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Courses in LSA Economics
Economic problems are central to modern society. Consequently, a broad understanding of the modern world requires some knowledge of economic systems. An individual’s intelligent understanding of and participation in the solution of problems which face society is aided by an understanding of the point of view and techniques of analysis which have been developed by economists. The introductory courses (ECON 101 and 102) offered by the department are designed to provide basic knowledge as well as to serve as a foundation for other courses in economics for students who wish to pursue the subject at an intermediate or advanced level.

Special Department Policies

ECON 401 and 402 are prerequisites to many upper-level economics courses. Students should try to complete them during the sophomore year. ECON 401 should be taken before ECON 402.

Although ECON 404, 405, and 406 are not enforced prerequisites to most upper-level economics courses, they can be very important to getting the most out of those courses. Students should try to satisfy the statistics requirement no later than the first term of the junior year.

No student should take a 400-level ECON elective before completing each of the relevant prerequisites with a grade of at least C-.

Students with a serious interest in the study of economics are strongly encouraged to continue the study of calculus beyond MATH 115. MATH 116, 215, and 217, or their Honors equivalents, are recommended for students with an interest in quantitative economics. Students with a serious interest in advanced research should elect ECON 405 (or STATS 426) and ECON 406.

Roster of Undergraduate Economics Courses

  1. Introductory Courses
    101, 102, 108, 140, 195
  2. Economic Theory
    398, 401, 402, 403, 409
  3. Statistics and Econometrics
    404, 405, 406, 407
  4. Macroeconomics
    310, 411, 414, 418
  5. Financial Economics
    434, 435
  6. Labor Economics
    320, 323, 421, 422, 433
  7. Industrial Organization
    330, 431, 432
  8. International Economics
    340, 441, 442
  9. Comparative Economics
    350, 453, 455
  10. Economic Development
    360, 461, 462, 466
  11. Environmental Economics
    370, 437, 471, 472
  12. Public Economics
    380, 481, 482
  13. Economic History
    491, 492, 494
  14. Other Topics in Economics
    309, 327, 395, 396, 408, 412, 425, 438, 487, 490, 496
  15. Honors Program, Internships, Seminars, & Independent Research
    299, 495, 498, 499
Economics (ECON)
ECON 101. Principles of Economics I
High school algebra and geometry. (4; 3 in the half-term). (SS). (QR/2). May not be repeated for credit. ECON 101 and 102 are required as prerequisites to an Economics major and to upper-level courses in Economics. F, W, Sp/Su.

This course concentrates on microeconomics: how markets function, what markets do well, where markets do not work well, the distribution of income and wealth, the public sector, international trade, and environmental economics.

ECON 102. Principles of Economics II
ECON 101. (4; 3 in the half-term). (SS). (QR/2). May not be repeated for credit. ECON 101 and 102 are required as prerequisites to an Economics major and to upper-level courses in Economics. ECON 102 should not be taken without having taken ECON 101. F, W, Sp, Su.

The fundamental concepts and theories of macroeconomics are developed and used to analyze problems of current interest. The major concerns of this course are the determinants of GDP, unemployment, inflation, international trade, and economic growth.

ECON 108. Introductory Microeconomics Workshop
First-year standing and concurrent enrollment in ECON 101. (1). (SS). May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term. Offered mandatory credit/no credit.

This course is a 1-credit workshop that enriches the experience of introductory economics students. Students may choose among a variety of workshop topics.

ECON 140. First-Year Seminar in Economics
(3). (ID). May not be repeated for credit.

This First Year Seminar focuses on specific interdisciplinary topics in Economics of current interest. Topics vary each term.

ECON 195. Seminar in Introductory Economics
(3). (SS). May not be repeated for credit.

This undergraduate seminar focuses on specific topics of current interest in economics. Instructors and topics vary from semester to semester. The course emphasizes reading, writing, and discussion of economic issues and methods of analysis.

ECON 299. Undergraduate Internship
Consent of instructor required. Must be declared economics concentrator and have permission of concentration advisor. (1). (EXPERIENTIAL). May be repeated for a maximum of 2 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term. May not be used to satisfy economics electives for an economics concentration. Internship credit is not retroactive and must be prearranged. Offered mandatory credit/no credit.

This course allows students to earn one credit for at least 8 weeks of a full-time internship.

ECON 310. Money and Banking
ECON 101 (completed with a minimum grade of C or better). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 102 (unless ECON 101 completed with B or higher). (3). (SS). May not be repeated for credit.

This course considers the role of money, banking and finance in the economy. At the macroeconomic level, students study how monetary policy influences interest rates, prices and overall economic activity.

ECON 320. Survey of Labor Economics
ECON 101 (completed with a minimum grade of C or better). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 102 (unless ECON 101 completed with B or higher). (3). (SS). May not be repeated for credit.

