Course Offerings and Prerequisites

(H) Honors Course  | All classes are three credits unless noted | Request a syllabi

ECON 103 and 103H - Introduction to Microeconomics
103: 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) 4 credits. (Gen. Ed. SB)  4 credits

103H: The honors section goes beyond the standard study of the micro-economics and addresses some important topical issues such as Market Failure and Income Inequality. The standard textbook is augmented with additional readings related to the environment, health care, employment discrimination and public policy. The development of critical thinking and inquiry is an important part of this course. Therefore, the honors section requires writing assignments that apply theoretical material to real world problems. (Gen. Ed. SB) 4 credits

ECON 104 and 104H - Introduction to Macroeconomics
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) 4 credits

 

ECON 105 - Introduction to Political Economy
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, DU) 4 credits

 

ECON 121 - International Economy
This class provides an introduction to the operation of international economic systems. It emphasizes both contemporary dynamics of global economic functioning as well as the historical development of global economic systems as they have unfolded over time. A particular focus of the class is on the institutions that enable and govern economic activity ? meaning institutions of law and property rights, national governmental policies, and the international organizations that govern global economic processes. (Gen. Ed. SB, DG) 4 credits

 

ECON 144 - Political Economy of Racism
Introductory economic analysis of inequality by race. A range of topics: from colonialism, slavery and Jim Crow to wealth, income and earnings inequality, immigration reform and environmental racism today. ECON 103 or ECON 104 recommended but not required. 4 credits. (Gen. Ed. SB, DU)

 

ECON 197A - ST - Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning
This course is the applied mathematics course students need to excel in economics or other CSBS or ISOM majors. The course emphasizes quantitative reasoning, developing mathematical instincts, and using mathematics to ask and answer interesting questions about economics, social structures, and human behavior. The course does not require calculus. It teaches useful, practical skills combined with economic applications. Topics include: factor-label (units analysis); percentages; economic modeling; plotting data and functions; specifying and solving systems of two equations and two unknowns; financial analysis and discounting; introductory statistics; and networks. Methods include spreadsheet manipulation, estimation, and graphical and tabular presentation of data. Assignments include problem sets, spreadsheet work, and presentation of data. Students will be well prepared for economics courses if they master the material in this course.
No prerequisites.

 

ECON 203 and 203H- Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
203: Neoclassical microeconomic theory. Consumer behavior, theory of the firm, markets, income distribution, general equilibrium, welfare economics.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102, and one of the following courses: MATH 127, MATH 128, MATH 131, or MATH 132.

203H:Neoclassical microeconomic theory. Consumer behavior, theory of the firm, markets, income distribution, general equilibrium, welfare economics. This course differs from Economics 203 in its very small size, time to discuss and engage in a deeper coverage of the topics, and more use of mathematics.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102, and one of the following courses: MATH 127, MATH 128, MATH 131, or MATH 132.

 

ECON 204 and 204H - Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
Analysis of theories of determination of national income, aggregate employment, and the price level. Monetary and fiscal policy. Inflation, unemployment, and economic growth.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102, and ECON 104 and either MATH 127, MATH 128, MATH 131, or MATH 132.

 

Econ 205 - Intermediate Political Economy
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 302 (formerly 397BE) - Behavioral Economics
The course introduces students to behavioral economics as a method of analysis that incorporates insights from several disciplines, including psychology and sociology, into the basic economic model of decision-making. Behavioral economics broadens the scope of analysis of how people make decisions to take into account, for example, social norms, the role of trust and the prevalence of biases. By unpacking the varied and complex motivations behind decision-making, behavioral economics enriches the standard economic model. Viewing decision-making through the methods and insights of behavioral economics develops an understanding of why decisions that the standard economic model may call irrational may be, in context, perfectly rational.

 

ECON 305 - Marxian Economics
Introduction to Marxian theory and modern political economy. Logic and methods of Marxian analysis of economic change; comparisons between Marxian and non-Marxian theories.
No prerequisites.

