George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

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Economics Courses (ECON)


Individual courses taken for credit under their former numbers may not be repeated for credit under their present numbers. A grade of C or better in ECON 103 and 104 is a prerequisite to all other economics courses.

103 Contemporary Economic Principles and Issues I (3:3:0). Introduction to microeconomics in the context of current problems. Explores how the market mechanism allocates scarce resources among competing uses; uses basic tools of supply and demand and production and distribution theory to analyze diverse problems.

104 Contemporary Economic Principles and Issues II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 103. Introduction to macroeconomics in the context of current problems. National income analysis, money and banking, economic growth and stability, unemployment, inflation, and the role of government.

306 Intermediate Microeconomics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 103 and 104, and MATH 108 or 113. Basic factors of price and distribution theory, including analysis of demand, costs of production and supply relationships, and price and output determination under various market structures.

309 Economic Problems and Public Policies (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 103 and 104 or permission of instructor. Important economic problems in light of current and proposed public policies.

310 Money and Banking (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 103 and 104 or permission of instructor. Monetary, commercial, and central banking systems, with particular emphasis on their relationship with American government programs, fiscal policies, and controls.

311 Intermediate Macroeconomics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 103 and 104 or permission of instructor. Aggregate economic accounts, including the measurement of national income; determinants of levels of income and output; and causes and solutions for problems of unemployment, inflation, and economic growth.

316 Economic Growth and Business Cycle (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 310 or 311 or permission of instructor. Factors contributing to sustained economic growth with additional emphasis on business fluctuations and their measurement.

320 Labor Problems (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 103 and 104 or permission of instructor. American labor unions and their effect on society. Causes of and proposed solutions to selected problems.

321 Economics of Labor (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 306. Factors that determine levels of wages and employment and economic consequences. Attention is directed to recent developments in unionism, collective bargaining, and industrial technology.

322 Economics of Income Distribution (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 103 and 104. Theoretical models of functional and personal distribution of income with emphasis on human capital welfare considerations and screening.

330 Public Finance (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 306 or permission of instructor. Intergovernmental financial relationships; types, incidences, and consequences of taxation; other sources of governmental income; governmental expenditures and their effect; public economic enterprises; public borrowing; debt management and its economic effect.

335 Environmental Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 103 and 104. Microeconomic analysis to analyze environmental problems. Topics include an analysis of externalities and market failure, alternative solutions and policies, problems in monitoring and enforcement, economic analysis of the development of legislation and regulation, and applications to current policy issues.

340 Introduction to Mathematical Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 306 and 311 and MATH 113, or permission of instructor. Mathematical treatment of the theory of firm and household behavior, stabilization policy, growth theory, input-output analysis, and linear programming.

345 Introduction to Econometrics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 306 and 311 and DESC 210. Modern statistical techniques in estimating economic relations.

350 Regional and Urban Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 306 or permission of instructor. Regional development and metropolitan growth, including locational decisions of households and firms and problems associated with high-density urban economic activity.

360 Economics of Developing Areas (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 103 and 104 or permission of instructor. Economic growth characteristic of developing countries. Economic development, obstacles to development, policies, and planning.

361 Economic Development of Latin America (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 103 and 104 or permission of instructor. Economic development, institutions, and problems of Latin America.

365 Topics in Economic History (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 103 and 104. Subject matter varies. Possible topics include ancient, medieval, modern European, and American economic history, using econometric analysis as necessary. May be repeated once for credit with permission of instructor.

370 Economics of Industrial Organization (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 306 or permission of instructor. Factors influencing industrial structure and industrial conduct and performance.

375 Economics of Transportation (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 103 and 104. Transportation industry in the United States. Structure modes and economic problems of the competing types of transportation.

380 Comparative Economic Systems (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 103 and 104 or permission of instructor. Theory, programs, and practices of economic systems including capitalism, socialism, and fascism.

390 International Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 306 and 311 or permission of instructor. Foreign exchange market, balance of payment, foreign trade policies, and theories of international trade.

403 Austrian Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 306 and 311. Microeconomic and macroeconomic models and the misallocation of resources. Alternative economic tools from the unique a priori and subjectivist approach of noted Austrian economists.

410 Public Choice (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 306. Application of economic theory and methodology to the study of nonmarket decision making.

