Economics

The Department of Economics is dedicated to providing a rigorous, challenging curriculum that emphasizes economic theory and focuses on how economists view the world. Students master a wide variety of philosophical, technical, logical, computer, and quantitative skills. The Wabash College Economics major is taught to evaluate arguments and policies, analyze empirical data, and present his views, rationales, and results.

The department does not award credit for business classes taken off campus.

Requirements for the Major

ECO-101Princ of Economics1
ECO-291Intermediate Micro1
ECO-292Intermediate Macro1
ECO-251Economic Approach With Excel0.5
ECO-253Intro Econometrics 11
ECO-401Senior Seminar1
Select at least two courses with a prerequisite of ECO 291 or ECO 292 22
Economics Elective 21.5
Total Credits9
1

A course in statistics, either DV3-252 Stats Soc Sciences or a full-credit Mathematics Department Statistics course above the 100-level must be taken before enrolling in ECO-253 Intro Econometrics.

2


ECO-262 Financial Markets and Institutions does not count toward the major in economics.

Collateral Requirement
DV3-252Stats Soc Sciences0.5
MAT-110Calc. I With Pre-Calc. Review1
or MAT-111 Calculus I

Senior Comprehensive Exams

The Written Comprehensive Exam in Economics is spread over two days and designed to evaluate the student’s understanding of both core concepts and the wide variety of applications of economic theory. The first day consists of an objective, standardized test that contains questions from every economics course offered at Wabash. The second day consists of an essay exam on micro and macro theory and econometrics.

Recommended Sequence of Courses

The “typical” economics major:

Plan of Study Grid
FreshmanCredits
Fall Semester
MAT-111 Calculus I 1
 Credits1
Spring Semester
ECO-101 Princ of Economics 1
 Credits1
Sophomore
Fall Semester
DV3-252 Stats Soc Sciences 0.5
ECO-251 Economic Approach With Excel 0.5
ECO-291 Intermediate Micro 1
 Credits2
Spring Semester
ECO-253 Intro Econometrics 1
ECO-292 Intermediate Macro 1
 Credits2
Junior
Electives  
 Credits0
Senior
ECO-401 Senior Seminar 1
Electives  
 Credits1
 Total Credits7
1

 It is recommended, but not required, that students take ECO-291 Intermediate Micro before ECO-292 Intermediate Macro.

Although the above sequence is preferred, there can be flexibility in this basic pattern. The well-prepared first-year student might want to begin the study of economics in the first semester of the freshman year, while “late contractors” (students who decide to major in economics during their sophomore or even junior years) may choose a more tightly packed junior/senior year combination of economics courses. The prospective economics major should be careful in planning the theory/empirical sequence year. The sequence of DV3-252 Stats Soc Sciences in the FALL and ECO-253 Intro Econometrics in the SPRING is crucial. ECO-251 Economic Approach With Excel should be taken by the time the other courses in the theory/empirical sequence are completed. It is most convenient to take ECO-251 Economic Approach With Excel and ECO-291 Intermediate Micro along with DV3-252 Stats Soc Sciences in the fall. Thus, if the economics major is planning to study off-campus as a second semester junior, it is absolutely imperative that he begin the empirical sequence and take ECO-253 Intro Econometrics as a sophomore.

Contact any member of the Economics Department if you have questions, need help in making course decisions, or want advice concerning the study of economics at Wabash and beyond.

Requirements for the Minor

Five course credits in economics5
Total Credits5

 ECO-262 Financial Markets and Institutions counts toward the minor, but not toward the major (DV3-252 Stats Soc Sciences does not count toward the minor.).

Economics (ECO)

ECO-101 Princ of Economics

This introductory course, which covers the basic foundations of microeconomics and macroeconomics, is the gateway to the economics curriculum and an important part of a well-rounded education. The microeconomics portion of the course covers basic supply and demand analysis, market failure, present value, opportunity cost, and the theory of the firm. The macroeconomics portion of the course introduces issues such as inflation, unemployment, and government policy tools. In addition to discussion and problem solving, the class will focus on the use of Microsoft Excelr to analyze real-world economic data.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science
Equated Courses: AP

ECO-177 Special Topics

The course provides opportunities for specialized, innovative material to be made available for students at the introductory level. Since the content of this course varies from semester to semester, it may be repeated for credit upon the instructor's approval.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-187 Independent Study

Enrollment Through Instructor, Deparment Chair approval.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-188 Independent Study

Enrollment Through Instructor, Deparment Chair approval.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-213 Topics in Econ History:U S

The purpose of this course is to use economics to improve our understanding of history and to use history to improve our understanding of economics. Examples of questions that may be addressed are: Why is the U.S. wealthy? How do government policies affect the economy? How has the role of government changed over the course of U.S. history? How did the institution of slavery and its abolition affect Southern economic development? Is the current U.S. banking system better than the systems that preceded it? What caused the Great Depression?
Prerequisites: ECO-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science, History/Philosophy/Religion
Equated Courses: HIS-245

