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Economics Courses

General Course Listings

Sub CRSE Title
ECO 101 Introductory Economics
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

Theories and institutions that organize and direct economic activities in contemporary society. Covering both microeconomics and macroeconomics, prepares students for understanding domestic and international economic issues, and serves as a foundation for further work in economics.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought requirement. 

ECO 105 Statistics and Basic Econometrics
Prerequisites & Notes

(Beginning Spring 2018)  Economics 101 or permission of the instructor.

 

Instructor
Staff

Application of probability and statistics to economic analysis. Topics include: probability rules, discrete and continuous random variables, confidence intervals, hypothesis tests, correlation, and regression. Spreadsheet software is utilized. An economics research paper is a major component of the course.

One laboratory session per week.

Satisfies the Mathematical and Quantitative Thought requirement. 
Satisfies a requirement in the Data Science interdisciplinary minor.

ECO 122 Introduction to Health Care Economics
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Sparling

This course provides students without an economics background a broad overview of the health economics field.  A foundation of microeconomics principles is developed, and this foundation is then used to analyze leading health care issues.

Satisfies a minor credit in Economics.
Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought requirement.

ECO 180 Indian Economic Development
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

This course introduces the student to some of the economic development issues of modern India as part of the Davidson College Semester in India Program.  Students will learn basic economic principles and how to apply those principles to the India they experience.

Not for major or minor credit in Economics.
Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
 

ECO 195 Independent Study
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor.

Instructor
Staff

Designed for non-majors who desire to pursue some special interest in economics on an independent study basis. The proposal must be approved in advance by the faculty member who supervises the student and determines the means of evaluation as well as the Department Chair. 

Not for major or minor credit in Economics.

ECO 202 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101 and Calculus I or equivalent.

Instructor
Staff

Analysis of production and consumption activities of individual economic units. Areas of concentration include the theory of consumer behavior, cost analysis, production and distribution theory, market structure, game theory, general equilibrium, and welfare criteria.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought requirement. 

ECO 203 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101 and Calculus I or equivalent.

Instructor
Staff

Theories of aggregate demand and supply; determination of real national income, employment, and the price level; and use of fiscal and monetary policies to achieve macroeconomic objectives.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought requirement. 

ECO 205 Econometrics
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101 and either Economics 105 or permission of the instructor. 
One laboratory session per week.

Instructor
Staff

Applications of linear regression analysis to economic analysis. Topics include model specification, parameter estimation, inference, and problems relating to data issues, statistical concerns, and model diagnostics. Statistical software is utilized. An economics research paper is a major component of the course.

Counts as an elective in the Data Science interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Mathematical and Quantitative Thought requirement. 

ECO 211 Introduction to Accounting
Prerequisites & Notes

Only two courses from Economics 211, 212, and 213 may earn major credit.

Instructor
B. Baker

Comprehensive study of the theory and problems of valuation of assets, application of funds, corporation accounts and statements; interpretation and analysis of financial statements.

ECO 212 Intermediate Accounting
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 211.
Only two courses from Economics 211, 212, and 213 may earn major credit.  (Spring)

Instructor
B. Baker

Complex problems in various areas of financial accounting, with emphasis on theoretical background and analysis of accounting data.

ECO 213 Cost Accounting
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 211. 
Only two courses from Economics 211, 212, and 213 may earn major credit. (Fall)

Instructor
B. Baker

Study of allocation and utilization of resources. Emphasis on cost behavior, cost allocation, product costing, budgeting, decision-making and control activities related to job-order, process and activity-based costing (ABC) systems.

ECO 214 Finance
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 211

Instructor
Kollme

This course provides a foundation in the principles and tools of finance, which include financial analysis, the time value of money, capital budgeting and capital structure. It emphasizes an intuitive, logically rigorous understanding of the theory and practice of finance, illustrating concepts that are applicable to public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. Ethical and societal issues related to these principles are examined.  

Only two courses numbered 211-214 may count towards the Economics major.
Only one course numbered 211-214 may count towards the Economics minor.

ECO 219 Game Theory and Strategic Behavior
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101 and Calculus I or equivalent.

Instructor
M. Foley

Study of strategic situations in theory and practice. Course begins with the concept of Nash equilibrium and covers refinements of it, addressing ideas such as mixed strategies, preemption, wars of attrition, commitment, repeated games, and signaling.

Satisfies a Mathematical & Quantitative Thought requirement.

