This course is intended to help students review mathematical topics that are relevant for our core courses in Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. Topics covered include Optimization Methods and Linear Algebra. A firm understanding of mathematical techniques and its applications covered in this class is essential for successful graduate studies in economics.
Econ302 Macroeconomic Analysis (Rutledge)
The course discusses the potential causes of short-run fluctuations in output and employment. It examines both market-clearing and non-market-clearing explanations and investigates the role of assumptions concerning expectations formation, imperfect competition, imperfect information, menu costs, contracts, credibility, and the nature of shocks to the economy. Empirical research relating to these theories will be introduced.
Econ303 Dynamic General Equilibrium Models (Tuzova)
This course is designed to provide an introduction to modern macroeconomic analysis. Macroeconomic analysis is primarily concerned with developing positive models in order to understand the dynamics of key macroeconomic variables such as output, unemployment, inflation, and interest rates, and deriving normative prescriptions for fiscal and monetary policies. Topics covered include simple representative agent models, the neoclassical growth models with infinitely lived consumers, the Overlapping Generations models, and dynamic optimization. Prerequisites: Econ300 or equivalent courses.
Econ 304: Growth and Development Policy (Klitgaard)
A country’s economic development is influenced by deep forces, such as geography and history, and by current crises from global financial meltdowns to local conflicts. Given these realities, what differences can policy choices make—choices by a given country about itself and choices by other countries, such as through foreign aid? Students address this question using recent theoretical insights and data sets.
Econ313 Microeconomic Analysis (Staff)
This course presents the neoclassical theory of welfare economics, demand, cost, the firm, and competitive and monopoly price in product and factor markets under conditions of certainty in a rigorous way. Introduction to positive transaction costs economics. Emphasis is placed on the student's ability not only to understand the materials presented and to apply them to concrete problems.
Econ316 Consumer Theory and General Equilibrium (Tasoff)
In this course, students will learn the modern mathematical treatment of consumer demand, theory of the firm, markets, welfare optimization, and general equilibrium. Prerequisites: Econ300 and Econ313 or equivalent courses.
Econ317 Game Theory and Asymmetric Information (Tasoff)
In this course, students are introduced to Static and Dynamic Games with Complete and Incomplete Information and Contract Theory. Prerequisite: Econ316.
Econ 318: Foundation of Psychology and Economics (Tasoff)
This course presents psychological and experimental economics research demonstrating departures from perfect rationality, self-interest, and other classical assumptions of economics and explores ways that these departures can de mathematically modeled and incorporated into mainstream positive and normative economics. The course will focus on the behavioral evidence itself, especially on specific formal assumptions that capture the findings in a way that can be used by economists. Prerequisite: Econ317
Econ 319: Topics in Psychology and Economics (Tasoff)
This course will build off of the material presented in ECON318. It will expand on the psychological and experimental economic research presented there, but will emphasize a range of economic applications and especially empirical and experimental research. Prerequisite: Econ318
Econ 320: Experimental Economics (Capra)
This course introduces the subject matter, methods, and results of experimental economics. The course will stress the interaction of theory and experiment, seeking to relate questions in the theory of markets, games, and decisions to issues in experimental design and the analysis and interpretation of results. Prerequisite: Econ317
Econ 321: Advanced Topics in Experimental Economics (Capra)
This is a course intended to provide students with the tools necessary to implement a laboratory or field experiment. Students should have a good idea of their research interests before taking this course. The course will cover best practices for experimentation, steps to get IRB approval, and external funding. Prerequisites: Econ319 or Econ320
This is not a regular course, but a brown-bag lunch seminar that provides students with the opportunity to learn about the most recent research by economics faculty at the Claremont Colleges and neighboring institutions, and to present their own work in front of an inquisitive, but friendly audience. There is the option to get 2 units or credit hours with regular attendance and extra work.
