Economics

The Department of Business and Economics offers several programs that provide special opportunities for students who are interested in careers in business and related fields. The programs in business benefit from endowments by the estate and family of the late D. Abbott Turner who was a prominent leader in business and civic affairs in Georgia and a trustee of Wesleyan. These endowments help provide Wesleyan students with instruction, equipment, and special activities that add an important dimension to the educational process.

The D. Abbott Turner Program in Business Management includes three major curriculum alternatives: the major in business administration, the major in accounting, and the major in international business. The department also offers a major in economics and an interdisciplinary major in advertising and marketing communication.

The department has an expanded minor curriculum program with minors in accounting, business management, economics, and finance.

The department sponsors lectures, conferences, seminars, and research which promote entrepreneurship and business career opportunities for women. These activities provide students with the opportunity to discuss significant issues and experiences with successful women from the business community. A lecture series offers topical special lectures and convocations with prominent leaders in business and government.

An economics student will be equipped with the necessary analytical tools to understand contemporary economic issues and to take reasoned positions in debates about economic and social policy. She will be in a position to apply these tools in a multitude of areas in her future career. Many of the world's most pressing problems -unemployment, inflation, poverty, inequality, discrimination, underdevelopment, environmental destruction - are economic in nature.

Major Program. Economics is concerned with the study of the causes and the possible solutions to these and other economic problems. Macroeconomics is concerned with the economy as a whole, with the forces behind economic growth, the problems occurring in the growth process (especially unemployment and inflation), and government policies to address these problems. Microeconomics focuses on the efficient allocation of scarce resources among alternative uses and addresses such questions as how individuals and societies decide what to produce, how to produce, and how to distribute the output. Economists study these important problems by combining theoretical models and data analysis. The great human interest of the subject, together with the rigor of its analysis, gives the study of economics its stimulating quality.

Major Requirements. An economics major requires 43 semester hours: Issues in Macroeconomics (ECO 102) and Issues in Microeconomics (ECO 104). Required for the major are nine hours in mathematics: Calculus (MAT 205 and 206) and Statistical Methods (MAT 220); six hours in 200-level intermediate courses: Macroeconomic Theory (ECO 202), Microeconomic Theory (ECO 204); nine hours in 200-level courses: Principles of Finance (ECO 205), Economic Thought (ECO 206); and Women and Development (ECO 210); nine hours in 300-level seminars - choose from Money & Banking (ECO 300), International Trade (ECO 302), Environmental Economics (ECO 325) Econometrics (ECO 330), International Organizations (POL 342), Politics of the Developing World (POL 335), Political Thought (POL 300); and, four hours in the integrative and senior seminar courses (ECO 475 and ECO 490).

Majors are encouraged to undertake independent study and research projects under faculty supervision (ECO 451) in their junior and senior years. Students considering a major in economics are urged to consult faculty members in the department as early as possible.

Students typically begin their study of economics with Issues in Macroeconomics (ECO 102) and Issues in Microeconomics (ECO 104). These courses are the prerequisites for the required intermediate courses.

The objective of the core courses is to examine intensively the theoretical tools used in professional economic research. One or more of the core courses is required for each 300-level course in the department. At the intermediate level, a student can choose among a wide array of courses that apply economic theory to particular areas, drawing and building on the concepts and analytical tools developed in the introductory courses. Most 300-level courses are applied courses as well, but the level of analytical sophistication is higher, and students are expected to write substantial analytical research papers. The applied areas offered in the department cover a wide range of subjects, including economic development, international economics, economic history, history of economic thought, labor economics, econometrics and money and banking.

Four student learning outcomes for the required courses in the economics major have been identified:

I. understanding the fundamental concepts of microeconomics and macroeconomics and the role quantitative analysis plays in economic
research;
II. understanding the development of economic thought and the role of women in economic development ;
III. developing knowledge in areas of specialized economic studies; and
IV. integrating knowledge previously gained and developing experience in application of knowledge, research, and critical thinking.

The requirements for the economics major and the learning objectives that each fulfills are as follows:

I. Understanding the fundamental concepts of microeconomics and macroeconomics and the role quantitative analysis plays in economic research:
ECO 102 Issues in Macroeconomics 3 hours
ECO 104 Issues in Microeconomics 3 hours
ECO 202 Intermediate Macroeconomics 3 hours
ECO 204 Intermediate Microeconomics 3 hours
MAT 205 Calculus I 3 hours
MAT 206 Calculus II 3 hours
MAT 220 Statistical Methods 3 hours
 
II. Understanding the development of economic thought and the role of women in economic development:
ECO 205 Principles of Finance 3 hours
ECO 206 History of Economic Thought 3 hours
ECO 210 Women and Economic Development 3 hours
 
