Undergraduate Course Descriptions

These courses below reflect a mix of current policy problems and current academic interests. 

We will do our best to offer the courses listed but all courses and the instructors assigned to teach them are subject to change. 

(Click on a course to see its description.)

Course Number Title Category

ECON 1 and 2 provide a two-semester introduction to economic analysis and its applications. Examples are drawn primarily from the economy of the United States although most of the analysis is transferable to other economies. In areas in which there is considerable disagreement about economic analysis or about the nature of the real world, the courses explore the issues underlying the disagreement.

ECON 1 covers microeconomics: the economic decisions of individual people and firms, the determination of prices and quantities of individual goods, wages for various classes of workers, and the theoretical basis for international trade. We discuss at length government policies like taxes, subsidies, tariffs, trade quotas, and income redistribution.

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ECON 1 and 2 provide a two-semester introduction to economic analysis and its applications. Examples are drawn primarily from the economy of the United States although most of the analysis is transferable to other economies. In areas in which there is considerable disagreement about economic analysis or about the nature of the real world, the courses explore the issues underlying the disagreement.

ECON 2 is devoted primarily to macroeconomics with emphasis on the determination of the aggregate level of economic activity, economic growth, analysis of government policies, short-run economic stability (the degree of unemployment and the rate of inflation) and long-run economic growth. Other important topics, such as international finance, will also be examined, though in somewhat less detail.

Because the subject matter in ECON 2 is based on that of ECON 1, ECON 1 is a prerequisite for ECON 2. Moreover, the two courses may not be taken at the same time.

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ECON 10 provides a one semester introduction to macro and micro economic analysis and its applications.  The microeconomics part of the course covers economic decision-making by individuals and firms, the determination of quantities and prices of goods in different kinds of markets, the determination of wages, and the theoretical basis for international trade. The macroeconomics part of the course covers topics in macroeconomics with emphasis on the determination of the aggregate level of economic activity, economic growth, analysis of the macroeconomic effects of government policies, short-run economic stability (the rate of unemployment and inflation) and long-run economic growth.

This course is for Wharton students only.


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This course is about strategically interdependent decisions. In such situations,the outcome of your actions depends also on the actions of others. When making your choice, you have to think what the others will choose, who in turn are thinking what you will be choosing, and so on. Game Theory offers several concepts and insights for understanding such situations, and for making better strategic choices. This course will introduce and develop some basic ideas from game theory, using illustrations, applications, and cases drawn from business, economics, politics, sports, and even fiction and movies. Some interactive games will be played in class.

NOTE: This course may NOT be taken concurrently with or after ECON 212.

Crosslisted with PPE 201.

Prerequisites: Some High School Algebra; ECON 1.

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A broad overview of American economic history will be provided by focusing on the following topics: colonial trade patterns, the growth of the market economy, the political economy of slavery, industrial expansion, segmentation in the labor force and changes in work, technological and organizational innovations, business cycle of the corporate welfare state, the growth of monopoly capitalism, and current economic problems in historical perspective.

Crosslisted with HIST 161

Prerequisites: ECON 1 and 2 or ECON 10

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This course presents an overview of the field of development economics. The general aim is to show how economic analysis has been applied to issues related to developing countries. Among the topics covered are: income distribution, poverty, health, population growth, migration, growth, and the rural economy.

Prerequisites: ECON 1 or ECON 10

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This course is offered by the history department as HIST 131 and crosslisted as ECON 28.

Economic history is increasingly recognized as a crucial source of policy advice and is invoked with growing frequency in public debates.
In particular, the subprime crisis in 2008 and after has generated a demand for "historical perspective" that would improve the understanding of the causes o financial turmoil and facilitate the prevention of comparable catastrophes. This course begins with a review of the principal features of the subprime crisis of 2008 and asks, so to speak, "how did we get there?" It answers by providing historical insights that shed light on crucial aspects of financial disasters.

Prerequisite(s): ECON 001 and 002 or ECON 010.

This course provides an introduction to the economic approach tor analyzing public policy questions. It examines the role of government in a market economy and models and methods for the analysis of specific public projects.

