College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Courses and Syllabi

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Economics Spring 2017


100-Level Courses in ECON

ECON 100: Economics for the Citizen (3 Credits)

Not available to economics majors. Broad introduction to economic concepts and how they can contribute to a better understanding of the world around us. Applies and develops concepts to current economic and social problems and issues. Less formal modeling than in the 103-104 sequence.

ECON 103: Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (3 Credits)

Introduces microeconomics in the context of current problems. Explores how market mechanism allocates scarce resources among competing uses; uses supply, demand, production, and distribution theory to analyze problems.

ECON 104: Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (3 Credits)

Introduces macroeconomics in the context of current problems. National income analysis, money and banking, economic growth and stability, unemployment, inflation, and role of government.

ECON 105: Environmental Economics for the Citizen (3 Credits)

Introduction to economic concepts and how they can be applied to environmental policy issues such as air and water pollution, climate change, natural resource use, and sustainability. Focus is on concepts, policy, and case studies rather than formal modeling exercises. Designated a Green Leaf Course.

ECON 110: Introduction to Economic Science (2 Credits)

Introduces economics as an observational science, covering personal vs. impersonal exchange, strategic interdependence and game theory, group decision making, and market design.

200-Level Courses in ECON

ECON 296: Special Topics in Economics (3 Credits)

Provides coverage of a specialized topic in economics at the introductory level. Topics vary by section.

300-Level Courses in ECON

ECON 306: Intermediate Microeconomics (3 Credits)

Basic factors of price and distribution theory: analysis of demand, costs of production and supply relationships, and price and output determination under various market structures.

ECON 308: Managerial Economics and Strategy (3 Credits)

Analysis of major strategic business situations including pricing strategy, incentives and contracts, game theory, and vertical and horizontal integration.

ECON 309: Economic Problems and Public Policies (3 Credits)

Economic problems in light of current and proposed public policies. Topics include environmental issues, international trade policies, and regulatory issues and their historical roots.

ECON 310: Money and Banking (3 Credits)

Monetary, commercial, and central banking systems, with particular emphasis on their relationship with American government programs, fiscal policies, and controls.

ECON 311: Intermediate Macroeconomics (3 Credits)

Aggregate economic accounts, including measuring national income; determinants of levels of income and output; and causes and solutions for problems of unemployment, inflation, and economic growth.

ECON 320: Labor Problems (3 Credits)

Explores American labor unions and their effect on society, including causes of and proposed solutions to selected problems.

ECON 321: Economics of Labor (3 Credits)

Defines factors that determine levels of wages and employment, and economic consequences. Emphasizes recent developments in unionism, collective bargaining, and industrial technology.

ECON 330: Public Finance (3 Credits)

Covers intergovernmental financial relationships; types, incidences, and consequences of taxation; other sources of governmental income; governmental expenditures and their effect; public economic enterprises; public borrowing; and debt management and its economic effect.

ECON 335: Environmental Economics (3 Credits)

Microeconomic analysis of environmental problems. Topics include externalities and market failure, alternative solutions and policies, problems in monitoring and enforcement, economic analysis of development of legislation and regulation, and applications to current policy issues. Designated a Green Leaf Course.

ECON 340: Introduction to Mathematical Economics (3 Credits)

Mathematical treatment of theory of firm and household behavior, stabilization policy, growth theory, input-output analysis, and linear programming.

ECON 345: Introduction to Econometrics (3 Credits)

Modern statistical techniques in estimating economic relations.

ECON 355: The Political Economy of Nonprofit Institutions (3 Credits)

Applies the basic principles of economics to teach students to think critically about nonprofit institutions. Examines the economics of nonprofit institutions, how incentives influence the evolution of charities, and current issues in nonprofit organizations.

ECON 360: Economics of Developing Areas (3 Credits)

Economic growth characteristic of developing countries. Economic development, obstacles to development, policies, and planning.

ECON 361: Economic Development of Latin America (3 Credits)

Economic development, institutions, and problems of Latin America.