III. Developing knowledge in areas of specialized economic studies (choose 9 hours):
ECO 300 Money and Banking 3 hours
ECO 302 International Trade 3 hours
ECO 325 Environmental Economics 3 hours
ECO 330 Econometrics 3 hours
POL 300 Foundations of Political Thought 3 hours
POL 335 Politics of the Developing World 3 hours
POL 342 International Organizations 3 hours
 
IV. Integrating knowledge previously gained and developing experience in application of knowledge, research, and critical thinking:
ECO 475 Portfolio Seminar 1 hour
ECO 490 Senior Seminar 3 hours

Total hours in major: 43

Integrative Experience: The student learning outcome of enhancing a student's capacity for integrative thinking is met in the economics major with the requirement of ECO 475 Portfolio Seminar. This course provides a forum for economics majors to discuss, analyze, and critique and prepare a senior portfolio documenting their integrative experience. The student will reflect upon the interdisciplinary nature of her courses of study including the general education experiences and their relationship to her economics major. This course includes the formal presentation of a portfolio documenting these experiences

Professional Development: Throughout her Wesleyan education each student is given opportunities to explore professional and career choices, and to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills essential for professional success. Each student will complete a PDE 400 Professional Development Experience and submit a PDE 401 Professional ePortfolio prior to graduation. The student learning outcome of developing an understanding of how a liberal arts education enhances a student's preparation for careers ad further professional growth is met in the economics major with ECO 475 Portfolio Seminar. Students are encouraged to participate in internships in the areas of economics and finance, as well as working with economics faculty on academic projects. Students interested in graduate study in law of business have numerous internship opportunities with local law firms and a wide variety of businesses. For those students who wish to work before attending graduate school it is not uncommon for an internship to lead to a job offer. Some of the sponsors who welcome Wesleyan interns in economics include Bank of America; Merrill-Lynch; Sun Trust Bank; BB&T Bank; Capital City Bank; McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks, CPAs; and Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce.

Minor Requirements: Economics. A minor in economics consists of a minimum of 18 hours distributed as follows:

ECO 102 Issues in Macroeconomics 3 hours
ECO 104 Issues in Microeconomics 3 hours
Four additional ECO courses 12 hours
ECO 202, 204, and 205 require certain mathematics courses as prerequisites.


Minor Requirements: Finance. A minor in finance consists of a minimum of 18 hours distributed as follows:

ACC 201 Financial Accounting: Concepts and Applications 3 hours
ECO 102 Issues in Macroeconomics
or
ECO 104 Issues in Microeconomics 3 hours
ECO 205 Principles of Finance 3 hours
MAT 220 Statistical Methods 3 hours
Choose 6 hours from the following
BUS 320 Investment Analysis 3 hours
ECO 300 Money and Banking 3 hours
ECO 330 Econometrics 3 hours
 

Postgraduate Opportunities. The economics degree prepares students for a wide variety of careers. Most graduates go directly into a Masters or Ph.D. program in finance, economic development, or public policy. Recent graduates are attending graduate school at Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, Vanderbilt, Ohio State University, and Boston College School of Law. Following graduate school, our economics majors work in global companies such as IBM, as well as nonprofit organizations such as UNESCAP.

Economic (ECO) Gen. Ed. Course Descriptions

206: Economic Thought.
Goal: To familiarize students with the historical and philosophical foundations of economic thought.
Content: Students will study ethical and logistical roots of economic thought and their impact on the economic theory developed by Smith, Ricardo, Mill, Marx, Hayek and Keynes. The course will also explore the various concepts of freedom, and the extent to which capitalist and socialist economies satisfy these definitions of freedom.
Taught: Fall, Spring.
Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Historical Events & Phenomena; (PS).
Credit: 3 hours.

210: Women and Economic Development.
Goal: To study the impact of economic change on women by analyzing how age, sex and race hierarchies modify changes in women's roles in different societies of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Content: This course will focus on the effects of economic growth on the socioeconomic status of women. Most importantly, students will study the means by which patriarchy has persisted in various parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America by redefining itself, even as economies have modernized.
Taught: Fall, Spring.
Gen. Ed. Category: Expanding; Women's Experiences; (PS).
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as WST 210.


Economics (ECO) Other Course Descriptions

102: Issues in Macroeconomics.
Goal: To acquaint students with the structural framework and principles involved in the determination of the level of aggregate economic activity: national income, output, employment, and price levels.
Content: Functioning of the economy from the national policy perspective through the study of national income and output, interest rates, money supply, price level, federal budget deficits, and international trade deficits.
Taught: Fall, Spring.
Prerequisite: MAT 130 or higher.
Credit: 3 hours.

104: Issues in Microeconomics.
Goal: To acquaint students with theory relating to decision-making by consumers and firms in product markets.
Content: Study of choice in the face of scarce resources; the analysis of the consumer trying to maximize satisfaction and of the firm trying to maximize profits under varying market structures.
Taught: Fall, Spring. Prerequisite: MAT 130 or higher.
Credit: 3 hours.

