Scroll down to read descriptions of the economics courses offered at Carthage, or click on these links for additional resources:
Principles of Microeconomics
The rise and expansion of market economies, and the principles of microeconomic behavior. Topics include an introduction to economic methodologies, the ideas and institutions of the microeconomy, consumer behavior, the business firm and market structure, labor and capital markets, and government policies affecting resource allocation and the distribution of income.
Principles of Macroeconomics
An introduction to the principles and issues of the national economy, and the institutions of macroeconomic behavior. Topics include the role of government in a mixed market economy; measuring and determining national income; money and the banking system; and the public policies available for achieving full employment, price stability, and continuing economic growth in modern industrial and democratic societies.
Issues in Economics
This course offers students an introduction to economics, along with some elementary tools of economic analysis, with emphasis on their application to contemporary problems and issues. The economy and selected issues are examined in their global context. Designed to meet the needs and interests of students in various majors outside of the economics and business administration areas, the course is not open to students who have received credit for either ECN 1010 or ECN 1020.
Topic: Explorations in Political Economy for the 21st Century
The 21st century heralds an era of accelerated technological change and institutional adjustment for the Millennial generation. Changes in digital, genetic, and environmental technologies and their impacts are explored by consideration of changes in production, consumption, and income & wealth distribution. Persisting challenges are investigated in the areas of employment, organization, globalization, environmental impact, and social, political, and economic inequality. In an age of economic abundance, societies will need to create new policies to address these changes in order to improve political-economic outcomes.
Topic: Political Economy of Russia and Europe
It has been less than thirty years since the collapse of the last major empire—the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In this course, we will examine this economic and political upheaval of the second half of the twentieth century: the development of markets in place of central planning in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. We will apply economic theory to the problems of systemic change, of economic, legal, and political transition from Soviet socialism to freedom. We will use economic theory to evaluate policy decisions by governments and international organizations, to illuminate the difficulties and successes of financiers and businesses in these economies, and to understand the dynamics of an economy in transition.
Topic: Economics and Film
This course will use film to introduce students to economic concepts and the impacts they have on people and institutions. The films incorporate such concepts as markets, production, corporations, asymmetric information, the prisoner’s dilemma, immigration, education, the environment, poverty, wealth and income inequality, speculation, asset price bubbles, and public policy. We will evaluate each film’s depiction of economic issues, the historical and economic context of the film’s production, and how filmmakers use their craft to shape our relation to these ideas. More specifically, we will examine how the medium of film uses lighting, music, repetition, framing, camera angles, etc. to influence audience perception.
Topic: The Economics of Beer
In this course, students will become immersed in the economics behind one of America’s favorite beverages: beer! Students will learn about the structure of the entire beer industry, from breweries to retail sales. Each student will work in a group to brew several small batches of beer to learn the basic techniques of brewing and how brewing choices affect the costs of breweries. Additionally, groups will assume the role of one of the major types of firms in the beer industry supply chain and explore the economics of their role. Students will analyze the market structure of the beer industry, applying different models of competition and discussing how the regulatory framework that governs alcohol production and distribution in the United States has affected different types of firms.
Applied Statistics for Economics and Management
The application of statistics to problems in business and economics, encompassing the gathering, organization, analysis, and presentation of data. Topics include descriptive statistics in tabular and graphical forms, the common measures of central tendency and dispersion, sampling and probability distributions, construction of confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, and correlation analysis. This course is offered as BUS 2340 or ECN 2340. Students who earned less than 20 on the math component of the ACT (or equivalent on the SAT) are encouraged to take a math class to strengthen their preparation for this class.
The economic theory of microeconomic units: consumers, firms, and industries. This entails the study of production, cost, and price theory, and the practices of firms under alternative market structures. Concepts of social welfare will be explored, and the uses and limits of public policy in addressing the problems of market failures will be examined.
Prerequisite: ECN 1010 or 1030
The economic theory of macroeconomic aggregates: national income accounting; the determinants of output, income, and employment levels; the analysis of inflation; processes of economic growth; and open-economy macroeconomics. Monetary, fiscal, and income policies are examined, and the uses and limits of these tools in promoting macroeconomic goals are discussed.
Prerequisite: ECN 1020 or 1030
This course explores the economic dimension of environmental and natural resource use questions. The actions of producers and consumers, as influenced in part by institutional patterns and public policies, give rise to a variety of environmental problems and issues. By applying some basic tools of economic and institutional analysis, students may obtain a better understanding of environmental issues, both national and global, and are able to identify and evaluate alternative solutions.
Prerequisite: ECN 1010, or ECN 1030, or consent of the instructor
Political Economy of East Asia
An exploration of the historical, cultural, and political forces that have contributed to the economic growth and development of Asia. Emphasis is placed on studying development in the context of regional and global integration.
Money and Banking
A survey of the financial sector of the economy covering the role and functions of money and other financial instruments; commercial banks and financial intermediaries; the purposes of central banking and the structure and operations of the Federal Reserve; and the relationship between the monetary and credit system and the level of economic activity.
Prerequisite: ECN 1020 or ECN 1030
Regional Economic Development
The analysis of subnational or regional and metropolitan economies encompassing their distinctive processes and problems of economic growth, employment, and income determination, and intra-urban land use patterns. Policies addressing urban problems in the areas of job creation, housing, public infrastructure, education, and welfare are included among the topical areas examined.
