Department of Economics

  • Chair

    Wolfgang Pesendorfer

  • Associate Chair

    Mark Aguiar

  • Departmental Representative

    Smita B. Brunnermeier

  • Director of Graduate Studies

    Stephen Morris

  • Professor

    Mark A. Aguiar

    Yacine Aït-Sahalia

    Orley C. Ashenfelter

    Roland J. Benabou, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Alan S. Blinder, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Leah P. Boustan

    Markus K. Brunnermeier

    Janet M. Currie, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Henry S. Farber

    Gene M. Grossman, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Faruk R. Gul

    Kate Ho

    Bo E. Honoré

    Oleg Itskhoki, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Jakub Kastl

    Nobuhiro Kiyotaki

    Henrik J. Kleven, also Woodrow Wlson School

    Alan B. Krueger, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Ilyana Kuziemko

    David S. Lee, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Alexandre Mas, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Atif R. Mian, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Stephen E. Morris

    Ulrich K. Mueller

    Pietro Ortoleva, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Wolfgang Pesendorfer

    Stephen J. Redding, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Richard Rogerson, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Harvey S. Rosen

    Esteban A. Rossi-Hansberg, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Cecilia E. Rouse, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Harold T. Shapiro, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Christopher A. Sims

    Giovanni L. Violante

    Mark W. Watson, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Wei Xiong

    Leeat Yariv

    Motohiro Yogo

  • Associate Professor

    Benjamin Moll, also Woodrow Wilson School

     

  • Assistant Professor

    Nicholas W. Buchholz

    Natalie M. Cox

    Will Dobbie, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Thomas Fujiwara

    Gregor Jarosch, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Adam Kapor, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Michal Kolesár

    Adrien Matray

    Eduardo Morales, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Christopher A. Neilson, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Ezra Oberfield

    Mikkel Plagborg-Moller

    David Schoenherr

    David Silver, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Maria Micaela Sviatschi, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Can Urgun

    Arlene Wong

    Juan Pablo Xandri

    Owen M. Zidar

  • Senior Lecturer

    Elizabeth C. Bogan

  • Lecturer

    Swati Bhatt

    Smita B. Brunnermeier

    Jean Baldwin Grossman

    Thomas C. Leonard

    Stephan Luck

    Kelly Noonan

    Jean-Christophe de Swaan

    Silvia Weyerbrock

    Iqbal Zaidi

  • Visiting Lecturer

    O. Griffith Sexton

    Glen Weyl

     

     

  • Associated Faculty

    Jianqing Fan, Operations Research and Financial Engineering

    Marc Fleurbaey, Woodrow Wilson School, University Center for Human Values

    Johannes A. Haushofer, Psychology, Woodrow Wilson School

    Thomas Romer, Woodrow Wilson School, Politics

    Leonard Wantchekon, Politics, Woodrow Wilson School

  • Visiting Associate Professor

    Xu Cheng

    Marcelo Medeiros

    Caio Ibsen Rodrigues de Almeida

    Christopher Tonetti

  • Visiting Assistant Professor

    Lisa K. Bilir

    Michael F. Dinerstein

    Sofia Moroni

    Fernando Parro

    Diego Perez

    Mallika Thomas

  • Visiting Professor

    Donal Byard

    Hanming Fang

    Nancy Reichman

    Gustavo Schwed

Information and Departmental Plan of Study

Further details and updates regarding undergraduate requirements and procedures may be found at the website of the Department of Economics.

Advanced Placement

Students who scored 5 on the AP microeconomics exam are exempted from ECO 100. Students who scored 5 on the AP macroeconomics exam are exempted from ECO 101. Students who scored 5 on the AP statistics exam are exempted from ECO 202. (Note: Exemption from ECO 100 and ECO 101 will be accorded to students who pass the British A-levels with a grade of A, and to those who earn a 7 on the higher-level International Baccalaureate.)

