98-99 University Bulletin Entry for:


(file last updated: [8/10/1998 - 15:22:44])


All concentrators in economicsreceive broad yet rigorous training in the core subjects of thediscipline: general principles, micro and macroeconomic theory,and statistics. Concentrators learn to use skills developed inthe core to analyze a variety of economic problems, social issues,and economic institutions. This goal is accomplished in four electivecourses chosen from a list that includes most of the subfieldsof interest to economists, e.g., international economics, financialmarkets, industrial organization, managerial economics, law andthe regulation of economic activity, and the public sector.

The department stresses analyticand quantitative approaches to the economy as a system as wellas to specific subject areas and economic issues. (As a consequencewe expect students to develop analytic and quantitative skillsuseful not only for studying economics but for studying othersubjects, as well.) Both theoretical and applied courses are available.By the completion of the concentration, students are expectedto be familiar with the scholarship associated with a varietyof economic subjects; concentrators learn to read books and articleswritten for the general economist.

The concentration in economicsprovides background for many positions in business or government.A few graduates pursue advanced degrees in economics while othersenroll in professional schools of business, law, and other fields.Programs of study can be designed to match the interests of thestudent (see list of courses on the next page).

Qualified seniors are invitedto participate in the department's honors program, which involvesresearch and the writing of a thesis under the supervision ofa member of the faculty. Before the senior year, Brandeis undergraduatescan apply for admission as "five-year students" to theLemberg Master's Program in International Economics and Finance(see the Graduate School of International Economics and Financesection of this Bulletin). The department offers a generalminor in economics; a program in international business (see theProgram in International Business section of this Bulletin);and for students who matriculated prior to the fall of 1997, aminor in Business and Managerial Economics (BAME). The lattertwo programs are open to economics concentrators.

How to Become a Concentrator

The concentration has a singleentry point, ECON 2a (Introduction to Economics). (This courseis also an option in the quantitative reasoning component of theGeneral University Requirements.) Most concentrators begin theirstudy in the first or second year with ECON 2a (Introduction toEconomics) followed by a second principles course, ECON 8b (Analysisof Economic Problems). We require five core courses (two principlescourses followed by three intermediate theory courses: microeconomictheory, macroeconomic theory, and statistics) plus four electives.It is important to begin the study of economics early because"upper level" electives, a requirement for the concentration,build on intermediate courses and have from three to six prerequisites.Also, some calculus is used in intermediate theory courses; studentswho have not had a good high school calculus course should takeMATH 10a (Techniques of Calculus), at a minimum. Studentswith limited mathematical training should begin with MATH 5a (PrecalculusMathematics).


F. Trenery Dolbear, Chair

Macroeconomics. Theory andcomputer simulations. Public sector.

Anne Carter, UndergraduateAdvising Head (Fall)

Technological change. Input/output.

Atreya Chakraborty

Investment. Corporate finance.

Benjamin Gomes-Casseres

International business. Internationalpolitical economy.

Paul Harrison

Applied times-series econometrics.Financial economics. Macroeconomics. Economic history.

Jane Hughes

Domestic and internationalcash management. Third World debt, sovereign risk, and foreignexchange markets.

Adam Jaffe, Honors Coordinator

Technological change. Economicsof regulation. Industrial organization.

Gary Jefferson

China. Technical progress.Open economy macroeconomics.

Sunghyum Henry Kim

International finance. Openeconomy macroeconomics. International trade.

M. Ayhan Kose

Open economy macroeconomics.International economics.

Rachel McCulloch

International trade theory.Trade policy. Macroeconomic coordination. Investment and technologytransfer.

Julie Nelson

Demand analysis. Gender issues.Public economics. Development.

Peter Petri

International trade. Development.Japan. Korea.

Michael Plummer

International trade and finance.Regional economic integration. International development (particularlySoutheast Asia).

Barney Schwalberg, UndergraduateAdvising Head (Spring)

Russia. Labor. Education.

Requirements for the Concentration

A.ECON 2a and ECON 8b. Normally a grade of C- or higher is requiredin these courses.

B.ECON 80a, 82b, and 83a.

C.Four elective courses in economics, two of which must be "upper-level,"numbered ECON 100 or above, with the exception that ECON 175adoes not count as an upper-level elective. Some IEF courses areacceptable as electives. Some economics-oriented, Heller and othersocial science courses may be counted as lower level electivestoward the economics concentration. Any student who intends tooffer an economics-oriented course in another department towardthe Economics concentration should obtain approval of the undergraduateadvising head (Professor Barney Schwalberg) in advance.

