2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog

Economics

Students may complete a major or minor in Economics. Within the major, students may complete a concentration in environmental studies.

Faculty

Janet Ceglowski, Professor and Chair
Theodore Crone, Lecturer
Michael Rock, Professor
David R. Ross, Associate Professor
Richard Stahnke, Visiting Assistant Professor

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

Major Requirements

  1. Majors must take 10 semester courses including:
    Introduction to Economics (ECON B105, or H101-H102)
    Intermediate Microeconomics (ECON B200 or H300)
    Intermediate Macroeconomics (ECON B202 or H302)
    Statistical Methods in Economics (ECON 203 or H204)
  2. The Statistical Methods and Intermediate Theory requirements are best met during sophomore year and must be completed by the end of junior year or before any study away experience. These three courses should be taken at Bryn Mawr or Haverford. The department does not grant credit for Swarthmore’s intermediate microeconomics course, ECON SW011, because it is not calculus-based.
  3. At least one semester of calculus (MATH 101 or the equivalent) is a prerequisite for ECON B200, B202, and B304. Two semesters of calculus (MATH 102 or the equivalent) are a prerequisite for ECON H300.
  4. Starting with the class of 2012, all majors must take at least three 300-level topics courses for which one of the intermediate theory courses is a prerequisite. One of the 300-level courses must be a research seminar fulfilling the thesis course. Students are not permitted to enter a research seminar without successfully completing a course introducing the field. For example, ECON 316 or 348 are prerequisites for ECON 396. In exceptional cases, ECON 403 Independent Research may be substituted for this requirement; this requires preapproval of the instructor and department chair.
  5. No more than two of the following courses can count toward an economics major or minor at Bryn Mawr: ECON B105, H100, H101, H102, B136, B140, H205, H224, H247 and any other course that does not have one of the introductory courses (ECON B105, H101 or H102) as a prerequisite. If a student has taken ECON 105, she cannot take another introductory course at Haverford or elsewhere for credit. If a student starts the two-semester sequence at Haverford (ECON H100, 101, or 102), she must complete the sequence in order to meet the introductory requirement at Bryn Mawr; she cannot take ECON 105 after completing ECON H100, 101, or 102 or similar courses at other institutions.

Students who earn a grade below 2.7 in ECON B101, H101 or H102 are advised to not major in Economics.

Graduate Study

Students intending to pursue Ph.D. work in economics or graduate degrees in public policy should plan to add ECON 304, Introduction to Econometrics, to the list of courses they take to fulfill major requirements. Students intending to pursue a Ph.D. in economics should also strongly consider a minor or double major in mathematics. Math courses that are particularly appropriate for Ph.D. study in economics include MATH 101 and 102, Calculus with Analytical Geometry; MATH 201, Multivariable Calculus; MATH 203, Linear Algebra; MATH 205, Theory of Probability and Applications; MATH 210, Differential Equations with Applications; and MATH 301 and 302, Introduction to Real Analysis. Students are strongly urged to consult with members in the Department of Mathematics as early as possible, and ideally, no later than the end of the sophomore year.

Honors

An economics major with a minimum GPA of 3.7 in economics, including economics courses taken in the second semester of the senior year, will graduate with honors in economics.

Minor Requirements

Starting with the class of 2011, the minor in economics consists of ECON 105 and 203; either ECON 200 or 202; and three electives, one of which must have ECON 200 or 202 as a prerequisite.

Students in the class of 2010 may meet the minor requirements by taking six (6) semester courses in economics, including ECON B105 (or H101 and H102), 203 and a coherent selection of four or more additional courses approved by the department chair.

A minor plan must be approved before the start of the senior year.

Advanced Placement

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

Study Away

Planning ahead is the key to successfully balancing a semester or year away with the economics major, so consult with the chair or other members of the department early in your career at Bryn Mawr. It is virtually impossible to major and spend junior year away (and challenging to spend a semester away) unless a student has completed ECON B105 during the first year. Students planning a semester or junior year away must complete the statistical methods and intermediate theory courses (200, 202 and 203) before going away. Majors must have at least a 3.5 GPA to qualify for a two-semester junior year away. Majors contemplating a junior year away must consult with the department chair well before the February application deadline. If a student wants a particular course to count toward the economics major or minor, she must obtain approval from the department chair before confirming registration at the host institution.