Students exempted from ECO 100, ECO 101, and/or ECO 202 may still benefit from taking these courses, which provide important basic materials for the study of economics.

The department will permit freshmen to enroll in ECO 310, ECO 311, or ECO 312, subject to the approval of the instructor for the course. The requirements are: (1) completion of, or exemption from, ECO 100, ECO 101, and/or ECO 202, as appropriate in each case, and (2) sufficient knowledge of multivariable calculus and vector and matrix algebra. For the latter, ask the mathematics department officer concerned (currently Vlad Vicol, vvicol@princeton.edu) to certify that your previous knowledge of mathematics is regarded as equivalent to completion of MAT 175, or MAT 201-202, or better.

Prerequisites

To enter the department, a student must complete, by the end of sophomore year, the prerequisite courses ECO 100, ECO 101, ECO 202 (or equivalent), earning a letter grade of C or better in each and a letter grade of C or better in MAT 175. ORF 245 can be substituted for ECO 202; PSY 251, WWS 200 and SOC 301 are not acceptable. The statistics requirement cannot be satisfied with summer courses taken after the student has begun studies at Princeton, except in unusual circumstances approved by the departmental representative, Professor Smita Brunnermeier (smita@princeton.edu (link sends e-mail).

Students who wish to take ECO 312 or upper-level finance certificate courses (such as ECO 462, ECO 465 or ECO 466), or pursue graduate studies in economics or finance should take the two-semester sequence MAT 201 + MAT 202 (or MAT 203 + MAT 204) rather than MAT 175.

A meeting for sophomores interested in joining the department will be announced in the spring. Underclass students are welcome to discuss department requirements with the departmental representative. Students considering study abroad are urged to meet with the departmental representative at the earliest opportunity in their freshman year.

Program of Study

General Requirements. The department requires concentrators to complete, and pass on a graded basis, the following:

Core Courses: Microeconomics (ECO 300 or ECO 310), Macroeconomics (ECO 301 or ECO 311), and Econometrics (ECO 302 or ECO 312), to be completed during or before the junior year.

Elective courses: Five other departmentals (see Other Departmentals for details).

Junior independent work.
Senior thesis.
Senior comprehensive exam.

Furthermore, the student must have a departmental average of at least a C.

Note: The calculation of the departmental average is described in Departmental Average. The treatment of failed courses is described in Advancement to Senior Standing.

Core Courses. All concentrators must pass, on a graded basis, core courses in microeconomics (ECO 300 or 310), macroeconomics (ECO 301 or ECO 311), and econometrics (ECO 302 or ECO 312). These courses must be completed during or before the junior year. Each of the three core courses is offered in two versions to accommodate different levels of preparation in mathematics: ECO 300, ECO 301, and ECO 302 require MAT 175; ECO 310 and 311 require MAT 175 or MAT 201; and ECO 312 requires MAT 201 + MAT 202.

Qualified students are encouraged to take the more mathematical versions of our core courses. It is not necessary to take all three core courses in the same version.

Other Departmentals. In addition to the three core courses, concentrators must pass, on a graded basis, five other departmental courses. Departmentals can be any 300-, 400-, or 500-level economics courses, or an approved cognate (see Cognates).

Students planning a senior thesis with empirical emphasis are strongly encouraged to take ECO 313; students planning a theoretical senior thesis are strongly encouraged to take ECO 317 and/or ECO 418.

Cognates. Economics majors are allowed to count a maximum of two courses from other departments as cognates. These courses need to have substantial economics content. A course with an economics cross-listing (indicated by an ECO 3XX, ECO 4XX, or ECO 5XX number in its first or second listing) counts as a regular departmental, not as a cognate. Courses that will be automatically recognized by TigerHub as cognates are listed below. No application is necessary for these courses.