 

ECO 220 Economic Analysis of Health and Access to Care
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101 or both Economics 122 and permission of the instructor. 
Recommended, but not required: Economics 105.

Instructor
Sparling

Economic perspective on differences in health outcomes and health care utilization across the categories of income, wealth, education, gender and race.  Includes study of theories of time allocation, health production, health insurance and discrimination, and assessment of related empirical research and policies. 

Satisfies Social-Scientific Thought requirement.
 

ECO 221 Economic History of the United States
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101.

Instructors
Ross, F. Smith

Principal events affecting economic policy and behavior in the United States since colonial times. Emphasis on historical origins of contemporary American problems.

Satisfies the Historical Thought requirement.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement. 

ECO 224 Labor Economics
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101.

Instructor:
Ross

Labor markets, unionization, unemployment, and public policy primarily in the setting of the United States.  Particular focus will be on inequality and discrimination in the labor market.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought requirement.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.

ECO 225 Public Sector Economics
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101.

Instructor
Staff

Analysis of the role the public sector plays in a mixed economy.  Topics include public goods, externalities, tax policy, expenditure policy, budget deficits, and the national debt.  Includes proposals for tax welfare, and health care reforms. 
A student may not receive credit for both Economics 225 and Economics 325.  

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought requirement. 

ECO 226 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101 required; Calculus I or equivalent recommended.

Instructor
Martin

Focuses on the application of economic tools to the evaluation of environmental amenities, the analysis of pollution control policies, the uses of renewable and nonrenewable resources, and the protection of biodiversity.  Examines the strengths and weaknesses of the economic approach to those issues.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought requirement. 
Satisfies depth and breadth course requirement in the Social Science Track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.

ECO 227 Investments: Theory and Behavior
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101.

Instructor
Zurowski

In this course we study the financial behavior of both idealized agents in economic models and actual humans faced with complex decisions, a large number of choices, uncertainty, and (mis)information.  The first part of the course introduces the financial system and financial assets and provides an overview of optimal investor behavior, including asset pricing, valuation, portfolio choice, and the life cycle model of consumption.  The second part includes a survey of the literature on behavioral finance, including overconfidence bias, herding effects, inertia and the effect of choice architecture, and the behavioral life cycle hypothesis.  We discuss various remedies to the mistakes often made by everyday participants in the financial system.

Satisfies a major requirement in Economics.
Satisfies a minor requirement in Economics.
Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought requirement.
 

ECO 228 Financial Economics
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101 and Economics 105.

Instructor
Stroup

This course is an introduction to financial economics. It is organized around financial institutions (e.g., investment banks and asset management companies), instruments (e.g., collateralized debt obligations), and markets (e.g., over-the-counter), and focuses on essential terminology (e.g., leverage), core competencies (e.g., understanding basic functions of financial intermediaries), and analyses of the relationship between the financial sector and society as a whole (e.g., financial regulation). At the conclusion of the course, students should be able to read and interpret financial events and to actively participate in discussions involving the role of finance in society and critical evaluation of financial policy.

ECO 229 Urban Economics
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101.

Instructor
F. Smith

Role of economics in the development of modern cities. Topics include: the monocentric-city model, urban land values, crime, transportation, education, and taxation.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought requirement. 

ECO 231S History of Economic Thought
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101.

Instructor
Kumar

Evolution of economic thought in a social-historical context, from the Mercantilists up to Keynes, with particular attention to the Classical, Marxian, Austrian, Neoclassical, Institutional, and Keynesian schools.

Satisfies the Liberal Studies requirement. 

ECO 232 Economics of Migration
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101

Instructor
Gouri Suresh

Types of migration, economic basis for migration, aggregate and distributional consequences on migrant sending and receiving countries, fiscal and other effects of migration, 'brain-drain' and 'brain-gain', remittances, migration policy.

Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement for International Studies.
Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought requirement.

ECO 234 Latin American Economic Development
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101.

Instructor
B. Crandall

This course combines economic theory, policy and historical accounts to understand forces that have shaped Latin American economic development.  You will gain an understanding of major theories and trends in Latin American development while obtaining the necessary tools to analyze specific development issues and the impact of development projects.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought requirement.

ECO 235 Economics of South Asian Environmental Issues
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101.

Instructor
Martin

The goal of this course is for students to learn about the economics of environmental issues in South Asia (defined here as Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka). The economic tools will include externalities and consideration of common and open access goods. The issues discussed will be topical, and the students will get to choose a topic for their research project.