 

ECON 306 - History of Economic Thought (IE Course)
The purpose of this course is to develop critical thinking in the study of economic theories from pre-Classical to 21st century developments in economic thought. The perspective of the course is multi-disciplinary, in line with the objectives of the integrative educational experience. Students are required to do two writing assignments that integrate prior learning into the analysis of the economic theories covered in the course and to present these projects in both poster session and PowerPoint formats. In addition, students will write a reflective essay exploring the role of General Education courses in helping to understand and analyze critically the material in this course and;or in the Economics major as a whole. Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Econ majors.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102, and ECON 104.

 

ECON 307 - Applied Economic Topics
Application of microeconomic theory to selected economic problems. Topics vary. Microeconomic theory as a useful and practical tool for understanding economic behavior and policy and their consequences.
Prerequisites: ECON 203 or RES-ECON 202.

 

ECON 308 - Political Economy of the Environment
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.
Prerequisites: RES-ECON 102 or ECON 103.

 

ECON 309 - Game Theory and 309H
Theory and applications of game theory, a major tool of analysis in economics, biology, and political science. Applications include: bargaining, auctions, the 'prisoner's dilemma,' the 'tragedy of the commons,' tacit collusion, competition among firms, and strategic interactions in labor, credit, and product markets.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102, and one of the following: MATH 127, MATH 128, MATH 131, or MATH 132.

 

ECON 310 - Environmental and Resource Economics
This class provides an introduction to environmental economics, ecological economics, and resource economics. We will explore their fundamental principles and analytical methods, including: the economic valuation of environmental goods and services, the economic causes of environmental degradation, the design of policies to regulate pollution, the theory of renewable and non-renewable resources. Our class will also provide ample insights into the policy applications through readings and case studies. 4 credits.
No prerequisites.

 

ECON 311 - Money and Banking
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; AND both ECON 104 and 204.

 

ECON 313 - Public Finance
Federal budgetary policy and the U.S. economy. Impact of social-welfare spending and taxes on income distribution, growth, cyclical stability, and efficiency.
Prerequisites: ECON 203 or RES-ECON 202.

 

ECON 314 - State & Local Public Finance
Economic rationale for government provision of such public goods as criminal justice, schooling, and infrastructure. Problems aggregating diverse citizen preferences into policy decisions, voting paradoxes, government inefficiency. Taxpayer revolts and other measures to limit authority of government officials. Creative responses to make government more responsive to the electorate, including privatization.
Prerequisites: ECON 203 or RES-ECON 202, and ECON 204.

 

ECON 315 - Education & Economics
Examines contemporary issues in US education through the use of economic theory and current research literature. Particular attention will be paid to the causes and consequences of the racial and socioeconomic academic achievement gap. Topics include (but are not limited to): teacher selection and evaluation, school choice, standardized testing and accountability measures, access to high-quality education, and the implications of current education reform measures.  4 credits
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102, and ECON 104.

 

ECON 316 (formerly 397SL) - The Debt Economy
We will analyze how debt works in the economy, and the broader political economic context of debt financing and financialization. We will explore debt and it's function in society, and how debt emerged in capitalist economies. We will look at the student loan debt crisis, and potential policy solutions. Debt plays a role in other parts of the economy, including corporations and the govenment, that have implications for the stability of the economy. Throughout the course, we will explore a mix of theory, applied empirical studies, history, and policies relevant to debt.
Prerequisites:  (ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102) and ECON 104.

 

ECON 317 - Controversies in the American Economy
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. We enrich the standard neo-classical model by analyzing the issues associated information assymetry, alternative welfare indicators, the problem of moral hazards, and market concentration. We shall apply these concepts to current economic issues such as raising the minimum wage, financial baliouts, the falling median household income, income inequality, the concentration of economic power, climate change and sustainability policies, and much more.
No prerequisites.

 

ECON 321 - International Monetary Theory
The history of the international monetary and commercial system from the gold exchange standard in the 1920's to the present period of floating exchange rates. Systems of fixed and floating exchange rates from theoretical and applied points of view. The roles of international credits, Euro-currency, central bank policies.
Prerequisites: ECON 204. (ECON 311 recommended.)

