The material on this page is from the 1995-96 catalog and may be out of date. Please check the current year's catalog for current information.


Professors Walther, Murray, Chair, Williams, and Aschauer; Associate Professor Schwinn; Assistant Professors Hughes and Maurer-Fazio; Mr. Farber

Intelligent citizenship makes increasing demands on an individual's knowledge of economic analysis. Policy makers at all levels of business, government, and the nonprofit sector must frequently evaluate complex economic issues. Introductory economics courses at Bates give students a nontechnical understanding of current economic analysis and policy. Courses for departmental majors teach the integration of empirical work with theoretical analysis in the study of specific problems. Upper-level courses and the senior thesis emphasize hands-on research using the computer so that students can move easily into graduate study or directly into careers in the private or public sector.

Because of the structured nature of the economics curriculum, prospective majors are urged to talk with a member of the Department as soon as possible regarding their interest in the field.

Courses numbered below 250 are intended for both nonmajors and majors. They include the general introductory courses (101-103) and topical courses. Courses numbered 250 and above are designed primarily for majors, although nonmajors who plan to pursue careers in fields related to economics are encouraged to enroll in them.

There are six groups of required courses for the economics major:

  1. Economics 101, 103, 250, 255, 260, and 270. (Mathematics 315 is an acceptable substitute for Economics 250.) Mastery of the core material in these six courses is essential for success in the other major courses. Thus, a student whose grade-point average in these core courses falls below 2.0 is urged to consult with his or her advisor and the Department Chair before pursuing the major in economics.
  2. 2) Mathematics 105 (or the equivalent).
  3. 3) Economics 253 or Mathematics 205. (Students who wish to complete a secondary concentration in computer studies or a second major in mathematics should take Mathematics 205 rather than Economics 253.)
  4. 4) Three advanced (300-level) economics courses.
  5. 5) A fourth 300-level economics course, or two of the economics courses numbered between 220 and 249, or both one of the economics courses numbered between 220 and 249 and one of the following courses: Anthropology 339, Mathematics 239o, Political Science 227, or Sociology 262.
  6. 6) Economics 457.

Requirements 1 through 3 should be completed if possible by the end of the sophomore year.

Students who intend to study off campus (e.g., in the Junior Year Abroad, Junior Semester Abroad, or Washington Semester programs) must plan carefully to satisfy requirements 1) through 3) before going away. A pamphlet describing the major in more detail, and explaining possible options for course scheduling, is available from the Department.

Because of the numerous vital and constantly developing interconnections between this discipline and other social sciences, economics majors are strongly urged to take as many courses as possible in the fields of political science, history, and sociology.

General Education. The following sets are available: Economics 101-103, either Economics 101 or 103, and any economics course between 220 and 249. The quantitative requirement may be satisfied through Economics 250, 253, 255, or s40.

101. Principles of Microeconomics: Prices and Markets. A study of competition and monopoly, anti-trust policy and public-utility regulation, determination of wages and other sources of income, income distribution, and pollution and public policy. Normally taken before Economics 103. Not open to students who have received credit for Economics 102. Limited enrollment. Ms. Maurer-Fazio, Mr. Hughes. F W

103. Principles of Macroeconomics: Income and Employment. An introduction to economic analysis based on a survey of major problems confronting the United States, such as economic growth, employment, and inflation. Discussion of the causes and consequences of fluctuations in income, employment, and inflation, and an analysis of fiscal and monetary policies designed to correct them. Normally taken after Economics 101. Not open to students who have received credit for Economics 100. Limited enrollment. Mr. Walther. F W

217. Introduction to Accounting. The theory of accounting presented to the beginner as knowledge fundamental to understanding any business enterprise. Practice with accounting methods. Exposure to financial statement relationships. Not open to students who have received credit for Economics s21. Mr. Farber. F

221. The World Economy. Trends and patterns in international trade and finance are discussed in relation to topics such as trade and growth, tariffs and trade restrictions, economic integration, and international economic cooperation and policy. Prerequisite: Economics 103 or permission of the instructor. Not open to students who have received credit for Economics 334. Mr. Walther. F

