Course Descriptions and General Information
| ResEcon 100-199 | ResEcon 200-299 | ResEcon 300-399 | ResEcon 400-499 | Independent Study | Practicum |
| ResEcon 600-699 | ResEcon 700-899 |
212 Introductory Statistics for the Social Sciences (R2) (summer 2013)
Designed for students majoring in Resource Economics, Economics, and other social science majors; majoring in the Isenberg School of Management; and who haven't declared a major. Introduction to basic statistical methods used to collect, summarize, and analyze numerical data. Emphasis on application to decision making; examples from the social sciences and business. Topics include: common statistical notation, elementary probability theory, sampling, descriptive statistics, statistical estimation and hypothesis testing. Basic algebra required. (Gen.Ed. R1, R2) (Note: Because this course presupposes knowledge of basic math skills, it will satisfy the R1 requirement upon successful completion.) Register
102 Introduction to Resource Economics (SB) (both semesters)
Microeconomic theory for majors and non-majors. Concepts of supply, demand, markets, natural resource
management, economic policy. Applications to business and government decision-making emphasized. website
112 Computing: Foundations to Frontiers (both semesters)
Hands-on lab environment to develop proficiency with information technology tools and concepts. Needs
assessment and systems analysis; relational database applications; Web research and site development; online surveys and server-side processing of data; data manipulation and analysis with spread sheets and
statistical software; presentation via paper, Web, and electronic slide shows. website
121 Hunger in a Global Economy (SBG) (fall semester
The causes of hunger (chronic undernutrition) from an economic perspective. Focus on how population
growth and economic development are increasing demand for food and on the prospects for food production
to supply those needs at affordable prices, while sustaining the environment. Discussion in the context of the
global economy in which increased trade links even the poorest urban and rural residents in developing
countries to market forces. website
162 The Consumer in Our Society (SB) (fall semester every year, spring semester in odd-numbered
An introduction to Consumer Economics including an examination of a breadth of consumer problems and
issues. Focus on the identification of the consumer interest, advertising, fraud, credit, consumer rights and responsibilities, and legal protection available to consumers.
202 Price Theory (both semesters)
Intermediate level microeconomic theory. Consumer demand theory and economics of production.
Geometric and mathematical approaches. Models of market behavior, related to example situations. Applications to business and government decision-making emphasized. Required theory course for more
advanced departmental offerings. Prerequisites: RES-ECON 102 or ECON 103, MATH 127 or MATH 131.
211 Introductory Statistics for the Life Sciences (spring semester)
Designed for students in: ANIMLSCI, ENVIRSCI, FOREST, CIVIL-EN, NRC, PLNTSOIL, RES-ECON, W&FCONSV, and related majors. Introduction to basic statistical methods used to collect, summarize, and analyze numerical data. Emphasis on application to decision making; examples from the life sciences. Topics include: common statistical notation, elementary probability theory, sampling, descriptive statistics, statistical estimation and hypothesis testing, and an introduction to analysis of variance. Basic algebra necessary.
212 Introductory Statistics for the Social Sciences (R2) (both semesters)
Designed for students majoring in Resource Economics, Economics, and other social science majors; majoring in the Isenberg School of Management; and who haven't declared a major. Introduction to basic statistical methods used to collect, summarize, and analyze numerical data. Emphasis on application to decision making; examples from the social sciences and business. Topics include: common statistical notation, elementary probability theory, sampling, descriptive statistics, statistical estimation and hypothesis testing. Basic algebra required. (Gen.Ed. R1, R2) (Note: Because this course presupposes knowledge of basic math skills, it will satisfy the R1 requirement upon successful completion.)