 

ECON 322 - International Trade
The pure theory of non-monetary international trade, including analysis of the costs and gains of trade, application of the theory to problems of commercial policy.
Prerequisite: ECON 203 or RES-ECON 202

 

ECON 330 - Labor in the American Economy
Introduction to labor economics; emphasis on public policy issues such as unemployment, age and sex discrimination, collective bargaining, labor law reform, occupational safety and health.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102.
 
ECON 331 - Organization of American Industry
A topical study of key industrial and technological developments in U.S. economic history. Focuses on the periods of transition leading to the ascendance of U.S. manufacturing power and the subsequent decline in U.S. manufacturing leadership in the growing globalized economy.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102 or ECON 104.

 

ECON 332 - Social Control of Business
The role of organized business advocacy in the regulation of the economy. Covers theories of business power in society, empirical analysis of lobbying in economic policy making, and the formal and informal methods to maintain, supplement and moderate competition.
Prerequisites: Econ 103 or Res Econ 102.

 

ECON 333 - Income Inequality and Policy Alternatives
In this course, we will investigate how incomes are distributed in our society, why income inequality has risen so dramatically in recent years, and what public policy tools exist to counter inequality increases. The course will consider various normative approaches to answering the following question: should we care about inequality? This course will also introduce students to theoretical tools used by economists to understand the sources of inequality and will also show empirical evidence to better understand the changes in the wage distribution and, more generally, in the income distribution. We shall pay special attention to concrete policy tools such as income and wealth taxation, safety net programs, and minimum wage standards. 4 credits.
Prerequisites: ECON 203 or RES-ECON 202.

 

ECON 334 (formerly 397WP) - Economics of Wellbeing
This course provides the tools for analyzing and understanding poverty, inequality and well-being. The theoretical and methodological foundations of the main approaches to poverty, inequality and well-being will be critically presented and discussed: from the conventional monetary view to multidimensional approaches. The course also introduces students to sources of data, indicators and current empirical evidence regarding both global and national poverty and inequality, including a focus on the USA. Finally, policy implications will be briefly discussed and common anti-poverty measures will be reviewed. A pro-active participation of students is expected. A basic knowledge of economics and statistics is recommended.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102, and ECON 104, and one of the following: RES-ECON 212, STATISTC 240, 501 or 515.

 

ECON 335 - Economics of Immigration
This course covers the economic theory, history, and policy of immigration. The standard labor market model of immigration is detailed, as are more dynamic and inter-disciplinary alternatives. The models are used to analyze immigration flows and policies in the United States, Canada, and the European Union over the past two centuries as well as contemporary immigration issues. At the end of the course, students are challenged to develop suggestions for contemporary immigration policy. 4 credits.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102 or ECON 104.

 

ECON 336 - Economics of Science, Technology, and Innovation
This course provides an economist?s introduction to the study of scientific, inventive and technological activities. The overarching focus is on understanding the microeconomic foundations of the knowledge production function and the determinants of innovation and technical change. We will begin with a brief historical overview of institutions supporting science and innovation and an introduction to the economic analysis of knowledge and ideas. Other topics include: incentive mechanisms such as prizes and intellectual property (patents), diffusion of ideas and technology, models of cumulative innovation, private and public funding for R+D, scientific and university-industry collaboration, diversity and career choices among STEAM workers, and innovation in emerging economies. The course will emphasize gaining real world knowledge about these issues and motivate economic concepts covered in a variety of ways, such as through publicly available datasets, news articles, and group debates. 4 credits.
Prerequisites: ECON 104 and either ECON 203 or RES-ECON 202.

 

ECON 337 (formerly 397LE): Economics in the Age of Big Data 
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.
No prerequisites.

 

ECON 338 - Compensation, Incentives, & Productivity
Compensation, Incentives and Productivity: Uses the analytic tools of microeconomic theory to study the worker-firm employment relationship. Topics include design of compensation systems to overcome principal-agent problems; firm hiring; training, turnover and the theory of human capital; promotion tournaments and other incentive schemes; team production and diversity in teams; delegation of authority and worker participation in firm decision-making. 4 credits.
Prerequisites: ECON 203 or RES-ECON 202.