412 Game Theory and Economics of Institutions (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 306 or permission of instructor. Introduction to game theory and its relevance for the analysis of the framework of rules and institutions within which economic processes occur. Application of game theoretical concepts to a comparative analysis of the causes and effects of alternative institutional arrangements.

415 Law and Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 306 or permission of instructor. An economic analysis of the law. Topics include an introduction to legal institutions and legal analysis; application of economic concepts to the law of property, contracts and torts, criminal law, and constitutional law; the economic efficiency of the common law; and a public choice perspective on the evolution of the law.

481 The Development of Economic Thought (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 306 and 311 or permission of instructor. Developments in economic thought from 1500 to the present. Emphasis on historical origins, impact on contemporary economics, and theoretical validity.

490 Senior Seminar on Problems in Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 306 and 311, DESC 210, and 90 hours; economics majors only. Application of economic tools to investigate problems in economics.

496 Special Topics in Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 306, 311, or permission of instructor. Subject matter varies. May be repeated for credit with permission of department.

499 Independent Study (1-3:0:0). Prerequisites: Economics majors with 90 hours and permission of both department and instructor. Individual study of a selected area of economics. Directed research paper required. ECON 306 and 311, or equivalent, are prerequisites to all graduate courses except ECON 600 and 602. Undergraduates are not permitted to enroll in 600-level courses. Additional prerequisites are noted. With permission of the instructor, additional prerequisites may be waived.

535 Introduction to Econometrics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: DESC 210 or permission of instructor. Applied introduction to estimating economic relationships. Simple equation and simultaneous equation system estimation along with their associated problems. (Students who take ECON 535 may not take ECON 637 for credit.)

600 Current Issues in Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Baccalaureate degree or permission of instructor. Course cannot be applied for credit toward a graduate degree in economics. For students with little economic background. Topics include supply and demand, operation of a free market system, stock and bond markets, and U.S. role in world economy. May be used in partial fulfillment of the course requirement in the teaching discipline for the master's degree in education.

602 Economic Analysis (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Baccalaureate degree. Course cannot be taken for credit toward a graduate degree in economics. A rigorous, concentrated introduction to micro- and macroeconomic analysis. Emphasized are economic concepts, tools of analysis, public policy, and business applications.

611 Microeconomic Theory (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral or master's program or ECON 306, ECON 311, and MATH 113, or permission of graduate coordinator. Theory of behavior of consumers, firms, and resource suppliers. Theories of choice under conditions of risk and uncertainty. Partial equilibrium analysis of competitive and noncompetitive markets. General equilibrium analysis, welfare economics, and introduction to capital theory.

615 Macroeconomic Theory (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Admission to the master's program in economics or ECON 306, ECON 311, and MATH 108, or permission of graduate coordinator. Survey course covering monetary theory, theories of consumption and saving, budget deficits, economic growth, international finance, and monetary and fiscal policies.

623 American Economic History (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 611 and 615, taken concurrently, or permission of instructor. ECON 637 is recommended. Growth and development of the American economy as well as the evolution of economic institutions.

630 Mathematical Economics I (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral or master's program or ECON 306, ECON 311, and MATH 113, or permission of instructor. Set theory, function, differential calculus, integration, series, and matrix algebra, with special emphasis on the economic applications.

637 Econometrics I (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Acceptance to the Ph.D. program, DESC 210, or permission of instructor. Techniques of estimating relationships between economic variables. Introduction to multiple regression and problems associated with the single equation model-autocorrelation, multicollinearity, and heteroscedasticity.

676 Comparative Economic Systems (3:3:0). Capitalism, socialism, and corporatism historical perspective. Includes examination of the economies of representative contemporary countries.

715 Macroeconomic Theory I (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program or permission of graduate coordinator. Classical, neoclassical, Keynesian, and post-Keynesian theories of income and employment determination. Theories of inflation and growth. The demand for money and its implications for the effectiveness of monetary vs. Fiscal policy.

799 Thesis (1-6:0:0). Students who take ECON 896 and then elect the thesis option receive three credits for ECON 799 upon completion of the thesis. Students who do not take ECON 896 receive six credits for ECON 799 upon completion of the thesis.

