UMass Economics offers several online courses each fall, winter, spring and summer for UMass degree and non-degree seeking students. These classes are administered by the UMass University Without Walls office (UWW). These courses serve a variety of students including UMass commuters, UMass students who live away from Amherst each winter and summer and want to take extra courses outside of fall and spring semesters, UMass degree-seeking Seniors trying to finish up only a few remaining courses and credits away from Amherst, UMass students who want to take an online version of a UMass course along with their other face-to-face courses in a given semester, students taking non-degree Economics classes for personal interest or professional development, or non-degree UMass students who attend another college or university full time. Note: UMass degree-seeking students who take online UWW Economics courses in fall and spring semesters are subject to additional UWW course fees above and beyond standard tuition for the fall and spring. Contact the UMass University Without Walls office for details and visit their website to learn about course fees and billing, financial aid and how to enroll in these courses.
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Online Economics Course Catalog (not all classes offered every semester; largest course offering during summer sessions):
ECON 103 - Introduction to Microeconomics - Syllabus - view
Introduction to the economics of markets and market economies. Basic concepts of demand, supply, production, prices, allocation of resources, and distribution of income. Public policy applications. (Gen.Ed. SB)
ECON 104 - Introduction to Macroeconomics - Syllabus - view
Economic theory of the macro-economy. Determinants of unemployment rates, inflation rates, national income, GDP. Tools of public policy available which can be used to promote macroeconomic goals. (Gen.Ed. SB)
ECON 105 - Introduction to Political Economy - Syllabus - view
Introduction to economic analysis for majors and nonmajors. Facts and concepts basic to understanding the U.S. economy today. Topics may include: unemployment, economic development, inequality, technology, social wealth, environment, government economic policy, economic alternatives, race and gender, and discrimination. Contrasting theoretical perspectives. (Gen.Ed. SB, U)
ECON 203 - Intermediate Microeconomic Theory - Syllabus
IConsumer behavior, theory of the firm, markets, income distribution, general equilibrium, welfare economics.
ECON 204 - Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory - Syllabus
Analysis of theories of determination of national income, aggregate employment, and the price level. Monetary and fiscal policy. Inflation, unemployment, and economic growth.
ECON 205 - Intermediate Political Economy - Syllabus
Introduction to Marxian theory and modern political economy. Logic and methods of Marxian analysis of economic change; comparisons between Marxian and non-Marxian theories. 4 credits. Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102, or ECON 105.
ECON 305 - Marxian Economics
This course will introduce students to the study of political economy from a Marxian perspective by presenting the details of Marx's argument about the structure and functioning of capitalism contained in the three volumes of Capital. Using surplus value as the central organizing concept, the course will develop Marx's argument about the generation of surplus value (Volume I of Capital), the realization of surplus value (Volume II of Capital) and the distribution of surplus value (Volume III of Capital). Topics covered include the following: commodity, value, money, capital, constant and variable capital, absolute surplus value, relative surplus value, capital accumulation, reserve army of labour, primary (or primitive) accumulation, circulation of capital, turnover of capital, fixed and circulating capital, reproduction schemas, prices of production and the average rate of profit, falling rate of profit, interest and profit of enterprise, commercial profit, and rent. No prerequisites.
ECON 308 - Political Economy of the Environment - Syllabus
Application of the theories of political economy to environmental problems and issues. Topics include regulatory and market approaches to pollution and natural resource depletion; cost-benefit analysis and its economic and political foundations; and case studies of specific environmental problems such as acid rain, deforestation, and global warming.
ECON 311 - Money and Banking - Syllabus
The nature and functions of money and the significance of monetary circulation, commercial banks, the Central Bank, the non-bank financial institutional structure; integration of monetary theory into a general theory of economic activity, employment, prices. Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102, ECON 104 and ECON 204.
ECON 362 - American Economic History
Economic development in the U.S. from colonial era to present. America as a raw materials producer, an agrarian society, and an industrial nation. Possible topics: development of economic systems, demographic trends, industrialization, regional development, growth of large-scale enterprise and organized labor, changing role of government. (Gen.Ed. HS)
ECON 365 - Writing in Economics - Syllabus
Economics 365 is the Economics Department's Junior Year Writing Course. Theoretically, students who take it are juniors, but some are seniors who still need the course in order to graduate. The course consists of a great deal of writing, at various levels of formality. The instructor will post assignments, students will write essays and other exercises and send them to the instructor, and the instructor will read and comment on these and send them back to the authors.
ECON 366 - Economic Development - Syllabus
Theories of economic growth applied to Third World countries. Classical and Neoclassical economic theories and structural/historical theories. Topics such as the role of foreign investment and multinational corporations, strategies of industrialization and employment creation, and rural development.
ECON 371 - Comparative Economic Systems
Evaluation and comparison of the structure and performance of alternative economic systems. Topics include: mechanisms of resource allocation and pricing, institutions of government policy, organization of work and labor relations, international trade and finance, and income distribution. Prerequisite: ECON 103 or RESECON 102.
ECON 397LE - Economics in the Age of Big Data and the Internet: Liars' Economics - Syllabus
Liars' Economics will introduce students to skeptical and effective consumption and production of information in the era of big data. Students will learn how to spot and avoid statistical pitfalls, irrational decisions, fake news, information out of context, and blind faith. The course will draw from historical examples and current events and from contemporary debates in economics and political economy. Students will practice interpreting, visualizing, and writing about big data.
ECON 397RW - Real World Economics - Syllabus
We shall discuss controversial topics relevant to modern economics from an interdisciplinary perspective and explore the role of information, transaction costs, oligopolies, psychology, political power, and social norms in economic theory and policy. The course also offers a wide perspective on the psychological foundations of economic activity by introducing the students to the new field of behavioral economics and discussing such concepts as bounded rationality and satisfying. We explore the main outlines of decision making under uncertainty and enrich the standard neo-classical model by analyzing the issues associated with rising inequality, alternative welfare indicator such as subjective life satisfaction, the problem of moral hazard in the financial bailouts, the principal-agent problem in industrial organization, adverse selection in insurance markets, opportunistic behavior in consumer theory, unemployment as it relates to our current account deficits, monopolistic competition and post-Keynesian macroeconomics. We shall apply these concepts to current economic issues such as raising the minimum wage, the bailout of Wall Street, the falling median household income, CEO pay, income inequality, the concentration of economic power, and much more.
ECON 397SL - Advanced Student Loans, Other Debt, and the U.S. Economy - Syllabus
How debt works in the economy, and the broader political economic context of debt financing and financialization. We will explore answers to several important questions such as: What is debt and its function in society? How does debt emerge in capitalist economies? Is there a student loan debt crisis, and what are potential policy solutions? What were the causes and consequences of the 2008 Financial Crisis? What is corporate debt and what are its implications for the stability of the economy? What is government debt and its role in the economy? Throughout the course, we will explore a mix of theory, applied empirical studies, history, and policies relevant to debt.