COS 445 Networks, Economics and Computing
ELE 381 Friends, Money and Bytes
HIS 474 American Economic Crises, 1873-2009
MAT 378 Theory of Games
ORF 307 Optimization
ORF 309 Probability and Stochastic Systems
ORF 311 Optimization under Uncertainty
ORF 350 Analysis of Big Data
ORF 360 Decision Modeling in Business Analytics
ORF 363 Computing and Optimization for Physical and Social Sciences
ORF 405 Regression and Applied Time Series
ORF 417 Dynamic Programming
POL 349 Political Economy
POL 352 Comparative Political Economy
POL 385 International Political Economy
PSY 340/NEU 340 Neuroeconomics
WWS 340/PSY 321 Psychology of Decision Making and Judgment
WWS 373/CHV 373 Welfare, Economics and Climate Change Mitigation Policy
WWS 408 Finance and Public Policy
WWS 466/HIS 467 Financial History
WWS 524 Advanced Macroeconomics
WWS 582C Topics in Applied Economics: Growth, International Finance and Crises
WWS 582F Topics in Economics: House of Debt: Understanding Macro & Financial Policy

If you would like us to consider a course that is not on the previous, routinely approved list, please complete a cognate approval form and submit it, along with a copy of the course syllabus, to Christina Lipsky, 114 Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building. To be approved as a cognate, a course must have substantial content in theoretical or empirical economic analysis. Permission should be obtained before the semester's deadline for the grading option change (usually in week eight or nine of each term).

Independent Work

Junior Independent Work and Senior Thesis. Independent work is designed to afford concentrators the opportunity to identify and explore their research interests in depth. Students are expected to develop a carefully reasoned exposition that critically analyzes a problem using basic principles of economics. Juniors complete a year-long research project, which consists of a research prospectus submitted in December and a final paper submitted in April. The senior thesis is expected to be more extensive, with a topic of greater scope and correspondingly broader analysis and interpretation. Further details, from the assignment of advisers to the final deadlines, are available in the junior independent work and senior thesis sections of the department's website.

Senior Departmental Examination

The senior comprehensive examination is a written exam that covers the department's required courses (intermediate microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics). The senior comprehensive exam grade will appear on the student's transcript.

Study Abroad

Potential economics concentrators who expect to study abroad for one or two semesters must plan well ahead. Because the department only rarely permits core courses to be taken abroad, and because core courses may not be postponed to senior year, potential economics concentrators planning study abroad must complete the appropriate core courses in their sophomore year. It is almost never feasible to spend a semester abroad in the senior year.

Economics courses taken abroad may be preapproved as departmentals by the departmental representative, ordinarily up to one per semester. Plans for junior independent work must also be approved in advance.

Program in Political Economy Track

The Department offers a Program in Political Economy for Economics concentrators interested in studying issues at the intersection of these two fields. Program participants meet all the general requirements of Economics concentrators, and, in addition: (1) complete two Politics courses at any level before entering the program; (2) complete three 300-level (or higher) Politics courses during junior and senior years, and (3) conduct junior independent work with a political economy component. Politics courses approved as Economics cognates may also count toward the program’s requirements. Admission to the program takes place at the beginning of the junior year, in consultation with the Political Economy Adviser in Economics. A student who participates in this program is an Economics concentrator and is subject to all the requirements of the Economics department.  Concentrators who successfully complete the program’s requirements will receive a departmental attestation.

Requirements. To enter the program, the student should satisfy the prerequisites for concentration in both the Politics and the Economics departments by the end of the sophomore year. This means that the students entering the program must have completed ECO 100 and 101, MAT 175 or MAT 201, ECO 202 (statistics), and two Politics courses (at any level) on a graded basis. In addition to the two Politics prerequisites, a student in the PPE must complete three Politics departmentals, i.e., Politics courses in the 300 level or higher, on a graded basis. One of these, upon approval of the Political Economy Adviser, can be a politics-related course from a department other than Politics or Economics. Politics courses are not included in the student's departmental average (unless a course has been approved as an Economics cognate). 

