Undergraduate Catalog

Economics

Chair: Clifford Bekar
Administrative Assistant: Katie Sholian

Economics is the study of choice, and the Department of Economics offers courses that explore individual decision making (as workers, consumers, producers, citizens, investors) and how these decisions aggregate into economy-wide outcomes (employment, price levels, interest rates, balance of payments, government budgets). The department focuses on the modern mixed economy, with its combination of private enterprise, government taxes and expenditures, and other nongovernmental organizations. The decisions of individuals and organizations determine how much output an economy produces, how the output is produced, and who consumes the output. The courses in the department provide a solid theoretical foundation and apply the theory to practical problems faced by individuals, organizations, and governments.

Resources for Nonmajors

The department offers introductory courses and elective courses that may be of interest to students majoring in other disciplines. Our two introductory courses, ECON 100 Principles of Economics and ECON 103 Statistics, are designed for both majors and nonmajors.

The Major Program

The core curriculum begins with three introductory-level courses that provide an introduction to economic analysis and develop the tools required for more advanced work. Students interested in majoring in economics will ideally complete the first three introductory courses (ECON 100ECON 103, and MATH 131) and declare economics as their major by the end of their second year. 

The next step in the core curriculum is three courses in economic theory and empirical methods (ECON 301, ECON 302, and ECON 303). Economics is the study of choice, and students are encourage to start with an analysis of individual choice in ECON 301 before studying aggregate choice in ECON 302.

Students completing the six core theory and empirical methods courses are prepared to enroll in elective courses at the 300 and 400 level. To complete the major, a student must complete at least 16 semester credits of economics electives, with 8 credits at the 300 and 400 level. ECON 444 Practicum does not meet this requirement.

The final step in the core curriculum is the capstone course, ECON 433 Senior Seminar. Students must complete 8 credits at the 300 level or above to enroll in ECON 433ECON 444 Practicum does not meet this requirement.

Major Requirements

A minimum of 44 semester credits, distributed as follows:

Core Courses, Introductory

Core Courses, Economic Theory, and Empirical Methods

Electives

  • At least 16 semester credits of economics electives, of which at least 8 credits must be at the 300/400 level. ECON 444 Practicum does not meet this requirement.

Capstone

Students intending to pursue graduate studies in economics or careers as research economists are strongly encouraged to take additional mathematics courses, particularly calculus, linear algebra, real analysis (discrete mathematics), differential equations, and advanced statistics.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 24 semester credits distributed as follows:

At least 12 semester credits must be discrete to the minor (may not be used in any other set of major or minor requirements).

Honors

The department grants honors on graduation to economics majors who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Attain a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or higher

  • Attain a GPA of 3.750 or higher in all economics courses

  • Complete at least one 400-level elective chosen from the following:

    ECON 434Mathematical Economics
    ECON 491Advanced Macroeconomics
    ECON 492Advanced Microeconomics

Faculty

Cliff T. Bekar. Associate professor of economics, chair of the Department of Economics. Economic history, industrial organization, game theory. PhD 2000, MA 1992, BA 1990 Simon Fraser University.

Moriah Bellenger Bostian. Associate professor of economics. Environmental and resource economics, econometrics. PhD 2010 Oregon State University. MS 2005 Auburn University. BS 2003 Florida State University.

Brian Dombeck. Instructor in economics. Applied structural macroeconomics, bounded rationality, information choice. MS 2013 University of Oregon. BS 2012 Louisiana State University.

James H. Grant. Associate professor of economics. Microeconomics, econometrics, labor economics, mathematical economics. PhD 1979, MA 1977 Michigan State University. BS 1974 Grand Valley State College.

Aine Seitz McCarthy. Assistant professor of economics. Applied microeconomics, development economics, labor and demography, economics of education. PhD 2016 University of Minnesota. BA 2006 Colby College.

Arthur O'Sullivan. Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Professor of Economics. Urban economics, regional economics, microeconomic theory. PhD 1981 Princeton University. BS 1975 University of Oregon.

Éric Tymoigne. Associate professor of economics. Macroeconomics, money and banking, monetary theory. PhD 2006 University of Missouri at Kansas City. MA 2000 Université Paris-Dauphine. BA 1999 Université de Bretagne Occidentale à Brest.