D.A passing letter grade must be obtained in each course taken forconcentration credit. (Pass/Fail courses are not allowed.) Studentsmust also achieve a grade point average of at least 2.00 in concentrationcourses; students close to this average should consult the undergraduateadvising head before enrolling in economics courses for the senioryear.

E.Any exception to the above rules requires department approval.

See the department academicadministrator or the undergraduate advising head for a petition;for example, a student must petition to get concentration creditfor an economics course taken at another university.

Requirements for the UndergraduateMinor

A.ECON 2a.

B.ECON 8b.

C.Three additional economics courses, which must be approved bythe undergraduate advising head.

D.A grade point average of 2.00 or higher is required in coursesoffered for the minor.

Undergraduate Minor inBusiness and Managerial Economics (BAME)

Only students who entered Brandeisprior to the fall of 1997 are eligible for the BAME minor.

A.Students are required to take the following courses: ECON 2a,8b, 12a, and 83a.

B.One of the following courses: ECON 33a, 37b, 74b, 76b, 141b, 171a,172b, or 177b.

C.One of the following courses: ECON 19b, 33a, 37b, 136b, or 161a.

D.BAME minors who are not economics concentrators are required totake ECON 37b (unless they have taken/will take ECON 80a).

1. Note that ECON 33a and 37bare listed above in group B and in group C. A student may NOT,however, double-count one of these courses, i.e., a single course(ECON 33a or 37b) cannot be used to satisfy two requirements.

2. An economics concentratormay complete this minor. Economics concentrators may double-countno more than three of the six courses for both the minor and theeconomics concentration.

3. A psychology concentratormay substitute PSYC 51a and a mathematics concentrator MATH 36afor ECON 83a.

4. While ECON 12a is not aformal prerequisite for ECON 19b or ECON 33a, we recommend stronglythat students who expect to take either course complete ECON 12abefore enrolling.

E.A grade point average of 2.00 or higher is required in coursesoffered for the minor.

Special Notes Relatingto Undergraduates

Program in InternationalBusiness

Students interested in pursuingthe formal program in international business should consult thedescription given in the Program in International Business sectionof this Bulletin. Students may not enroll in both BAMEand International Business.

Mathematics and ComputerScience

There are no formal mathematicsor computer science requirements for economics concentrators.However, intermediate theory courses (80a, 82b, 83a) assume aknowledge of calculus at the level taught in MATH 10a (Techniquesof Calculus). (Students with weak mathematics background shouldbegin with MATH 5a [Precalculus Mathematics].) For some more advancedcourses, additional calculus, linear algebra, and computer sciencecourses provide a useful background.

Academic Advisor and Selectionof Courses

Students are strongly advisedto choose courses with well-considered educational objectivesin mind. Course offerings in economics can be grouped roughlyinto five categories (see below). Some students will wish to takeat least one course from each of the five groups and thereby obtaina broad exposure to the discipline. Others will find a more narrowfocus with in-depth study in only a few groups more appropriate.Each concentrator should discuss educational objectives and courseselections and sequencing with his/her academic advisor.

Course Offering Groups

1. Core Analytical Courses

2a Introduction to Economics

8b Analysis of Economic Problems

80a Microeconomic Theory

82b Macroeconomic Theory

83a Statistics for EconomicAnalysis

2. International and Comparative

26a Latin America's Economy

27b The Economy of Japan

32b Comparative Economic Systems

60a International EconomicPolicy

160a International Trade Theory

161a International Finance

162a Regional Economic Integrationin Theory and Practice

163a Asia-Pacific EconomicCooperation

175a Introduction to the Economicsof Development

176b Theory and Practice ofthe Firm in Comparative Perspective

3. The U.S. Economy: Analysis,Institutions, Policy

22a American Economic History

50b Urban Economics

57a Environmental Economics

58b Gender and Economics

59b Introduction to the Economicsof Education

74b Law and Economics

76b Trade Unions, CollectiveBargaining, and Public Policy

134b Public Sector Economics

135a Industrial Organization

141b The Economics of TechnologicalChange

171a Financial Economics

172b Money and Banking

177b Economic Regulation andDeregulation

4. Analytical Methods and ManagerialEconomics

12a Managerial Accounting

19b Issues in Business andManagement

33a Business in the GlobalEconomy

37b Functions of CapitalistEnterprise

136b Managerial Economics

184b Econometrics

189a Mathematics for EconomicAnalysis

The following courses fromother groups also contain substantial material relating to management:60a, 74b, 76b, 80a, 82b, 83a, 134b, 135a, 141b, 172b, 176b.