Because of these additional requirements, a PPE student may want to count one or two of the Politics departmentals as Economics cognates. Approval of cognates is subject to the same rules as for other Economics concentrators. Economics cognates are approved by Prof. Smita Brunnermeier and under no circumstances is approval given retroactively. POL 347, POL 349, POL 352 and POL 385 are automatically approved as Economics cognates and do not need a separate application/approval. Infrequently, and only with advance approval, an Economics course can be counted toward the Politics course requirement of the PPE; contact the Political Economy Adviser, Professor Thomas Fujiwara – fujiwara@Princeton.EDU

A student in the political economic track has the same junior and senior independent work requirements as other economics concentrators, with one exception. Political Economy concentrators are required to write a junior paper with sufficient political economy content, as judged by the adviser. Students are also encouraged, but are not required, to write a senior thesis that is related to political economy.

More information is available by contacting the Political Economy Adviser, Professor Thomas Fujiwara – 131 Julis Romo Rabinowitz Bldg, E-mail: fujiwara@Princeton.EDU.

Preparation for Graduate Study

Graduate study in economics requires special preparation and advance planning, starting as early as the freshman year. Students contemplating graduate study in economics should see the departmental representative as early as possible. Preparation for graduate school should include the following: the more mathematical versions of the core courses (ECO 310, ECO 311, and ECO 312), two years of calculus (up through MAT 202, MAT 204, or MAT 218), an upper-level mathematics course such as MAT 320; Operations Research courses such as ORF 309, ORF 311, or ORF 405; and an advanced econometrics or economic theory course such as ECO 313, ECO 317 or ECO 418. Students may find the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics or the Program in Engineering and Management Systems an interesting option. It is not necessary to be an economics concentrator to enter a graduate economics program, but the economics courses listed above are highly recommended. Graduate courses in economics (500 level) are open to qualified undergraduates. These courses are very demanding and must be started in the fall term. Taking one of these courses can be useful for students who intend to enter an economics graduate program, because it begins the student's advanced training, gives the student a flavor of graduate school, and provides evidence during the admissions process of the ability to do advanced work in economics.

