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Haverford College

Course Catalog

Economics: 2007-2008

DescriptionFacultyMajor RequirementsMinor RequirementsRequirements for HonorsCoursesDepartment Homepage


The study of economics provides a basis for understanding and evaluating economic behavior and relations at all levels of society. Microeconomics focuses on the behavior of individuals and firms and how they interact in markets for goods, services, labor, and assets. Macroeconomics focuses on the behavior of aggregate economic variables, such as GNP, the inflation rate, the unemployment rate, the interest rate, and the budget deficit, and how they relate at the economy-wide level. Other areas of economics focus on specific aspects of
micro- and macroeconomics as they are applied to diverse situations and economies around the world.

Most of modern economics is structured around a common set of theoretical ideas and analytic methods that unify the field. These tools aid in understanding both how the economic world works and how it can be affected by public policies and world events. The introductory courses, Economics 100, Economics 101, and Economics 102, introduce and develop these ideas and methods at an elementary level while also presenting information about markets, economies, and governmental policy that is important to a liberal education. These courses provide an overview of economics and a strong foundation for more advanced work in economics.

The intermediate (200 level) courses offer material on many different economic topics. These courses require Economics 100, and/or Economics 101, and/or Economics 102 as prerequisites, and are designed to be useful to non-majors as well as minors and majors. Finally, the advanced (300 level) courses involve a much more technically sophisticated approach to analyzing many of the same economic topics. These normally require some combination of Economics 203, 300, 302 and 304 as prerequisites and are designed primarily for economics minors and majors and those who expect to make use of economics in their professional careers. In most of the advanced courses, a substantial paper is an important part of the requirements. Economics 396 is the Senior Research Seminar, resulting in a senior thesis. It involves an independent research project conducted on a topic selected and carried out by the student under the guidance of a member of the economics faculty.

Most courses offered by the Bryn Mawr economics department may be counted toward the Haverford economics minor and major (with the exception of courses at the 100 level). Similarly most Haverford economics courses may be counted toward the Bryn Mawr economics major. The two economics departments plan their course schedules jointly so that the maximum variety of economics courses can be offered across the two campuses.

Modern economics continues to expand in its use of mathematically sophisticated models and statistical techniques. Economics majors are required to take at least two semesters of college level calculus. In addition, students who are planning to apply to graduate programs in public policy or business are encouraged to take mathematics through at least Mathematics 121 (Multivariable Calculus) and at least one computer science course. Those who are planning to apply to Ph.D. programs in economics are strongly advised to take mathematics through at least Mathematics 215 (Linear Algebra) and Mathematics 317 (Analysis I). Economics majors also have the option of pursuing an area of concentration in mathematical economics which is described under its own heading in this catalog.

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Associate Professor Richard Ball
Provost and Professor Linda Bell (on leave)
Assistant Professor Intradeep Ghosh
Professor Vernon J. Dixon, Emeritus
Professor Vladimir Kontorovich
Assistant Professor Saleha Jilani
Professor Anne E. Preston, Chair

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Major Requirements

Economics 101*; 102; 203; 300; 302; 304; and 396; three other semester courses above the 100 level, one of which must be at the 300 level; two semesters of college-level calculus or equivalent.


*Note: Economics 100 may be substituted for Econ 101. Approval will not be automatically granted to students who earn a grade below 3.0 in Economics 100, but will require consultation with the Chair.

Prospective economics majors are advised to take the introductory sequence by the end of the first semester of their sophomore year. Economics 105 at Bryn Mawr does not count toward the Haverford economics major. Prospective majors are also advised to complete Economics 203 before the end of the sophomore year.

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Minor Requirements

Requirements for a minor in economics are: Economics 101; 102; 203; 300 or 302; two other Economics courses at the 200 and/or 300 levels. The chair of the department serves as the minor advisor.