ECON 362: African Economic Development (3 Credits)

Issues of economic development as applied to Africa. Includes overview of early economic history in Africa and post-independence development, and contemporary development problems.

ECON 365: Topics in Economic History (3 Credits)

Possible topics include ancient, medieval, modern European, and American economic history, using econometric analysis as necessary.

ECON 367: Money, Markets, and Economic Policy (3 Credits)

Applies basic economic concepts and principles to issues facing the U.S. and global economies. Topics include productivity and economic growth, taxes, healthcare, globalization, income distribution and financial crises, with an emphasis on market structure, social institutions and the not-always rational behavior of investors and consumers.

ECON 370: Economics of Industrial Organization (3 Credits)

Factors influencing industrial structure, and industrial conduct and performance.

ECON 374: Health Economics (3 Credits)

Microeconomic analysis of health and medicine. Topics include the determinants of health, health externalities, health insurance, the health effects of medicine, the supply and demand of medicine, medical quality and regulation, and information asymmetries.

ECON 380: Economies in Transition (3 Credits)

Examines problems and achievements of formerly communist and socialist countries including China, Eastern European countries, and Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union as they transition to more market-oriented economies. Includes market economics and central planning.

ECON 385: International Economic Policy (3 Credits)

Introduces economic way of thinking on trade and international finance. Presents historical and current information on consequences of trade and protectionism.

ECON 390: International Economics (3 Credits)

Foreign exchange market, balance of payment, foreign trade policies, and theories of international trade.

400-Level Courses in ECON

ECON 403: Austrian Economics (3 Credits)

Microeconomic and macroeconomic models and misallocation of resources.

ECON 410: Public Choice (3 Credits)

Applies economic theory, methodology to study nonmarket decision making.

ECON 412: Game Theory and Economics of Institutions (3 Credits)

Introduces game theory and its relevance for analyzing framework of rules and institutions within which economic processes occur. Applies game theoretical concepts to comparative analysis of causes and effects of alternative institutional arrangements.

ECON 415: Law and Economics (3 Credits)

Economic analysis of the law. Topics include introduction to legal institutions and legal analysis; application of economic concepts to the law of property, contracts and torts, criminal and constitutional law; economic efficiency of common law; and public choice perspective on the evolution of the law.

ECON 420: International Money and Finance (3 Credits)

Examines models of balance of payments, exchange rate behavior, and open economy macroeconomics. Includes international financial system and issues such as globalization and international financial instability.

ECON 421: Financial Economics (3 Credits)

Provides a survey of financial economics including a brief overview of the U.S. and international financial system and the role of different financial institutions. Covers the leading theoretical models in the field.

ECON 435: Economics of Energy (3 Credits)

Examines various issues in the energy industry using tools from microeconomic theory, law and economics and public choice. Topics include issues related to oil, historical and current energy regulation, and environmental issues associated with energy.

ECON 440: Economic Systems Design: Principles and Experiments (3 Credits)

Introduces design principles to develop systems to allocate resources. Students must participate in experiment demonstrations of different allocation mechanisms. They also are exposed to experimental methods in economics and market design.

ECON 441: Economic Systems Design: Case Studies and Analysis (3 Credits)

Requires students to design and develop mechanism to specific allocation problem. Students develop analytical and working engineering models of their mechanism.

ECON 442: Economic Systems Design: Implementation (3 Credits)

Involves students in developing experimental design to test proposed allocation solution. Design process includes construction of experimental parameters, treatments, and initial test in laboratory setting.

ECON 445: Design and Analysis of Experiments (3 Credits)

Topics include comparing two or more treatments, and computing and interpreting analysis of variance. Discusses randomized block, Latin square, and factorial designs; and applications to economics experiments.

ECON 460: Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (3 Credits)

Covers issues in the philosophy, economics, and political science of institutions, information, and collective action. Through case studies of existing legal and political institutions, applies the insights to problems in politics, policy making, social-choice theory, and social, moral, and political philosophy. (Specific content varies).