Courses

ECO 100 Introduction to Microeconomics Fall/Spring SA Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources. The subject of this course is microeconomics, which examines the decision making of individuals and firms with regard to consumption, production, and allocation of good and services in a market system. We examine the benchmark "perfectly competitive" market setting as well as market settings that are not perfectly competitive. We discuss the appropriate role of government in addressing these "market failures". Two one-hour lectures, and a one-hour class. K. Noonan, H. Farber
ECO 101 Introduction to Macroeconomics Fall/Spring SA The theory, and some of the evidence, of how and why national economies fluctuate, with periods of boom and bust, and periods of high and low inflation. Substantial emphasis is given to fiscal policy and monetary policy including the novel policy responses to the 2007-2009 financial crisis and the ensuing recessions in the US and abroad. Attention is also paid to international economic issues and to problems of economic growth. Two lectures, one class. E. Bogan, A. Blinder
ECO 202 Statistics and Data Analysis for Economics Spring QR An introduction to probability and statistical methods for empirical work in economics. Descriptive statistics, probability, random variables, sampling, estimation, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, introduction to the regression model. The class uses STATA as statistical software package. Two 90-minute classes, one preceptorial. Prerequisites: MAT 103. U. Mueller
ECO 300 Microeconomic Theory Fall SA This course builds on your knowledge of microeconomics from ECO 100. The general themes are (1) choices made by individual consumers and firms, (2) equilibrium from the interaction of these choices in markets or similar institutions, and (3) the role of government policy in improving economic outcomes. In each case, the analysis will be more in depth than it was in ECO 100. Some new concepts and techniques will be developed, especially for studying behavior under uncertainty, and strategic interactions (game theory). Two 90-minute lectures, and a one-hour class. Prerequisites: 100, MAT 175 or equivalent. K. Noonan
ECO 301 Macroeconomics Spring SA The determinants of national income, unemployment, inflation, interest rates and exchange rates. Includes analyses of business cycles, monetary and fiscal policies, consumption, investment, economic growth, and issues in international monetary macroeconomics. Two lectures, one precept. Prerequisites: ECO100 and ECO101. Staff
ECO 302 Econometrics Fall QR The objective of this course is to prepare students for basic empirical work in economics. In particular, topics will include basic data analysis, regression analysis, testing, and forecasting. Students will be provided with the opportunity to use actual economic data to test economic theories. Prerequisites: 100 or 101, and 202, or ORF 245; MAT 103 or equivalent. Two 90-minute classes, one preceptorial. K. Evdokimov
ECO 310 Microeconomic Theory: A Mathematical Approach Fall/Spring SA Topics include consumer and firm behavior, market equilibrium, efficiency, an introduction to game theory, and information economics. Uses multivariable calculus and linear algebra to treat the topics in greater depth and to better prepare for advanced courses. Two lectures, one class. Prerequisites: ECO 100 or equivalent; MAT 175 or 201 or equivalent. C. Urgun
ECO 311 Macroeconomics: A Mathematical Approach Spring SA This course examines the determinants of economic growth, business cycle fluctuations, and the conduct of monetary and fiscal policy. The first part of the course develops a framework for the analysis of households' consumption and savings behavior and firms' production decisions, and uses that to analyze long-run growth and financial crises. The second part of the course extends that analysis to examine business cycle fluctuations, including inflation, unemployment. Current issues in macroeconomic and financial policy are discussed throughout. Two lectures, one class. Prerequisites: 100 and 101; MAT 175 or 201 or equivalent. G. Violante
ECO 312 Econometrics: A Mathematical Approach Fall/Spring QR Statistical analysis of economic data. The two-variable regression model, multiple regression. Techniques for dealing with violations of the regression model's assumptions, including autocorrelation, heteroscedasticity, specification error, and measurement error. Dummy variables, discrete-choice models, time series models, and forecasting. Introduction to simultaneous equations. Estimation and testing of economic models will be an important part of the course. Prerequisites: 100 and 101 and 202 (or ORF 245); MAT 175 or 201 or equivalent. Two 90-minute lectures, one class. B. Honoré, M. Plagborg-Moller
ECO 313 Econometric Applications Spring QR This course provides hands-on experience in econometric analysis designed to help students to acquire the skills necessary to carry out their own empirical analyses in economics. Various aspects of empirical research in economics will be covered, including development of testable economic models, appropriate use of data, identification and causal inference, and specification and techniques for estimation of econometric models. Prerequisites: 302 or 312; and calculus. Two lectures, one preceptorial. H. Farber