A one semester introduction to Labor Economics. Topics include labor supply, labor demand, labor market equilibrium, compensating wage differentials, human capital, and labor market discrimination.

ECON 323. Economics and Gender
ECON 101 (completed with a minimum grade of C or better). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 102 (unless ECON 101 completed with B or higher). (3). (SS). May not be repeated for credit.

Examines many aspects of the economic status of women, including their role in the labor market, their relative wages status, the incidence of poverty in female-headed households, and the importance of historical and demographic trends as determinants of the economic status of women.

ECON 330. American Industries
ECON 101 (completed with a minimum grade of C or better). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 102 (unless ECON 101 completed with B or higher). (4). (SS). May not be repeated for credit.

Big business in the United States today. Considerable attention is given to specific industries, including milk, beer, prescription medicines, gasoline, electricity, air transport, and automobiles. Emphasis is placed on establishing the linkages between market structure, business behavior, public policy, and economic performance.

ECON 340. International Economics
ECON 101 (completed with a minimum grade of C or better). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 102 (unless ECON 101 completed with B or higher). (3). (SS). May not be repeated for credit.

A general course with an introduction to the fundamentals of theory, but with major emphasis upon important contemporary policy issues in the field of international economics.

ECON 360. The Developing Economies
ECON 101 (completed with a minimum grade of C or better). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 102 (unless ECON 101 completed with B or higher). (3). (SS). May not be repeated for credit.

Examination of the structure and problems of the low-income nations, analysis of the economic issues of development policy, discussion of the economic relationships between the poor and the rich nations of the world. Designed for students who wish a relatively nontechnical introduction to the problems of economic development.

ECON 370 / ENVIRON 375. Environmental and Resource Economics
ECON 101. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (SS). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in ECON 471 or 472, or NRE 571 or 583.

A one-semester introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. Topics include externalities, unpriced goods, cost-benefit analysis, resource scarcity, exhaustible resource depletion, renewable resource harvesting and common property.

ECON 380. Public Finance
ECON 101 (completed with a minimum grade of C or better). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 102 (unless ECON 101 completed with B or higher). (3). (SS). May not be repeated for credit.

A one semester introduction to Public Finance. Topics include-why study public finance, tools of public finance, externalities and public goods, social insurance, social security, health insurance, and welfare programs.

ECON 395. Topics in Microeconomics and Microeconomic Policy
ECON 101 (completed with a minimum grade of C or better). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 102 (unless ECON 101 completed with B or higher). (1 - 3). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

This course focuses on specific topics of current interest in microeconomics and microeconomic policy. Instructors and topics vary from semester to semester. The course emphasizes applications of microeconomic approaches from a variety of fields to the analysis of real-world microeconomic issues.

ECON 396. Topics in Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policy
ECON 101 (completed with a minimum grade of C or better). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 102 (unless ECON 101 completed with B or higher). (1 - 3). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

This course focuses on specific topics of current interest in macroeconomics and macroeconomic policy.

ECON 398. Strategy
ECON 101 (completed with a minimum grade of C or better). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 102 (unless ECON 101 completed with B or higher). (4). (MSA). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in ECON 409 or RCSSCI/SOC 222.

This course is an introduction to the science of strategic thinking. Basics of non-cooperative game theory will be covered via simple cases in business, bargaining among agents, auctions (or in general market interactions), political decision making, voting, etc.

ECON 401. Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
MATH 115, 116, 121, 156, 175, 176, 185, 186, 215, 295, or 296; with a grade of C or better. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 101 and 102. (4). (BS). (QR/1). May not be repeated for credit. F, W, Sp. Rackham credit requires additional work.

The subject of this course are households' and firms' economic choices, and the way in which these choices interact in markets. We also discuss ways in which the performance of markets can be evaluated normatively. The course emphasizes theory over data. Empirical methods are taught in other courses. The theories developed in this course form the basis of much empirical work. We use mathematical tools such as graphs, equations, and calculus.

ECON 402. Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
MATH 115, 116, 121, 156, 175, 176, 185, 186, 215, 295, or 296, (completed with a minimum grade of C or better). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) It is strongly recommended that students take ECON 401 before 402. (4). (BS). (QR/1). May not be repeated for credit. F, W, Su. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course in macroeconomics deals with theory and evidence on broad economic aggregates such as national income, employment, the price level, and the balance of trade. Rigorous analysis is used to understand the forces that determine these economic variables, and how they are affected by public policies. Consideration is given both to the determinants of long-run growth and inflation and to short-run fluctuations in employment and output. It is strongly recommended that students take ECON 401 before ECON 402.