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Requirements for Honors

An economics major whose grade point average in economics courses at the beginning of the second semester of the senior year is 3.6 or higher is invited to become a candidate for the degree with Honors in economics. Honors or High Honors are awarded on the basis of a student’s performance in (a) all his or her economics courses, including those taken in the second semester of senior year and (b) an oral examination by department faculty focused on the student’s senior thesis.

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  • 100 The Economics of Public Policy SO
    This course will provide in depth analysis of current key public policy issues using elementary economic principles that will be taught in the class. Topics will change yearly depending on public policy. Recent topics have included Welfare Reform and Poverty, Policies to Promote International Global Competitiveness, Minimum Wages, and Health Care Reform. Reading and in-class lectures and discussion will be supplemented by visits from key policy makers.
  • 101 Introduction to Microeconomics SO
    Techniques of analysis pertaining to the individual industry, the firm, and the consumer. Primary emphasis is given to the determination of prices for goods and factors of production; the distribution of income; the functioning of markets under competition and monopoly; efficiency, equity and market failure; comparative advantage and international trade.
  • 102 Introduction to Macroeconomics SO
    Analysis of aggregate economic activity. Topics include consumption, investment, and public spending; money and credit; theories of inflation and unemployment; the role of government in influencing total expenditures and regulating financial institutions; the international role of the United States.
  • 203 Statistical Methods in Economics SO/QU
    Frequency distributions, probability and sampling theory, simple correlation and multiple regression, and an introduction to econometric terminology and reasoning. Three class hours and two lab hours. Prerequisite: Economics 101, or 102, or 105, or 100 with Chair approval, and conditional on a grade of 3.0 or higher.
  • 204 Economic Statistics with Calculus SO/QU
    An introductory course in statistics aimed primarily at students in economics and other social sciences. The course develops the theoretical groundwork of statistical inference and investigates the application of theoretical principles and methods to real data. Three hours of class plus two hours of lab per week. Prerequisite: Math 116, or equivalent background in probability and integral calculus.  

  • 205 Corporate Finance SO
    Theories and practices of corporate finance with a focus on investing and financing decisions of business firms. Topics include financial instruments and markets, valuation and risk measures, financial analysis and planning, cost of capital, capital budgeting, and financial management. Prerequisite: Economics 101, or 102, or 105, or 100 with Chair approval, and conditional on a grade of 3.0 or higher.
  • 209 Law and Economics SO
    Why do rational people follow fixed rules (laws) instead of doing what is best for them in a specific situation? Can there be order without law? Should the government compensate people when it issues environmental and wildlife protection regulations which reduce the value of their property? The lady who burned herself with a cup of McDonalds coffee won several million dollars in compensation. Does that make sense? These and many other questions are addressed as we look at property law, contracts, and torts. Prerequisite: Economics 101 and 102 or Economics 105 and one other economics course. Economics 100 can be applied with approval of Chair, and conditional on a grade of 3.0 or higher.
  • 210 Linear Optimization and Game Theory NA/QU (Cross-listed in Mathematics and Computer Science)
    Prerequisite: Math 121 and instructor consent, or Math 215. Typically offered in alternate years.
  • 211 The Soviet System and Its Demise SO (Cross-listed in Political Science and Russian and Political Science)
    The Soviet system was inspired by some of the loftiest ideals of humanity. The entire society was redesigned so as to pursue common goals, rather than conflicting private objectives. The economy was run for people, not profits. The Soviet system is no more, but the ideas on which it was founded will probably always be with us. What does the largest social and economic experiment in history teach us? The course is 1/3 political science and 2/3 economics. Prerequisite: Two one-sem courses in Econ, Pols, or Hist.
  • 220 The Economics of Immigration SO/QU
    This course examines the economic impact of immigration using theoretical economic models to evaluate a large body of empirical economic research. Particular emphasis is on the most recent experience of the US. Prerequisite: Econ 101 or 100 with a grade of 3.0 or above or approval of Chair.