222. Environmental Economics. The preservation of environmental quality and the struggle of people to improve their economic circumstances are often in conflict. This course explores the economic basis of environmental problems and examines alternative policies aimed at reducing environmental degradation. Among the topics are the deficiencies in the market system and existing property-rights system that contribute to environmental problems, cases where public intervention offers the potential for improvement, cases amenable to market-based approaches, and the public-policy tools available to promote environmental goals. Prerequisite: Economics 101, which may be taken concurrently. Open to first-year students. Not open to students who have received credit for Economics s36. Mr. Hughes. W

224. Comparative Economic Systems. A comparative study of the institutions, policies, performance, and theories of capitalist and socialist economies. Special emphasis is placed upon the historical evolution of the two systems, and on current issues of economic reform and the transition from socialism to capitalism in Eastern Europe. Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 103, or written permission of the instructor. [Staff].

225. Economics of Health Care. This course focuses on two fundamental problems of health care and health-care reform: the need to allocate scarce medical resources to where they are most needed, and the difficulty in providing incentives to providers and patients to accomplish this goal. Topics covered include: the production of and demand for health, the health-insurance market, medical malpractice, and the markets for physicians, nurses, hospitals, drugs, and long-term care. The course pays special attention to issues of competition, regulation, and government health-care policy, both in the U.S. and other countries. Prerequisite: Economics 101, which may be taken concurrently with permission of the instructor. Open to first-year students. Not open to students who have received credit for Economics s33. [Mr. Hughes].

226. History of Economic Thought. This course examines the development of contemporary neoclassical economic theory from Adam Smith to John Maynard Keynes. The focus is on the evolution of economic thought through the contributions of individual thinkers. Prerequisites: Economics 101, 103. [Staff].

227. East Asian Economic Development. The economies of East Asia have grown more rapidly than those elsewhere. This growth has stimulated new views about the relationship between public policies and economic growth, the prospects of the world's poorer nations, and the nature of capitalism. East Asia's economic growth also provides new challenges and opportunities for the United States. This course explores these issues by concentrating on the development of the Chinese and Japanese economies. Prerequisite: Economics 101 or 103. Open to first-year students. Ms. Maurer-Fazio. W

228. Antitrust and Regulation. This course analyzes economic policy issues of government intervention in the private sector through antitrust and regulatory policies. Specific topics examined include theories of monopoly and competition, the evolution of United States antitrust policy, key issues and cases in United States antitrust policy, regulation of natural monopoly and oligopoly, capture theory, and comparative antitrust and regulatory policies. Prerequisite: Economics 101. Open to first-year students. [Mr. Schwinn].

230. Economics of Women, Men, and Work. An examination of the changing roles of women and men in the market economy. Introductory topics include the family as an economic unit, discrimination and occupational segregation. Other topics include the economics of marriage, fertility, divorce, child care, and the growing feminization of poverty. The final section of the course examines the feminist critique of the assumptions and methodology of neoclassical economics, and the potential for incorporating these insights into the practice of economics. Prerequisite: Economics 101 or permission of the instructor. Enrollment is limited to 45. Open to first-year students. Mr. Hughes. W

239o. Linear Programming and Game Theory. Linear programming is an area of applied mathematics that grew out of the recognition that a wide variety of practical problems reduce to the purely mathematical task of maximizing or minimizing a linear function whose variables are restricted by a system of linear constraints. A closely related area is game theory, which provides a mathematical way of dealing with decision problems in a competitive environment, where conflict, risk, and uncertainty are often involved. The course focuses on the underlying theory, but applications to social, economic, and political problems abound. Topics include the simplex method of solving linear programming problems and two-person zero-sum games, the duality theorem of linear programming, and the min-max theorem of game theory. Additional topics will be drawn from such areas as n-person game theory, network and transportation problems, relations between price theory and linear programming. Computers are used regularly. The course is the same as Mathematics 239o. Prerequisites: Computer Science 101 or the equivalent, and Mathematics 205. Mr. Brooks. W