213 Intermediate Statistics for Business and Economics(both semesters)
Second course in a two-course sequence. Topics include hypothesis testing for two populations, analysis of variance for comparing three or more populations, simple linear regression, topics in multiple regression, and univariate time-series techniques like moving averages and exponential smoothing. Statistical software is used for advanced computations. Basic algebra required. Prerequisites: RES-ECON 211 or RES-ECON 212 or STATISTC 240. Cross listed with FINOPMGT 250. website
262 Environmental Economics (SB) (spring semester)
Economics of environmental issues stemming from land, energy, and water use. Emphasis on economic implications of alternative environmental policies including current legislation for the private and public sectors of the economy. website
263 Natural Resource Economics (SB) (fall semester)
Economic analyses of energy, water, the conservation of natural resources, recycling, and the management of land, forest, and mineral resources. website
310 SCH-MGMT (Junior year writing)
This course satisfies the Junior Year Writing requirement for students in ISOM and RES-ECON. The emphasis is on developing students’ skills in critical thinking, writing, and effective communication. Other SCH-MGMT writing courses may be used to satisfy this requirement. Prerequisite: English 112. >>more options
312 Introductory Econometrics (spring semester)
Basic concepts in econometric methods: estimation of linear economic models and introduction to problems that arise. Application of methods to real world data; emphasis is on application through use of econometric software and microcomputers. Students undertake research projects. Prerequisites: RES-ECON 202 (305) or ECON 203, RES-ECON 213 or FINOPMGT 250, RES-ECON 112 or consent of the instructor. website
313 Quantitative Methods in Applied Economics (fall semester)
Introduction to contemporary quantitative methods as applied to production, marketing and resource management problems in both private and public settings. Topics include: linear programming and decision making under uncertainty. Prerequisite: RES-ECON 211 or RES-ECON 212 or STATISTC 240.
324 Small Business Finance (spring semester)
Focus on the planning function of financial management: capital budgeting (long term), proforma accounting statements and financial ratio analysis (intermediate term), and cash flow management (short term). Business plan project. Prerequisite: RES-ECON 102 or ECON 103.
360 Personal and Family Finance (fall semester)
Economic analysis of the financial issues facing individuals and families. Topics include budgeting and cash management, credit, insurance, taxes, investment, retirement, and estate planning. Prerequisites: RESECON 102 or ECON 103, MATH 127 or MATH 131 or consent of instructor.
362 Consumer Protection and Legislation (spring semester in even-numbered years)
Basic issues in seller-consumer relationship such as product safety, consumer fraud, unfair business practices. Analyses of the economic and social impact of consumer legislation. Prerequisite: RES-ECON 162.
394 Life is Full of Choices: An Integrated Experience Seminar (Fall 2012)
This 1 credit course is designed to provide you with numerous opportunities to reflect on and integrate your learning and experience from the broad exposure in your General Education courses and your courses and focus in the Resource Economics major. In combination with two of your required upper-level Resource Economics option courses, this course fulfills the General Education Integrative Experience (IE) requirement for Resource Economics majors. website
397A Economics of Contemporary Information Technology (spring semester
Economic analysis of the role that information plays in the economy, and study of the contemporary problems in information production, distribution and consumption that stem from the widespread adoption of new information technologies. Will address both macro and micro implications of IT, and both efficiency and equity concerns at the local, national and international levels. Prerequisite: RES-ECON 102 or ECON 103.
428 Managerial Economics in Food and Resource Industries (spring semester)
Application of economics, statistics, and computers to the decision-making process. Topics include: production economics, demand analysis, business forecasting, cost analysis, and pricing and promotional strategies. Prerequisites: ACCOUNTG 221 or RES-ECON 324 or FINOPMGT 301, RES-ECON 202 (305) or ECON 203, RES-ECON 213 or 312, RES-ECON 313.
452 Industrial Organization in Resource Economics (both semesters)
Market structure models with application to the food system, especially food processing, retailing, and service, and to natural resource industries. Firm behavioral strategies under various market structures. The role of advertising in the food system, and other issues related to consumer demand (e.g., green marketing). Market performance including prices, costs, profits, labor issues, and progressiveness. Other topics include market power, mergers, barriers to entry, pricing methods, coupons and new products. Prerequisite: RESECON 202 (305) or ECON 203.
453 Public Policy in Private Markets (spring semester)
Rationale and structure of public policies that affect the operation of private markets in the U.S., with special emphasis on consumer goods industries. Focus on antitrust and competition policies (e.g., those covering collusive restraints of trade, monopolization, and mergers) and on policies that affect product quality and information (e.g., product standards, regulation of advertising and labeling). Prerequisite: RES-ECON 452 or consent of instructor. website
460 Family in Economic Systems (spring semester in odd-numbered years)
Microeconomic analysis of the household decision-making and its activities. Topics include allocation of time, household production, labor force participation of females and males, investment in human capital, economics of fertility, marriage, and divorce. Prerequisites: RES-ECON 202 (305) or ECON 203 or consent of instructor.