 

ECON 339 (Formerly Econ 397BB) - Economics of  Uncertainty
The economics of risk and uncertainty examines how people, governments, and businesses make decisions when they don't know the future -- which is always. We will examine different ways of "not knowing the future", distinguishing between risk, when possible outcomes and their likelihoods are known, and uncertainty, when they are not. We will give some attention to risk perception and new research at the border between psychology and economics. We will look at financial-market risk and optimal individual responses such as asset diversification and credit default swaps, but we will also consider systemic risk, when the usual microeconomic rules break down. We will look at insurance markets, how they try to manage risk, and why they often fail. We will ask throughout how policy can help people manage their risky lives.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102, and ECON 104, and ECON 203 or RES-ECON 202

 

ECON 340 - Economics of Health
The course provides an overview of the economics of health and of health care with special attention to the roles of market failure, equity, and policy. Economics of Health will apply the tools of economics and quantitative analysis to understanding the structure, performance, and problems of health and the health care sector. Students will develop institutional knowledge and analytic tools needed to contribute to public policy debates about health and health care.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102 and ECON 203 or RES-ECON 202

 

ECON 341 and ECON 341H - Labor Economics
Choice-theoretic model of labor-leisure choice. Returns to education and occupational choice. Demand for labor. Minimum wages. Changing income distribution. Effect of household structure and tax system on income structure. Labor market discrimination. Compensating wage differentials. Unions.
Prerequisites: ECON 203 or RES-ECON 202.

 

ECON 343 (formerly 397WM) - Economics of Gender, Race and Work
This course focuses on the economics of women, minorities and work in the labor market and the household.  Using economic theory along with empirical investigation, we will study issues such as employment decisions, earnings determination, occupational choice, discrimination, and family formation.  Emphasis will be placed on public policies related to the labor market experiences of women and minorities.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102

 

ECON 345 (formerly Econ 397SE)- Stratification Economics
This course will examine the economics of socially constructed groups and the inequalities in income, wealth, and power between them. The course will include, as a central feature, an examination of inequalities based on race and ethnicity. However, the course will also explore economic dynamics and disparities between a range of socially constructed groups, including those based on gender, caste, nationality/citizenship, different concepts of class, and sexuality. This course will introduce students to key concepts and analytical approaches in stratification economics and the economics of identity.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 (or RES-ECON 102) and ECON 104

 

ECON  346 (formerly 397AA) - African Americans in the U.S. Political Economy
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102 and ECON 104
This course examines the market, institutional, governmental, and social processes that have contributed to the economic wellbeing of African Americans. We pay particular attention to the interaction between race and class as determinants of the life chances of African Americans. The course examines theoretical material related to wage determination, labor market discrimination and marriage and transitions in family structure.

 

Econ 347: Economics of LGBT Issues
​The economic, social, and legal position of LGBT people has changed very rapidly, but LGBT people still face economic inequality. This course explores that position from the perspective of economics and policy, both in the U.S. and globally: What causes employment discrimination against LGBT people? Can economic reasoning reduce anti-gay prejudice? Are LGBT families different? Why and how? How do public policies shape economic inequality for LGBT people? How do businesses gain from LGBT equality? How can LGBT equality increase economic development??How does the economy influence changes in LGBT rights in other parts of the world? Taught by M. V. Lee Badgett (Professor of Economics, former director of School of Public Policy; consultant to World Bank and UN Development Program; expert witness on these issues in courts and Congress.) 4 credits.
No prerequisites.

 

ECON 348 - The Political Economy of Women
A critical review of neoclassical, Marxist, and feminist economic theories pertaining to inequality between men and women in both the family and the firm.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102.

 

ECON 349 (formerlly 397EL) - Economic Policy  Lab
The Equity Lab course uses economic research and thinking to propose solutions to important social and economic equity problems, including inequality based on race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disabilities. To design those interventions, we will also draw on ideas about fairness, as well as data analysis, communication strategies, and policy methods. Some likely projects for our Equity Lab will include reparations for African Americans, differential taxation of urban and rural farms, and employment discrimination against transgender and nonbinary people, as well as other issues.