ECON 404. Statistics for Economists
ECON 101 and ECON 102 and MATH 115, each with minimum grade of C or better. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) STATS 250 (350). (4). (BS). (QR/1). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in ECON 405, or IOE 265, or STATS 280, 400, or 412. F, W, Sp. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course is designed to equip students to read empirical literature in economics and other social sciences. Topics include tabular and regression analysis and emphasize multiple regression.

ECON 405. Introduction to Statistics
MATH 116 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) Juniors and Seniors may elect ECON 405 concurrently with ECON 101 or 102. (4). (BS). (QR/1). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in IOE 265, or STATS 280, 400, or 412. Students with credit for ECON 404 can only elect ECON 405 for 2 credits and must have permission of instructor.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the principles of statistical inference. Topics include probability, experimental and theoretical derivation of sampling distributions, hypothesis testing, estimation, and simple regression. (Students are advised to elect the sequel, ECON 406).

ECON 406. Introduction to Econometrics
ECON 405 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. W. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This continuation of ECON 405 is intended to prepare students to conduct empirical research in economics. The classical linear model is developed with special emphasis on the basic assumptions of the model, economic situations in which the assumptions are violated, and alternative estimation procedures that are appropriate in these cases. Computer exercises are used to introduce students to special problems encountered in the analysis of economic data.

ECON 407. Time Series and Financial Econometrics
ECON 401 and ECON 406, each with a grade of C or better; or graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 435. Students may request permission of instructor to take ECON 406 concurrently. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course introduces students to basic time methods for analyzing economic and financial data. Students are expected to apply the tools to real data after learning the theory. The open source software "R" is used for all empirical exercises.

ECON 408 / PHIL 408. Philosophy and Economics
ECON 401 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course explores several conceptually challenging philosophical issues in and about economics including questions about the scientific status of economics, puzzles arising within economic theory (especially concerning the notion of rationality), and matters concerning the relation between economic theories and fundamentals normative questions of economic policy.

ECON 409. Game Theory
ECON 401 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better); OR Graduate Standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) MATH 217. (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

The same principles that govern the strategic interaction of players in parlor games like Chess or Poker turn out to be widely applicable to a whole range of problems in economics, biology, and political science. This course introduces the subject of game theory, exploring the beginnings of the subject using simple illustrative examples, such as bargaining, auctions, duopolistic competition, and wars of attrition.

ECON 411. Monetary and Financial Theory
ECON 402 with a grade of at least C-; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 404 or 405. (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

ECON 412. Topics in Macroeconomics
ECON 402 with a grade of at least C-; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term. Rackham credit requires additional work.

Course examines specialized topics in macroeconomics presented at an advanced undergraduate level. Topics vary with the interests of the faculty.

ECON 414. Growth Theory
ECON 401 and 402 with a grade of at least C-; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (4). May not be repeated for credit.

The standard of living in a country is determined by its capacity to produce goods and services. Why are some nations richer than others? Why is there economic growth? Will it continue forever? What is the role of social infrastructure in shaping the economic success of a nation? This array of questions will be addressed using the neoclassical and the new growth theory, as well as cutting-edge theories of talent allocation and economics of corruption.

ECON 421. Labor Economics I
ECON 401 with a grade of at least C-; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

ECON 422. The Structure of Labor Markets
ECON 401 with a grade of at least C-; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

ECON 425 / POLSCI 425. Inequality in the United States
ECON 401. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) POLSCI 111. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course studies inequality in the United States (with comparisons to global inequality). It considers current, plausible, social scientific (especially economic and political) explanations of inequality in income, wealth, health, education, and political power, focusing on the extent to which interconnected social institutions create, maintain, or undermine inequality.

ECON 429. Migration Economics and Policy
ECON 401 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better); OR Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 404 or ECON 405. (3 - 4). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course focuses on key topics in the economics of immigration. It also considers illegal immigration to the U.S.

ECON 431. Industrial Organization and Performance
ECON 401 with a grade of at least C-; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

ECON 432. Government Regulation of Industry
ECON 401 with a grade of at least C-; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3 - 4). May not be repeated for credit. W. Rackham credit requires additional work.

Analysis of government policies aimed at maintaining desirable economic performance, especially antitrust regulation and public enterprise.

ECON 435. Financial Economics
ECON 401 completed with a grade of C- or better; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 404 or 405. (4). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

The financial economics course teaches students a wide variety of financial instruments from the global marketplace. In taking this course, students develop an understanding of the determinants of the structure of interest rates, the numerous money and capital market instruments and rates, and the determinants of equity and bond values. Financial derivatives, specifically futures and options, are introduced.