462/797B Experimental Economics (spring semester)
Laboratory experimental studies of economic behavior; development of techniques of experimentation with application to monopoly, bilateral bargaining, and competitive markets under various exchange rules; public goods and common-pool resources. Prerequisite: RES-ECON 202 (305) or ECON 203. website
470 Family Economic Policy: Issues and Implications (spring semester in even-numbered years)
Analysis of public programs that affect economic well-being of families. Topics include poverty and measures of economic welfare, housing, health, taxes, transfer payments; underlying philosophies and policy alternatives. Prerequisites: RES-ECON 162; RES-ECON 360 or consent of the instructor.
471 Benefit-Cost Analysis of Natural Resource Programs (spring semester)
Theoretical foundations and practical procedures of benefit-cost analysis as applied to public natural resources and environmental projects, programs and regulations. Critical discussion of strengths and weaknesses of this tool. Topics from water resources, land use, outdoor recreation, air quality, coastal zone management, and other natural resources and environmental areas. Prerequisite: RES-ECON 202 (305) or ECON 203.
472 Advanced Topics in Resource and Environmental Economics (fall semester)
Topics may include: the design of environmental and natural resource policies, particularly incentive-based policies; the analysis and control of environmental risks; cost-benefit analyses of specific environmental policies; critiques of cost-benefit analysis, international environmental cooperation; environmental and natural resource policy in the developing world; sustainability, and the conservation of biodiversity. Prerequisite: RES-ECON 202 (305) or ECON 203.
196, 296, 396, 496 Independent Study
Independent Study courses are available to students who wish to pursue a particular topic in depth. They generally take the form of a reading course with weekly one-on-one discussions with the professor about the reading, a research experience with completion of a written mini-thesis report involving regular consultation with the professor, or a combination of these two formats. Other formats are possible with the approval of the professor selected by the student to direct the course. Independent study courses do not count toward any departmental requirements. Click here for more information.
196H, 296H, 396H, 496H Honors Independent Study
These courses require a faculty sponsor. Contact Commonwealth College Office, 504 Goodell, to add these courses.
298, 398, 498 Practicum (Semester Long Courses) 298Y, 398Y, 498Y Practicum (Year Long Courses)
Under the University Internship Program students may work in a professional environment and earn academic credit. The program integrates practical professional experience with the student’s prior and future course of study. Eligible students, working with a faculty sponsor, can earn up to 15 credits for a full semester internship. All internship courses are offered as mandatory PASS/FAIL. Students doing internships in summer register through Continuing Education for credits. For more information see “Searching for Internships, Coops, and Employment
” on page 20 of the Undergraduate Handbook and see Julie Caswell (in 223 Stockbridge) or Sheila Mammen (in 309 Stockbridge), departmental Internship Coordinators, for more details about internships.
499C and 499D Implementing Sustainability and Social Responsibility in Today’s Economy (Commonwealth Honors College Capstone Course, both semesters)
In your life and career, you may be a leader in implementing sustainable and socially responsible production, distribution, and resource use systems. Sustainability and social responsibility are criteria applied in decision-making by individuals, civil society groups, companies, and governments. Before being applied, the criteria must be defined and quantified so that the impacts of alternative decisions can be weighed, implementation plans be made, and outcomes be evaluated. This course uses the Resource Economics focus on developing decision-making tools that quantify benefits and costs as a conceptual framework for understanding tradeoffs associated with taking alternative actions. You will learn about and work with these decision-making tools, while applying expertise from your own discipline(s), for example, from Civil and Environmental Engineering, Biology, Environmental Conservation, Environmental Sciences, Economics, Management, Marketing, Operations Management, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, Creative Writing, Film Studies, and other majors. You will make a critical examination of theoretical, methodological, experimental, and practical approaches to implementing sustainability and social responsibility in today’s economy, working in interdisciplinary teams. Early in the first semester, different groupings of students will work together to build relationships among all members of the class. You will then form groups of 3 or 4 members who will work together on a team research project. Under the guidance of the Honors Professor, groups will define their research projects and explore a range of competing paradigms for defining and quantifying sustainability and social responsibility in the context of their chosen project. During the second semester, you will build further in-depth knowledge of decision tools relevant to your team project, write a project report, and present your work.