Econ327: Applications of Behavioral Economics (Capra)
This course is intended to cover application of psychological insights into economic behavior. By incorporating topics from psychology and sociology such as risk perception, self-control, fairness, altruism, envy and reciprocity, we will enrich the standard economic model of behavior. To further understand human nature, we will also study the behavior of non-human primates and introduce ideas from the new field of neuroeconomics. Prerequisites: Econ313 or equivalent
Econ 336: Financial Economics (Fadlon)
This is a graduate level introduction to financial economics through a strong grounding in microeconomic theory. It is designed to provide you with a deep and intuitive understanding of fundamental principles of finance from an economics point of view. Specifically, we will explore the framework for analyzing the decisions by individuals and managers of firms. We will also define and understand financial systems as well as go over fundamental theories in risk management and pricing risky assets.
In this course we will review the history and development of modern portfolio theory, evaluate the empirical evidence on its applicability to real world markets, critically review recent attempts to develop new approaches to financial economics, including behavioral finance and complex systems, and attempt to integrate them into a consistent view of the capital markets.
Econ 339: Complexity Economics (Rutledge)
Our plan for the course is to trace the history of the two principal different strands of evolutionary economics that developed by Nelson and Winter in the tradition of Darwin, vs. that developed by Prigogine, Haken, Simons, Dopfer, Foster, Witt, and Metcalfe in the tradition of far from equilibrium physics, complex adaptive systems, and network theory. We will apply these ideas to macroeconomics and finance theory and contrast it with Modern Portfolio Theory, CAPM, Arbitrage pricing theory, and the Multi-factor approach that comprise the core of finance as taught in MBA programs and practiced on Wall Street. And we will apply the ideas to analyze the recent financial crisis, contagion, and market failure.
Econ 342: Asian Economic Development (Denzau)
The fastest and largest part of world economic growth now occurs in Asia - Japan and South Korea are developed economies, and China and India are very large economies growing at rapid rates. The course analyzes this amazing transition, discusses the problems along the way, and looks to the future to see if this growth is likely to continue.
Econ 350: Global Commerce and Finance (Bird)
Courses with the title Global Money and Finance can legitimately be designed in various ways. In some cases they focus quite narrowly on open economy macroeconomics and exchange rates and explore these issues in a reasonably technical way seeking to construct and use appropriate macroeconomic models. In other cases, the title is interpreted more broadly. A relatively large number of topics may then be included, with the emphasis being placed on applying relevant intermediate macroeconomic theory.
Such courses may also incorporate an historical and institutional component. While our
course will include all the above elements, our underlying aim will be to acquire a sound understanding of contemporary global financial issues. The course will spend only a little time examining the microeconomics of international financial management and risk. The course will be analytically rigorous but it will not be highly technical. It will have a strong policy orientation. Theory will be used as a means to an end rather than an end in itself.
Econ 355: International Trade Theory and Policy (Tuzova)
Economists traditionally divide the general field of International Economics into two broad subfields: International Finance and International Trade. International Finance applies macroeconomic models to understand the international economy. It focuses primarily on the financial transactions between countries and deals with things like trade imbalances, the determinants of exchange rates, and the aggregate effects of government monetary and fiscal policies. International Trade is a field of economics that applies microeconomics to help understand the international economy. Its content includes the same tools that are introduced in microeconomic courses, including supply and demand analysis, firm and consumer behavior, market structures (perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly), and the effect of market distortions. The objective of this course is to provide students with a thorough understanding of classic trade theories (the Ricardian trade model, the Heckscher-Ohlin model, the Specific Factors model) and variants of the New Trade Theory model of increasing returns and monopolistic competition and their empirical validity to make students familiar with recent developments in international trade.
Econ 359: International Finance & Economic Development (Bird)
The aim of this course is to provide a thorough understanding of international financial issues as they relate to developing and emerging economies. Recognition will be made of the fact that developing countries need to be disaggregated when analyzing their international financial problems and the course will distinguish between poor (low income) countries and emerging (middle income) economies. While the approach adopted will be analytically rigorous, the course will focus more on contemporary policy issues rather than on technical precision. It will adopt a macro rather than micro perspective and will not deal with the microeconomics of financial management. The course can count towards PhD fields in international money and finance, international economics and development, international political economy and the political economy of development.
Econ 374: Trade & Development Policy (Staff)
We will explore the intersection of trade policy and economic development and in the process will review aspects of trade theory, development theory, and their evolution over the past half century in light of the experience of developing economies. Among the issues we will examine are inward- vs. outward-oriented development, openness and growth, aspects of the East Asian “miracle,” trade, development and the environment, rent-seeking behavior, and strategic trade policy.
