Department Chair

  • James Booker
    Professor of Economics
    Colbeth Hall 207
    (518)783-2929
    jbooker@siena.edu

Course Descriptions

ECON—101. Principles of Economics, Micro 3 credits
This course introduces students to fundamental economic concepts and theory, including demand, supply, and the formation of equilibrium prices in product and resource markets. In addition, the course offers an introduction to applied fields such as industrial organization (market structures), labor economics, unionism, international trade, and market failure. (ATTR: ARTS or BUS; CAS, ISP, CDS)

ECON—102. Principles of Economics, Macro 3 credits
This course examines the foundations of economic theory as it relates to unemployment, inflation, and economic growth. Topics might include aggregate demand, aggregate supply, market equilibrium, national income accounting, theories of income determination, money and banking, and fiscal and monetary policies. (ATTR: ARTS or BUS; CAS, ISP, CDS)

ECON—201. Micro-Economic Analysis 3 credits
An intermediate-level treatment of the theories of consumer behavior and demand, production and cost, the firm and market organization, and factor markets. Microeconomic topics might include price control, pollution, efficiency, equity, taxes, subsidies, and government regulation. Prerequisite: ECON—101 and ECON—102. (ATTR: ARTS or BUS)

ECON—202. Macro-Economic Analysis 3 credits
An intermediate-level examination of Classical and Keynesian models of income determination, post-Keynesian thought and the Monetarist alternative, and the problems of inflation, employment, and growth. Prerequisite: ECON—101 and ECON—102. (ATTR: ARTS or BUS)

ECON—210. Money and Banking 3 credits
This course is designed to develop the student’s understanding of the structure and function of our banking system and the role of monetary policy in determining economic activity. Topics included are: the nature of money, the term structure of interest rates, the regulation of commercial bank activity, and the macro-monetary models used to predict future economic conditions. Prerequisite: ECON—102. (Same as FINC—212) (ATTR: ARTS or BUS; ISP)

ECON—220. Labor Economics 3 credits
A general survey of the American labor force reveals the changing nature of work, changing labor force participation rates by age and sex, and the growing importance of minority representation. Traditional labor market models of wage determination are supplemented by considerations of institutional constraints, employee benefits, and forms of wage discrimination. Special topics include: types of unemployment, federal manpower programs, and the history of American trade unionism. Prerequisite: ECON—101. (ATTR: ARTS or BUS)

ECON—230. Economic History of the United States 3 credits
The economic development of the United States from early beginnings to present time. A chronological approach is used to study economic aspects of the major problems of each period. (ATTR: AMSB, ARTS or BUS)

ECON—300. Topics in Economics 3 credits
This course will explore a topic not covered in regular offerings. May be taken more than once with specific content. Consult the fall and spring course schedule for specific topics offered. Prerequisite: ECON—101 or ECON—102 (ATTR: ARTS or BUS)

ECON—320. Public Finance 3 credits
Public finance focuses upon the rationale and impact of the government’s collection of revenue and its expenditures. Topics to be covered include the budget system, principles of taxation, tax incidence, the principles of expenditures, the impact of spending on private behavior, as well as the ability of the process to produce appropriate decisions. Prerequisite: ECON—101 and ECON—102, ECON—210 or permission of instructor. (Same as FINC—422) (ATTR: ARTS or BUS)

ECON—325. Health Economics 3 credits
Health economics examines the economic forces which shape the delivery of health care services and the public health environment in which we conduct our everyday lives. The course also examines the health impacts and costs of alternative policy choices. Prerequisite: ECON-101. (ATTR: ARTS or BUS)

ECON—330. History of Economic Doctrines 3 credits
A critical examination of the development of the major schools of economic thought from the seventeenth through the early twentieth centuries, with particular attention on mercantilism, classicism, marginalism, socialism, and neo-classicism. This course is primarily a reading program and is restricted to junior and senior level students from all areas of the college. Prerequisite: ECON—101. (ATTR: ARTS or BUS)

ECON 335 – Political Economy 3 credits
Political economy is the study of economic systems, institutions, and outcomes from the perspective of who gains and loses. Conflict over the distribution of these gains and losses, and the use of power to obtain a desired economic outcome will be the focal points of much of our analysis. As such, the methodology used in this course will differ substantially from that used by mainstream economics, which focuses primarily on efficiency and growth and ignores different concepts of economic justice and the role of distribution and power in affecting economic outcomes. To facilitate this approach, this course takes a critical look at American capitalism from contrasting theoretical perspectives, where the interaction of political, social, and cultural forces is brought to bear on economic interactions. This will allow us to develop a broader and more sophisticated perspective on how the American economy actually works, why it doesn’t always work, who it works for and against, and why it changes over time. Prerequisites: ECON-101 and ECON-102. (ATTR: ARTS or BUS)