ECON 470: Economics of Regulation (3 Credits)

Examines various issues surrounding concepts of regulation using tools from microeconomic theory and public choice. Topics include antitrust, rate regulation, policy rationales for regulation, and issues of current interest.

ECON 481: The Development of Economic Thought (3 Credits)

Developments in economic thought from 1500 to the present. Emphasizes historical origins, impact on contemporary economics, and theoretical validity.

ECON 492: Study Abroad (1-6 Credits)

Study abroad under supervision of George Mason faculty. Course topics, content, and locations vary.

ECON 494: Honors Thesis Writing Seminar (3 Credits)

Develops skills in finding and evaluating sources, oral presentation, and academic writing.

ECON 495: RS: Honors Thesis in Economics (3-6 Credits)

Honors-level research on a self-selected topic in economics culminating in a substantial research paper and an oral presentation.

ECON 496: Special Topics in Economics (3 Credits)

Subject matter varies.

ECON 498: Internship (3-6 Credits)

Students find economics-related internship with assistance from Career Services. Pre-internship proposal and final reflections paper required.

ECON 499: Independent Study (1-4 Credits)

Individual study of selected area of economics.

Topics in ECON

ECON 365: Topics in Economic History (3 Credits)

Possible topics include ancient, medieval, modern European, and American economic history, using econometric analysis as necessary.

ECON 496: Special Topics in Economics (3 Credits)

Subject matter varies.


500-Level Courses in ECON

ECON 535: Survey of Applied Econometrics (3 Credits)

Applied introduction to estimating economic relationships. Includes simple equation and simultaneous equation system estimation.

600-Level Courses in ECON

ECON 600: Economics for Educators (3 Credits)

Introduces current and prospective K-12 teachers to the fundamentals of economics.Ê Prepares teachers to instruct students in the economics and personal finance course now required by the Virginia Department of Education.Ê Supports teachers in successfully teaching the economics content of the Virginia SOLs in history and social sciences.

ECON 611: Microeconomic Theory (3 Credits)

Covers theory of behavior of consumers, firms, and resource suppliers; theories of choice under risk and uncertainty; partial equilibrium analysis of competitive and noncompetitive markets; general equilibrium analysis; and welfare economics. Introduces capital theory.

ECON 612: Microeconomic Theory II (3 Credits)

Nature of the firm; theory of supply; and production functions, factor pricing, and supplies. Introduces microeconomic foundations of theories of public finance and public choice.

ECON 615: Macroeconomic Theory (3 Credits)

Survey course covering monetary theory, theories of consumption and saving, budget deficits, economic growth, international finance, and monetary and fiscal policies.

ECON 623: American Economic History (3 Credits)

Explores development of American economy and evolution of economic institutions.

ECON 630: Mathematical Economics I (3 Credits)

Includes set theory, function, differential calculus, integration, series, and matrix algebra, with special emphasis on economic applications.

ECON 632: Economic Systems Design Principles and Experiments (3 Credits)

Introduces analytical and engineering principles to develop exchange systems. Students must become familiar with literature on applied mechanism design; and understand behavioral aspects of auction systems, matching, assignment and transportation problems, and information markets. Also introduces methods for testbedding systems using experimental economics and statistical design.

ECON 633: Economic Systems Design Case Studies and Analysis (3 Credits)

Students begin process of doing research in design economic exchange system. Design process includes electronic instructions, and design of information structures. Students responsible for research into economic issues, and practical design issues.

ECON 634: Economic Systems Design Implementation (3 Credits)

Students do original research in economic systems design by constructing engineering model of solution to allocation problem. Research includes experimental and statistical design, and complete description of hypothesis related to construction of experimental parameters and treatments to test mechanism. Requires initial test of mechanism in laboratory setting.

ECON 637: Econometrics I (3 Credits)

Techniques of estimating relationships between economic variables. Introduces multiple regression and problems associated with single equation model-autocorrelation, multicollinearity, and heteroscedasticity.

ECON 676: Comparative Economic Systems (3 Credits)

Capitalism, socialism, and corporatism historical perspective. Includes examination of economies of representative contemporary countries.