Econ381 Probability and Statistics for Economists (Tuzova)
This course covers probability and statistics. Topics include the fundamental concepts of probability theory, Bayes’ rule, notions of discrete and continuous distributions, hypothesis testing, and other necessary statistical instruments, which are widely used in almost every phase of your academic career. A firm understanding of mathematical techniques and its applications covered in this class is essential for successful graduate studies in economics. Students will be introduced to STATA applications. Prerequisites: Econ 300 or equivalent courses.
Econ382 Econometrics I (Fadlon)
This is the first graduate course in econometrics and covers the theory and application of simple and multiple regression analysis. Statistical software is used for data handling and estimation. The course also provides the background needed for more advanced theoretical and applied econometrics courses. The course Includes: OLS (testing and prediction), IV, Generalized Regression Models, 2 Step Regression, Linear Models for Panel Data, Non-linear regression, MLE, GMM, Quantile Regression, Bayesian Analysis, and Time Series. Prerequisites: Econ381 or equivalent courses.
Econ383 Econometrics II (Fadlon)
The course covers nonlinear statistical models for the analysis of cross-sectional and panel data. It is intended both for students specializing in applying statistical methods to statistical data. Approximately half of the course is devoted to development of the large-sample theory for nonlinear estimation procedures, while the other half concentrates on application of the methods to econometric models for discrete and limited dependent variables. Prerequisites: Econ382.
Econ384 Time Series Econometrics (Tuzova)
This course provides an introduction to modern time series econometrics. Topics covered include deterministic trend models, autoregressive moving average models, vector autoregressions, unit roots, and cointegration. We examine and illustrate various approaches to model estimation and inference, including least squares, generalized method of moments, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian methods. Applications are drawn from macroeconomics, with focus on the empirical analysis of dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models and forecasting and policy analysis with structural vector autoregressions. Students will learn basic forecasting tools as well as how to model economic and financial time series. Prerequisite: Econ383.
ECON472 - Political Economy in Macroeconomics (Shelton)
This course is an exploration of the nexus of political institutions, the economic environment, and economic policy. We will develop the basic tools of social choice and some of the fundamental results of spatial theories of politics. We will then discuss classic problems of institutional design such as agency, time-consistency, information aggregation, dynamic common pool problems and common institutional solutions. Then we will apply these insights to several fields of macroeconomics: political business cycles, the timing of fiscal adjustments, central bank independence, and long-run economic growth. Students will learn the canonical approach and theoretical results of social choice and will become familiar with its application to several specific areas in political economy and macroeconomics. Prerequisites: ECON302 and ECON303 (recommended).
PP481: Quantitative Research Methods (Staff)
This course concentrates on the elements of research design and hypothesis testing, as well as the application of statistical techniques to social and political problems and data. Topics covered include sampling distributions and statistical probability, chi-square testing of the difference of means, analysis of variance, correlation and regression. Students complete a number of computer-based assignments.
PP482: Advanced Quantitative Research Methods (Staff)
This is a course in regression analysis. Our attention will be focused partly on theoretical issues and partly on practical problems in applied regression. The dual aims of the course are to develop students' good taste as consumers of published quantitative research and to prepare them for more advanced study of econometric techniques.
SPE301: Behavioral Neuroscience of Decision Making (Zak)
This course introduces students to behavioral neuroscience in order to inform their research in the social sciences and humanities. There is no prerequisite. It begins with lectures on how the brain works and then reviews current research on how decisions are made in the brain, including neuroeconomics, neuropolitics, neuroethics and more. There are also several field trips where students participate in live experiments measuring brain activity
SPE315: Game Theory (Staff)
Game theory is the analytic study of strategic interaction between individuals, firms, governments, or other groups of people. Game theory has been widely used in the study of economics, and more recently applied to a host of strategic political interactions in all areas of political science.
SPE318: Cost Benefit Analysis (Staff)
Cost benefit analyses (CBAs) are a key means of evaluating government projects and programs, both in advance of funding them and as post-audits. The basic features, rationales, criticisms, and designs are presented, with a focus on actual use and critical consumption of such studies. Students will critique case study CBAs and will as part of a group, write and present CBAs.
