Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Economics (ECON)

Professor: Madresehee
Associate Professors: M. Kurtz (Chair), Moorhouse , Sprunger

  • Major: Economics
  • Tracks: Economics, Managerial Economics, Quantitative Economics
  • Courses required for Economics: 11
  • Courses required for Quantitative Economics: 12
  • Courses required for Managerial Economics: 12
  • Capstone requirement: ECON 449
  • Minors: Economics, Quantitative Economics

The Department of Economics offers three tracks. The Economics track is designed to provide a broad understanding of economic, social, and business problems. In addition to preparing students for a career in business or government, this track provides an excellent background for graduate or professional studies. The Managerial Economics track develops students’ capacity to analyze the economic environment in which an organization operates and to apply economic reasoning to an organization’s internal decision making. These courses have more of a managerial emphasis than traditional economics courses. The Quantitative Economics track focuses study on the more quantitative and analytical courses in the department. In addition to a broad coverage of economic theory and applications, these courses especially prepare students for statistical analysis and research of economics issues. This is also an excellent track for students interested in graduate school.

The Department of Economics is a member of the Institute for Management Studies. For more information, see the Institute for Management Studies listing.

Major Requirements

Students must complete the seven-course core and a specialized track.

Required core courses (seven courses):

  • ECON 110 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 111 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 241 Introduction to Economic Research
  • ECON 310 Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • ECON 311 Intermediate Microeconomics
  • ECON 449 Research Capstone
  • MATH 123 (or a higher-level statistics class)

Each track within the major has its own additional requirements. These additional requirements are as follows:

Economics Track: Four additional courses in economics (excluding ECON 349).

Managerial Economics Track: ECON 220; ACCT 110; BUS 238; one additional economics course numbered 200 or above (excluding ECON 349); and either an accounting course numbered 130 higher, an additional business course (excluding BUS 439), or an additional economics course numbered 200 or above (excluding ECON 349).

Quantitative Economics Track:
ECON 340; MATH 109 or 128; and either (A) three additional economics courses numbered 200 or above (excluding ECON 349) or (B) two additional economics courses numbered 200 or above (excluding ECON 349) and one additional MATH course (numbered 129 or higher) or CPTR 125.

Students interested in teacher certification should refer to the Department of Education listing.

Capstone Requirement

All majors must successfully complete ECON 449.

Diversity and Writing Courses

The following course satisfies the Domestic Cultural Diversity Requirement: ECON 335. The following course satisfies the Global Cultural Diversity Requirement: ECON 343. A list of courses that, when scheduled as W courses, count toward the Writing Requirement, can be found on the Registrar’s website and in the GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS section of the catalog.

Minor Requirements

The department offers two minors in economics. The Economics minor requires the completion of ECON 110, 111, and three other economics courses numbered 200; or above or any four economics courses numbered 200 or above. The Quantitative Economics minor requires five courses including ECON 110 and 111; one course from ECON 241 or ECON 340; a MATH course numbered 129 or higher or CPTR 125; and one elective course in ECON numbered 200 or higher (excluding ECON 349).

“Family” or “practical” economics, designed to teach students how they and their families can be intelligent consumers; that is, how they can spend, save, and borrow so as to maximize the value they receive for the income they have. Treats subjects such as intelligent shopping; the uses and abuses of credit; investing; saving; buying insurance, automobiles, and houses; medical care costs; estates and wills; etc.

Focuses on the behavior of economic aggregates such as prices, employment, and production. What influences the level of national income and employment? What is inflation and why do we have it? What are the drivers and consequences of recessions and expansions? What is the role of government in a modern capitalistic system? How are the American financial and banking systems organized? What are the elements of government monetary and fiscal policy? Prerequisite: Math placement of level 2, 3, 4, or credit for MATH 100.

Focuses on individual economic actors such as individuals, households, and firms. Discusses how to use the model of supply and demand to understand market interactions. Discusses how firms decide what and how much to produce and how goods and services are priced in different types of markets. Also considers issues related to market failure such as externalities, public goods, and asymmetric information. Prerequisite: Math placement of level 2, 3, 4, or credit for MATH 100.

Covers history and functions of money, monetary policy, the financial organization of society, banking and other financial intermediary systems, capital markets, and international financial relations. Prerequisite: ECON 110.

The application of economic theory to the study of significant social, political, and economic problems associated with urbanization, including poverty, employment, education, crime, health, housing, land use and the environment, transportation, and public finance. Analysis of solutions offered. Prerequisite: ECON 110, 111, or consent of instructor. Alternate years.