ECO 315 Topics in Macroeconomics Spring SA By extending ECO300-level macroeconomics, we develop alternative macroeconomic frameworks with financial frictions to understand business cycles, financial crises and public policy. The lecture begins with a historical overview of financial crises and basic financial accelerator models which emphasizes the interaction between borrowing constraint, asset prices and aggregate production. We then introduce financial intermediaries and government to study banking crisis, credit policy and macro prudential policy. Two 90-minute lectures, one preceptorial. N. Kiyotaki
ECO 317 The Economics of Uncertainty Fall SA The microeconomic theory of individual decision making under uncertainty and economic interaction under asymmetric information. Topics include expected utility, value of information, risk-sharing in insurance and asset markets, contracting with moral hazard and adverse selection, and auctions. Applications include health insurance and finance. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisites: 300, MAT 175 or equivalent, and basic probability. L. Yariv
ECO 321 Firm Competition and Strategy Fall SA An economic analysis of the structure of markets and of corporate behavior. The development and interpretation of public policies, including antitrust legislation and direct regulation related to market structure, corporate mergers, restrictive and discriminatory practices, advertising, and research and development. Two lectures, one class. Prerequisites: 300 or 310, and MAT 175 or equivalent. N. Buchholz
ECO 324 Law and Economics Fall SA An introduction to the economics of law. Application of price theory and welfare analysis to problems and actual cases in the common law ¿ property, contracts, torts ¿ and to criminal and constitutional law. Topics include the Coase Theorem, intellectual property, product liability, deterring crime, incarceration as punishment, and social choice. Prerequisite: 100. Two 90-minute lectures. T. Leonard
ECO 328 Disease Ecology, Economics, and Policy (See ENV 304)
ECO 329 Environmental Economics (See WWS 306)
ECO 331 Economics of the Labor Market Fall SA Applies microeconomic analysis to the demand for labor, labor supply, and the determination of wages. Examines investments in human capital, unemployment, discrimination, unions, government intervention in the labor market. Empirical findings as well as theoretical models are studied. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisites: 100, 302, and MAT 175 or equivalent. Staff
ECO 332 Economics of Health and Health Care (also
GHP 332
) Fall SA
This course will provide an opportunity to apply the concepts and methods studied in economics core courses to analyze selected topics in health economics. Topics will change from year to year. Prerequisites depend on topic. Two 90-minute lectures. Staff
ECO 339 Introduction to Population Problems (also
SOC 351
) Not offered this year SA
A survey of demographic trends throughout the world, the factors underlying them, and their social and economic implications, including the analysis of mortality, fertility, migration, changes in composition, problems of prediction, and issues of policy. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisite: 100. Staff
ECO 341 Public Finance Spring SA This course develops a conceptual framework for examining government taxing and spending, and uses this framework to analyze current public policy issues. We focus on both the efficiency and equity aspects of the government H. Rosen
ECO 342 Money and Banking Fall SA This course explores the role that money, financial markets and institutions, and monetary policy play in shaping the economic environment. The class investigates why these markets and institutions arise and may lubricate the resource allocation analytically (rather than descriptively), using tolls of economic theory. Two lectures, one class. M. Brunnermeier
ECO 347 Mathematical Models in the Study of Politics (See POL 347)
ECO 349 Public Economics (See WWS 307)
ECO 351 Economics of Development Spring SA Surveys development economics including current issues, historical background, growth theories, trade and development, markets and planning, strategies for poverty alleviation, agriculture, technology, employment, industry, population, education, health, and internal and external finance. Selective attention to particular countries and regimes. Two lectures, one class. Prerequisites: 101 and 300 or 310, or instructor's permission. T. Fujiwara
ECO 352 International Trade (See WWS 301)
ECO 353 International Monetary Economics Fall SA Foreign exchange markets and balance-of-payments accounts. Effects of incomes, prices, interest rates, and exchange rates on trade and capital flows. Effects of exchange rate arrangements and capital mobility on macroeconomic policies. Current policy issues: exchange rate management, macroeconomic policy coordination, managing currency crises, the roles of international institutions. I. Zaidi
ECO 362 Financial Investments Fall SA A survey of the field of investments with special emphasis on the valuation of financial assets. Issues studied include how portfolios of assets should be formed, how to measure and control risk, how to evaluate investment performance, and how to test alternative investment strategies and asset pricing models. Prerequisites: 202, 310 and MAT 175 or equivalent. ECO 202 or equivalent may be taken concurrently, but students would remain responsible for statistical concepts as they arise in 362. Two lectures, one preceptorial. M. Cherkes