Satisfies depth and breadth course requirement in the Social Science track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies a Social Scientific Thought Requirement.

ECO 237 Macroeconomics of Development
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101

Instructor
Jha

Why are some countries rich and others so poor? What are the commonalities across today's low-income countries, and how are they dissimilar? Which policies can best move billions of people from abject poverty to development and prosperity? This course is about the huge differences in incomes and standards of living that separates the wealthy nations from the poor. We will explore the nature and meaning of development and its macroeconomic manifestations within the context of a major set of economic problems faced by developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Topics include economic growth and structural transformation; poverty and inequality; agricultural transformation and rural development; human capital; migration and urbanization; foreign aid; violence and armed conflict; and role of monetary policy and fiscal policy to foster macroeconomic stability and economic development.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought requirement.
Satisfies the 30-series Economics major requirement.

ECO 280 Economic Analysis of India's Development
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101 (Introductory Economics).

Instructor
Staff

Students will engage in learning about the economic issues associated with the development of modern India as part of the Davidson College Semester in India Program.  Students will review introductory economics, read an economic analysis of India, and apply the lessons learned from their readings to the India they experience. 

Does count towards major and minor credit in Economics.
Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought Ways of Knowing requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
 

ECO 286 Economics of Education (=EDU 286)
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101

Instructor
Adnot

(Cross-listed with EDU 286)
This course will examine questions about the American educational system from an economic and behavioral-economic perspective.  Is school funding better spent on merit pay for teachers or reducing class size?  Do charter schools help more students get to college?  Who benefits from free tuition policies in higher education?  We will learn about returns to educational investment, effects of educational inputs, teacher labor markets, school choice, and higher education finance and policy.  There will be an emphasis throughout on empirical tests of individual behavior and their implications for education policy.

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought requirement.
Satisfies the 20-series Economics major course requirement.
Satifies a requirement in the Educational Studies minor.

ECO 288 Economic Issues in Emerging Markets
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101.

Instructor
B. Crandall

This course covers the core ideas behind international monetary and trade theories with particular emphasis on emerging markets.  Why does the dollar go "up" or "down," and with what implications?  How do financial crises begin and spread?  Who gains from international trade, and how does it affect economic welfare worldwide.  In addition to answering these questions, the course will cover topical issues in emerging economies: foreign aid, income inequality, environmental protection, and the relationship between democracy, national security, and open markets.  In addition to using texts and selected readings, we will rely on several case studies and country-specific analysis to further our understanding of these issues.  This class is not open to students who have taken POL 360.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought requirement.
Satisfies the 30-series requirement in the Economics major.

ECO 295 Individual Research
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 101 and permission of the instructor.

Instructor
Staff

Designed for the student who desires to pursue some special interest in economics. A research proposal must be approved in advance by the faculty member who supervises the student and determines the means of evaluation as well as the Department Chair.

ECO 316 Computational Economics
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 105 or permission of the instructor.

Instructor
Gouri Suresh

Computational methods for building and solving models in the context of economics topics. Methods discussed include agent-based simulations to analyze complex adaptive systems, value function iteration to solve dynamic structural models, and miscellaneous estimation and optimizing techniques.

Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement for applied mathematics.
Counts as an elective in the Data Science interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies Social-Scientific Thought requirement.

ECO 320 Psychology and Economics
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 105 and Economics 202.

Instructor
M. Foley

Incorporation of psychological insights into economic models, with emphasis on empirical evidence. Also known as behavioral economics. Analysis of how individuals depart from a standard economic model in three ways: 1) nonstandard preferences, such as procrastination, 2) nonstandard beliefs, such as overconfidence about one's ability, and 3) nonstandard decision making, such as framing effects and the roles of social pressure and peer influences.

Satisfies Social Science requirement.
 

ECO 321 Research Seminar in Public Choice Economics
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics focus: Economics 105 (Statistics), either Economics 202 (Intermediate Microeconomics) or Economics 203 (Intermediate Macroeconomics), and a Political Science course above 201.

Political Science focus: Political Science 201 (Methods and Statistics in Political Science), a Political Science course above 300, and Economics 101 (Introductory Economics).

Instructor
Martin

Public Choice Economics is the application of economic methods to problems usually within the sphere of political science.  This research seminar is as much a vehicle for developing a student's research skills as it is a valuable field of inquiry.  The students will actively engage with their peers in learning about Public Choice Economics, in developing a viable research proposal, and in conducting their own empirical research projects.  It is appropriate for either advanced economics-focused students with an interest political science or advanced political science-focused students with an interest in economics.

