(2012-2013 Westminster College catalog)


ECO 150 Principles of Microeconomics (4 SH). Fundamental economic concepts and theories of supply and demand, resource allocation, taxation, international trade, externalities, public goods, market models, and labor markets. An emphasis on applications in both public policy and individual decision making will be recurrent throughout the course.

ECO 152 Principles of Macroeconomics (4 SH). The course concerns the aggregate economic variables of gross domestic product, the consumer price index, employment, consumption, saving, investment, imports, exports, exchange rates, taxes, government spending and debt, money, and interest rates, and how they fluctuate and are related to each other. The effects of individual behavior and government policy on these variables receive attention.

ECO 220 Statistics (4 SH). An introductory course in the analysis and interpretation of quantitative data. Attention is given to the binomial distribution, the normal distribution, sampling, introductory probability theory, and hypothesis testing. Real world applications are used with computer software for statistical analysis. Not available to students with credit in BIO 206, MTH 335, PSY 201, PS 301, SSC 251, or SSC 252. Prerequisite: MTH 130 or 131 (or concurrent enrollment in MTH 131). (Also listed as BA 220.)

ECO 270 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (4 SH). A study of how the economic system depends on the environment and how the environment is influenced by the economic system. Topics include: economic analysis of common resources; economic analysis of depletable and renewable natural resources; the population problem; economics of pollution; the economic valuation of environmental goods; and ecological economics.

ECO 310 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (4 SH). An intensive theoretical examination of specific economic units and of the determination of product and factor prices under various market structures. The course also includes applications of the theory to contemporary economic problems. Prerequisites: ECO 150 and MTH 131 (or equivalent).

ECO 320 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory (4 SH). An in-depth study of the methods and concepts of national income analysis with particular reference to the role of fiscal and monetary policy in maintaining full employment without inflation. The course also includes discussions of the measurement of economic activity. Prerequisites: ECO 150 and MTH 131 (or equivalent).

ECO 335 The Economics of Sports (4 SH). The course uses the tools of microeconomics and statistics to examine the business and social consequences of sports. Issues such as competitive balance in sports leagues, the role of media, and public subsidies to professional teams are analyzed. Prerequisites: ECO 150 and BA/ECO 220 (or equivalent).

ECO 340 Money and Banking (4 SH). A study of the role of money in an economic system, the operation and evolution of central banking systems, and the functioning of financial institutions. Among the topics presented are the nature and function of money and credit, classes and functions of commercial banks and their operations, the structure and operation of the Federal Reserve System, theories of the value of money, credit control, and monetary policy. Prerequisite: ECO 150.

ECO 350 Economic Development and Growth (4 SH). A theoretical and empirical analysis of the causes of lack of development in the Third World. The course focuses on the major problems currently confronting developing countries, including agricultural development and food production, population growth, income distribution, employment, education, and international economic relationships. The causes of the problems and alternative policy solutions for them are analyzed. Prerequisite: ECO 150.

ECO 365 International Trade and Finance (4 SH). An introduction to theories and policies concerning international trade, open economy macroeconomics, and international fi nance. Topics include traditional and modern theories of international trade, trade policies in advanced and developing countries, the balance of payments, fixed and flexible exchange rates, arbitrage and hedging, monetary and fiscal policies, currency areas, international debt, and the global capital market. Prerequisite: ECO 150. (Also listed as BA 365.)

ECO 380 Labor Economics (4 SH). Analysis and description of the U.S. labor force and labor markets. Economic theory of wage determination, effects of unions and institutional structures on wages, causes of and cures for unemployment. A brief history of American unionism and collective bargaining will be covered. Prerequisite: ECO 150.

ECO 385 Financial Economics (4 SH). The course presents the Black-Scholes theory of options, futures markets, the time value of money, the rate of return on investment, cash flow sequence, utility functions, expected utility maximization, mean-variance analysis, value at risk, optimal portfolios, and the capital asset pricing model. Prerequisites: ECO 150 and BA/ECO 220 (or equivalent). (Also listed as BA 385.)

ECO 390 Economics of Health Care (4 SH). A study of the health care system using economic analysis. Major topics that are explored include the structure of the industry, pricing, supply and demand for various services, labor markets for health professions, and public policy issues. Prerequisite: ECO 150.

ECO 590-594 Field Experience/Internship (14 SH). Not counted in the minimum number of courses needed in the major. All grading S/U. Prerequisites: six courses in economics and/or business, junior or senior standing, consent of department, and a GPA of at least 2.0.

ECO 601 Econometrics (4 SH). This capstone course emphasizes the creative nature of economics by examining the ways that economists identify issues, test theories and deal with the limitations of their discipline. The course will integrate the students previous work with readings that emphasize the range of applications addressed by the discipline. In addition, students will be expected to define an appropriate research topic, learn how others have addressed the issue, and formulate and carry through their own investigation of the topic. Prerequisites: ECO 150, two other ECO courses (except ECO 220), MTH 131, and BA/ECO 220 (or equivalent). (Also listed as BA 330.)

ECO 610, 611 Seminar/Advanced Topics (1-4 SH). A study of relevant topics and techniques pertaining to the current business and economics issues.

ECO 620-624 Independent Study (14 SH). Prerequisites: six courses in economics and/or business with at least a 3.250, junior or senior standing, and consent of department.

ECO 660, 670, 680, 690 Honors Project (1-4 SH). (See p. 61.)