Business Courses

The department will grant major credit (at the 100 level) for a single business course that is the equivalent of ECON H247 (Financial Accounting) at Haverford.

Concentration in Environmental Studies

Students who wish to combine their economics major with environmental studies should consult Michael Rock or David Ross early in their career.

ECON B105 Introduction to Economics

An introduction to micro- and macroeconomics: opportunity cost, supply and demand; consumer choice, the firm and output decisions; market structures; efficiency and market failure; the determination of national income, including government spending, money and interest rates; unemployment, inflation and public policy. (Crone, Rock, Division I)

ECON B136 Working with Economic Data

Applies selected principles of economics to the quantitative analysis of economic data; uses spreadsheets and other tools to collect and judge the reliability of economic data. Topics may include measures of income inequality and poverty; unemployment, national income and other measures of economic well-being; cost-benefit of public and private investments; construction of price indices and other government statistics; evaluating economic forecasts; and the economics of personal finance. (Ross, Division I and Quantitative Skills; cross-listed as CITY B136)

ECON B140 Self Interest and Social Behavior

Introduces students to an interdisciplinary, decision and game theoretic model of social behavior where self interest may be sought by rational choice, biological or cultural evolution. Applications include voting, market behavior, public policy formation, mate choice, the development of ethics and structuring environments to enhance cooperation. Designed for students interested in an interdisciplinary approach to social behavior, this course may be used toward the economics major only with the permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: MATH B101 (or equivalent) or consent of the instructor. (staff, Division I) Not offered in 2009-10.

ECON B200 Intermediate Microeconomics

Systematic development of the analytical framework economists use to explain the behavior of consumers and firms. Determination of price; partial and general equilibria; welfare economics. Application to current economic problems. Prerequisites: ECON B105, or H101 and H102, MATH B101 (or equivalent), one 200-level applied microeconomics elective (may be waived by the instructor). (Ross, Division I)

ECON B202 Intermediate Macroeconomics

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

ECON B203 Statistical Methods in Economics

An introduction to econometric terminology and reasoning. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability and statistical inference. Particular emphasis is placed on regression analysis and on the use of data to address economic issues. The required computational techniques are developed as part of the course. Prerequisites: ECON B105, or H101 and H102, and a 200-level elective (may be waived by the instructor). (Stahnke, Quantitative Skills; cross-listed as CITY B206)

ECON B207 Money and Banking

Analysis of the development and present organization of the financial system of the United States, focusing on the monetary and payment systems, financial markets and financial intermediaries. Prerequisites: ECON B105, or H101 and H102. (Stahnke, Division I)

ECON B213 Taming the Modern Corporation

Introduction to the economics of industrial organization and regulation, focusing on policy options for ensuring that corporations enhance economic welfare and the quality of life. Topics include firm behavior in imperfectly competitive markets; theoretical bases of antitrust laws; regulation of product and occupational safety, environmental pollution and truth in advertising. Prerequisite: ECON H101 or B105. (Ross, Division I; cross-listed as CITY B213)

ECON B214 Public Finance

Analysis of government’s role in resource allocation, emphasizing effects of tax and expenditure programs on income distribution and economic efficiency. Topics include sources of inefficiency in markets and possible government responses; federal budget composition; social insurance and antipoverty programs; U.S. tax structure and incidence. Prerequisites: ECON B105 or H101. (Stahnke, Division I; cross-listed as CITY B214)

ECON B221 U.S. Economic History

Study of the evolution of the economy of what is today the United States from the period of European settlement through the Great Depression. The course examines the roles played by technology, the environment, government and the nation’s evolving economic institutions on the course of its economic development. Prerequisites: ECON B105, or H101 and H102. (staff, Division I; cross-listed as CITY B221) Not offered in 2009-10.