ECO 323 Industrial Organization
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 202 required.

Instructor
Zurowski

We often hear that perfect competition is the ideal market structure for an industry, but what if it isn't?  When are there benefits to consumers from allowing two large companies to merge?  Are Microsoft and Google providing valuable technological innovations for society, or strategically capturing market share and profit for themselves?  

We study some frameworks for answering these and other questions, starting with a review of how market structure, firm behavior, and outcomes for consumers are related.  We examine the effects of various business strategies such as price discrimination, product differentiation, collusion, mergers, advertising, R&D and investment.  Finally, we discuss landmark antitrust court cases and apply theoretical frameworks to understand why different industries may be treated differently.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought requirement.

ECO 324 Labor Economics
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 105 and Economics 202 or permission of the instructor.

Instructors
M. Foley, Ross

Labor markets, unionization, unemployment, and public policy primarily in the setting of the United States. (A student may not receive credit for both ECO 224 and ECO 324.)

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought requirement.

ECO 325 Public Sector Economics
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 202.

Instructor
F. Smith

Analysis of the role the public sector plays in a mixed economy.  Topics include public goods, externalities, tax policy, expenditure policy, budget deficits, and the national debt.  Includes proposals for tax welfare, and health care reforms. 
A student may not receive credit for both Economics 225 and Economics 325.  

Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought requirement. 

ECO 328 Money and the Financial System
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 203.

Instructor
Kumar

Term structure of interest rates, structure of financial markets, regulatory framework, asset demand theories, Federal Reserve system and operation of monetary policy.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought requirement.

ECO 329 Sports Economics
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 105 and Economics 202.

Instructor
Martin

Sports economics covers the major economic issues confronted in professional and major college sports. The course examines four topics in depth: (1) the structure of professional sports industry, (2) public finance issues surrounding stadium construction and team ownership in professional sports, (3) labor market issues in professional sports, and (4) the economics of amateur athletics (with a focus on the NCAA).

ECO 336 Economic Growth
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 203

Instructor
Jha

What sustains economic growth in the long run?  This question was the focus of Adam Smith's 1776 masterpiece "The Wealth of Nations".  Nobel laureate Robert Lucas famously said that "Once one starts to think about [questions of economic growth], it is hard to think about anything else."  The purpose of this course is to explain and explore the modern theories of economic growth.  We will use  theoretical and empirical models and publicly available data to study the role of key components of economics growth such as: capital accumulation, including all new investments in land, physical equipment, and human resources through improvements in health, education, and job skills; population growth; technological progress; openness to trade and capital flow; institutions, culture, and geography; and environmental sustainability.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought requirement.
Satisfies the 30-series requirement in the Economics major.

ECO 337 International Trade
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 202.

Instructor
Gouri Suresh

Economic basis for international trade, determinants and consequences of trade flows, barriers to trade, and trade policy.

 

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought requirement.

ECO 338 International Finance
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 203.

Instructors
Kumar

Macroeconomics of an open economy, balance-of-payments adjustment, exchange-rate regimes, and coordination of international economic policy.

Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought requirement.

ECO 339 Economics of Multinational Firms
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 203

Instructor
Stroup

Multinational firms with operations spanning national boundaries are some of the most powerful companies in the world. Why do some firms go global? What prevents others from internationalizing their operations? How do multinationals innovate? Do they benefit the countries where they operate? Answers to these questions will provide key insights about the world we live in, and we will use economics to examine these and other issues to learn how firms respond to the pressures of globalization and how the global presence of these firms affects the well-being of citizens in rich and poor countries.


Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought requirement.

ECO 380 Seminar in Economics (ECO 380-384)
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 202 or 203 or 205 and permission of the instructor.

Instructor
Staff

Reading, research, papers, and discussion on selected topics in economics. Particular topic or area of the seminar and course number will be announced in advance of registration.

ECO 395 Individual Research
Prerequisites & Notes

Economics 202 or 203 or 205 and permission of the instructor.

Instructor
Staff

Designed for the major who desires to pursue some special interest in economics. A research proposal must be approved in advance by the faculty member who supervises the student and determines the means of evaluation as well as the Department Chair.

ECO 401 Honors Research
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the Department Chair. (Fall)

Instructor
Kumar

Independent research designed to formulate a written proposal for an honors thesis. The proposal will encompass a review of recent literature, development of a theoretical framework and research hypotheses, and the preparation of an annotated bibliography. An oral defense of the written proposal is required. Graded on a Pass/Fail basis. 