Prerequisites: ECON 1 and 2 (or ECON 10). Credit cannot be received for both ECON 30 and 231.

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This course examines the effects of strategic behavior on political outcomes and government policies. Topics and applications may include voting behavior, candidate competition, voting systems, social choice and welfare, policy divergence, redistributive policies and theories of political transitions.

Prerequisites: ECON 1 and 2 (or ECON 10). Credit cannot be received for both ECON 32 and 232.

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This course covers topics in labor supply and labor demand, income distribution, labor market contracts and work incentives, human capital, labor market discrimination, job training and unemployment.

Prerequisites: ECON 1 or ECON 10. Credit cannot be received for both ECON 33 and 233.

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Theories of various industrial organizational structures and problems are developed, including monopoly, oligopoly, moral hazard and adverse selection. These theories are then applied to the study of various industries, antitrust cases, and regulatory issues.

Prerequisites: ECON 1 or ECON 10. Credit cannot be received for both ECON 35 and 235.

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The relationship of economic principles to law and the use of economic analysis to study legal problems. Topics will include: property rights and intellectual property; analysis of antitrust and of legal decision-making.

Prerequisites: ECON 1 or ECON 10. Credit cannot be received for both ECON 36 and 234.

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Systematic and critical review of the present economic literature on the health care "industry". Topics include the demography and determinants of illness, the demand for curative and preventive care and determinants of recent health cost inflation, the efficacy of markets, and the role of government.

Crosslisted with HCMG 202

Prerequisites: ECON 1 or ECON 10.

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Introduction to the theory of international trade and international monetary economics. The theoretical background is used as a basis for discussion of policy issues. Patterns of international trade and production; gains from trade; tariffs, and other impediments to trade; foreign exchange markets, balance of payments, capital flows, financial crises, coordination of monetary and fiscal policy in a global economy.

Prerequisites: ECON 1 and 2 (or ECON 10).

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Theories of consumer behavior, demand, production, costs, the firm in various market contexts, factor employment, factor incomes, elementary general equilibrium, and welfare.

Prerequisites - ECON 1 and 2, MATH 104 and either 114 or 115.

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Facts and theories about the determination of per capita income and its differences across countries and across time. The study of economic fluctuations in output and employment. The role of government in influencing these aggregate variables: monetary and fiscal policy.

Prerequisites - ECON 101, MATH 104 and either 114 or 115. FNCE 101 does not satisfy any of the Economoics department requirements. Students are required to take ECON 102.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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The course focuses on elementary probability and inferential statistical techniques. The course begins with a survey of basic descriptive statistics and data sources and then covers elementary probability theory, sampling, estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation, and regression. The course focuses on practical issues involved in the substantive interpretation of economic data using the techniques of statistical inference. For this reason, empirical case studies that apply the techniques to real-life data are stressed and discussed throughout the course, and students are required to perform several statistical analyses of their own.

Prerequisites: ECON 1 and 2 (or ECON 10), MATH 104 and either 114 or 115.  

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This course is designed to introduce students to econometric techniques and their applications in economic analysis and decision making. The main objective of the course is to train the student in (i) handling economic data; (ii) quantitative analyses of economic models with probabilistic tools; (iii) econometric techniques, their application as well as their statistical and practical interpretation; (iv) implementing these techniques on a computer.

The course focuses on practical and conceptual issues involved in the substantive applications of econometric techniques. Estimation and inference procedures are formally analyzed for simple econometric models and illustrated by empirical case studies using real-life data. The course covers linear regression models, simultaneous-equations models, discrete choice models and univariate time series models. Estimation and Inference is conducted using least squares and likelihood based techniques. Students are required to perform several econometric analyses of their own.

Prerequisites: ECON 101 and 103, MATH 104 and either 114 or 115 or with instructor's permission.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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Independent Study (ECON 199) courses are available to students who wish to engage in research on topics of their own choosing under the supervision of the Director of Undergraduate Independent Research. At a minimum, students must write a major paper summarizing, unifying, and interpreting the results of their independent research. ECON 199 is a one semester, one c.u. course. Note that at most one independent study (Econ 199) can be used for the major. Independent Studies are done ONLY in the Fall and Spring semesters.