Prerequisite: ECN 1010 or ECN 1030
Public Sector Economics
An analysis of the reallocative and redistributive functions of federal, state, and local government with emphasis given to examining the efficiency and equity implications of various tax and expenditure programs. Attention also is given to the issues of public borrowing, debt management, public enterprises, and the impact of these public sector activities on private capital markets.
Economics of Poverty and Income Inequality
This course surveys research and evidence on the effects of high income inequality on a host of social, economic, and quality-of-life indicators. It studies trends in poverty and inequality in the U.S. and internationally by economic class, gender, and race. The course explores the leading explanations for these trends. It critically evaluates policy options for addressing them, and considers how society’s views of these problems and their underlying causes influence policy responses to them. Lastly, the course examines the effects on income distribution and social mobility of a wide range of public policies.
An overview of the institutions and processes affecting the development, allocation, and utilization of human resources, as well as the level and structure of wages and other forms of compensation. Topics include the impact of legislation, collective bargaining, discrimination, and education on labor markets, along with the design of public policies to address market imperfections or to provide assistance to those not currently in the workforce.
Prerequisite: ECN 1010 or ECN 1030
A historical and theoretical analysis of international economic relations in both public and private spheres. Using the principles of economic analysis, models of international trade and factor prices, commercial policy, and economic integration are set forth and become a basis for examining policy issues.
Prerequisites: ECN 1010 and 1020, or 1030
This course examines the monetary side of international economics and globalization, including the current and historical structure of international financial institutions. Topics include exchange rate theories, monetary regimes, interest rates, asset pricing, risk diversification, the balance of payments, currency crises, and open-economy aspects of fiscal and monetary policies. Emphasis is given to the use of theories in understanding current events and policy issues.
Prerequisites: ECN 1010 and 1020, or ECN 1030
Law and Economics
An examination of how economic concepts and modeling can be applied to help determine the justification for, and the effects of, various types of laws and contractual arrangements. The problems posed by externalities and other market failure arising in resource, labor, and product markets are discussed, and the legal framework and regulatory environment for addressing these issues is surveyed so alternative approaches might be evaluated.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing
History of Economic Thought
The evolution of economic ideas in the Western tradition, their influence on their times, and their lasting effects on the economics discipline are the focus of this course. The precapitalist development of economic thought is explored, followed by an examination in the capitalist age of classical, neoclassical, and Keynesian economics with particular emphasis on the work of Smith, Marx, and Keynes. The final stage of the course considers modern economic thought and the role its antecedents play in informing contemporary theoretical and policy discussions.
The Economics of Love and Sex
No one would argue that ours is not a culture of commodification. Everything is for sale; we even package ourselves for consumption in the college and job market. Even our most intimate relationships may be governed by supply and demand and cost-benefits analysis. The extent to which love and sex are subject to market forces is the controlling question of this course. Using a combination of literature, film, and economic and feminist theory, we will go back to the Greek philosophers to define love and friendship, then explore the relationship between love, sex, and economics in British and American culture from the long 19th century until today.
Prerequisite: Junior standing
Introduction to Econometrics
Econometrics is a set of tools researchers use to estimate relationships between variables, test theories, and make forecasts, all using real-world data. Econometric analysis supports decision-making in public policy, business, the court system, and academia. This course provides a rigorous introduction to econometrics, with a particular emphasis on multiple regression analysis. Topics include formulating good research questions; estimating regression models using cross-section, time-series, and panel data; conducting hypothesis tests; and interpreting and critically evaluating published regression results.
Prerequisite: BUS/ECN 2340
Internship in Economics/IPE
Placement for a term and relevant learning experiences in business, nonprofit organizations, or government. Enrollment is restricted to economics majors; this course may not be used to fulfill upper-division economic electives. Graded P/F.
Prerequisites: Junior standing and permission of the instructor
Topic: Big Data in Economics and Public Policy
Large amounts of data are increasingly being used to design and implement public policies that address the largest challenges our society faces. During this course, you will learn how big data can be used in conjunction with economic theory to understand and address public policy problems such as economic mobility and climate change. You will be introduced to how to manipulate and analyze data to glean insights into the world around you. We will discuss the basics of learning from data, casual inference, regression, and some data visualization techniques.
International Political Economy
Building upon prior analysis of international trade and finance, this course offers students an advanced study of the interaction of the economic and political processes in the world arena. Topics may include, but are not limited to, economic and political integration, theories of direct foreign investment and international production, economic development, the political economy of the global environment, and international governance.
Seminar in International Political Economy
Serving as a capstone for the international political economy major, the seminar goes beyond disciplinary lines in an attempt to further integrate diverse and often competing perspectives, methodologies, and values. A research thesis on a topic of the individual student’s choice, made in consultation with an advisor, is required along with an oral presentation to faculty and students involved in the program.
Prerequisite: Senior standing
Senior Seminar in Economics
Serving as a capstone for the major, the seminar focuses on the research process in economics. Essential elements of this process are development of an effective research question, surveying the literature, analysis of a selected problem, the testing of this analysis and interpretation of results, drawing conclusions, and effective communication of research findings to a wider audience. Successful completion of a thesis on a topic approved by the department along with an oral presentation of results to faculty and students is required.
Prerequisites: ECN 2510, ECN 2520, ECN 3310, and ECN 3340
Senior Thesis Completion
Students must register for ECN 4990 during the semester of their Senior Thesis completion.