or a 200-level course in economics. Enrollment Limit: 30.

Sem 1 ECON-251-01 MWF 8:35-9:50 Mr. Hess

Sem 2 ECON-251-01 MWF 8:35-9:50 Mr. Hess

253. Intermediate Microeconomics 3 hours
3SS, QPh (QPf for second semester)

Intermediate price, distribution, and welfare theory, with special attention to the relation of theory to decision making by households and by business firms in markets characterized by varying degrees of competition and concentration. Prerequisites: ECON 101 and sophomore standing or a 200-level course in economics. (MATH 133 for second semester.) Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 1 ECON-253-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Piron

Sem 2 ECON-253-01 MWF 9:00-9:50 Staff

255. Introduction to Econometrics 4 hours
4SS, QPf

This is an introduction to the application of statistical methods to the estimation of economic models and the testing of economic hypothesis using non-experimental data. The central statistical tool is multivariate regression analysis. Topics covered include: the Gauss-Markov theorem, testing hypotheses, and correcting for heteroskedasticity, autocorrelation, and simultaneous equation bias. In the weekly computer lab sessions econometric estimation software (Eviews) is used to analyze real-world data. Prerequisites: MATH 113 or 114 and MATH 133 and either ECON 251 or ECON 253 or consent of instructor. Enrollment Limit: 25.

Sem 1 ECON-255-01 MTuTh 9:00-9:50 Ms. Craig

W 9:00-9:50

Sem 2 ECON-255-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Mr. Fernandez

F 3:00-4:15

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Applied Economics II

(Courses requiring intermediate theory as a prerequisite)


313. Games and Strategy in Economics 3 hours

3SS, QPh

This course is an introduction to the use of non-cooperative game theory in economic analysis. Non-cooperative game theory was invented in 1945 by John von Neumann to study poker, but has since been applied to the study of the military strategy of mutual assured destruction, the mating rituals of penguins, price and output in markets that are neither monopolized nor perfectly competitive, Congressional voting, and the decisions of the Federal Reserve. The course will cover both static and dynamic games with both complete and incomplete information. Applications will be drawn from many fields of economics, including: industrial organization, labor economics, corporate finance, macroeconomics, international trade, and public choice. Prerequisites: ECON 253 and MATH 133 or consent of instructor. Enrollment Limit: 25.

Sem 2 ECON-313-01 TuTh 8:35-9:50 Mr. Fernandez

317. Industrial Organization 3 hours
3SS, QPh, WR

Analysis of modern theory and review of empirical evidence about the organization of firms and industries: why firms and markets are organize3d as they are and how their organization affects the way they operate. Topics include the relationship between market structure and firm behavior -- pricing, advertising, patent races, strategic adoption of new technologies, and collusion -- and the effects of government regulation and antitrust policy. Prerequisites: ECON 253.

Sem 1 ECON-317-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Mr. Zinser

320. Labor Economics 3 hours
3SS, QPh, WR

Next offered 2002-2003.

321. Poverty and Affluence
3SS

Next offered 2002-2003.

326. International Trade 3 hours
3SS, QPh

Next offered 2002-2003.

327. International Finance 3 hours
3SS, QPh

Advanced theory of international finance which covers exchange rate determination, the differences between fixed and flexible exchange rate regimes, official currency market intervention, and empirical tests of exchange rate theory. In addition, the course will offer an introduction to dynamic theories of international borrowing, lending, and direct investment. Prerequisites: ECON 251 or equivalent, ECON 255, and MATH 133.

Sem 2 ECON-327-01 MWF 2:30-3:50 Mr. Hess

331. Topics in Environmental Economics 3 hours
3SS, QPh

Topics to be examined include: the economics of greenhouse gas control; the benefits and costs of air and water pollution; valuing ecological protection; the economics of materials recycling. The use of market mechanisms and other innovative federal, state and local policies will be examined. Prerequisites: ECON 231 or consent of instructor. Identical to ENVS 331.

Sem 2 ECON-331-01 MWF 12:00-1:15 Ms. Gaudin

342. Monetary Theory 3 hours
3SS, QPh, WR

Advanced theory of the design and impact of monetary policy and formal theories of the role of money, credit and banking in market economies. Prerequisites: ECON 251, ECON 253, and ECON 255.

Sem 1 ECON-342-01 MWF 2:30-3:50 Mr. Hess

 

 

Advanced Economic Theory and Methods

331. Topics in Environmental Economics 3 hours
3SS, QPh
Topics to be examined include: the economics of greenhouse gas control; the benefits and costs of air and water pollution; valuing ecological protection; the economics of materials recycling. The use of market mechanisms and other innovative federal, state and local policies will be examined. Prerequisites: ECON 231 or consent of instructor. Identical to ENVS 331.