245. The Economics of Wealth, Poverty, Race, and Gender. This course is divided into three segments: the distribution of income and wealth; differences between men's and women's economic experiences; and differences between the economic experiences of white Americans and those of people of color. In the first segment, the distribution of income and wealth in the United States is examined over time and in comparison with distributions elsewhere in the world. In the second segment, the experiences of American men and women are emphasized, and considerable attention is given to the economics of comparable-worth policies. In the third segment, the experiences of black and white Americans are emphasized, and considerable attention is given to the economics of affirmative action. Open to first-year students. Enrollment is limited to 45. [Mr. Murray].

250. Statistics. Topics include probability theory, sampling theory, estimation, hypothesis testing, and linear regression. Prospective economics majors should take this course in or before the fall semester of the sophomore year. Open to first-year students. Prerequisite: Economics 101 or Economics 103. Mr. Schwinn. F W

253. Introductory Mathematics for Economics. Follows Calculus I to introduce economics majors to additional mathematical techniques of importance in economic analysis. Topics include elements of linear algebra, plus other topics of special relevance (partial derivatives, constrained optimization, exponential growth and decay, input-output models, integration, comparative statics). Examples and problems emphasize economic applications. Prerequisites: Mathematics 105 and Economics 101. Open to first-year students. Prospective majors should take this course in their first year if at all possible. Not open to students who have received credit for Mathematics 205. Ms. Williams. F W

255. Econometrics. Topics include multiple regression using time series and cross-sectional data, simultaneous equation models, and an introduction to forecasting. Prerequisites: Economics 250 and either Economics 253 or Mathematics 205. Students should take Economics 270 prior to or concurrently with this course. Mr. Murray. F W

260. Intermediate Microeconomic Theory. Compares models of perfect competition and market failure, with emphasis on the consequences for efficiency and equity. Topics include consumer choice, firm behavior, markets for goods and inputs, choice over time, monopoly, oligopoly, monopolistic competition, externalities, and public goods. Prerequisites: Economics 101, 103, and Economics 253 or Mathematics 205. (Economics 253 or Mathematics 205 may be taken concurrently only with instructor's permission.) Mr. Hughes. F W

270. Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory. A study of national income determination. It includes movements involving consumption, saving, investment, demand for money, supply of money, interest rates, price levels, wage rates, unemployment. Monetary policy, fiscal policy, inflation, and growth models are considered. Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 103, and Mathematics 105. Students should take this course prior to or concurrently with Economics 255. Mr. Aschauer. F W

309. Economics of Less-Developed Countries. Causes of the poverty of nations. Analysis of various potential paths to economic growth. Effects of policies of the rich countries on less-developed countries. Included are such topics as industrialization, the green revolution, population growth, environmental degradation, trade policies, debt, multinational corporations, and foreign aid. The development of individual countries is examined, in light of the great diversity of experiences among developing economies. Prerequisites: Economics 255, 260, and 270. Ms. Maurer-Fazio. W

311. Public Economics. An analysis of basic issues in the field of public finance. The course covers a wide range of topics, including the welfare implications of expenditure and taxation policies of governments, the economic rationale of governmental provision of goods and services, fiscal institutions in the United States, efficiency and distributive aspects of taxation, effects of taxation on household and firm behavior, intergovernmental fiscal relations, and the public debt. Prerequisites: Economics 255, 260, and 270. [Mr. Murray].