 

ECON 359 - City, Industry, and Labor in Modern India, 1750-1950
This course examines economic and social developments in India during the period of British imperialism with a specific focus on the histories and political economy of urban and industrial development, and factory and non-factory work. The course begins with broad discussions of the transformation engendered by colonial policies, which integrated India into a global imperial economy. We then discuss the makings of colonial cities, patterns of rural-urban migration, the beginnings and expansion of jute and cotton textile industries in the two most prominent industrial cities of British India—Calcutta and Bombay. We will examine the nature of social and economic inequalities in colonial cities, factory workers’ living and working conditions, and the features of urban class politics. We will conclude this course with a brief analysis of post-colonial India and to what extent India’s economic (under) development is rooted in its colonial past. 4 credits (Gen. Ed. SB) (prior 397mi)
No prerequisites.

 

ECON 361 - European Economic History
Economic development of Europe from ancient times to late twentieth century, focusing on episodes and methods that influenced economic growth. Emergence and development of economic institutions in Western and Eastern Europe (Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine). Economic recovery after World War II, contradictions of Cold War Era, Russian military aggression in Ukraine. Recent developments considered in the light of historical experience.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102, and ECON 104.

 

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. 
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102, and ECON 104 and HISTORY 140 & 141 or 150 & 151.

 

ECON 365 - Writing In Economics
Intensive writing course dealing with various topics in economics. Fulfills the Junior Year Writing requirement for students whose primary major is Economics at UMass-Amherst.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102, and ECON 104.

 
 

ECON 366 - Economic Development
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, and strategies of industrialization and employment creation, and rural development.

 

ECON 367 - Post Independence African Development (IE Course)
This course provides the tools for understanding the evolution of African economies after independence and their current situation in the global economy. The course emphasizes the importance of the interactions between political institutions and economic systems in determining economic and social outcomes. The course will begin with a quick overview of pre-colonial and colonial Africa followed by a selection of topics on independent Africa. Students will lead a series of presentations of country case studies. The aims of this course are both to understand African economies and their trajectory specifically and more generally to build both students ability to critically evaluate and respond to economic arguments that are a blend of both facts and ideology and a broader understanding of World and African history and socio economic stratification. Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Econ majors. (Gen. Ed. G)
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102, and ECON 104.

 

ECON 368 (Formerly  397EA) - Political Economy of African Growth and Transformation
This course offers a historical and political economy approach to the analysis of growth and structural transformation of African economies. It examines the challenges as well as opportunities facing African countries in their efforts to accelerate growth, reduce poverty and inequality, and maximize the gains from integration in the global economy. It takes stock of the record of the continent's growth and economic transformation, highlighting successes and lessons learned from past policy experimentation. The course stresses the distribution of gains from growth and transformation, identifying the winners and losers, and the economic, social and political factors that drive change and those that retard it. The analysis in the course provides tools for an exploration of the prospects for acceleration of Africa's growth and structural transformation going forward.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102 or ECON 104.

 

ECON 369 (formerly 397S) - Gender and Econnomic Development
This course examines the complex relationships between economic development and gender inequality, and explores current approaches to integrating gender issues into development. The course begins with an introduction to the theoretical frameworks and debates that have shaped the analysis of gender and economic development.
Prerequisites: Either ECON 103, RES-ECON 102, or ECON 104

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.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102.

 

ECON 373 - Socialist Economies
Two interconnected topics: a socialist critique of capitalism, and a critical analysis of socialist economies with a focus on the rise and fall of the U.S.S.R. Readings on the classics of socialism, especially Marxist analyses, and on the actual economic history of modern socialist economies.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102 or ECON 104. (ECON 105 or ECON 305 recommended).

 

ECON 374 - Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
Critically examines formal models of three major systems of governance and allocation using contemporary economic theory (including game theory) and political philosophy. Includes the "marriage of capitalism and democracy," socialist feminism, the market as a cultural, political, and economic institution, and economic democracy.
Prerequisites: ECON 105 and ECON 305.