ECO-214 Topics in Econ Hist:European

The purpose of this course is to study economic issues in European economic history. Topics vary, but examples of questions that may be addressed are: What caused the Industrial Revolution and why did it occur in England? What effects did it have on living standards? What explains the rise and decline of economics? How and why has population changed over time?
Prerequisites: ECO-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science, History/Philosophy/Religion
Equated Courses: HIS-235

ECO-220 The Global Economy

This course is designed to provide a one-semester introduction to both the microeconomic and macroeconomic aspects of international economics and is intended for a wide audience. The goal of the course is to provide you with a basic understanding of the fundamental theories of international economics including both international trade and international finance, to acquaint you with the historical and institutional contexts in which the US economy operates, and to broaden your understanding of other economies by studying their policy problems within the analytical framework of international economics
Prerequisites: ECO-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-221 Economics of the European Union

The course includes a variety of topics related to current economic policy and institutional arrangements in the EU, ranging from labor markets and common monetary policy to international trade policy and challenges of growth. The goal of this class is to develop a deeper understanding of the economic structure and policies of the European Union (EU). Additionally, the class will help students to become familiar with some data sources for information about the EU. Finally, economic policy is done in the cultural, historical, and social context of individual countries; therefore, some of this context will be included in class. The regular in-class approach may be complemented with an immersion trip to visit EU institutions, such as the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, and the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.
Prerequisites: ECO-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-222 Comp Economic Systems

Focusing on East Asia and Eastern Europe, the class offers a critical comparative study of alternative approaches to establishing economic systems that will support growth, promote social cohesion, and facilitate transition to a market economy. The class includes a brief discussion of varieties of economic systems within the developed world, comparing the U.S. to Western Europe. Particular attention is paid to development in economic systems in fast-growing East Asia and Eastern Europe in transition. We examine various combinations of institutional framework, economic policies, and available resources that facilitated the transition and strong growth in these regions. This course is offered in the fall semester (when offered).
Prerequisites: ECO-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-224 Econ/Pol Development

A brief survey of problems facing lesser-developed countries and of measures proposed and used for the advancement of political integration and the improvement of living standards and social welfare. Study will be made of the role of capital accumulation, private initiative, representative government, and other factors in economic growth and political modernization.
Prerequisites: ECO-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science
Equated Courses: PSC-324

ECO-232 Public Policy

The purpose of this course is to use tools from Principles of Economics to study current public policy issues, and to analyze and evaluate existing and proposed policies for dealing with a variety of contemporary economic and social problems in the United States. Students will learn quantitative and qualitative skills useful for assessing public policy issues and their implementation and effectiveness. Topics may include (but are not limited to) health economics (Medicaid, Medicare, health care reform), environmental economics and policy (cap and trade policies), welfare and social services, income distribution, education, and energy economics.
Prerequisites: ECO-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-234 Environmental Economics

An introduction to environmental science, this course focuses on the definition and description of environmental resources, as well as management, and conservation. Includes topics on ecosystems, energy and mineral resources, population dynamics and the impact on environmental quality, water and air quality, water supply, solid waste. Analysis of the economic, social, and political interactions towards environmental management.
Prerequisites: ECO-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-235 Health Economics

This course is an introduction to the study of health care. While we will draw heavily on important ideas in economics, the course is interdisciplinary in nature. Basic questions to be considered include: What roles have nutrition, public health, doctors, hospitals, and drugs played in the dramatic improvement in health since 1800? What role does personal behavior (e.g., eating, smoking, and exercise) play in health? What explains the organization and evolution of the American health care system? In a world of limited resources, how should we decide what medical care ought to be foregone? What is the best way to deal with the major health challenges facing developing countries? Why has spending on health care increased so much over the past 100 years? Why does the United States spend so much more than the rest of the world on health? Why do governments intervene in health care? What kinds of reforms to the health care system might work? Non-majors are encouraged to take the course.
Prerequisites: ECO-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-241 Game Theory

While the economic model of perfect competition assumes that prices and profits are determined by the invisible hand of the market and individuals take them as given, in markets that are not perfectly competitive there is more room for bargaining and strategic interaction. Game theory analyzes situations where there is strategic interaction, where the outcomes for one individual depend on the choices made by another individual. Such situations occur not only in economics, but also in politics and biology, and in everyday life. This class will examine a variety of games and their equilibrium outcomes. This class will require mathematical reasoning, but will not require calculus.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-251 Economic Approach With Excel

An introduction to optimization, equilibrium, and comparative statics via Microsoft Excelr. This course emphasizes numerical problems while illustrating the essential logic of economics. Economics majors are strongly encouraged to take this course in the sophomore year. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5
Distribution: Quantitative Skills