Prerequisites are ECON 101, 102, and 103.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

For further details about Independent Study, follow the READ MORE link below.

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This course uses economic tools to explore decision making and allocation of resources within the family. Both economic theory and econometric evidence to investigate these issues. The impact of gender roles and differences will be examined and the effect of these differences on economic decisions and outcomes both within and outside the family will be discussed.

Student participation will be an integral part of the course. During class, students will be required to evaluate data and relate it to the theoretic model covered. Student participation will also include two in-class oral presentations. Students will be working with CWiC (Communication Within the Curriculum) as they work on these presentations. (This class is limited to 30 students on a first come basis).

Prerequisites: ECON 101, MATH 104 and either 114 or 115.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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This course investigates a topic which lies at the heart of economic, social and political sciences, namely the aggregation of individual preferences. Can a society as a whole exhibit preferences as individuals do? Can these preferences be based on individual ones, and show the same level of coherence? Which process can lead from individual preferences to the preferences of the society? At the end of the 18th century, the pioneers in the field already realized that mathematics is the only language powerful enough to make deep progress in the understanding of these questions. The formalization involves pure logic as well as geometry and combinatorics.

Prerequisites: ECON 101, MATH 104 and MATH 114 or 115.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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An introduction to game theory and its applications to Economic analysis. The course will provide a theoretical overview of modern game theory, emphasizing common themes in the analysis of strategic behavior in different social science contexts. The economic applications will be drawn from different areas including trade, corporate strategy and public policy.

Prerequisites: ECON 101, MATH 104 and either 114 or 115.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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This course provides a comprehensive introduction to forecasting in economics and business. Topics covered include statistical graphics, trends, seasonality, cycles, forecast construction, forecast evaluation and forecast combination.

Prerequisites: ECON 101, 102, and 104. MATH 104 and either MATH 114 or 115.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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This course introduces students to advanced study in econometrics, with an emphasis on methods used in microeconomic applications and in evaluating the effects of social interventions. The methods covered include methods for handling limited dependent variables (useful, for example, in forecasting the demand for a new good), maximum likelihood estimators, and flexible semiparametric and nonparametric estimation methods, and randomized and nonexperimental methods of estimating treatment effects. Applications of Econometrics to the field of program evaluation will also be studied.

Prerequisites: ECON 101 and 104, Math 104 and either 114 or 115.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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This course has two parts. The first looks at market and government failures and discusses the need for public policies as well as limits to their effectiveness including the evaluation of public projects using cost-benefit analysis. The second part focuses on the Economic analysis of taxation, including the economic incidence and efficiency of taxes.

Prerequisites: ECON 101. ECON 103 is also recommended and MATH 104 and either 114 or 115. Credit cannot be received for both ECON 30 and 231.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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This course examines the political and economic determinants of government policies. The course presents economic arguments for government action in the private economy. How government decides policies via simple majority voting, representative legislatures, and executive veto and agenda-setting politics will be studied. Applications include government spending and redistributive policies.

Crosslisted with PPE 232.

Prerequisites: ECON 101. ECON 103 is also recommended and MATH 104 and MATH 114 or 115.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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This course covers topics in labor supply and labor demand, income distribution, labor market contracts and work incentives, human capital, labor market discrimination, job training and unemployment.

Prerequisites: ECON 101 (ECON 103 is also recommended), MATH 104 and either 114 or 115. Credit cannot be received for both ECON 33 and 233.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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This course will use basic microeconomic tools to understand how the law often, but not always, promotes economic efficiency. Among the areas to be discussed will be tort law, property law, intellectual property, antitrust regulation.

Prerequisites: ECON 101, MATH 104 and either 114 or 115. Credit cannot be received for both ECON 36 and 234.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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 Theories of various industrial organizational structures and problems are developed, including monopoly, oligopoly, nonlinear pricing and price discrimination. These theories are used to model various industries, antitrust cases, and regulatory issues.