 

ECON 394CI - The Economics of Cooperative Enterprise (IE Course)
Students will be asked to retrospectively analyze their experiences as workers and consumers, evaluating the impact of organizational forms and industry structure. How do cooperative enterprises (including those on campus such as the People's Market, Earthfoods, and Campus Design and Copy) differ from other enterprises? Students will also be asked to explicitly bring material they have learned in other classes to bear on these issues. The final project requires students to work in small teams to develop a business plan for a cooperative enterprise that builds upon their own interests and expertise. Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Econ majors.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102 or ECON 104.

 

ECON 394EI - Economics and Ethics (IE Course)
This course explores ethical questions and debates associated with a wide range of economic issues. The class will look at concepts of economic justice and fairness, motivations in economics, unintended consequences of economic choices, the role of government, corporate social responsibility, inequality, environmental challenges, and globalization. Reflection on personal experience, team-based learning, and group discussions will be emphasized. Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Econ majors.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102 or ECON 104.

 

ECON 394FI - Finance and Society (IE Course)
Have we entered a new Era of Social Organization: the Era of Financialization? Financialization is the increasing role of financial motives, financial markets, financial actors, and financial institutions in the operations of domestic and international economies. We could add, that financialization also increases all of these roles in the interaction with society more broadly. If we have have entered a new era of financialization: what does this mean about the way our economy works? Does it mean that the economy serves finance instead of finance serving the economy? What does it mean for the stability of the economy? Will a greater role for finance mean a less stable economy? What does it mean for the relationships among people? Does it mean, as Marx believed, that people will increasingly treat each others as "means" to the end of getting richer, rather than as "ends", people who are valuable in their own right? Or, is it all much ado about nothing? Will it simply mean, as Milton Friedman believed, a more efficient allocation of resources and an increase in the realm of freedom? These are issues that this course will address from an historical, history of thought, literary, media/cultural and practical perspective. Students will sharpen and bring together knowledge they have gained about basic economic theory and apply it through a historical and contextual study of the myriad ways in which finance and society have interacted over recent centuries, with a focus on the last 150 years or so. Students will be forced to confront history and practice with economic theory as they grapple with the fall-out from the biggest financial crash since the great depression of the 1930's. Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Econ majors.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102 or ECON 104.

 

ECON 394IO - Industrial Organization (IE Course)
In this course we explore microeconomic theories of how industries operate in real-world marketplaces where the conditions often deviate substantially from the perfectly competitive model in your earlier microeconomics courses. Industrial organization refers to the degree and type of competition (or cooperation) among firms in an industry. Different industrial conditions tend to lead to different structures and conduct of industries, and hence, different outcomes for shareholders, managers, workers, suppliers, and consumers. We consider public policies, such as antitrust law and regulation, that do, or should, shape the way that firms interact with their customers and with each other. The goal is for you to develop tools to understand how and why firms act the way they do in the context of their industry, and what role government can and should play. Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Econ majors.
Prerequisites: ECON 203 or RES-ECON 202.

 

ECON 394LI - Law and Economics (IE Course)
In this course, we will look at the legal system as an economic system, where penalties and damages act as prices for various activities. We will ask whether the enforcement of legal rules leads to an efficient allocation of resources. Much of the focus of the course will be on property, contract and tort law. Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Econ majors.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102.

 

Econ 394AI: Foundations of International Political Economy (IE Course) 
This class provides a thorough introduction to the field of international political economy (IPE), and thus to the study of how the global economy is governed.  The class first reviews different theoretical approaches to international political economy and its foundational concepts. We will cover hegemonic stability theory, the economic benefits of creating international institutions and transnational regulatory standards, and how economic hierarchies structure the world. The class will also explore the history of global economic governance from the age of empires to the post-War Bretton Woods system to contemporary economic governance arrangements. It further examines a wide variety of contemporary issue areas in contemporary IPE research, including the political economy of international trade, the dynamics of global inequality, how global governance institutions are contested by civil society, the role of elite networks in global economic governance, and the operation of international financial regulation.
Prerequisites:  ECON 104 or ECON 121

 