ECO 363 Corporate Finance and Financial Institutions Spring SA Investigates the financing decisions of companies and financial institutions in the wider context of the workings of financial markets. Topics include capital budgeting, capital structure choice, risk management, liquidity, corporate governance, and the interactions between corporate finance and the workings of financial institutions and markets. Prerequisite: 362. Two lectures, one class. A. Matray, D. Schoenherr
ECO 364 Introduction to Financial Mathematics (See ORF 335)
ECO 370 American Economic History (also
HIS 378
) Spring HA
Survey of the growth and development of the U.S. economy from colonial times to the present. Introduction to the use of economic models and quantitative evidence in interpreting significant historical issues. Emphasis on technological change, business cycles, credit markets, and labor markets. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisites: 100 and 101. E. Bogan
ECO 372 Economics of Europe (also
EPS 342
) Fall SA
Europe is at a crossroads. Political and economic integration in the European Union (EU) exceeds levels reached in the rest of the world. Economic integration affects trade, migration, agriculture, competition, regions, energy and money. Most euro area economies have been struggling with interlocking crises involving debt, banking and growth, which challenge the viability of monetary union. The EU is now facing a migration crisis. This course studies economic integration in Europe, the ongoing crises, and economic challenges facing EU member countries. It uses economic analysis to study policy issues. Two 90-minute lectures. S. Weyerbrock
ECO 379 The Chinese Economy (also
EAS 346
) Spring SA
Economic analysis of the Chinese economy after 1949. Economic planning, economic reform, economic growth and fluctuations, consumption, environmental problems, population and human capital, banking and financial systems, foreign trade and investment, legal and political systems and current issues. Prerequisites: 100 and 101. Two 90-minute lectures one preceptorial. G. Chow
ECO 385 Ethics and Economics (also
CHV 345
) Spring EM
An introduction to the ethics of market exchange and of economic regulation intended to promote ethical goals. We ask how ethical commitments evolve, and how they influence competition and cooperation. We consider the moral dimension of outsourcing, sweatshops, wage gaps, price gouging, price discrimination, time-inconsistent preferences and policies that exploit them ("nudging"), trade in repugnant goods (such as human organs), poverty, and the inequality of income and health. Prerequisite: ECO 100. Two 90-minute seminars. T. Leonard
ECO 386 History of Economic Thought (also
HIS 311
) Not offered this year HA
A survey of the history of economics, with emphasis on the origins, nature, and evolution of leading economic ideas. This course will situate economic ideas in their historical context, from Aristotle to early 20th century writers, to provide a deeper understanding of economic life and theories of it, emphasizing foundational issues such as the nature of human action and the social good; the role of the state in the economy; and the social and economic consequences of property, prices, money, production, trade and other defining attributes of commercial society. Two 90-minute lectures. Prerequisite: ECO 100. T. Leonard
ECO 414 Introduction to Economic Dynamics Not offered this year QR Mathematical analysis of the evolution of markets and economies over time. Topics include growth, business cycles, asset pricing, and responses to policy changes. Particular attention is given to expectations as a determinant of economic behavior. Mathematical methods (difference equations, dynamic optimization, time series analysis) are introduced as needed. Prerequisites: 310, 311, and 312; and either MAT 201 and 202, MAT 203 and 204, or MAT 217; or instructor's permission. Two 90-minute lectures. Staff
ECO 418 Strategy and Information Fall SA Explores basic themes in modern game theory and information economics. Non-cooperative solution concepts for games will be developed and applied to the study of repeated games and dynamic interaction in oligopolistic industries, reputation formation, auctions, and bargaining. Prerequisites: MAT 175 or 201, or equivalent. Some basic knowledge of probability theory is assumed. Two lectures, one preceptorial. F. Gul
ECO 429 Issues in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (See WWS 406)
ECO 448 Economics and Politics Not offered this year SA Questions at the intersection of politics and economics will be analyzed using economic methods. Particular emphasis will be placed on mathematical and game theoretic methods. The course will cover economic models of political institutions, such as elections or political parties. Topics include lobbying and interest groups, political business cycles, economic reform, and the size of government. Two 90-minute lectures. Prerequisite: MAT 203 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Staff