ECON—340. Environmental Economics 3 credits
An examination of how the natural environment is affected by the economic activities of society, and the physical and biological limitations imposed on the economy by the natural environment. Particular areas examined include the use of non-renewable natural resources, market failures, economic methods for analyzing pollution, cost/benefit analysis, the impact of population growth, and the values implicit in free market economies toward the natural environment. (Same as ENVA—300.) Prerequisite: ECON—101. (ATTR: ARTS or BUS)

ECON—350. Comparative Economics 3 credits
A survey of different forms of national capitalist economic organization, e.g. comparisons of the U.S., Germany and Japan with regard to institutional and policy-making differences as they affect the distribution of wealth and income and social welfare. Other topics include comparisons of various socialist economies and formerly socialist economies in Eastern Europe and China, as well as the emerging hybrid forms of economic organization in those societies. Prerequisite: ECON—102 or permission of the instructor. (ATTR: ARTS or BUS; GLST, ISP)

ECON—360. Economic Development 3 credits
An analytical approach to the economic problems of the developing countries. The course includes a discussion of the theories of economic growth and development, including domestic and international issues. This material is augmented by the use of empirical studies of the developmental process. Prerequisite: ECON—101 or ECON—102. (ATTR: ARTS or BUS; GLST, MCCP)

ECON—370. International Trade Theory 3 credits
An examination of bases, advantages and problems of international trade from the perspective of classical, neoclassical and modern theories. Key topics include determinants of the gains from trade, changes in income distribution resulting from trade, the rationale and consequences of commercial policies (e.g. tariffs, quotas and subsidies) and industrial policies designed to enhance the trade competitiveness of trading economies. Emphasis is placed on the consequences of income distribution from trade and, therefore, on questions of equity and efficiency. Prerequisite: ECON—101. (ATTR: ARTS or BUS; GSIB, ISP)

ECON—420. Business Financial Forecasting 3 credits
This course explores the nature and causes of fluctuations in aggregate business activity and the technique used to forecast. To gain an understanding of these techniques, and the usefulness of forecasts, students will prepare a forecast and explore its application to firm decision making. Prerequisite: QBUS—200. (Same as FINC—421) (ATTR: ARTS or BUS)

ECON—430. Econometrics 3 credits
An introduction to the application of statistical techniques to economic problems. This course includes a review of probability theory, mathematical expectation, and theoretical frequency distributions along with considerations of modeling economic phenomena. Ordinary and two-stage least squares regression techniques are utilized for hypothesis testing and economic forecasting. Prerequisites: QBUS—200 or ATDV—110, ECON—101 and ECON—102. (ATTR: ARTS or BUS)

ECON—490. Seminar in Advanced Economic Theory 3 credits
Analysis of selected topics on an advanced level. Topics are drawn from micro and macro-economics. The course is designed to acquaint the student with advanced subjects and original literature. This course may be taken more than once with different content. Prerequisites: ECON—201, 202. (ATTR: ARTS or BUS)

ECON—499. Independent Study 1 - 3 credits
A qualified student may pursue a particular project/topic in the field of Economics in his/her junior or senior year. The project requires the approval of the faculty member involved and the Department Head. A satisfactory written report and/or examination will determine the final grade. Only one independent project may be undertaken in any academic year. Prerequisites: ECON—201, 202 and Junior or Senior status. (ATTR: ARTS or BUS)

ECON—790. Washington Semester Economic Policy. Seminar I 4 credits
The Washington Economic Policy Semester provides a seminar which offers a theoretical analysis of contemporary economic problems; presentation of alternative paradigms used to understand economic problems; extensive readings; preparation of papers; and on-site discussions of economic policy decisions. 

Meetings are generally four to six times per week and may be held at field sites as well as on campus. (See: ATDV—788, 789) (ATTR: ARTS or BUS)

ECON—791. Washington Semester Economic Policy. Seminar II 4 credits
This is a correlated course to the work being carried on in ECON—790. (See: ATDV—788, 789)

ECON—792. Washington Semester Business and Trade Seminar I 4 credits (See: ATDV—788, 789)

ECON—793. Washington Semester Business and Trade Seminar II 4 credits (See: ATDV—788, 789)