ECON 695: Special Topics in Economics (3 Credits)

Topics vary according to interests of instructor. Emphasizes new areas of discipline.

700-Level Courses in ECON

ECON 715: Macroeconomic Theory I (3 Credits)

Covers classical, neoclassical, Keynesian, and post-Keynesian theories of income and employment determination; theories of inflation and growth; and demand for money and implications for effectiveness of monetary vs. fiscal policy.

ECON 799: Master's Thesis (1-6 Credits)

Research on approved thesis topic under direction of thesis committee.

800-Level Courses in ECON

ECON 811: Microeconomic Theory I (3 Credits)

Theory and applications of behavior of consumers, firms, and resource suppliers. Partial equilibrium analysis of various market structures and introduction to intertemporal choice and capital theory. Review and analysis of classic works in microeconomic theory.

ECON 812: Microeconomic Theory II (3 Credits)

Examines nature of firm; theory of supply; and production functions, factor pricing, and supplies. Introduces microeconomic foundations of theories of public finance and public choice.

ECON 816: Macroeconomic Theory II (3 Credits)

Aggregate economic activity and price levels with emphasis on dynamic models.

ECON 817: Monetary Theory and Policy (3 Credits)

Theory of mechanisms through which central banking affects economic activity and prices. Analyzes demand for money and its relationship to economic activity. Develops monetary theory with emphasis on current theories and controversies in the field.

ECON 820: History of Economic Thought (3 Credits)

Explores major figures in history of economic thought and tools of analysis they created. Emphasizes classical, neoclassical, and Keynesian theories.

ECON 821: History of Economic Thought II (3 Credits)

Covers development of economic analysis from marginal revolution of 1877 to present. Emphasizes development of neoclassical economic theory.

ECON 823: Topics in Economic History (3 Credits)

Offers economic analysis of various historical epochs including Industrial Revolution, evolution of political reform, rise of unions, and growth of government.

ECON 825: Political Economy and Public Policy I (3 Credits)

Covers economic process of public policy formulation and implementation; and economic behavior of principals in policy making and execution.

ECON 826: Political Economy and Public Policy II (3 Credits)

Specific issues related to political economy of public policy, including privatization, political economy of deficit spending, regulation and deregulation, and economics of rent seeking.

ECON 827: Economic Philosophy (3 Credits)

Analyzes philosophical organization, including interrelations between economics and legal and political institutions; philosophical presuppositions of capitalist economy under constitutional democracy; alternative presuppositions for non-capitalist economies; and critical evaluation of history of ideas in social and moral philosophy.

ECON 828: Constitutional Economics (3 Credits)

Analyzes existing and proposed elements of economic constitution. Emphasizes fiscal, monetary, transfer, and regulatory powers of government and constitutional limits on such powers, especially in the United States. Includes analysis of proposed changes in limits.

ECON 829: Economics of Institutions (3 Credits)

Analyzes framework of rules and institutions for economic activities and transactions. Includes emergence and working properties of different institutions, and classical and contemporary approaches to economic theory of institutions.

ECON 830: Mathematical Economics I (3 Credits)

Includes set theory, function, differential calculus, integration, series, and matrix algebra, with special emphasis on economic applications.

ECON 831: Mathematical Economics II (3 Credits)

Develops the foundations of choice, price, and general equilibrium theory. Topics include choice, preference and utility; consumer demand; competitive firms; general equilibrium; and social choice and welfare. Special attention is paid to uncertainty and dynamic choice.

ECON 838: Econometrics II (3 Credits)

Explores econometric models and simultaneous equation systems. Includes identifying parameters and least squares bias, alternative estimation methods, and block recursive systems.

ECON 839: Constitutional Economics II (3 Credits)

Uses economic analysis and methods to explore more deeply than in Constitutional Economics l specific issues in Constitutional Economics.

ECON 840: Law and Economics I (3 Credits)

Uses economics to analyze U.S. Common-law system, evaluating efficiency and logic of evolution.