202: Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory.
Goal: To examine the economy-wide consequences of the choices we make, individually and collectively. A defining feature of
macroeconomic events is interaction and interdependence, reflecting the linkages among decision-makers and among various segments of the economy that extend even to events and policies taking place in distant parts of the world.
Content: This course is a continuation of the study of the structural framework and principles involved in the determination of the level of aggregate economic activity. Primary emphasis is placed upon the development of models which explain the behavior of national income, output, employment, price levels and interest rates.
Taught: Spring.
Prerequisite: ECO 102, 104, and MAT 205.
Credit: 3 hours.

204: Intermediate Microeconomic Theory.
Goal: To explore in greater detail the incentives which determine individual and firm behavior. We will do this by practicing the application of the microeconomic way of thinking. Introductory courses rely primarily on intuition and logic as the basis for theory; Intermediate courses develop theory from a more mathematical perspective.
Content: This course is a continuation of the study of the nature of decision making in markets. Primary emphasis is placed upon the development of models which explain the behavior of consumers and producers, the importance of market structures, and the appropriate role of the government.
Taught: Fall.
Prerequisite: ECO 102, 104, and MAT 205.
Credit: 3 hours.

205: Principles of Finance.
Goal: To acquaint students with the principles and institutions of financial and capital markets, and with the financial operations of a business firm.
Content: Study of basic financial principles with an emphasis on interest rate determination in competitive market economies, the capital asset pricing model and operation of securities markets.
Taught: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Prerequisite: ACC 201, ECO 102 or 104, MAT 220, and BUS 128.
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as ACC 205.

300: Money and Banking.
Goal: To analyze and understand the rapidly changing financial market, emphasizing the role of money and banking institutions in the economic system.
Content: Analyzes money in the economic organization, monetary theory, methods of stabilizing the price level, theories of bank deposits, discount policy, and the regulation of credit by central banks and the interest rates.
Taught: Spring.
Prerequisite: ECO 102 and 104.
Credit: 3 hours.

302: International Trade.
Goal: To study the theory of international trade with special emphasis on the gains from trade, the terms of trade, the balance of payments, foreign exchange rates, and international monetary systems.
Content: Examination of international economics from the standpoint of theory, with a special emphasis on several current topics: the growing economic strength of the Pacific Rim, Europe, and the rapidly changing economics of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Taught: Offered alternate years, Spring 2018.
Prerequisite: ECO 102 and 104.
Credit: 3 hours.

325: Environmental Economics.
Goal: To analyze the causes of environmental degradation and the role that markets can play in both causing and solving pollution problems.
Content: Examination of pricing incentives versus direct control approaches to regulating water pollution, air pollution, atmospheric change, and acid rain and the disposal of solid and hazardous wastes.
Taught: Spring. Alternate years.
Prerequisite: ECO 104.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
330: Econometrics.
Goal: This course provides an introduction to methods of quantitative analysis of economic data.
Content: This course reviews basic statistical methods and probability distributions. Topics include data management using professional statistical software applications, multiple regression analysis, hypothesis testing under conditions of multicollinearity, heteroscedasticity, and serial correlation.
Taught: Spring. Alternate years.
Prerequisite: ECO 102, ECO 104, and MAT 220.
Credit: 3 hours.

396: Special Topics in Economics.
Goal: To provide an opportunity for exploration of a topic not offered as part of the curriculum.
Content: Examination of special topics, problems, or issues in economics that seem particularly relevant to student needs and interests.
Taught: Offered occasionally.
Prerequisite: Dependent on topic.
Credit: 3 hours. A student may take a maximum of six to eight semester hours (two courses) of special topics in any one field.

451: Directed Independent Study.
Goal: To provide the student with the opportunity for independent study, under careful supervision, of significant topics in economics selected in consultation with the instructor.
Content: Varies.
Taught: Fall, Spring.
Prerequisite: Permission of the program director.
Credit: 1-9 hours.

452/199: Field Study.
Goal: To provide the student with intensive, specialized work experience in the area of economics.
Content: Observation and participation in the work of economics professionals.
Taught: Fall, Spring, and Summer.
Prerequisite: Adequate course work for the placement selected and permission of the faculty advisor; approval of the Director of Career Development.
Credit: 1-12 hours.

475: Portfolio Seminar.
Goal: To provide a forum for economics majors in which students discuss analyze, critique and prepare a senior portfolio documenting their integrative experience.
Content: Students will reflect upon the interdisciplinary nature of their courses of study including the general education experiences and their relationship to their major. This course includes the formal presentation of a portfolio documenting these experiences.
Taught: Fall and Spring.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing.
Credit: 1 hour; cross-listed at BUS 475.

490: Senior Seminar.
Goal: To encourage senior Economics majors to apply their accumulated knowledge to critical analysis of selected issues and problems in economics.
Content: Topics vary depending on interests of the students comprising the course each year.
Taught: Spring.
Prerequisite: Senior standing.
Credit: 3 hours

499: Honors Thesis. (Fee required)
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