ECO-253 Intro Econometrics

This course introduces students to empirical work in economics. Regression for description, inference, and forecasting is presented in a non-formulaic, intuitive way. Microsoft Excelr is used to analyze data and perform Monte Carlo simulation. Heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation are covered. Students will also learn how to read and write empirical papers in economics. Economics majors are strongly encouraged to take this course in the sophomore year. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: Take DV3-252 or MAT-253 and 353 or PSY-201 and 202 or PSC-297.
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-262 Financial Markets and Institutions

This course uses basic tools of economic theory to analyze modern financial institutions and markets. The financial instruments to be covered range from credit card loans to mortgages, stocks, bonds, futures, and options. The main questions of the course are: What roles do commercial banks, pension funds, insurance companies, investment banks, mutual funds, and the government play in financial markets? What determines the prices of stocks and bonds? How can individuals and institutions deal with risk and how is risk measured? What drives innovation in financial markets? The course concentrates on contemporary U.S. institutions, but offers some historical and international perspective. This course is offered in the spring semester. Note: ECO 262 does not count toward the major in economics.
Prerequisites: ECO-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-277 Special Topics

The course provides opportunities for specialized, innovative material to be made available for students at the introductory level. Since the content of this course varies from semester to semester, it may be repeated for credit upon the instructor's approval. Refer to the Course Descriptions document on the Registrar's webpage for Topics and Descriptions of current offerings.
Prerequisites: ECO-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-287 Independent Study

Students who wish to take an independent study in economics should plan their project with the instructor who is to supervise. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-288 Independent Study

Students who wish to take an independent study in economics should plan their project with the instructor who is to supervise. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-291 Intermediate Micro

The course examines the development of the theories of the price mechanism under competitive and non-competitive market situations. The costs and revenue decisions of the firm are analyzed within the context of standard assumptions about economic behavior. The welfare implications of contemporary problems under partial and general equilibrium conditions are explored. This course is offered in the fall and spring semester. It is recommended that students take ECO 291 before ECO 292.
Prerequisites: ECO-101 and MAT-110 or 111 with a C- or better.
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-292 Intermediate Macro

This course examines the measurement, determination, and control of the level of economic activity. General equilibrium models are used to determine real output, employment, inflation, unemployment, and interest rates. We also study the determinants of long-run growth. The roles of fiscal and monetary policy are analyzed in their application to fluctuations in economic activity. This course is offered in the fall and spring semester. It is recommended that students take ECO 292 after ECO 291.
Prerequisites: ECO-101 and MAT-110 or 111 with a C- or better.
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-321 International Trade

Examines the theory of international trade and its applications. Students will learn why nations exchange, what determines the patterns of production and trade across countries, and what the welfare implications of trade are for the world at large and for the domestic economy. Special topics include GATT, multinationals, protectionism, and Third-world debt.
Prerequisites: ECO-251, 253, and ECO-291
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-322 International Finance

This course provides an overview of international finance along with selected themes from open economy macroeconomics. Topics include determination of exchange rates (including speculative bubbles and exchange rate overshooting), alternative exchange rate systems, intervention of central banks on foreign exchange markets, the relationship between interest rate and price level with exchange rate, consequences of exchange rate fluctuations, international banking and global capital markets, and financial and exchange rate crises. The course incorporates econometric techniques and spreadsheets in analyzing data and makes use of some standard data sources.
Prerequisites: ECO-253 and 292
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-331 Econ of Public Sector

An examination of the economic role of the public sector in the United States. Some of the general questions addressed include: When do markets fail to bring about desirable outcomes in the absence of government intervention? Under what circumstances can governmental action improve economic outcomes? What are the main features and economic effects of current government tax and expenditure programs? By what principles should reform of these programs be guided?
Prerequisites: ECO 253 and 291
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-332 Labor Economics

Why do different people earn different wages? What determines firms' demand for labor. What determines workers' labor supply? Why has wage inequality increased? Why does unemployment exist? The purpose of this course is to answer these questions using both microeconomic theory and econometrics, and to apply this knowledge to questions of labor market policy. Topics addressed include the determinants of labor demand and supply, minimum wages, human capital, efficiency wages, and discrimination. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: ECO-253 and 291
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-333 Industrial Organization

Extends ECO 291 by examining both the theoretical and the empirical analysis of imperfectly competitive firms. Particular emphasis is devoted to oligopoly theory and strategic behavior in which firms determine the best ways to compete with their marketplace rivals. Other topics include price discrimination, imperfect information, vertical restrictions such as resale price maintenance, and the role of innovation in market structure.
Prerequisites: ECO-251, 253, and 291
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-353 Econometrics