ECON 841: Law and Economics II (3 Credits)

Explores empirical analyses of law of property, torts, crime, and family. Also looks at law's effects on freedom and economic growth.

ECON 844: Industrial Organization and Public Policy I (3 Credits)

Structure of American industry and underlying determinants. Includes structure and conduct on industrial performance in light of theory and empirical evidence; and rational antitrust policy and analysis of impact on structure and performance.

ECON 846: Industrial Organization and Public Policy II (3 Credits)

Covers relationship of law, economics, and theories of social control of property rights. Includes theories of market structure and industrial performance.

ECON 849: Public Finance (3 Credits)

Theoretical and institutional analysis of government expenditure, taxation, debt management, and intergovernmental fiscal relations. Includes allocative and distributional effects of alternative tax and subsidy techniques, principles of benefit cost, and cost-effectiveness analysis for government decisions.

ECON 852: Public Choice I (3 Credits)

Applies economic theory and methodology to study of nonmarket decision making.

ECON 854: Public Choice II (3 Credits)

Applies public choice approach to study such topics as causes and consequences of governmental growth, behavior of public bureaucracies, and economic reasoning behind constitutional limitations on size and growth of government.

ECON 856: Non-Market Decision Making (3 Credits)

Explores the economics of non-market decision making. Considers the application of rational choice theory to decision making by a variety of persons who are neither traditional buyers nor sellers in a variety of contexts that are not traditional markets.

ECON 866: Economic Development (3 Credits)

Explores forces contributing to or retarding economic progress in developing countries. Includes role of foreign trade, economic integration, foreign investment, multinational corporations, and technological transfers.

ECON 869: International Trade and Policy (3 Credits)

Studies classical, neoclassical, and modern theories of international trade; theory and practice of world trade models such as project LINK; foreign investment and economic growth, tariffs and nontariff barriers, and economic integration; and recent developments, with emphasis on natural resources.

ECON 871: International Monetary Economics (3 Credits)

Examines international adjustment mechanism, price and income effects, controls, and monetarist approach; development of international monetary system; demand for international reserves; capital movements; and role of International Monetary Fund.

ECON 880: Theory of the Market Process I (3 Credits)

Examines theory developed by Menger, Mises, Hayek, and others of the Austrian School; and compares with other popular theories.

ECON 881: Theory of Market Process II (Topic Varies) (3 Credits)

Continuation of ECON 880. Topics vary and include market-process approach to analyzing capital accumulation and growth; money and credit institutions; inflation and unemployment; and industrial fluctuations.

ECON 885: Experimental Economics (3 Credits)

Designed for graduate students to learn how experimental methods can be used to inform economic research and practice. Students expected to have working understanding of basic economic concepts and multivariate calculus.

ECON 886: Experimental Economics II (3 Credits)

Research in experimental design. Topics represent basic tools to build, test, and implement exchange mechanisms in an applied setting.

ECON 895: Special Topics in Economics (3 Credits)

Topics vary according to interests of instructor. Emphasizes new areas of discipline.

ECON 896: Directed Reading and Research (1-9 Credits)

Independent reading and research paper on a topic agreed on by student and faculty member.

900-Level Courses in ECON

ECON 950: Seminar in Public Finance (3 Credits)

Important public finance issues treated in seminar format.

ECON 985: Workshop in Experimental Economics (3 Credits)

Designed for graduate students who have taken Experimental Economics and Economic Systems Design and are applying experimental methods to their own or collaborative research projects.

ECON 998: Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Research. (1-9 Credits)

Research on prospective dissertation topic.

ECON 999: Doctoral Dissertation Research (1-15 Credits)

Research on approved dissertation topic under direction of dissertation committee.

Topics in ECON

ECON 695: Special Topics in Economics (3 Credits)

Topics vary according to interests of instructor. Emphasizes new areas of discipline.

ECON 895: Special Topics in Economics (3 Credits)

Topics vary according to interests of instructor. Emphasizes new areas of discipline.