ECO 462 Portfolio Theory and Asset Management Spring SA This course studies the asset allocation decisions and overall management of the risk and return characteristics of portfolios. It focuses on quantitative approaches to portfolio optimization, including dynamic strategies to control risks and to achieve investment goals; empirical studies of asset returns; and the money management industry. Prerequisites: 202 or ORF 245; 310; 362 (no exceptions). Two 90-minute lectures, one preceptorial. M. Yogo
ECO 463 International Financial Markets Not offered this year SA A study of the assets and institutions of international financial markets. A key difference between these markets and others is the role of exchange rates relating the value of two or more national currencies. The course studies the market-making institutions, the market conventions and market practices as well as the interrelationships between different assets, their pricing, their trading and their use by corporations. Prerequisites: MAT 175 and ECO 202 or equivalent. Two 90-minute lectures. Staff
ECO 464 Corporate Restructuring Fall SA This course concerns the motives and methods of corporate actions such as dividend payments, share repurchases, recapitalizations, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, with a focus on the implications of such actions for the prices of a corporation's publicly traded securities. The course should be of particular interest to students considering a career in financial services. Introductory courses in micro economics, investments, and probability and statistics are prerequisites. One 3-hour seminar. O. Sexton
ECO 465 Options, Futures and Financial Derivatives Not offered this year SA Derivative securities are assets whose value depends on the value of other more basic underlying assets. Financial derivatives are now indispensable parts of the modern financial markets. This course discusses the non-arbitrage principle for pricing financial derivatives, as well as how derivatives facilitate hedging, risk sharing and information discovery of different users. Prerequisites: 310 and 362; or instructor's permission. Two 90-minute lectures. W. Xiong
ECO 466 Fixed Income: Models and Applications Fall SA A study of models for the term structure of interest rates, bond prices and other contracts such as forwards and futures, swaps and options. The course develops the theory of arbitrage-free pricing of financial assets in continuous time, as well as special models that can be used to price and hedge fixed income securities. Prerequisites: ECO 362 (or FIN 501) and ECO 465. One three-hour lecture, one class. Y. Aït-Sahalia
ECO 467 Institutional Finance, Trading, and Markets Fall The way in which financial markets work and securities are traded can often not be reconciled with the notion of a frictionless and self-equilibrating market. In this course, we try to account for this fact and cover important theoretical concepts and recent developments in market microstructure, asset pricing under asymmetric information, financial intermediation, and behavioral finance. Topics include market efficiency, market making, financial regulation, asset price bubbles, herding, and liquidity crises. Prerequisites: 300 or 310. S. Luck
ECO 468 Behavioral Finance Spring This course discusses how inefficiencies arise due to psychology and limits to arbitrage. The psychology of investors shapes their preferences and may impair judgment. Whether these psychological factors have an impact on financial markets ultimately depends on arbitrageurs' ability to fight against mispricing. These issues will be covered through lectures and exercises that will foster discussions about cognitive illusions and speculative bubbles. Prerequisite: 300 or 310. 362 recommended. M. Cherkes
ECO 491 Cases in Financial Risk Management Not offered this year This course will teach students about financial risk management through the lens of the financial crisis that began in August 2007. Topics covered will include market risk, credit risk, liquidity risk, and systemic risk. Students will draw on their background in economics, finance, probability theory and statistics. The class will be in seminar format and active participation in the discussion is encouraged. Prerequisites: 362 and 465. Staff
ECO 492 Asian Capital Markets Spring SA The course explores the increasing weight of Asia in global financial markets. It frames the discussion in the context of the globalization of financial markets, with emphasis on concepts of economic development, institutional reform of markets, and public and private market investments. Discussions combine analysis of historical trends and recent events with insights from practical experience in Asian markets. Particular focus is devoted to China and Japan. The course explicitly considers China's gradual shift toward a capital market-based financial system and prospects for the development of the renminbi into an international currency. J. de Swaan
ECO 493 Financial Crises Not offered this year This course will use economic theory and empirical evidence to study the causes of financial crises and the effectiveness of policy responses to these crises. Particular attention will be given to some of the major economic and financial crises in the past century and to the crisis that began in August 2007. Prerequisite: 202 or equivalent, and 310. Staff