An introduction to applied economic statistics and techniques for reaching sensible conclusions on the basis of empirical economic evidence. The course covers theoretical issues more rigorously than ECO 253, but also gives students hands-on experience with sophisticated econometric software. Topics covered include: simple and multiple linear regressions, autocorrelation and heteroskedasticity, time series and forecasting, simultaneous equations, and qualitative response models. Numerous empirical exercises and a significant empirical paper are among requirements of the course. This course is offered irregularly.
Prerequisites: ECO-253 and ECO-291 or 292. Recommended:MAT-223
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-361 Corporate Finance

This course applies economic theory to analyze financial decisions made by corporations. These decisions include what real assets to invest in and how to raise the funds required for these investments. The analysis concentrates on the roles of the timing of cash flows, the risk of cash flows, and the conflicts of interest between the various actors in the world of corporate finance. Special attention is paid to stocks, bonds, dividends, and options. Extensive use is made of financial data and spreadsheets.
Prerequisites: ECO-251, 253, and 291
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-362 Money and Banking

The course provides an introduction to financial markets and the assets traded therein (such as bonds, stocks, and derivatives), with an emphasis on the role and function of commercial banks. This is complemented with analysis of the money market. Theories of money demand are combined with discussion of the role of the banking system in the money supply process. We examine the central role of the Federal Reserve in executing monetary and credit policies. The course incorporates econometric techniques and spreadsheets in analyzing financial data and makes use of some standard data sources. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisites: ECO-253 and 292 with a minimim grade of C-.
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-363 Topics in Macroeconomics

Featuring macroeconomic policies and issues, this course includes the study of business cycles, the economics of government deficits and debt, case studies in macroeconomic policy, and macroeconomic forecasting. This course is offered irregularly.
Prerequisites: ECO-251,253, and 292
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-364 Case Studies in Macroeconomics

Utilizing a case study approach, this course explores advanced issues in macroeconomic policy. Topics covered include the business cycle, international macro, and growth.
Prerequisites: Take ECO-251, 253, and 292
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-377 Special Topics

The course provides opportunities for specialized, innovative material to be made available for students at the advanced level. Since the content of this course varies from semester to semester, it may be repeated for credit upon the instructor's approval. Refer to the Course Descriptions document on the Registrar's webpage for Topics and Descriptions of current offerings.
Prerequisites: ECO-101, 253, and 291 or 292
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-387 Independent Study

Students who wish to do an independent study in economics should plan their project with the instructor who is to supervise. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-388 Independent Study

Students who wish to do an independent study in economics should plan their project with the instructor who is to supervise. This courses is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-401 Senior Seminar

A capstone seminar course in which current economic problems and policy are analyzed. This course is required of all economics majors. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisites: ECO-251 ,253, 291, and 292
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-487 Independent Study

Enrollment Through Instructor, Deparment Chair approval.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-488 Independent Study

Enrollment Through Instructor, Deparment Chair approval.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-491 Advanced Microeconomic Theory

The course refines the microeconomic analysis offered at the intermediate level by introducing more rigorous mathematical tools. Additional topics in microeconomic theory are introduced and analyzed with the use of advanced mathematical techniques. The course is especially recommended to students considering graduate work in economics and should also prove useful to students considering graduate study in business. This course is offered irregularly.
Prerequisites: ECO-291 MAT-111 and 112
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-492 Adv Macroeconomics

The major propositions of intermediate macroeconomics are reviewed and expressed in the language of mathematics, and more complex and newer theories of macroeconomics are presented. A major substantive focus will be on the similarities and differences between classical, post Keynesian, monetarist, and rational expectations theories for macroeconomics, recent relevant empirical findings, and implications of economic policy. The course is especially recommended to students considering graduate work in economics and should also prove useful to students considering graduate study in business. This course is offered irregularly.
Prerequisites: ECO-292 and MAT-110 or 111
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ECO-IND Independent Study

Students may enroll in independent study courses for 0.5 or 1 course credit(s), with the approval of a supervising faculty member, the appropriate department/program chair, and the student's advisor. Registration forms for independent study are available in the Registrar's Office.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1

Joyce Burnette

Chonghyun Christie Byun

Jack L Foos

Perry Edward Hensley

Gregory D Hess

Suting Hong

Frank M Howland

Peter Mikek (chair)

Nicholas Arthur Snow

Biyan Tang

Kealoha L. Widdows

Secondary Licensure Program

The Department of Education Studies offers a minor in Education Studies, and an additional licensure preparation program for students interested in becoming licensed to teach at the secondary level (middle and high school grades 5-12). With a major in this department and a minor in Education Studies, students may also choose to complete the licensure preparation program by applying in the spring of the junior year. For more information about the licensure program, students are advised to meet with faculty in the Department of Education Studies. Requirements for the minor and licensure preparation program are outlined in the Department of Education Studies section of the Academic Bulletin.