Course Descriptions » MS/MA

ECO 504 Financial Analysis & Reporting

The primary objective of this course is to provide an understanding of the concepts and procedures underlying financial statements and other accounting reports, by analyzing, classifying, and recording business transactions in a manual and computerized environment. The goals are: (1) to develop your ability to work with financial data, (2) to develop your ability to turn financial and operating data into useful information, (3) to develop an appreciation for the variety of accounting models and their uses, and (4) to develop skill in the use of Excel™ in performing financial analyses. Emphasis is on understanding the complete accounting cycle and preparation of financial statements.

ECO 505 Microeconomic Theory

The primary goal is to explain and forecast the behavior of consumers and firms and the performance of specific markets under alternative market structures. Topics include: supply and demand; individual and market demand; consumer behavior, production, cost function, competitive and monopolistic markets/strategies.

ECO 507 Macroeconomic Theory

The course is designed to acquaint students with the basic analytical tools and principles of Macroeconomics. Strong emphasis will be placed on the concepts and methodology of economics as a social science. Economic theory dealing with aggregate economic problems of employment, inflation, cycles and growth. Emphasizes development of analytical tools applicable in subsequent field courses.

ECO 511 Economics of Health

This course deals with major health issues and policies that apply internationally, especially those that show great variation between rich and poor countries. Students will learn to do careful and systematic empirical research. The class also emphasizes the very special features of the economics of medical care in rich countries, particularly the roles of uncertainty and insurance. Lastly, the multi-faceted role of government in the development, delivery, and regulation of medical care will be discussed.

ECO 515 Mathematics for Economists

This course in mathematical economics will provide you with the mathematical tools and methods frequently used to design models in economic analysis. Linear algebra, multivariable calculus, and optimization theory are the main topics of the course and applications to simple economic models will be emphasized. Pre-requisites are courses in elementary economics and calculus.

ECO 516 Economic Development

Poverty is considered to be one of the world’s greatest problems. Why does it exist? Why did some countries manage to get out of poverty and enjoy higher standards of living? This course discusses the economic problems of developing countries; international and financial dimensions of growth; interactions between economic and other factors influencing growth.

ECO 518 Economics of East Asia

The world’s fastest growing economies in the post-war period (Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Hong Kong) are clustered in East Asia. Through applications of economic analysis, this course will provide students with deeper knowledge of East Asian economic growth and understanding on development and growth process of economies in general. The issues will include the order of financial liberalization, trade liberalization, and the recent currency crisis in East Asia.

ECO 521 Urban Economics

This course seeks to develop an understanding of the economics processes and public policies which have shaped the development of metropolitan areas with emphasis on the United States. Topics include: theory of urban growth; trends in urbanization, location theory, the provision and financing of local government, and the external effects of production and consumption of the urban environment. Other topics include transportation problems, housing and urban poverty.

ECO 525 Economics of Financial Institutions

This course will teach the basic concepts, jargons, and stylized facts on financial markets, and simple economic models on portfolio choice, risk-sharing, and asset valuations. This course studies theory and institutions of money and capital markets. Economics of both commercial and central banking are discussed. Relation of monetary policy to stabilization objectives is analyzed.

ECO 526 Financial Economics I (Capital Markets)

What is money? How is the supply of money controlled and how do changes affect the economy? What are the functions of financial institutions (i.e. Federal Reserve, Commercial Banks)? This class discusses the role of various types of securities and financial institutions in channeling funds from savers to investors. The operations of bank and non-bank financial intermediaries, securities exchanges, markets in futures, and foreign exchange markets. Interest rates and central bank policy.

ECO 527 Financial Economics II

This course further develops and extends knowledge of financial economics covered by Financial Economics I. In particular. the first half of the course is focused on financial decisions by firms, and the second half of the course is focused on financial decisions by investors. The course is designed to: understand the role of financial assets as a tool of raising capital for firms; to acquire skills to make capital structure decisions and analyze dividend policies; to understand a basic role of investment management business; to master the working knowledge of evaluation techniques for equity, bond, futures, and option markets.

ECO 528 Empirical Methods in Financial Economics

This course focuses on empirical aspects of financial economics. Students will learn how to use econometrics creatively to generate stylized factors or test the implication offered by economic theories. Today’s capital markets are becoming increasingly sophisticated and involved with many important economics problems, such as the allocation of resources, economic stability and growth under uncertainty. The following topics will be covered: stock and bond returns predictability, stochastic volatility, estimation for option prices, computing and estimating term structures of interest rates, volatility, and credit risks.

Suggested Pre-requisites: ECO 526, ECO 527, ECO 580, ECO 581, ECO 592

ECO 529 Economics of Asset Valuation

This course develops methods of asset valuation based on equilibrium concepts in micro and macro economics. Furthermore, this class teaches techniques to analyze financial contracts whose payoffs are contingent on fluctuation in economic activity. The course focuses on explaining a genuine relationship between consumption-saving decisions and asset pricing under the general equilibrium framework, as well as on model-building skills for advanced research in financial economics. Other topics include: attitude toward risk, incomplete markets, factor pricing, dynamically complete markets, risk-neutral probability and risk neutral pricing.