Notes: Preference in registration given to Commonwealth Honors College Seniors using this course toward their Capstone Experience requirement; others as space permits. Prospective students should email Dr. Crago at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief essay describing why they want to take the Capstone and what they hope to achieve by participating in it.
Independent Study in Resource Economics
M.S. Independent Study in Resource Economics
Research Field Essay
M.S. Research Field Essay
Introduction to quantitative techniques used in resource economics theory and applications. Basic mathematical concepts and methods of microeconomics and their uses in optimization and comparative statics analysis.
Introduction to econometric methods: the general linear models, nonspherical properties, generalized least squares, and restricted least squares. Also estimation with limited dependent variables, dichotomous choice and causality testing.
Topics In Advanced Econometrics
Methodologies for dealing with collinearity, autocorrelation, heteroscedasticity, and endogenous right-hand-side variables. Stochastic restrictions and evaluating restrictions via alternative norms. Generalized least squares procedures. Zellner estimation. Pooling data. Simultaneous systems of equations. Fixed-effects and random-effects models. website
Applied Microeconomic Theory I
Basic theory of monopoly and competitive markets; market equilibria; comparative statics; and adjustment process. Analysis of optimizing decisions for firms and consumers; production, cost, and utility functions; comparative static analysis; the derivation of supply and demand curves; risk and uncertainty. website
Applied Microeconomic Theory II
Principles of welfare economics; introduction to noncooperative game theory; theories of imperfect competition; the provision of public goods and the control of externalities, and the economics of information. website
Environmental and Resource Economics
Economics of environmental quality and natural resource management; theory of externalities, public goods, and resource extraction. Benefit-cost analyses of natural resource use and preservation of unique resources. website
Advanced Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
Economic models of renewable and nonrenewable natural resources; introduction to dynamic optimization; and the theory of environmental policy.
Industrial Organization in Resource Economics I
Application of industrial organization and strategic management theory to the marketing system. Empirical analysis of market power exertion, including market structure and performance, price discrimination, product differentiation, vertical control, cartel formation and sustainability, mergers, strategic behavior and firm organizations. Applied topics include branding, advertising, tradeable pollution emission permits, environmental quality, biotechnology, intellectual property rights, and cooperatives.
Seminar in Resource Economics
Special Topics in Forecasting
Topics are divided between forecasting techniques and econometric time-series modeling. Discovering the data generating process of a random variable. Univariate approaches for dealing with a time series: exponential smoothing methods and ARIMA models. Tests for stationarity. Unit roots. Dickey-Fuller tests. Augmented Dickey-Fuller models. Multivariate approaches for modeling. Spurious relationships. Cointegration. Vector autoregression. Error correction models. website
The purpose of this class is to introduce the techniques of Experimental Economics. In the process the course provides a survey of the important topics which have been addressed with this methodology. These topics include markets, public goods, and behavioral issues such as trust and reciprocity. Roth (1995) in the introduction to the Handbook of Experimental Economics
categorizes these as “Speaking to Theorists”, “Searching for Facts”, and “Whispering in the Ears of Princes” (p. 22). We will focus on “Speaking to Theorists” – how the decision making of real economic agents relates to theory and the implications for public policy “Whispering in the Ears of Princes”. When students complete this class they will be expected to understand the methodology of experimental economics. They will have experience with critiquing the literature, developing their own project, conducting the experiments and analyzing the data. website
Panel Data Econometrics
Combining time-series and cross-sectional data. Also known as longitudinal or hierarchical data. Review of the classical econometrics literature on this topic starting with Nerlove (1969). Considerations of this setting vs. cross-section techniques alone or time-series techniques alone. Possible modeling procedures and when to use them: simple stacking; dummy variables; fixed effects or within; between; first differences; random effects; mixed effects. Underlying stochastic structure of each procedure. Strong exogeneity. Weak exogeneity. Demands and viability of each procedure in terms of consistency or efficiency or both. Estimation techniques: classical OLS; Maximum Likelihood (MLE); Generalized Method of Moments (GMM). Estimating standard errors correctly. Panel-robust statistical inference. Dynamic panels and problems encountered. Endogenous regressors. Instrumental variables. Nonlinear panel models.
Industrial Organization in Resource Economics II
Use of advanced industrial organization and related models for analysis of horizontal markets and vertical channels of distribution in the marketing system. Sample topics include market entry, spatial competition, price discovery and transmission, product quality, and vertical restraints of trade.