  • 224 Women in the Labor Market SO (Cross-listed in Gender and Sexuality Studies)
    This course examines the experiences of American women in the labor market over the last 50 years. After an examination of the historical trends of female labor force participation, the course will investigate such important issues facing women in the labor market as: investments in education; participation decisions and the relation between participation and family responsibilities; occupational location; salary growth and salary determinants. Supporting material on institutional factors such as equal employment opportunity legislation and on theoretical concepts in areas such as labor supply, human capital investment, and discrimination will be presented to help understand the empirical labor market outcomes. Comparisons of labor market races will be made throughout the course with the hope of increasing our understanding of why differences arise and whether policy initiatives might be helpful in reducing these differences.
  • 225 Developing Economies SO
    Analysis of the structural transformation of developing economies; causes and roles of saving, investment, education, and health care; technological change and trade in the development process; strategies and methods of economic planning; income distribution issues. Prerequisite: Economics 101 and 102 or Economics 105 and one other economics course excluding economics 111.
  • 230 Privatization of State and Local Government SO
    This course deals with a phenomenon which is of current interest in the U.S., Western Europe, South Africa, and the nations which created from the former Soviet Union. The field of public finance has grown over the period of increased government intervention in the marketplace. Privatization is a new trend which was initiated by the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain on the early 1980s and has spread internationally in the 1990s and is expected to intensify in coming years. Services which were traditionally within the domain of governments are transferred to private entities. Prerequisite: Econ 101 or 102, and 203. Economics 100 can be applied with permission of chair, and conditional of a grade of 3.0 or higher.
  • 231 Marx and Radical Political Economy SO
  • 240 Economic Development and Transformation: China vs. India SO (Cross-listed in East Asian Studies)
    A survey of the economic development and recent transitional experience in China and India, giant neighboring countries, accounting for roughly one third of total world population. The course will examine the economic structure and policies in the two countries, with a focus on comparing China and India's recent economic successes an failures, their development policies and strategies, institutional changes, and factors affecting the transformation process in the two countries. Prerequisite: Econ H101, or 102, or 100 or B105 or equivalent
  • 247 Financial Accounting SO
    Theory and practices of financial accounting for business firms. Topics include measuring and reporting results of business activities; preparation of financial statements for external users; evaluation of operations and financial status of firms with particular reference to problems of valuation and periodic income measurement.
  • 248 Global Economics: Theory and Policy SO
    This advanced theory and policy course will examine recent theoretical developments in the area of international trade, in particular as they apply to key current international economic policy concerns. The topics analyzed will include international factor movements, foreign direct investment, the role of multinationals and trade in developing economies, regional integration, and preferential trade agreements. Prerequisite: Econ 300 and 302 (or equivalent) or consent of instructor.
  • 297 Economic Sociology SO (Cross-listed in Sociology)
    Prerequisite: Soc 155a or b, Econ 101, or consent of the instructor. Typically offered in alternate years.
  • 300 Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis SO
    Microeconomic theory has developed around the analysis of Adam Smith's ""invisible hand"" conjecture. To test this conjecture, we model the behavior of economic actors (consumers and firms) and their interaction in different markets (for goods, capital and labor). These models allow us to investigate the conditions under which these markets work well, less well, or not at all. In the process, basic tools and concepts used in other areas of economics are developed. Many of the topics covered I Introductory Microeconomics (Econ 101) are studied more rigorously and in greater depth. New Topics, such as behavior under risk, insurance, and imperfect information, are introduced. Prerequisite: Econ 101, 102 and Math 114 or econ 105 and one other Econ course and Math 114. Econ 100 can be applied with approval of the Chair.