800 Studies for the Doctor of Philosophy in Education (variable credit). Prerequisite: Admission to the Ph.D. in Education to study in economics. Studies designed by student's discipline director and approved by student's doctoral committee, which brings the student to participate in the current research of the discipline director and results in a paper reporting the original contributions of the student. Enrollments may be repeated.

812 Microeconomic Theory II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611. Nature of the firm, theory of supply, and production functions, factor pricing, and supplies. Introduction to microeconomic foundations of theories of public finance and public choice.

816 Macroeconomic Theory II (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 611 and 615 or permission of instructor. Aggregate economic activity and price levels with emphasis on dynamic models. Topics vary.

817 Monetary Theory and Policy (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 615 and 637 or permission of instructor. Theory of the mechanisms through which central banking affects economic activity and prices. Analysis of the demand for money and its relationship to economic activity. The development of monetary theory with emphasis on current theories and controversies in the field.

820 History of Economic Thought (3:3:0). Major figures in the history of economic thought and the tools of analysis they created; emphasis on classical, neoclassical, and Keynesian theories.

821 History of Economic Thought II (3:3:0). Development of economic analysis from the "marginal revolution" of 1877 to present. Emphasis on the development of neoclassical economic theory.

823 Topics in Economic History (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 611 and 615. Economic analysis of various historical epochs, such as the Industrial Revolution, Evolution of Political Reform, Rise of Unions, Growth of Government.

825 Political Economy and Public Policy I (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611 or permission of instructor. Economic process of public policy formulation and implementation. Economic behavior of principals in policy making and execution.

826 Political Economy and Public Policy II (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 611, 615, and 825 or permission of instructor. Specific issues related to political economy of public policy. Topics include privatization, political economy of deficit spending, regulation and deregulation, and the economics of rent seeking.

827 Economic Philosophy (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611 or permission of instructor. Analysis of the philosophical organization. Interrelations between economics and legal and political institutions. Philosophical presuppositions of a capitalist economy under constitutional democracy. Consideration of alternative presuppositions for noncapitalist economies. Critical evaluation of history of ideas in social and moral philosophy.

828 Constitutional Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611 or permission of instructor. Analysis of existing and proposed elements of the "economic constitution." Emphasis on fiscal, monetary, transfer, and regulatory powers of government and on constitutional limits on such powers, especially in the United States. Also includes analysis of proposed changes in these limits.

829 Economics of Institutions (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611 or permission of instructor. Analysis of the framework of rules and institutions within which economic activities and transactions are carried out. Emergence and working properties of different institutions. Comparative discussion of classical and contemporary approaches to an economic theory of institutions.

831 Mathematical Economics II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 630 or permission of instructor. Mathematical treatment of economic theories. Static and dynamic analysis of macro-models. Input-output analysis. Optimization techniques such as Lagrangian multipliers, linear programming, nonlinear programming, and game theory.

838 Econometrics II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 637 or permission of instructor. Econometric models and simultaneous equation systems. Identification of parameters and least squares bias; alternative estimation methods and block recursive systems.

842 Labor Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 611 and 615 or permission of instructor. ECON 637 is recommended. Formal models of labor demand, supply, utilization, and wage determination. Determination of factor shares in an open economy. Theory of collective bargaining and impact of trade unions on wage rates and resource allocation. Measurement, types, and causes of unemployment. Benefit-cost analysis of manpower training and development projects.

844 Industrial Organization and Public Policy I (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611 or permission of instructor. Structure of American industry and underlying determinants. Analysis of structure and conduct on industrial performance in light of theory and empirical evidence. Rational antitrust policy and analysis of impact on structure and performance.

846 Industrial Organization and Public Policy II (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 611 and 844. Relation between law and economics and theories of social control of property rights. Theories of market structure and industrial performance.

849 Public Finance (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611 or permission of instructor. Theoretical and institutional analysis of government expenditure, taxation, debt management, and intergovernmental fiscal relations. Allocative and distributional effects of alternative tax and subsidy techniques. Principles of benefit-cost and cost-effectiveness analysis for government decisions.

851 State and Local Public Finance (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611 or permission of instructor. Analysis of public spending and taxation at the subfederal level. Theory of public goods, positive and normative explanatory models of public expenditure determination, and intergovernmental fiscal relations. Problems in providing specific state and local services, including education and police and fire protection.