318. Advanced Macroeconomics. Theories and empirical studies of business cycles: fixed-investment behavior, inventory activity, monetary fluctuations. The course examines recent work on inflation, expectations, economic growth theory, and techniques in current use for forecasting general economic activity. Prerequisites: Economics 255 and 270. Mr. Aschauer. F

321. Monetary Policy and Financial Markets. An analysis of money supply, money demand, alternative theories of the monetary mechanism, central banking, and the conduct of monetary policy. Prerequisites: Economics 255 and 270. Mr. Aschauer. W

324. Corporate Finance. The cost of capital, dividend policy, security valuation, portfolio theory, capital budgeting, and the efficient-markets hypothesis are among the topics investigated. Emphasis is on the testing of hypotheses derived from economic theory. Prerequisites: Economics 255 and 260. Mr. Schwinn. F

331. Labor Economics. A study of human resources and the labor market. Topics include racial and sexual discrimination, theories of unemployment and job search, income distribution and poverty, Becker's new household economics, unions and collective bargaining, and government intervention in the labor market. Prerequisites: Economics 255, 260, and 270. Mr. Hughes. F

333. International Trade. Classical and modern theories of international trade analyzed in light of current trends and patterns in the world economy. Attention is focused on the gains from trade, the impact of tariffs and other types of trade restrictions on national economic welfare, the trade problems of less-developed countries, and the theory of economic integration. Prerequisites: Economics 255, 260, and 270. [Staff].

334. International Macroeconomics. Study of the impact of international trade, international capital movements, and balance of payments policies on domestic output, employment, and price levels. Prerequisites: Economics 255 and 270. Mr. Walther. W

336. Population Economics. Interrelations between the economy and population. Effects of population on the economy include issues of economic growth and development, resource use, immigration, aging, and the social-security system. Effects of the economy on population trends include topics such as health and mortality as they relate to income levels, economic roles of women and other determinants of birth rates, and economic causes of migration decisions. Prerequisites: Economics 255 and 260. Ms. Williams. F

339. Industrial Organization. Theories of the firm are used to explain the organization of economic activity across markets and within firms. The effects of pricing behavior, merger activity, advertising, and research and development on efficiency and social welfare are examined. Prerequisites: Economics 255 and 260. Mr. Schwinn. W

345. The Post-Communist Economies in Transition. This course examines the economic transition from Soviet-type socialism to capitalism based upon private ownership and markets. Topics examined include the legacies of the traditional system, problems of macroeconomic stabilization, privatization, reform of the banking system and bankruptcy law, demonopolization, and external transformation. Countries examined include Russia, Poland, Hungary, and China. Prerequisites: Economics 255, 260, and 270, or Economics 224 and consent of the instructor. [Staff].

348. Urban Economics. Microeconomic tools are applied to analyze cities. Among the topics are the spatial structure of cities, trends in urban development in the United States, urbanization and African development, industrial and residential location choices, rent control, housing subsidies, squatter settlements, racial segregation, and urban finance. Prerequisites: Economics 255 and 260. [Mr. Murray].

360. Independent Study. Independent research by an individual student under the direction of a faculty member. A detailed report is required at the end of each semester of work. May be taken more than once for credit. May count toward the economics major if so stated by the Department Chair. Prerequisite: submission of a research proposal approved by both the faculty sponsor and the Department Chair prior to registration. Staff.

365. Special Topics. Offered from time to time for small groups of students working with a faculty member on specialized projects. May be taken more than once for credit. Permission of the instructor is required. Staff.

457, 458. Senior Thesis. Prior to entrance into Economics 457, students must submit for approval a thesis proposal based on work done in a nonintroductory course. All majors take Economics 457; honors candidates take Economics 458 after completing Economics 457. Prerequisites: at least two 300-level economics courses. Staff.

Short-Term Units
s21. Principles and Applications of Accounting. An introduction to the concepts and uses of accounting utilizing case studies. Emphasis is on the accounting cycle, construction and analysis of financial statements, asset valuation, and corporate accounting. Not open to students who have received credit for Economics 217 (and vice versa). Mr. Farber.

s23. Strategic Behavior. This unit introduces students to the basic concepts of game theory, engages them in stylized games to highlight selected aspects of strategic behavior, and leads them through a series of case studies of strategic interactions. Recommended background: a liking for quantitative reasoning. Open to first-year students. [Mr. Murray].