Suggested Pre-requisites: ECO 505, ECO 526, ECO 527

ECO 535 International Economics

This course is an introductory course to the theory and policy of international economics. It covers extensively the real-side trade of the world economy and leaves the monetary side to other specialized courses such as international finance and open-economy macroeconomics. Topics to be covered include: the theories of comparative advantage (both classical and modern), the new theories of trade with scale economies and imperfect competition, the uses of various policy instruments (tariffs, quotas, voluntary trade restraints, and other trade distortions), the issues of unfair trade practices (dumping and subsidies), the use of strategic trade policy, the formation of free trade areas, the effects of regional economics integration, and the recent issues on globalization.

ECO 536 International Finance

The purpose of this course is to analyze the key financial markets and instruments that facilitate the trade and investment activity on a global scale. The economics determinants of prices and price relationships in the major financial markets will be dealt with an emphasis on private and public policy issues. Institutional facts, related theories and empirical evidence will be presented to facilitate the students with knowledge and skills to tackle current economic issues in international finance. This course aims to familiarize students with the key ideas and relationships and gain insights on central problems facing private companies and policy-makers.

ECO 543 Labor Economics

Students will learn the economic analysis tools for the behavior of employers and employees and the interrelationships of the major forces at work that shape the demand and supply of labor markets. Topics include: applied economics, beginning with wage theory and institutions which affect the supply and demand of labor. Additional topics will include examining the causes and consequences of wage differentials, policy problems as level and structure of unemployment, relation of wages to inflation, and government regulation of wage setting institutions.

ECO 544 Economics of Education

This course is designed to highlight how econometrics can be applied to a broad range of empirical problems in the economics of education. A major goal of this course is to get students to read and write research papers by focusing on major issues. Topics to be discussed include: education and school quality, education signaling and school choices, minimum wage, ethnicity, race and gender in the labor market, wage inequality, and returns to working experience and tenure.

ECO 545 Human Resource Economics

This course discusses the relationships among the techniques of human-capital formation (education, on-the-job training, financing, human-capital maintenance, health care, job safety), human-capital mobility (occupational information, relocation), and economic performance.

ECO 555 Information and Internet Economics

This course focuses on economic issues involving both information and Internet Technology. On the information side, it covers value of information, issues that arise from information asymmetry, cost of producing information, how to manage intellectual property, and information as an “experience good.” On the technology side, the course discusses business implications of the Internet by introducing topics concerning systems competition, lock-in and switching costs, positive feedback, network externalities, and standards.

ECO 561 Economic Fluctuation and Forecasting

This is an introductory course for time series analysis with an emphasis on prediction. Forecasting is important in decision making process of economic agents, because of the simple fact: most economic variables of interest vary randomly over time. Topics include: stationary ARMA processes, forecasting, covariance-stationary vector processes, vector autoregressions, models of non-stationary time series, processes with deterministic time trends, univariate processes with unit roots, unit roots in multivariate time series, cointegration, and time series models of heteroskedasticity.

ECO 564 Economics of the Public Sector

Why does the government “tax”? Is there an optimum with respect to the size and mix of the public sector? This course in mathematical economics will provide you with the mathematical tools and methods frequently used to design models in economics analysis. Linear algebra, multivariable calculus, and optimization theory are the main topics of the course and applications to simple economics models will be emphasized.

Pre-requisites: courses in elementary economics and calculus.

ECO 567 Game Theory

Game theory is a means of studying strategic behavior. What is “strategic behavior”? It is conduct by a person or a firm, for example, intended to achieve a specified goal; e.g. finding a low purchase price for a commodity or generating a high profit level. Often two entities have directly opposing goals. A simple example is that of a buyer and a seller since the buyer wants to trade at a low price and the seller wants to trade at a high price. In fact, when you think about it, most of the significant deliberate choices that you make each day are strategic. How can we, as scientists, predict accurately the outcomes of strategic conflicts between groups of adversaries? Game theory has become a very useful means of constructing such predictions. The course will examine the development of the theory and will highlight its achievements and failures when applied to economic problems.

ECO 569 Industrial Organization

This class discusses the economic analysis of the structure of industries and firms in America and other advanced economies, including production policies, relations between structure, competition, and efficiency. Other topics to be discussed include: strategic behaviors, patents and technological change, international trade, and monopolies.

ECO 570 Economics of Regulation

This course analyzes the purposes, criteria, and effects of government, as well as the regulatory policies in various sectors of the economy. Other topics to be discussed include: public utilities, telecommunication, petroleum, government defense, and anti-trust policies.

ECO 576 Topics in Microeconomics

This course studies advanced topics in microeconomics and emphasizes application of theory to real world problems. The first part of the course covers a broad range of markets and explains how the pricing, investment, and output decisions of the firms depend on the market structure and the behavior of competitors. Specifically, it covers the analysis of market power under monopoly, oligopoly, monopolistic competition, game theory, investment, time, and capital markets. The second part emphasizes the normative approach. It covers the general equilibrium analysis, the conditions for economic efficiency, markets with asymmetric information, externalities, and public goods.