Prerequisites: ECON 101 (ECON 103 is also recommended), MATH  104 and either 114 or 115. Credit cannot be received for both ECON 35 and 235.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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In this course we will use the tools of microeconomics to analyze the functioning of the health care system. We will draw from the sub-disciplines of information economics, industrial organization, labor economics, public
economics, and behavioral economics. The primary goal is to use these tools to develop a critical analysis of the functioning of the health care system as well as of the policies aimed at improving it. We will learn about US
specific institutional details and policies (most notably the Affordable Care Act), and we will compare them to other important international experiences.

Prerequisites: ECON 101, MATH 104 and either MATH 114 or MATH 115. (Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.)

This course examines the financing of governments in the urban economy. Topics to be covered include the causes of consequences of the urban fiscal crisis, the design of optimal tax and spending policies for local governments, funding of public infrastructures and the workings of the municipal systems for emerging economies. Applications include analyses of recent fiscal crises, local services and taxes as important determinants of real estate prices,the infrastructure crisis, financing and the provision of public education, and fiscal constitutions for new democracies using South Africa as an example.

Prerequisites: ECON 101, 102, MATH 104 and MATH 114 or 115.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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The process of economic growth and the sources of differences in economic performance across nations are some of the most interesting, important and challenging areas in modern social science. You cannot travel or read the news without wondering why differences in standards of living among countries are so large. The primary purpose of this course is to introduce undergraduate students to these major issues and to the theoretical tools necessary for studying them. The course therefore strives to provide students with a solid background in dynamic economic analysis, as well as empirical examples and data analysis.

Prerequisites: ECON 101, ECON 102, ECON 103, MATH 104, MATH 114 (or 115).

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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This course covers topics of interest in macroeconomics.

Prerequisites are ECON 101, ECON 102, MATH 104, and MATH 114 (or 115).

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

Two sections are offered:

  • Markets with Frictions. This course studies allocations in markets with frictions, as described by the difficulty in finding a trading partner, private information problems, commitment issues, and so on. Applications to labor markets, monetary economics, the marriage market will be discussed. The main technical tool will be search theory, but a liberal amount of calculus and other mathematics will be used.
  • Numerical Methods for Macroeconomists. This course will study some of the numerical methods that are used in modern macroeconomics. The class will learn how to solve nonlinear equations, difference equations, interpolate functions, smooth data, and conduct Monte Carlo simulations on the computer. This will be done while studying economic problems, such as the determination of labor supply, economic growth and business cycle analysis. Calculus is an integral part of the course and some elementary probability theory will be drawn upon. The MATLAB programming language will be used.

 

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This is an advanced course in macroeconomics. A relatively simple, but well defined and internally consistent model of the U.S. economy is set up and used to study how output is generated given the initial resources, how output is divided between consumption and addition to capital stock, and how this process accumulates over time. The role of prices including the rate of interest in this process is also reviewed. Finally, some reasons why such a process does not necessarily result in efficient results with full employment of resources are reviewed, and monetary and fiscal policies needed to improve the performance of the economy under such circumstances are discussed.

Prerequisites: ECON 101 and 102 (ECON 103 is also recommended), MATH 104 and either 114 or 115.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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Fundamentals of modern macroeconomic modelling and applications for forecasting and policy analysis. Attention will focus on representing such macroeconomic phenomena as inflation, unemployment, the business cycle, productivity, and secular growth. Students will build a macro model. Topics will include how to simulate a range of fiscal and monetary policies and how to measure their effectiveness for stabilization and growth.

Prerequisites: ECON 101 and 102. ECON 103 is recommended and MATH 104 and either 114 or 115.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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This course will introduce students to the major mathematical tools that are used in modern economics, and these tools to various economic questions. The tools to be discussed may include constrained optimization, duality, dynamics, fixed point theorems, and optimal control theory.

Prerequisites: ECON 101 and 102, MATH 104 and either 114 or 115.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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This course studies the role that financial markets, institutions, and money play in resource allocation. Financial intermediation and the role of banks in the economic system are analyzed and the economic rationale behind banking regulation is studied. The course examines how monetary policy influences interest rates and asset markets, such as the bond market and the stock market. Finally, the instruments and goals of monetary policy are discussed, focusing in particular on credibility and commitment for central banks. All of the questions are explored analytically, using the tools of economic theory.

Prerequisites: ECON 101, ECON 102, MATH 104, and MATH 114 (or 115).