A study of the relationship between environmental quality, natural resources, and economic growth. Examines economic factors associated with environmental problems such as air and water pollution, the common property problem, and natural resource use, allocation, and degradation. Particular attention paid to market failure, taxation and regulation, property rights, public goods, benefit-cost analysis, energy resources, and non-market resource valuation. Prerequisite: Math placement of level 2, 3, 4, or credit for MATH 100.

Examines topics in American Economic History from the post-Civil War era through World War II. Topics include the causes of the rise of big business as the dominant means of production, the emergence of the union movement, the growth of the U.S. economy to the largest in the world, and the changing role of government in the economic system.

Teaches quantitative analysis tools and methods commonly used in economics, social science, and business. Concepts and methods taught in this course are split between data manipulation/presentation and basic methodology. Because this course emphasizes the technical skills needed to enter a data-driven workforce, students also engage in career exploration and preparation assignments throughout the semester. Prerequisites: ECON 110 or 111; MATH 123, 214, or 332; or consent of instructor.

An advanced analysis of contemporary theory and practice with regard to business fluctuation,national income accounting, the determination of income and employment levels, and the use of monetary and fiscal policy. Prerequisite: ECON 110. Alternate years.

An advanced analysis of contemporary theory regarding consumer demand, production costs and theory, profit maximization, market structures, and the determinants of returns to the factors of production. Prerequisite: ECON 111. Alternate years.

Focuses on the application of economics to the political processes of voting and bureaucratic behavior. A major theme is the study of problems that can occur within the democratic process because the incentives given to public servants do not always match society’s best interests. Policies and institutions that can improve such problems are explored. US elections and campaigns provide many of the applications for the class. Prerequisite: ECON 110, 111, or consent of instructor. 

An analytical survey of government efforts to maintain competition through antitrust legislation to supervise acceptable cases of private monopoly, through public utility regulation via means of regulatory commissions, and to encourage or restrain various types of private economic activities. Prerequisites: ECON 110, 111, or consent of instructor.

Introduces students to the economic analysis of the market for human resources. Students learn economic theory of labor demand and labor supply as well as marginal productivity theory, bargaining theories of wages, and human capital theory. Also examines unions, immigration, and discrimination. Prerequisites: ECON 110, 111, or consent of instructor. Fulfills Domestic Cultural Diversity Requirement. Alternate years.

An analysis of the fiscal economics of the public sector, including the development, concepts, and theories of public expenditures, taxation, and debt at all levels of American government. Also includes the use of fiscal policy as an economic control device. Prerequisites: ECON 110 and 111 or consent of instructor. 

Econometric models provide one of the most useful and necessary tools for decision-making. By using a variety of modern statistical methods, econometrics helps us estimate economic relationships, test different economic behaviors, and forecast different economic variables. Prepares students for basic empirical work in economics and focuses on linear regression using both cross-sectional and time-series data. Prerequisites: MATH 123, 214, or 332; ECON 110 and 111; or consent of the instructor. Alternate years.

A study of the principles, theories, development, and policies concerning international economic relations, with particular reference to the United States. Subjects covered include US commercial policy and its development, international trade theory, tariffs and other protectionist devices, international monetary system and its problems, balance of payments issues. Prerequisites: ECON 110 and 111. Fulfills Global Cultural Diversity Requirement. 

Reading in Applied Microeconomics
Explores many fields in applied microeconomics such as Health Economics, Education Economics, and Environmental Economics, through readings and discussions on these topics. The readings will primarily come from peer-reviewed journal articles and will help students become comfortable reading and understanding economic research as well as to see a broad range of applications of microeconomic concepts and empirical techniques. Prerequisite: ECON 111.

An introduction to the field of game theory. The focus is on understanding how people, firms, and governments behave in strategic interactions. Applications include pricing, bargaining, negotiating, and auctions. Prerequisite: ECON 111 or consent of instructor.

An apprentice-level work experience for junior or senior economics or related majors jointly sponsored by the department and a public or private agency (or a subdivision of the college itself) designed to better integrate classroom theory and workplace practice. In addition to attendance at a weekly seminar, students spend 10-12 hours per week at the sponsoring agency. At least one-half of the effort expended will consist of academic work related to agency activities. This course does not count toward the economics major.

A discussion of the origins, development, and significance of the economic ideas embodied in the works of Smith, Marx, Schumpeter, Keynes, and others. Prerequisite: ECON 110 or consent of instructor. Alternate years.

Students complete a research project under the guidance of a faculty member in the department. Topics are chosen by the student and can range from theoretical contributions, qualitative analysis, to empirical investigations. Prerequisite: ECON 110, 111, and 241. 

Typically off-campus in business, banking, or government, supervised by assigned employee of sponsoring organization.

Superior students may select independent study in various courses, particularly in preparation for graduate school.