Sem 2 ECON-331-01 MWF 12:00-1:15 Ms. Gaudin

342. Monetary Theory 3 hours
3SS, QPh, WR
Advanced theory of the design and impact of monetary policy and formal theories of the role of money, credit and banking in market economies. Prerequisites: ECON 251, ECON 253, and ECON 255.

Sem 1 ECON-342-01 MWF 2:30-3:50 Mr. Hess

Upper-Class Seminars

410. Seminar: Economic Development in Latin America 3 hours
3SS, WR

Next offered 2002-2003.

426. Seminar: Agricultural Trade and Development 3 hours
3SS

Next offered 2002-2003.

431. Seminar: Environmental and Resource Economics 3 hours
3SS

This seminar will involve a study of contemporary literature and research dealing with the economics of natural resource use and the environment. Specific emphasis will be given to an examination of public policies regulating the extent and location of economic development, and the resulting distribution of costs and benefits in the economy. Prerequisites: ECON 253. Identical to ENVS 431. Consent of instructor required. Enrollment Limit: 15.

Sem 2 ECON-431-01 Tu 7:30-9:30 p.m. Ms. Gaudin

441. Seminar: Economics of Labor and Welfare Policy 3 hours
3SS, WR

Critical analysis of current policy issues, taken from journal literature, on the economic effects on wages of unions, discrimination, and schooling; examines recent changes in welfare policies and the effects on poverty. Enrollment Limit: 15.

Sem 1 ECON-441-01 To Be Arranged. Mr. Kasper

442. Seminar: Consumption 3 hours
3SS

This seminar will involve a study of the contemporary literature and research dealing with the economics of household consumption and savings decisions. Macroeconomic implications will also be investigated. Prerequisites: ECON 253, ECON 255, and MATH 113 or MATH 114 or equivalent. Enrollment Limit: 15.

Sem 1 ECON-442-01 MW 4:30-6:30 Mr. Hess

445. Seminar: The Economics of Health Care and Health Insurance 3 hours
3SS

Next offered 2002-2003.

453. Seminar: Nineteenth-Century Economic Thought 3 hours
3SS

Next offered 2002-2003.

491. Honors Program 1-7 hours
1-7SS, WR

This program is open by departmental invitation near the end of the junior year to major students whose general and departmental records indicate their ability to carry the program and the likelihood that they will profit from it. The program extends through the year and involves the independent preparation of a thesis, defense of the thesis, active participation with other honors students and the department staff in a weekly seminar meeting during the second semester, and an oral examination by an outside examiner. Consent of instructor required.

Sem 1 ECON-491-01 W 7:30-9:30 p.m. Staff

Sem 2 ECON-491-01 W 7:30-9:30 p.m. Staff

995. Private Reading 1-3 hours
1-3SS

Consent of instructor required.
Projects sponsored by Ms. Craig, Mr. Fernandez, Ms. Gaudin, Mr. Hess, Mr. Kasper, Mr. Piron, and Mr. Zinser.

Oberlin-in-Europe Euro Summer School

For more complete details on the program see the web site at: http://www.oberlin.edu/~oeurope.

901. International Business 3 hours
3SS
This course introduces students to contemporary problems and issues in the world economy as it impacts on the practice of international business. A significant portion of the course will be devoted to the study of intercultural communication in business and organizations. Additional topics covered include: principles of international economics, such as comparative and absolute advantage, free trade vs. protectionism, exchange rate determination, balance-of-payments accounting, world currency markets, and economic integration; and problems of economic development, transitional economies, and regional economic issues with a special focus on the European Union. Taught on site at the Center for European Studies at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands, the course will include field trips to Brussels and other locations to visit the institutions of the European Union and international business operations. Credit hours for this course do not count toward the economics major.

Summer 2001 ECON-901-01 To be arranged Mr. Cleeton

902. European Affairs 3 hours
2.5SS
This is the first of two modular courses taught through the Euro Summer School consortium of business schools. Three ten-hour modules will be taught on separate topics during the week-long stay at each of the locations. The modules are as follow: (i) European Integration and Institutions (HEC School of Management, Paris, France); (ii) Economics of the European Union (Bocconi University, Milan, Italy); (iii) European Union Trade Relations and Enlargement (Wirtschaftsuniversitat, Vienna, Austria). This course is equivalent to ECON 225.
Summer 2001 ECON-902-01 To be arranged Staff

903. European Business Transformation 3 hours
2.5SS
This is the second of two modular courses taught through the Euro Summer School consortium of business schools. Three ten-hour modules will be taught on separate topics during the week-long stay at each of the locations. The modules are as follow:(i) New Technology and European Strategic Management (HEC School of Management, Paris, France); (ii) Electronic Commerce (Bocconi University, Milan, Italy); (iii) International Marketing (Wirtschaftsuniversitat, Vienna, Austria). Credit hours for this course do not count toward the economics major.
Summer 2001 ECON-903-01 To be arranged Staff

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