5. Advanced Theory

Several first year InternationalEconomics and Finance (IEF) courses would be appropriate analyticalelectives for advanced undergraduates. See your advisor or theundergraduate advising head.

Courses of Instruction

(1-99) Primarily for UndergraduateStudents

ECON 2a Introduction toEconomics

[ qr ss ]

Common final exam.

A one-semester introductionto economic analysis with policy applications. The economist'sapproach to social analysis is systematically elaborated. Usuallyoffered every semester. Multiple sections.


ECON 8b Analysis of EconomicProblems

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 2a. Enrollmentlimited to 40. Common final exam.

The basic tools and modelsof economic analysis are applied to a wide range of topics inmicro, macro, and international economics. Usually offered everysemester. Multiple sections.


ECON 12a Managerial Accounting

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 2a. Thiscourse may not be taken for credit by students who have receivedcredit for IEF 204a (formerly IEF 112a). Signature of the instructorrequired.

Develops basic concepts andaccounts and applies them to income measurement, capital values,and costs. Through the use of cases, develops the basis for rationalchoice and control of business activity. Usually offered everysemester.


ECON 19b Issues in Businessand Management

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: All otherrequired courses for the minor in business and managerial economics.Open only to students minoring in Business and Managerial Economicsor International Business. Does not satisfy concentration requirementsin economics. Signature of the instructor required.

Explores issues central tothe success of American business. Representative issue: Why havesome companies developed strong export markets while others focusalmost exclusively on domestic sales? Special attention is givento ethical issues and the role of the corporation and its employeesas citizens of their own nation and of the world of nations. Althoughthe topics may vary from year to year, the course may NOT be repeatedfor credit. Usually offered every year.

Ms. Hughes

ECON 22a American EconomicHistory

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 2a.

A study of major institutionsand factors influencing the economy. Usually offered in even years.


ECON 26a Latin America'sEconomy

(Formerly ECON 25a)

[ cl24 nwss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 2a. Thiscourse may not be repeated for credit by students who have takenECON 25a in previous years.

This course will present LatinAmerica's trends, conflicts, and diversity. It will analyze themain issues of poverty, debt, inflation, stabilization, populism,and external policies and will end with an up-to-date debate onthe current economic and social policies. Usually offered everyyear.


ECON 27b The Economy ofJapan

[ cl41 nwss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 2a.

Examines Japan's economy, includinglabor, industrial organization, foreign trade, etc. Usually offeredevery year.


ECON 32b Comparative EconomicSystems

[ cl25 ss]

Prerequisite: ECON 2a.

Comparative study of the treatmentof economic problems under different economic systems. Economicideology and practice of capitalism, communal experiments, marketsocialism, and workers' management. A brief evaluation of Marxism.Usually offered in odd years.

Mr. Schwalberg

ECON 33a Business in theGlobal Economy

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 2a. Enrollmentlimited to 35.

Modern firms frequently crossnational borders to find new markets and resources. Their strategiesare then shaped by the international economy and by the policiesof national governments. Using case discussion, we will explorewhy and how U.S., Japanese, and European firms operate outsidetheir home countries. Usually offered every year.

Mr. Gomes-Casseres

ECON 37b Functions of CapitalistEnterprise

[ ss ]

Prerequisites: ECON 2a (maybe taken concurrently) or permission of the instructor. Enrollmentlimited to 40.

Introduces the internal complexityof modern businesses and the various roles they play in society.We first examine the internal workings of firms--marketing, operations,finance, and other functions. Subsequently, we examine the relationshipsbetween businesses and their context--the economy, social issues,and government. Usually offered every year.

Mr. Gomes-Casseres

ECON 57a Environmental Economics

[ ss ]

Prerequisites: ECON 2a.

This course will investigatethe theoretical and policy problems posed by the use of renewableand nonrenewable resources. Theoretical topics include: the optimalpricing of resources, the optimal use of standards and taxes tocorrect pollution problems under uncertainty, and the measureof costs and benefits. Usually offered every year.


ECON 58b Gender and Economics

[ cl15 cl36wi ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 2a. Enrollmentlimited to 35.

This course investigates differencesby gender in occupation and earnings, explanations for differencesin economic outcomes by gender from neoclassical and other economicviewpoints, governmental policies related to labor market equity,and gender bias in economic models and methods. Usually offeredevery year.