s30. The International Monetary System. The international monetary system changed markedly in the twentieth century. This unit surveys various "institutions" such as the gold standard, the International Monetary Fund, the Brady plan, the European Monetary Agreement, etc., which played major roles in the implementation of international monetary policy during this period. The unit also investigates the impact of various international economic developments such as oil price shocks, Third World debt, economic integration, the bankruptcy and collapse of central economic planning, etc., on international monetary affairs. Prerequisite: Economics 221 or Economics 334. Mr. Walther.

s31. Economic Growth and Productivity Enhancement. An intensive study of economic growth from theoretical and empirical perspectives. Theories of economic growth: the Solow growth model; the Ramsey optimizing model; theories emphasizing imperfect competition and increasing returns to scale. Empirical studies of economic growth: factors found to be important determinants of growth in real output, with particular emphasis on productivity growth. Extensive reading of professional journal articles. Prerequisites: Economics 255, 270. Enrollment is limited to 15. [Mr. Aschauer].

s32. Seminar on the Role of Public Policy in East Asian Development. Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea have experienced sustained growth with equity, that is, the fruit or benefits of the growth have been shared amongst their citizenry in a relatively equal fashion. Neoclassical economists claim the success of these nations is attributable to policies of openness, limited government intervention, and "getting prices right." Others claim that their success is due to government leadership and intervention in deliberately "getting prices wrong" to aid industries, important for future growth, which would not otherwise thrive. These competing claims about the role of public policy in the "East Asian Miracle" are explored in this seminar by analyzing the development experience of Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea in a case-study format. Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 103. Open to first-year students. Ms. Maurer-Fazio.

s33. Health Economics. This unit examines economic influences on health status and the use of health care, including the demand and supply for medical personnel, hospital and nursing-home costs, alternative types of health insurance, environmental hazards and public-health measures, and preventive behavior of consumers. Prerequisite: Economics 101. Open to first-year students. [Ms. Williams].

s34. Democratic Enterprises. Decisions of democratically run enterprises in matters of income distribution, pricing, and investment are compared theoretically and empirically with the decisions of capitalist firms. Additional topics include the behavior of Yugoslavian firms, the Mondragon community in Spain, case studies in the United States, and employee stock ownership plans. Prerequisites: Economics 101, 103, and permission of the instructor. Open to first-year students. [Mr. Schwinn].

s35. Law and Economics. This unit introduces students to the use of economic analysis in the study of legal rules and legal institutions. Economists believe that the constraints on behavior imposed by legal rules create implicit prices for various individual actions. This insight allows us to use microeconomic analysis to predict the effects of changes in the law. Class meetings and fieldwork focus on the areas of property law, contract law, and tort law to uncover the purpose and unity of various common law rules. Prerequisite: Economics 101. Open to first-year students. Enrollment is limited to 20. [Mr. Hughes].

s36. The Economics of Environmental Problems. What are the major environmental problems facing us? What are their causes and consequences, economic or otherwise? How can economic theory be used to analyze these problems and to suggest possible solutions? Answers to these and other questions are sought using economic analysis, empirical studies, and classics of the environmental movement. Prerequisite: Economics 101 or 103. [Staff].

s40. Topics in Econometric Modeling and Forecasting. A study of applied econometric techniques. Students begin by extending their own previous econometric research. Lecture topics include simultaneous estimation technique, residual analysis, and time-series models. Prerequisites: Economics 255 and permission of the instructor. [Mr. Murray].

s45. Seminar on the Political Economy of the Post-Communist Transition. This seminar concentrates on expanding and updating previously begun research by course participants (e.g., research papers, theses) in other courses on the political economy of the post-communist transition. Students give oral presentations on their work and present a research paper at the end of the course. Since students' interests determine the topics examined, exact course content varies in accordance with the participants' research topics. Prerequisite: either Economics 345, Economics 224, Political Science 232, Political Science s27, or consent of the instructor. [Staff].

s50. Individual Research. Registration in this unit is granted by the Department only after the student has submitted a written proposal for a full-time research project to be completed during the Short Term and has secured the sponsorship of a member of the Department to direct the study and evaluate results. May be taken more than once for credit. Staff.

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