ECON B225 Economic Development

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

ECON B234 Environmental Economics

Introduction to the use of economic analysis to explain the underlying behavioral causes of environmental and natural resource problems and to evaluate policy responses to them. Topics may include air and water pollution; the economic theory of externalities, public goods and the depletion of resources; cost-benefit analysis; valuing nonmarket benefits and costs; economic justice; and sustainable development. Prerequisites: ECON B105, or H101 and H102. (Ross, Division I; cross-listed as CITY B234)

ECON B236 The Economics of Globalization

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

ECON B242 Economics of Local Government Programs

How can economics help solve and learn from the problems facing rural and suburban communities? The instructor is a local township supervisor who will share the day-to-day challenges of coping with land-use planning, waste disposal, dispute resolution, and the provision of basic services. Prerequisite: ECON B105 or H101. (Ross, Division I) Not offered in 2009-10.

ECON B243 Economic Inequality and Government Policy Choices

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

ECON B285 Democracy and Development

From 1974 to the late 1990’s the number of democracies grew from 39 to 117. This “third wave,” the collapse of communism and developmental successes in East Asia have led some to argue the triumph of democracy and markets. Since the late 1990’s, democracy’s third wave has stalled, and some fear a reverse wave and democratic breakdowns. We will question this phenomenon through the disciplines of economics, history, political science and sociology drawing from theoretical, case study and classical literature. Prerequisite: one year of study in political science or economics. (Rock, M. Ross, Division I; cross-listed as POLS B385)

ECON B304 Introduction to Econometrics

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

ECON B311 Game Theory and Applications

Teaches students to develop, use and assess the game theoretic models of imperfect competition, political economy, biological and cultural evolution. Considers how environments may be structured to enhance cooperation. Prerequisite: ECON B200 or equivalent. (staff, Division I) Not offered in 2009-10.

ECON B313 Industrial Organization and Public Policy

The study of the interaction of buyers, sellers and government in imperfectly competitive markets. Prerequisites: ECON 203 or 204; B200. (Ross, Division I)

ECON B315 Economics of Information and Uncertainty

A study of economic behavior under conditions of incomplete information and uncertainty. Topics include problems of moral hazard and adverse selection in agency theory and signaling model, sequential games of incomplete information, bilateral bargaining and reputation. Applications include optimal insurance contracts, financial bubbles, credit rationing and the value of information. Prerequisite: ECON B200. (Stahnke, Division I)

ECON B316 International Macroeconomics

Examines the theory of, and current issues in, international macroeconomics and international finance. Considers the role of international factors in macroeconomic performance; policymaking in an open economy; exchange rate systems and exchange rate behavior; international financial integration; and international financial crises. Prerequisite: ECON B202. (Ceglowski, Division I)

ECON B320 Research Seminar on the Financial System

Thesis seminar. Each student does a semester-long research project on a relevant topic of interest. Research topics may include the monetary and payment systems, financial markets and financial intermediaries from a microeconomic perspective. Group meetings will involve presentation and discussion of research in progress. Prerequisites: ECON 207, 200 and permission of instructor. (staff, Division I) Not offered in 2009-10.

ECON B348 International Trade

Study of the major theories offered to explain international trade. Includes analyses of the effects of trade barriers (tariffs, quotas, nontariff barriers), trade liberalization and foreign investment by multinational corporations on growth, poverty, inequality and the environment. Prerequisite: ECON B200. (Stahnke, Division I)

ECON B350 Policy Analysis and Economic Advocacy

The goal of this seminar is mastering the ability to translate the fruits of academic research and applied economic analysis for audiences outside of the academy. Participants will collaborate with faculty colleagues in the production of publishable advocacy papers in the context of two topical policy modules. Prerequisites: ECON B203, B200, B202 and at least one 200-level elective. (Ross, Division I) Not offered in 2009-10.

ECON B393 Research Seminar in Industrial and Environmental Regulation

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

ECON B395 Research Seminar in Economic Development

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

ECON B396 Research Seminar: International Economics

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

ECON B403 Supervised Work

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

ECON B425 Praxis III: Independent Study

(staff)