852 Public Choice I (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611 or permission of instructor. (This is the first course in the two-course sequence in public choice.) Application of economic theory and methodology to the study of nonmarket decision making.

853 Special Topics in Public Finance (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 611 and 849. Topics vary; announced in Schedule of Classes.

854 Public Choice II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611 or permission of instructor. (This is the second course in the two-course sequence in public choice.) The public choice approach is applied to study such topics as the causes and consequences of governmental growth, the behavior of public bureaucracies, and the economic reasoning behind constitutional limitations on the size and growth of government.

856 Urban and Regional Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611 or permission of instructor. Regional development and metropolitan growth economics including the locational decisions of households and firms, and problems associated with high-density urban economic activity.

860 Resource Economics (3:3:0). Resource management in the public sector with emphasis on development of water resources. Problems of uncertainty, time horizon considerations, joint costs, multiple benefits, nonquantifiable benefits and costs.

861 Economics of the Environment (3:3:0). Analysis of economic models of ecosystems and pollutant discharges into the environment. Methods of improving economic efficiency; review of public policies.

866 Economic Development (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 611 and 615 or permission of instructor. Forces contributing to and retarding economic progress in developing countries. The role of foreign trade, economic integration, foreign investment, multinational corporations, and technological transfers.

869 International Trade and Policy (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611 or permission of instructor. Classical, neoclassical, and modern theories of international trade. A study of the theory and practice of world trade models such as project LINK. Analysis of foreign investment and economic growth, tariffs and nontariff barriers, and economic integration; recent developments with emphasis on natural resources.

871 International Monetary Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 615 or permission of instructor. Examination of the international adjustment mechanism, price and income effects, controls, and the monetarist approach. Development of the international monetary system, the demand for international reserves, capital movements, and the role of the International Monetary Fund.

872 Managerial Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 602 and PUAD 641. Economic theory as it applies to specific business situations and decisions. Production levels, price determination, cost, competition, profits, supply/demand.

876 Marxian Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 611 and 615. Major Marxian economic theories and criticisms of Marxian economics.

878 Economic Analysis of Soviet-Type Systems (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 611, 615, and 676. In-depth analysis of the Soviet-type economics of Eastern Europe with emphasis on the Soviet Union.

880 Austrian Theory of the Market Process I (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611. Economic theory developed by Menger, Mises, Hayek, and others of the Austrian School and comparison with other currently popular theories.

881 Austrian Theory of Market Process II (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 611 and 615 (ECON 880 is recommended). Continuation of ECON 880. Topics vary and include emphasis on market-process approach to analysis of capital accumulation, growth, money and credit institutions, inflation, unemployment, and industrial fluctuations.

895 Special Topics in Economics (3:3:0). Topics vary according to interests of instructor. Emphasis on new areas of the discipline. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.

896 Directed Reading and Research (3:0:0). Independent reading and research paper on a topic agreed on by student and faculty member.

918 Seminar in Monetary Theory and Policy (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 817. Selected topics of current interest are discussed.

940 Seminar in Labor Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 611 and 615 or permission of instructor. ECON 637 is recommended. Union and management decision-making processes, government's role in labor negotiations and dispute settlement, economic analysis of discrimination and poverty, and effectiveness of wage-price controls.

945 Seminar in Industrial Organization (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611 or permission of instructor. Topics include centrifugal and centripetal forces affecting aggregate and industry concentration; the impact of market structure on the rate of innovation, concentration, and oligopolistic price behavior; constraints on oligopolistic pricing; vertical integration; traditional antitrust policy, regulation, and state ownership.

950 Seminar in Public Finance (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 611 and 849. Important public finance issues treated in seminar format.

955 Seminar in Urban and Regional Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611. Development of regional economics of metropolitan areas and larger regions.

965 Seminar in Economic Development (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 611 and 615. Topics vary and include macroeconomic and trade policies, inflation, and labor migration.

970 Seminar in International Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 869 and 871. Topics vary and include subjects of current research and policy interests.

999 Doctoral Dissertation Research (credits vary). Prerequisites: Admission to Ph.D. economics program and permission of dissertation adviser. Research on an approved dissertation topic under the direction of dissertation committee. May be repeated. Twenty-four credit hours may be applied to the doctoral degree requirement.


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