Courses

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ECON 100 Principles of Economics

Faculty: Bekar, Bostian, Grant, McCarthy, O'Sullivan, Tymoigne
Content: Introduction to the study of market economies. Microeconomics, including supply and demand, production theory, market structure. Macroeconomics, including economic growth, inflation and unemployment, money and banking, monetary and fiscal policy. Government regulation and policy. Discrimination and poverty, imperfect competition, environmental problems, international competitiveness.
Prerequisites: None.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 103 Statistics

Faculty: Grant
Content: Theory and applications of statistics and probability used in the study of economics. Descriptive statistics, probability, random variables and their distributions, statistical inference. Applications of statistical inference ranging from estimating the mean from a univariate population to multiple regression analysis.
Prerequisites: QR 101 or equivalent.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 210 Financial Analysis

Faculty: Economics Faculty
Content: The use of accounting information for financial decision making. Understanding and use of financial statements as a primary source of accounting information. Reading and analyzing financial statements of domestic and international firms.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 215 Game Theory

Faculty: Bekar
Content: The tools of cooperative and noncooperative game theory. Modeling competitive situations, solution concepts such as Nash equilibrium and its refinements, signaling games, repeated games under different informational environments, bargaining models, issues of cooperation and reputation, evolutionary game theory. Application to economics and other disciplines. Emphasis on quantitative modeling and analytical approaches to strategic thinking.
Prerequisites: ECON 100.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 220 The Financial System and the Economy

Faculty: Tymoigne
Content: The operation of the financial sector and its interrelationship with the productive sector. The central institutions of money and banks; the Federal Reserve System and its operation of monetary policy; financial crises. Keynesian, post-Keynesian, and monetarist theories and their policy implications.
Prerequisites: ECON 100.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 232 Economic Development

Faculty: McCarthy
Content: Problems of less-developed countries and proposed solutions. Extent and nature of international poverty and inequality, national and international causes of underdevelopment, strategies for development.
Prerequisites: ECON 100.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 235 Labor Economics

Faculty: Grant
Content: The operation and political economy of labor markets: current labor issues, employment and unemployment, supply of and demand for labor, employment wages and earnings under various market structures, discrimination, labor mobility, the role of trade unions, the nature of work.
Prerequisites: ECON 100.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 244 Practicum

Faculty: Economics Faculty
Content: Opportunities for well-prepared students to put academic concepts and techniques to work in the private or public sector. Specific activities vary; usually involve work with a public agency or private group. Credit-no credit. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisites: ECON 100 or ECON 210.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing and consent required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 1-4.

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ECON 250 Radical Political Economics

Faculty: Tymoigne
Content: Critical connections among different economic structures and dynamics on the one hand, and political strategies and struggles for change on the other. Economic crisis theory, theories of the state, class and class consciousness, labor, and social-movement struggles.
Prerequisites: ECON 100.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 255 Technology, Institutions, and Economic Growth

Faculty: Bekar
Content: Emergence of modern economic growth in Europe. The roots of the Industrial Revolution over the very long term, 1000 to 1750, through the application of basic economic theory. Causes and consequences of very long-term economic growth. Specific attention paid to technology, institutions, geography, and culture as sources of economic growth. While the geographic focus is European, important cross-sectional work, especially with regard to China, is undertaken.
Prerequisites: ECON 100.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Every third year, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 256 The Industrial Revolution

Faculty: Bekar
Content: Europe's transition from an agricultural to an industrial society in the 18th century. The roots of modern economic growth in preindustrial Europe, the contributions of science and technology, trade, government, and population. Consequences of industrialization for living standards, both long-run improvements and short-run hardships. Rise of European power abroad and colonial contributions to growth. Focus on the British Industrial Revolution.
Prerequisites: ECON 100.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Every third year, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 260 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

Faculty: Bostian
Content: An analysis of environmental and resource problems ranging from hazardous-waste disposal to air pollution, species extinction to global warming, from an economic perspective. The property-rights basis of pollution problems, environmental ethics, benefit-cost analysis, regulatory policy, clean technology, population growth and consumption, sustainable development.
Prerequisites: ECON 100.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 265 Pacific Northwest Policy Issues

Faculty: O'Sullivan
Content: Basic economic analysis to explore issues facing the Pacific Northwest. Diagnosis of the problem motivating a policy and evaluation of the merits of the policy solution. Potential issues: financing public education, promoting economic development, protecting natural resources, designing mass transit, providing public support for professional sports, responding to gentrification.
Prerequisites: ECON 100.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Every third year, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 299 Independent Study

Faculty: Economics Faculty
Content: Opportunities for well-prepared students to design and pursue a substantive course of independent learning. Details determined by the student and the supervising instructor. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing and consent required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 1-4.