Ms. Nelson

ECON 59b Introduction tothe Economics of Education

[ ss ]

Prerequisites: ECON2a.

An introduction to economicanalysis of the education sector. Topics include the concept ofhuman capital, private and social return to investment in education,cost-benefit analysis of special educational programs, and issuesin the financing of education. Usually offered in even years.

Mr. Schwalberg

ECON 60a International EconomicPolicy

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 2a.

Introduction to internationalfinance and trade. Topics include macroeconomic relationshipsin an open economy, exchange rates, trade deficits, internationaldebt, gains from trade, trade policy, and protectionism. Usuallyoffered every year.


ECON 74b Law and Economics

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 2a.

A study of economic foundationsof American law in selected areas of interest. Topics includethe role of property rights and liability rules in the controlof externalities, controlling the cost of accidents, the controlof criminal behavior, product failure and damage, medical malpractice.Usually offered every year.


ECON 76b Trade Unions, CollectiveBargaining, and Public Policy

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 2a.

Study of trade unions, theprocess and impact of collective bargaining, and the legal environment.Usually offered in even years.


ECON 80a Microeconomic Theory

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 8b. Intermediatetheory courses (ECON 80a, 82b, 83a) assume a knowledge of calculusat the level taught in MATH 10a. Enrollment limited to 35.

Analysis of the behavior ofeconomic units within a market economy. Emphasis upon the individual'sdecisions as demanders of goods and suppliers of resources, andfirms' decisions as suppliers of goods and demanders of resourcesunder various market structures. Usually offered every semester.


ECON 82b Macroeconomic Theory

[ ss ]

Prerequisites: ECON 8b.ECON 80 and 83a would be helpful. Enrollment limited to 35.

Models of the determinationof economic aggregates--such as national income, consumption,investment, government spending, exports, imports and internationalcapital flows--and economy-wide variables--such as the interestrate, the exchange rate, the price level and inflation, and theunemployment rate. The influence of fiscal and monetary policieson these aggregates and variables is examined. Usually offeredevery semester.


ECON 83a Statistics forEconomic Analysis

[ qr ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 2a. Enrollmentlimited to 35.

A first course in statisticalinference. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability,normal and binomial distributions, sampling distributions, pointand interval estimation, properties of estimators, hypothesistesting, regression, and analysis of variance. Usually offeredevery semester.


ECON 85a Quantitative MethodsLaboratory

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 2a. Mayyield half-course credit toward rate of work and graduation. Twosemester hours credit. Enrollment limited to 15.

Presents the numerical analysisand computer applications that are widely used in economics andbusiness in a computer laboratory environment. Emphasis is oninterpreting and communicating results as well as calculating.Usually offered every year.

Ms. Nelson

ECON 98a Independent Study

Signature of the instructorrequired. Does not meet the concentration requirement in economics.

Normally available for a studentwho has taken a course and wishes to pursue further reading orresearch in that field or study a subject not listed among thedepartment course offerings. Usually offered every year.


ECON 98b Independent Study

Signature of the instructorrequired. Does not meet the concentration requirement in economics.

See ECON 98a for course description.Usually offered every year.


ECON 99d Senior Research

Signatures of the instructorand the honors coordinator required. Does not meet the concentrationrequirement in economics.

A student whose grade pointaverage in economics courses is 3.00 or above may petition tobe admitted into the Senior Honors Program and enroll in thiscourse. Usually offered every year.


(100-199) For Both Undergraduateand Graduate Students

ECON 134b Public SectorEconomics

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 80a.

The effect of tax and expenditurepolicies on economic efficiency and equity. Topics include externalitiesand public goods, public choice, cost-benefit analysis, incomeredistribution, social security, health care. Also discussionof U.S. tax system, public debt, and state and local finance.Usually offered every year.

Mr. Dolbear

ECON 135a Industrial Organization

[ qr ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 80a.Enrollment limited to 35.

Economic analysis of industrialorganization and strategy. Topics include markets with a dominantfirm, oligopoly (including several models of strategic interaction),monopolistic competition, and cartels. Students construct andanalyze computer-based models of market structure, conduct, andperformance. Usually offered every year.


ECON 136b Managerial Economics

[ ss ]

Prerequisites: ECON 80a,83a, and MATH 10a.

An application of the skillsand perspectives of economists to a variety of managerial problemsin business and the public sector. Some case studies are included.Usually offered every fourth year. Last offered in the springof 1995.