ECON 452 - Econometrics
This course provides an introduction to Econometrics. Econometrics applies economic theory and the tools of descriptive and inferential statistics to economic data to answer a wide variety of interesting questions. Econometrics theory and tools can be used to: describe the characteristics of a population; create hypotheses and test the predictions of a theoretical model; and estimate the statistical relationship between two variables. This course will introduce you to the theoretical foundations and empirical applications of multiple regression analysis. Because a key concern of modern econometric practice is the estimation of causal relationships between variables, the course will place special emphasis on threats to the validity of causal inferences. The course will also introduce you to STATA, a powerful and widely used statistical software package.
Prerequisites: One of the following: (Math 127, 131, Econ 151, 152) AND one of the following: (Res-Econ 211, 212, Statistics 240, 501, 515)

 

ECON 491I - Job Skills for Econ Majors
This course is intended to teach students skills that will be useful in seeking and obtaining employment upon graduation. Most sessions feature accomplished UMass Economics alumni as guest speakers. Does NOT count toward major requirements. Offered in fall semesters only.
No prerequisites, but restricted to senior primary majors in Economics.

 

ECON 494MI - Correcting Market Failures (IE Course)
This course is both an Integrative Experience course and a Service-Learning course. In it, we will use microeconomic tools to analyze how markets function, how they fail, and how intervention can correct market failures. The basic point of the course will be to answer the following question: What are the market failures that governmental entities or nonprofit organizations attempt to correct? Another way of asking this is: Why doesn't the free market fulfill the needs or provide the services that government or nonprofits do? During the semester, students must do weekly volunteer work for a government agency or private nonprofit organization of their choice. volunteer work will provide the case studies for answering the above questions. Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Econ majors.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102.

 

Econ 497B – Advanced Money and Banking
The goal of this course is to provide both intellectual and historical understanding of how U.S. financial markets and Federal Reserve came to exist in their current shape and form. The course will be structured by time period, with most time and emphasis placed on the most recent hundred years, and especially the past five decades. How current financial institutions behave and influence the American society will be covered in detail. Students that complete this course will be able to enroll in the Fed College Challenge course. This course is limited to Sophomores and Juniors.
Prerequisites: ECON 204 and Econ 311.

 

ECON 499C and 499D - Honors Thesis Seminar
This course will combine readings and methods from philosophy and economics to address ethical questions that are relevant to the goals and evaluation of public policies. These questions include: Should we assess social outcomes, policies and institutions by reference to well-being, fairness, rights, or other criteria? What do these notions consist in and can they be measured? Does well-being consist in happiness, life satisfaction, goal attainment, some combination of these, or something else? Is inequality bad in itself or because of the outcomes to which it leads? Can we measure how fair a society is? How should we incorporate consideration of future generations in thinking about our policies today? If we care about multiple values, how do we balance them? These questions of value are relevant to a broad variety of policy issues associated with topics such as taxation, immigration, climate change, democracy, and the boundaries of markets.

 

ECON 503 - Advanced Microeconomic Theory
Detailed examination of selected topics: consumer behavior, production, capital, income distribution, market structure, general equilibrium, game theory and coalition formation.
Prerequisites: ECON 203 with a minimum grade of A- and either MATH 127 or MATH 131.

 

ECON 504 - Advanced Macroeconomic Theory
Comparison of major schools of macroeconomic thought and their application to current economic trends and policy debates.
Prerequisites: ECON 204 with a minimum grade of A- and either MATH 127 or MATH 131.

 

ECON 568 - The Practice of Development Policy and International Cooperation
This course exposes students to the practice of development policy and international cooperation and how they affect policy design and implementation in developing countries. It will discuss the role of both academic thinking and operational experience in guiding development policy and cooperation over time; examine key instruments of development assistance and cooperation, their effectiveness and limitations; and discuss agenda setting processes in global strategies and the role played by key stakeholders in the North and the South, and the implicit and explicit rules of division of power and leadership. The instructor will draw both on the literature and his own experience in development policy. This course is ideal for students considering advanced studies in economic development, development studies, and international relations, as well as those interested in a career in development policy.
Prerequisites: ECON 103 or RES-ECON 102, and ECON 104.