SPE350: Comparative Politics (Ha)
This course examines the evolution, approaches, methods, and substance of the sub-discipline of comparative politics.
This course is an introduction to modern methods of analyzing major institutional structures. Our focus will be on understanding how different political institutions produce different political outcomes.
SPE352: Comparative Political Economy (Ha)
This course examines the interaction between capitalism and democracy. This class studies how the economy affects politics and how politics —in particular, political institutions— shape economic policies and outcomes. It explores the impact of global markets on national politics and the impact of politics on economic development in both developed and developing countries. We will also examine how various domestic political conditions (e.g. regime type, partisan politics, and constitutional features) affect economic policies (e.g. tax and welfare, growth, inequality, and poverty).
SPE371 Globalization (Staff)
Globalization is one of the most frequently used and least well understood concepts of our time. What is globalization and what is the globalization debate about? This course explores the causes and consequences of globalization– with respect primarily to trade, the multinationalization of production, and the international integration of financial markets. Readings and discussions will focus on the relations between globalization and a number of key areas: growth, inequality, poverty, labor, the environment, gender, culture, race, etc.
SPE410 Foundations of Political Economy (Nelson)
Political economy covers a wide domain of intellectual endeavor and is inherently interdisciplinary. In popular vernacular, it is often used to describe the political feasibility of implementing a public policy such as health care reform. However, many of history’s greatest ‘economists’ were actually political-economists including Adam Smith and David Ricardo. This class covers two main political economy topics; using economic methods to analyze politics and government, as well as explanations of how political and market institutions affect resource allocations and social welfare. Students interested in the international aspects of political economy should include that DPE specialization in their coursework.
SPE411: Advanced International Political Economy (IPE) (Feng)
This course offers an introduction to major theories and topics in international political economy for graduate students. It is intended to help graduate students begin to think about how to contribute to the current research frontier in IPE. Readings in the seminar will be a sample of both classics and recent articles on a number of topics across the spectrum of IPE. (PP481 and 482 required prerequisite).
SPE418: Seminar in International Political Economy (Staff)
Is the world flat, or on fire? “Globalization” has come under fire in recent years with pundits blaming it for income and social inequality, asset bubbles, unsustainable consumption, and all manner of negative environmental externalities. This course digs deep into the theoretical and empirical research on international political economy and investigates the role of institutions on trade, the effects of trade and foreign direct investment on economic growth, as well as the institutional incentive structures of foreign exchange rate policies. We also survey the literature on the effectiveness of international sanctions and trade and the environment. An area of special emphasis is on developing an analytical framework to study the political economy of tradable services, an area of little scholarly attention. (PP481 and PP482 required prerequisite).
SPE 471: Strategic Modeling for Political, Economic, and Business Decisions (Staff)
The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of several decision-making approaches in political science. The course is divided into four substantive sections emphasizing both theory and applications. The first section deals with a general overview of approaches and assumptions underlying positive decision making in political science. The second section focuses on game theory, the third section centers on expected utility theory and finally the final section deals with spatial bargaining models.
SPE 485: Computer Applications for Social Science Research (Staff)
This course provides hands-on practice with computer applications for quantitative data analysis. There will be step-by-step instructions on how to put research inquiry into actual statistical programming. We will use the two most popular statistical software programs - Stata and R. Both Stata and R run on publicly available packages and user-written scripts. They offer flexible environments that allow users to draw statistical inferences based on the understanding of matrix algebra. In particular, we will cover a few techniques that can be very useful for writing a quantitative research paper. In addition to working on data analysis techniques, this class is designed to help students learn and use LaTex, a typesetting system allowing students to produce scientific and technical documentation.
SPE 486: Data Analytics & Visualization (Staff)
This course is a hands-on, introduction to applied data analytics and visualization. Political, economic or business strategy drives which best practice theories, data, models and methods get implemented, turning insights into action for data driven decision-making. Thus, we will cover current state-of-art business intelligence, data analytics, predictive analytics and visualization techniques used across academia, industry and policy circles. The course is specifically designed as an introductory seminar covering the broad themes, topics and methods to data analytics. Students learn and use widely accepted analytics software platforms, including Excel, R, STATA, TABLEAU, and GEPHI among others.