ECON 437. Energy Economics and Policy
ECON 401 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better); OR graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course is about energy markets. It is designed to help students make connections between economic concepts and real world regulatory policy questions and issues. The emphasis is on the insights that economic theory and empirical evidence can provide when thinking about the following questions: How do energy markets work? When should the government regulate energy markets? What can the structure of energy markets tells us about how to design and implement effective economic policy?

ECON 438. Economics of Health Services
ECON 401 with a grade of at least C- or graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course gives students experience analyzing health management and health policy issues using economic tools. The basic framework of economics is used to analyze the behavior of consumers, insurers, physicians, and hospitals. The tools of economics are applied to both managerial issues such as pricing decisions and policy issues such as the medically uninsured. By the end of the course, students should be able to assess the potential impact of hypothetical changes in the health care system or costs and access as well as.

ECON 441. International Trade Theory
ECON 401 with a grade of at least C-; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

ECON 442. International Finance
ECON 402 with a grade of at least C-; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (4). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course develops macroeconomic analysis and issues for an open economy. Topics include: the foreign exchange market and the balance of payments; the income-absorption and monetary-asset market approaches to national income determination and the balance of payments; macro stabilization policies and central bank intervention under fixed and floating exchange rates; Eurocurrency markets; monetary integration, and reform of the international monetary system.

ECON 453. The European Economy
ECON 401 with a grade of at least C-; or graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (4). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

The structure, function, and performance of the European economy since World War II. Emphasis is placed on description and analysis of European economic integration. Topics include the origins and institutions of the European Union, creation of the customs union, unification of the internal market, implementation of common policies for agriculture and competition, monetary union, and progress toward social Europe. Students should be prepared to participate frequently in class discussions.

ECON 455. The Economy of the People's Republic of China
ECON 401 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better); OR Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

Analysis of economic organization, structure, system of planning, economic performance, and problems in China after 1949. The first third of the course is devoted to review of development before 1949.

ECON 461. The Economics of Development I
ECON 401 with a grade of at least C-; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (4; 3 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

Survey of the historical and economic determinants of stagnation and growth in the underdeveloped countries. Emphasis is given to the role of economic analysis and techniques in the planning process.

ECON 462. The Economics of Development II
ECON 401 with a grade of at least C-; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 360 or 461. (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

ECON 466. Economics of Population
ECON 401 with a grade of at least C-; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

ECON 481. Government Expenditures
ECON 401 with a grade of at least C-; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

Normative theory of public expenditure, expenditure decision-making processes, historical trends and determinants of government expenditures, benefit-cost analysis and other techniques of program evaluation, and intergovernmental fiscal relations.

ECON 482. Government Revenues
ECON 401 with a grade of at least C-; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

Historical trends and determinants of government revenues, revenue decision-making processes, social objectives attainable with revenue instrument, evaluation of major types of revenue (taxes, user charges, borrowing).

ECON 487. Urban Economics
ECON 401 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better); OR Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

Economic aspects of urbanization; intra-metropolitan location decisions of households and firms; and analysis of land, housing, and transportation markets and of public policy in these areas.

ECON 490. Topics in Microeconomics
ECON 401 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better); OR Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 404 or 405. (3). May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.

Course examines specialized topics in microeconomics presented at an advanced undergraduate level. Topics vary with the interests of the faculty.

ECON 491. The History of the American Economy
ECON 401 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better); OR Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

Covers American economic history from colonial times to the present, emphasizing the causes and consequences of economic growth, business cycles, and issues of economic equity.

ECON 494 / HISTORY 494. Topics in Economic History
ECON 401 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better); or Graduate Standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit. History concentrators without ECON 401 will need permission to enroll.

Study of issues in economic history with emphasis on a particular region of the world, a particular time period, or a topic of current interest. The specific topics vary depending on the faculty member teaching the course.

ECON 495. Seminar in Economics
ECON 401 and 402 with a grade of at least C-. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) ECON 404 or 405. (3). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

Seminar sections cover specialized topics that span the subfields in economics. The topics are presented and discussed at an advanced level. Specific topics vary with the faculty member.

ECON 496. History of Economic Thought
ECON 401 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better); OR graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course treats the development of economics from the origins to the present. The aim of the course is to deepen understanding of contemporary economics questions by examining how they have arisen and been answered and debated in the history of economic thought.

ECON 498. Honors Independent Research
Consent of instructor required. Open only to students admitted to Honors concentration in economics. Permission of instructor. (1 - 4). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits. Continuing Course. Y grade can be reported at end of the first-term to indicate work in progress. At the end of the second term of ECON 498, the final grade is posted for both term's elections.

ECON 499. Independent Research
Consent of instructor required. Written permission of staff member supervising research, and permission of the Economics concentration advisor. (1 - 4). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits. No more than four credits may be used in an Economics concentration program. Rackham credit requires additional work.

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