Prerequisite: ECO 505

ECO 580 Econometrics I

This course aims to spell out and thoroughly discuss fundamental concepts and procedures used in econometric practices. The course begins with a review of descriptive measures for large data sets (i.e. mean, mode, standard deviation, etc.), normal and binomial distributions, estimation, testing of hypothesis and proceeds to study probability distributions, point and interval estimations, analysis of variance and two-variable regression. Additionally, survey of basic statistical concepts and methods employed in economic analysis and research will be covered.

ECO 581 Econometrics II

This course is a sequel to ECO 580. The main objective of the course is to provide a fairly in-depth analysis of the linear regression model, and a brief introduction to the analysis of linear structural equations. Major emphasis is on the general linear regression model and its application to real world data using standard computer software, under alternative specifications of the model. The course also studies seasonal adjustment of time-series data, construction of index numbers and tests of goodness-of-fit using Chi- Square tests.

Prerequisite: ECO 580

ECO 582 Computational Econometrics

This class uses SAS to demonstrate ways to analyze economic data utilizing various econometric techniques. Topics covered include basic linear regression models, binary choice models, and time series and simultaneous equation models. SAS programs are run, using real data. No prior knowledge of SAS is necessary. Prerequisite: ECO 580; ECO 581 is suggested

ECO 583 Econometric Applications

This course will focus on applications of computational, statistical and econometric techniques. Building on the extensive exposure to Econometric techniques in the other courses in the Economics Masters program, this course will focus on various applications of these techniques across multiple industries. Following a review of the analytic techniques that are regularly used in Business, the course will follow a case study approach reviewing specific business problems that call for analytic solutions and following the approaches through the analysis process to the communication of findings and results. The course will involve identifying, quantifying, and statistically testing hypotheses that will answer compelling business questions. Current tools of the marketplace (e.g., SAS, SQL, E-Views) will be reviewed and used where appropriate. The communication of analysis and resultant business recommendations is a key focus in this course. Students will be expected to carry out a group project and present their results to the class in a polished, professional manner.

ECO 588 Practicum in Financial Economics I

Instructions will focus on applications of the financial economics topics taught in the Masters Economics Programs such as security valuation and analysis methods, security selection, portfolio managements, and alternative investments strategies. Topics include: Global asset allocation, sector allocation, security-market indexes, market, industry and company analysis, and portfolio management.  Students will individually build, track and maintain an investment portfolio on a market simulator.

ECO 589 Practicum in Financial Economics II

Instruction will focus on applications of the financial economics topics taught in the Masters Economics Programs such as security valuation and analysis methods, security selection, portfolio managements, and alternative investment strategies. Topics include: Financial statement analysis, the valuation of equity and fixed income investments, quantitative methods, performance measurement and review of the CFA® Ethics and Professional Standards.  Student teams will write a comprehensive equity research report. Objectives of this sequence are to prepare students for their future roles as security analysts, wealth advisors or portfolio managers and to take the Chartered Financial Analyst® exam.  Prerequisite: ECO 588 & ECO 504

ECO 592 Financial Risk Management

This course deals with the pricing of financial derivatives and their use in financial risk management. The first part develops the no-arbitrage principle and analyzes the pricing of forward and futures contracts, options, fixed-income derivatives, and corporate liabilities. The second part utilizes this knowledge to study techniques of managing credit risk, interest rate risk, exchange rate risk, and operation risk (i.e. what is known as financial risks). Throughout the course, the roles of financial institutions and innovation in hedging against market volatilities will be addressed as well.

Prerequisite: ECO 580 & ECO 526 or permission of instructor

ECO 593 Tools for Economic Analysis

We will use Mathematica® to solve problems that appear in economics, both at the macro and micro level.  The course assumes an understanding of basic calculus and linear algebra, but assumes no previous familiarity with computer programming or mathematics software. Experience shows that the best way to do computational economics is to begin with existing models and problems and then modify and experiment with them, the course will proceed as follows. We will start with an overview of Mathematica®, and then proceed to use Mathematica® to solve economic problems. In each topic, or problem, we will do a brief review of the economic model where we discuss the economics and the mathematics of the model and then the computational form of the model is analyzed.

ECO 595 Topics in International Economics

This course studies advanced topics in international economics, with a special emphasis on the applications of recent trade theory and policy to the current world economy. Topics to be emphasized include the new theories of trade with scale economy and imperfect competition, strategic commercial policies with tariffs, quotas, and voluntary trade restraints, the issues of unfair trade practices such as dumping and trade subsidies, formation of free trade areas such as NAFTA, regional economic integration such as the European Union, the balance-of-payments crisis, currency devaluation, the role of IMF, and the international policy coordination.

ECO 597 Internship in Applied Economics

This course is provided for students who are interested in practicing the usage of economic tools for applied problems. Student will work in an appropriate organization for several months using economic tools for the solution of practical problems. Plan of work, supervisor, and final report subject to approval of the Director of Masters. Program. For more information on Internships.

ECO 598 Independent Research in Economics

This course involves the development of individual project or inquiry into an area of particular relevance to student’s interest within the field of Economics. A written proposal and a faculty member’s approval of the willingness to supervise the project, is required. More information on Independent Research.