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

 

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The course analyzes the theories of International Trade for developed and developing countries. Topics covered will include direct investment, technology transfers and multinational firms. The course will examine the political economy of trade policy where both positive and normative arguments concerning free trade and restricted trade will be analyzed.

Prerequisites: ECON 101 and 102, MATH 104 and either 114 or Math 115. 

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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A formal study of International Macroeconomics with emphasis on financial crises and policy responses in open economies. Topics covered include: macroeconomic equilibrium in open economies, theories of current account and exchange rate determination, the effects of exchange rate adjustments, macroeconomic policy under fixed and floating exchange rates, currency crises, and financial contagion. Preparation and presentation of a policy essay, and discussions of current international policy issues are also part of the curriculum.

Prerequisites: ECON 101 and 102, MATH 104 and either 114 or 115. 

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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In this course we learn how individuals make decisions in a world full of uncertainties, both normatively and descriptively. This theory will help us build skills in understanding and analyzing a choice problem with uncertainty in a systematic fashion, as well as deepening our understanding of the fundamental concept of a utility function, which plays a critical role in economic modeling. The course requires a substantial ability of abstract thinking. Homework is intended to be thought-provoking rather than skill-sharpening.

Prerequisites: ECON 101 and 103, and MATH 104 and 114 or 115. Prerequisites cannot be taken concurrently.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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This course studies selected topics on developing economies related to models of growth and development, inequalities and poverty, population, human resources, the international sector and markets, institutions and policies.

Prerequisites: ECON 101, MATH 104 and either 114 or 115. ECON 103 is also recommended.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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Traditionally, economics focuses on the study of existing markets.  Recently, regulators, entrepreneurs, and economists have been involved in the design of markets.  They have created institutionalized markets for new products, and have redesigned existing markets that were dysfunctional.  This course utilizes ideas from game theory and microeconomics to provide the theoretical underpinnings for design and analysis of such markets.  Further, via real world examples, we study the practical aspects of such market design and the institutional details which can determine the success or failure of a design.

Prerequisites: ECON 101 and 103, MATH 104 and either 114 or 115.

Wharton students can satisfy the ECON 101 prerequisite with BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.

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This course will study how market economies have appeared and evolved over time and how economists have thought about them. The class will analyze market economies from Ancient Greece, Classical Rome, the Islamic world, Song’s China, Middle Ages Europe, and the Industrial Revolution. We will read and discuss selections from Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Max Weber, and F.A. Hayek among others. Even if the economic theory will structure much of the discussion, insights from intellectual history, microhistory, legal history, and institutional history will help to frame the main narrative.

Prerequisites: ECON 101; MATH 104, MATH 114 or 115

See Undergraduate Coordinator. This course, required for all honors majors, is a two-semester two-c.u. course, with credit given in the spring semester only. Students conduct original research and write a thesis, under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

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This is a graduate-level course, required for all undergraduate MathEcon majors. Non-MathEcon majors require special permission by the instructor and undergraduate chair.

The course covers basic topics in microeconomic theory at a more theoretical level than Econ 101. The list of topics includes foundations of decision theory; consumer choice and preferences; demand theory; the theory of the firm; choice under uncertainty; and market equilibrium theory.

Prerequisite(s): A strong mathematical background with knowledge of multivarible calculus, analysis, probability theory, and optimization. Moreover, knowledge of microeconomics at the intermediate level (ECON 101) is expected.

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This is a graduate-level course that can serve as an economics elective for MathEcon majors. Non-MathEcon majors require special permission by the instructor and undergraduate chair.

The course provides an introduction to game theory. Game theory is a language to describe a strategic interaction and proposes solution concepts, which try to predict what rational players would do if they were faced with a specific game. The goal of the course is to provide students with sufficient knowledge of game theory to be able to read applied research papers. Topics include static games with complete information; dynamic games with complete information; static games with incomplete information; dynamic games with incomplete information; and contract theory.

Prerequisite(s): A strong mathematical background with knowledge of multivarible calculus, analysis, probability theory, and optimization. Moreover, knowledge of microeconomics (ECON 101 or ECON 681) will be helpful.

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