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

Economics (ECON)

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

  • Major: Economics
  • Tracks: General, Managerial, Quantitative
  • Courses required for General Economics: 9
  • Courses required for Quantitative Economics: 10
  • Courses required for Managerial Economics: 11
  • Math requirement for General and Managerial: Math 123 or a higher level statistics class
  • Math requirement for Quantitative: Math 109 or 128 and MATH 214 or 332
  • Capstone requirement: ECON 441
  • Minors: General Economics, Quantitative Economics

The Department of Economics offers three tracks. Track I (General Economics) 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. Track II (Managerial Economics) 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. Track III (Quantitative Economics) 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

Track I - General Economics requires ECON 110, 111, 331, 440, and 441, MATH 123 or a higher level statistics course; and three other courses in economics (excluding ECON 349). Depending on their academic and career interests, students are encouraged to select a minor in another department such as political science, philosophy, or history.

Track II - Managerial Economics requires Econ 110, 111, 220, 332 and 441; ACCT 110; BUS 238; MATH 123 or a higher level statistics course; either an accounting course numbered 130 or higher or a second business course (excluding BUS 439); and two other economics courses numbered 200 or above (excluding ECON 349).

Track III - Quantitative Economics requires ECON 110, 111, 340, 441; ECON 227 or 331; MATH 109 or 128; MATH 214 or 332; and either three other economics courses (excluding ECON 349) or two other economics courses (excluding ECON 349) and one extra math course numbered 129 or higher.

In addition, Track I and Track III majors are encouraged to take ACCT 110. Students interested in graduate school should consult with members of the economics department faculty for recommendations on additional coursework.

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

Capstone Requirement

All majors must successfully complete ECON 441.

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. The following courses, when scheduled as W courses, count toward the writing requirement: ECON 236, 337, 343, and 440.

Minor Requirements

The department offers two minors in economics. The General 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; and three courses from MATH 214 or 332 (not both); ECON 227, 331, 340, or 441.

“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 problems of the economic system as a whole. What influences the level of national income and employment? What is inflation and why do we have it? What is the role of government in a modern capitalistic system? How does business organize to produce the goods and services we demand? How are the American financial and banking systems organized? What is the nature of American unionism? What are the elements of government finance and fiscal policy? Prerequisite:   Math placement of level 2, 3, 4, or credit for MATH 100.

Focuses upon microeconomics and selected current economic problems. It deals with relatively small units of the economy such as the firm and the family. Analyzes demand and supply. Discusses how business firms decide what and how much to produce and how goods and services are priced in different types of markets. Also considers such problems as economic growth, international trade, poverty, discrimination, ecology, and alternative economic systems. Prerequisite:  Math placement of level 2, 3, 4 or credit for MATH 100.

Covers business fluctuations and monetary and fiscal policy, the financial organization of society, the banking system, credit institutions, 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.

An introduction to the field of game theory. The focus is how people behave in strategic situations. Applications include pricing, bargaining, negotiating, and voting. Prerequisite: ECON 111 or consent of instructor. Alternate years.

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.

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. 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 110. Alternate years.

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 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. Alternate years.

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. Alternate years.

An apprentice-level work experience for junior or senior economics 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 per credit. 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.

The application of economic theory and methodology to the solution of business problems. Subjects include: optimizing techniques, risk analysis, demand theory, production theory, cost theory, linear programming, capital budgeting, market structures, and the theory of pricing. Prerequisites: ECON 110 and 111.

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.