ECON 141b Technologicaland Economic Change

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 80a.

Technological change as thecentral focus of modern economies. Topics include changing industrialand international specialization, economics of research and development,innovation, diffusion and technology transfer, appropriability,patents, information markets, productivity, intersectoral effects,and global competitiveness. Usually offered every year.

Ms. Carter

ECON 160a InternationalTrade Theory

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 80a.

Causes and consequences ofinternational trade and factor movements. Topics include determinantsof trade, effects on welfare and income distribution, trade andgrowth, protection, foreign investment, immigration, and preferentialtrading. Usually offered every year.


ECON 161a InternationalFinance

[ ss ]

Prerequisites: ECON 80aand 82b.

Applications of internationaleconomic theory--regarding trade, the balance of payments, investments,and exchange rates--to the management of import/export firms andmultinational corporations. Usually offered every year.

Mr. Kim

ECON 162a Regional EconomicIntegration in Theory and Practice

[ qr ss ]

Prerequisites: ECON 60aor 160a, ECON 80a.

This course surveys recentinitiatives to create trade blocs in Europe, the Americas, andAsia and analyzes their economic implications within and outsidethe blocs and for the global trading system. Usually offered inodd years.

Mr. Plummer

ECON 163a Asia-Pacific EconomicCooperation

[ ss ]

Prerequisites: ECON 8b andECON 80a, or permission of the instructor.

This course is divided intotwo parts: the East Asian miracle and Asia-Pacific economic cooperation.Part one explores the origins of successful econonomic developmentalong the Pacific Rim from a policy perspective. Part two considerstrends in economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region, witha focus on Southeast Asia and APEC. Usually offered in even years.

Mr. Plummer

ECON 171a Financial Economics

[ ss ]

Prerequisites: ECON 80aand 83a. Enrollment limited to 45.

An introduction to financialeconomics. Topics include the selection of assets, portfolio choiceunder uncertainty, equilibrium asset pricing models, the efficientmarkets hypothesis, futures, and options markets. Usually offeredevery year.


ECON 172b Money and Banking

[ ss ]

Prerequisites: ECON 80aand 82b. Enrollment limited to 35.

Considers the operation ofbanks and other financial institutions in a money- and capital-marketsetting. The role of central banks in the control of the quantityof money is examined in relation to the performance of the nationaleconomy. Supervision of banks, insurance of deposits, reform ofbanking legislation, as well as the internationalization of bankingare also studied. Usually offered every year.


ECON 175a Introduction tothe Economics of Development

(Formerly ECON 75a)

[ cl32 ss]

Prerequisite: ECON 2a orpermission of the instructor. This course may not be repeatedfor credit by students who have taken ECON 75a in previous years.

An introduction to variousmodels of economic growth and development and evaluation of theseperspectives from the experience of developing and industrialcountries. Usually offered every year.

Mr. Jefferson

ECON 176b Theory and Practiceof the Firm in Comparative Perspective

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 80a.

The firm is a basic unit ofeconomic organization. This course moves beyond the conventionaltreatment of the firm as a black box to examine aspects of itsstructure, behavior, and performance. Key issues include ownershipand governance, including issues of hierarchy and the principal-agentproblem, technical innovation, investment, and differences infirms across countries. Usually offered in even years.

Mr. Jefferson

ECON 177b Economic Regulationand Deregulation

(Formerly ECON 77b)

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: ECON 80a.

Rate regulation of naturalmonopolies, antitrust regulation of horizontal and vertical mergersand contracts, and the deregulation movement. Focus on the peak-loadpricing problem, vertical restraints, and case histories of airlinesand savings and loan institutions. Usually offered every year.


ECON 184b Econometrics

[ qr ss ]

Prerequisites: ECON 80a,82b, and 83a.

An introduction to the theoryof econometric regression and forecasting models, with applicationsto the analysis of business and economic data. Usually offeredevery year.


ECON 189a Mathematics forEconomic Analysis

[ ss ]

Prerequisites: ECON 80aand MATH 10a.

This course will focus on theapplication of mathematical techniques and tools in economics.Our purpose will be to investigate a variety of economic analysesin which mathematical techniques prove useful. Topics includelinear algebra, multi-variable optimization, and dynamic analysis.Usually offered every year.


Cross-Listed Courses

HS 110a

American Jobs and Wages: TheParadox of Wealth and Poverty

HS 355b

Welfare Reform and the Economicsof Poverty

HS 540b

Families, Work, and the ChangingEconomy