  • 302 Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis SO
    Analysis of the behavior of aggregate economic variables such as GDP, inflation, unemployment, interest rates, and the budget and trade deficits. Structured around the development of a New Keynesian/Neoclassical general equilibrium model which relates the markets for goods, money, and labor. Specific topics include: determinants of the business cycle, effects of fiscal and monetary policies, supply shocks, inflationary expectations. Prerequisite: Economics 101, 102 and Mathematics 114 (or equivalent) or Economics 105 and one other economics course, excluding Mathematics 114 (or equivalent). Economics 100 can be applied with approval of the Chair, and conditional on a grade of 3.0 or higher.
  • 304 Introduction to Econometrics SO
    Development of econometric theory introduced in Economics 203. Includes topics such as ordinary least squares estimation, weighted least squares estimation, estimation of models with nonlinear forms, instrumental variables, and maximum likelihood estimation. Emphasis will be on application of econometric techniques to real economic and social policy issues such as the optimality of speed limit control, AIDS awareness and behavior modification, labor market discrimination, and worker productivity. Students will be expected to use data sets to evaluate policy issues and will be required to make a final presentation of findings in class. Prerequisite: Economics 203.
  • 311 Theory of Non-Cooperative Games SO
    Provides a rigorous development of the theory of non-cooperative games, with applications to economic, political, social and legal problems. Topics will include normal form games and the concept of Nash equilibrium, extensive form games, repeated games and reputation effects, games of incomplete information, Bayesian equilibrium and refinement concepts, and market signaling. Prerequisite: Economics 203, 300 and two semesters of college level calculus (or equivalent).
  • 312 General Equilibrium Theory SO
    An examination of the Arrow-Debreu model of general competitive equilibrium, one of the foundations of neo-classical microeconomic theory. The course focuses on sufficient conditions for existence and uniqueness, welfare properties, and stability of equilibrium prices. Prerequisite: Econ 300 and either Math 216 or 317.
  • 321 Derivative Securities SO
    332 Managerial Economics SO
    Prerequisite: Economics 300 and 302 (or equivalent) or consent of the instructor.
  • 345 Advanced Topics in Finance SO
    Prerequisite: Econ 100 and/or 101, Econ 102, Econ 203, Econ 300.
  • 347 Advanced Seminar in Macroeconomics: Open Economy Macroeconomics SO
    This course will explore topics in international macroeconomics, focusing on the determination and behavior of unemployment, interest rates and national income, as well as exchange rates, trade balance, and capital flows within an "open economy" framework. Applications will include the European Monetary Union, the Asian and Latin American financial crises, and the sustainability of the US Current Account Deficit. Prerequisite: Econ 302 or equivalent.
  • 348 Global Economy: Theory and Policy SO
    This advanced theory and policy course will examine recent theoretical developments in the area of international trade, in particular as they apply to key current international economic policy concerns. The topics analyzed will include international factor movements, foreign direct investment, the role of multinationals and trade in developing economies, regional integration, and preferential trade agreements. Prerequisite: Econ 300 or equivalent.
  • 349 Mathematical Methods in Economics NA (Cross-listed in Mathematics)
    Prerequisite: Math 317 or instructor consent.
  • 370 Advanced Theory Seminar SO
    Application of mathematics to economics including advanced topics in optimization and static and dynamic analysis of systems of simultaneous equations. Second half of semester is devoted to one specific topic to be announced. Prerequisite: Economics 203, 300 and 302.
  • 396 Research Seminar SO
    Economics Department Faculty
  • 460 Teaching Assistant SO
  • 480 Independent Study SO
    Economics Department Faculty


  • 105 Principles of Economics
  • 206 International Economics
  • 207 Money and Banking
  • 213 Taming the Modern Corporation
  • 214 Public Finance
  • 216 International Finance
  • 221 United States Economic Development
  • 222 History of Economic Thought
  • 224 Economic History and Growth, 1750-1970
  • 306 Advanced International Economic Policy
  • 313 Industrial Organization and Public Policy
  • 314 Economics of Poverty and Discrimination
  • 316 Transition of the European Economy
  • 326 Open-Economy Macroeconomics

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