Not for major or minor credit in Economics.

ECO 402 Honors Thesis
Prerequisites & Notes

Pass in Economics 401 and permission of the Department Chair. (Spring)

Instructor
Kumar

Completion of the honors research proposed in Economics 401. Oral defense of the thesis is required.

ECO 495 Senior Session
Prerequisites & Notes

This Senior Seminar is required of all seniors majoring in economics. Students demonstrate their abilities to engage in economic analyses using the tools developed in their intermediate-level courses by participating in colloquia on economic problems, theory, and policy. Exploiting the seminar nature of the course, students will write, edit, and revise convincing professional economic arguments; they take the ETS Major Field Test in Economics and an oral examination conducted by an external examiner; and hear from guest speakers about their research and policy interests.

Prerequisites & Notes: 
Economics 202, 203, and 205 or permission of the department chair.
Offered in both fall and spring semesters. Priority is given to seniors.
 

Spring 2019 Senior Seminars

Section A: "Great" Books in Economics
Instructor
: Jha

This course will survey the great thinkers, their seminal ideas, and the great texts of economic thought in the history of the discipline. Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" changed the world, with a basic trinity of individual prerogatives: self-interest division of labor, and freedom of trade. But what, according to Smith, were the limits of reason and rationality? What were Keynes's views on 'animal spirits', the spontaneous optimism rather than mathematical speculation, that drove human action? How did Marx distinguish between fixed or constant drives that are integral to human nature and the relative appetites that are rooted in particular social structures and modes of production? How did Polanyi contrast rational self-interested behavior in the market society of early modern Western Europe with socially motivated behavior in the communitarian patterns of organization in traditional societies? The objective of this course is to conduct a close study of select "great texts" in economics, focusing on classics in economic thought supplemented with contemporary analyses.
 

Section B: The Economics of Conservation Biology
Instructor: Martin

This course focuses on the economic analysis of conservation biology policies, which are intended to preserve biodiversity. The goals of conservation biology and economic analyses can conflict because the former prioritizes preserving the status quo while the latter promotes creative destruction. Also, the complex ecological goals of a biodiversity policy must be implemented within an equally complex human society. Students will read, discuss, and write about the primary literature to learn about these tensions, their causes, and potential resolutions to them. At the end of the course, the students will bring all of this material together into an economic analysis of a biodiversity policy of their choice.
 

Section C: The Geography of Prosperity
Instructor: Smith

Why is North Korea's economic output per person a fraction of South Korea's? Why did the Industrial Revolution begin in England? This course will examine competing theories behind why some societies have enjoyed economic success while others have not. Special attention will be paid to understanding the role of economic institutions and the role of geography in generating long run economic prosperity.
 

Section D: The Economics of Foreign Direct Investment
Instructor: Stroup

Multinational firms with operations spanning national boundaries are some of the most powerful companies in the world. Why do some firms go global? What prevents others from internationalizing their operations? How do multinationals innovate? Do they benefit the countries where they operate? Answers to these questions will help us understand the world we live in, and we will use economics to examine these and other issues to learn how firms respond to the pressures of globalization and how the global presence of these firms affects our well-being.

 

FALL 2018 SENIOR SEMINARS

Section A: Contemporary Economic Issues
Instructor: Gouri Suresh

The objective of this course is to conduct a close study of selected economics research publications in terms of their theories and empirical approaches. Over the course of the semester, five papers and one book will be chosen jointly by the students and the professor based principally on the criteria of timeliness and timelessness. "Timely" papers will be chosen from recent issues of the Journal Economics Perspectives and other comparable sources. "Timeless" papers will be chosen from a list of papers widely accepted as classics in the field. Students will read, analyze, discuss, and write about these papers and the book in various ways - response papers, op-eds, book/article reviews, and policy briefs. The professor will also choose one empirical result from any of the readings in the course for a "replication" exercise that the students will conduct using either simulated or real data.
 

Section B: Income Inequality in the United States: From the Colonial Period to the Present
Instructor: Ross

This course will look at the mechanisms of income and wealth determination. The principal applications will be within the United States, since the Colonial Period to the present. Within the course, we will examine the central tendency of the income and wealth distribution, with particular attention paid to the degree of inequality. For different time periods, we will examine those issues that contributed to greater inequality, as well as any issues or programs that reduced inequality.

ECO 495, section B satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.

EDU 286 Economics of Education (=ECO 286)