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ECON 301 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

Faculty: Bostian, Grant, O'Sullivan
Content: An analysis of markets and the potential sources of market failure. Demand theory, production theory, market structure, factor pricing, general equilibrium. Principles governing production, exchange, and consumption among individual consumers and firms.
Prerequisites: ECON 100. MATH 131.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 302 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory

Faculty: Tymoigne
Content: Theories and policies of classical, Keynesian, new classical, and new Keynesian economists; national income accounting; IS-LM analysis; aggregate supply and demand; money, interest rates, and investment; government spending and taxation; fiscal and monetary policy.
Prerequisites: ECON 100. MATH 131.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 303 Econometrics

Faculty: Bostian, Grant
Content: Construction and estimation of statistical models of the economy; using statistical models to test economic hypotheses. Multiple regression analysis, residual analysis, analysis of variance.
Prerequisites: ECON 103, MATH 105, PSY 200, or MATH 255. ECON 301 or ECON 302. MATH 131.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 314 International Economics

Faculty: Economics Faculty
Content: Theoretical and practical problems of international economics; ideas and policies governing international trade and finance. Trade theory, foreign exchange markets, balance of payments, transnational corporate activity.
Prerequisites: ECON 301 or ECON 302.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 320 Modern Money, Banking, and the Macroeconomy

Faculty: Tymoigne
Content: Theoretical and practical problems of the financial world and their impacts on economic activity and macroeconomic policies. Monetary sovereignty, government finance, central bank operations, financial regulation, financial crises, macroeconomic accounting rules, and their implications.
Prerequisites: ECON 302.
Corequisites: ECON 220 (recommended, not required).
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 323 Accounting for Financial and Managerial Decisions

Faculty: Economics Faculty
Content: How financial accounting information is used by decision makers outside a firm to analyze the firms performance. How managers use information to make decisions about planning, operating, and control in the firm. Emphasis on case analysis.
Prerequisites: ECON 210.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 332 Urban Economics

Faculty: O'Sullivan
Content: Economic aspects of urban areas. Why cities exist and how they interact within a regional economy; the pattern of land use in modern metropolitan areas; the economic forces behind urban problems such as poverty, crime, congestion, and sprawl; evaluation of the merits of alternative policy responses to urban problems.
Prerequisites: ECON 301.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 360 Advanced Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

Faculty: Bostian
Content: Application of intermediate microeconomic theory to contemporary environmental and natural-resource problems such as air and water pollution, climate change, land use, and biodiversity. Use of utility maximization to derive the demand for environmental goods, revealed preferences to value changes in environmental quality, and discounting theory to determine optimal resource use over time. Focus on the theory of environmental and natural-resource policies, such as pollution standards and fees, permit markets, and land use regulations, as well as their implementation in practice.
Prerequisites: ECON 301.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 365 Public Economics

Faculty: Economics Faculty
Content: The role of government in a primarily market economy. Microeconomic issues: the provision of public goods; externality problems; the incidence, efficiency, and broader impacts of taxation policy; different approaches to defining fairness in income distribution; economic theories of public choice. Pressing current public-policy issues including health care and education policy, welfare reform, campaign finance, the social security system, defense spending.
Prerequisites: ECON 301.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 433 Senior Seminar

Faculty: Bekar, Bostian, Grant, McCarthy O'Sullivan, Tygmoine
Content: Advanced research in economics. Production of a research paper and distribution to instructor and class members. Oral presentation of research paper to students, faculty, and the campus community. The research paper requires students to construct, research, write, and present rigorous analysis on an economic question. Topics chosen by students.
Prerequisites: ECON 103, MATH 105, PSY 200, or MATH 255. ECON 301. ECON 302. ECON 303. At least two 300-level or 400-level Economics electives.
Restrictions: Senior standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 434 Mathematical Economics

Faculty: Grant
Content: Mathematical models of economic behavior. Mathematics of microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory, economic optimization, equilibrium and disequilibrium analysis, probability models, growth theory, dynamic economic modeling.
Prerequisites: ECON 103, MATH 105, PSY 200, or MATH 255. ECON 301 or ECON 302. MATH 131.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 444 Practicum

Faculty: Economics Faculty
Content: Same as ECON 244 but requiring more advanced work. Credit-no credit. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisites: ECON 103, MATH 105, PSY 200, or MATH 255. ECON 301. ECON 302.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing and consent required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 1-4.

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ECON 491 Advanced Macroeconomics

Faculty: Tymoigne
Content: Topics beyond intermediate macroeconomics including alternate theories of consumption and investment, macroeconomic forecasting, the role of expectations, problems with macro measurements.
Prerequisites: ECON 302.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 492 Advanced Microeconomics

Faculty: Bekar, O'Sullivan
Content: Microeconomic strengths and weaknesses of market-directed economic activity. Industrial policy, discrimination in labor markets, impact and role of trade unions, welfare economics.
Prerequisites: ECON 301.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ECON 499 Independent Study

Faculty: Economics Faculty
Content: Same as ECON 299 but requiring more advanced work. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing and consent required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 1-4.