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    Macalester College
   
 
  Sep 25, 2017
 
 
    
College Catalog 2017-2018

Economics


Full Time Faculty: Amy Damon, Liang Ding, T. Jeffery Evans, J. Peter Ferderer (Chair), Gary Krueger, Joyce Minor, Karine Moe (Chair), Mario Solis-Garcia, Sarah West

Part Time Faculty: Paul Aslanian, Karl Egge, Vasant Sukhatme

Managing Editor, The Journal of Economic Perspectives: Timothy Taylor

The purpose of the department of economics is to develop basic analytical skills which contribute toward the understanding of our own and other economic systems, which serve as a valuable foundation for advanced studies in the fields of economics, business and law, and which are necessary for making sound decisions in business or government careers.

Internship Program

The department actively collaborates with the Internship Office in creating off-campus internships, mostly with Twin Cities business firms. In some internships students receive payment for their work as well as academic credit.

The Bureau of Economic Studies

The Bureau provides support for faculty and student research. It sponsors visiting speakers and provides various means of contact between the college and the Twin Cities business community. It publishes a series of occasional papers and sponsors a student-run and student-edited Journal of Economics.

Honor Society

Outstanding academic achievement makes students in economics eligible for membership in Omicron Delta Epsilon, a national honor society in economics. Omnicron Delta Epsilon runs the student-edited journal, Journal of Economics, organizes panels, sponsors service opportunities, and serves the department by participating in department search committees.

Women in Economics

Women in Economics is a student organization dedicated to strengthening the network between female students, faculty and alumni who have an interest in economics. The organization works to:

  1. increase student awareness of on-campus opportunities like research grants and teaching assistantships,
  2. provide career support and networking opportunities for internship and job searches, and
  3. create an informal network of student mentors within the economics department. The organization meets biweekly.

The Macalester Investment Group (MIG)

The Macalester Investment Group manages the “Tartan Fund,” which is comprised of Economics Department alumni donations. This student run fund currently valued at over $25,000 was launched in 2001. MIG also conducts tutorials and seminars in order to introduce students to the world of investing. MIG typically meets weekly and is open to everyone.

Study Abroad

The department actively collaborates with the International Center in creating opportunities for study abroad.

Economics Laboratory

A computer laboratory adjacent to department offices, one of the first on campus, is used for econometrics and other economics courses as well as by students working on individual projects. The lab is equipped with 22 iMac computers with specialized spreadsheet and statistical software; computers are connected to the campus information network, through which students may also make use of internet resources.

The Journal of Economic Perspectives

Published quarterly by the American Economic Association, managerial offices of The Journal of Economic Perspectives are located in the Economics Department. The journal’s mission is to communicate recent developments across the many specialized fields of economics. The journal has a worldwide circulation of 20,000 individual economists and 5,000 library and institutional subscriptions, making it the most widely circulated journal in academic economics.

General Distribution Requirement

All courses in the economics department count toward the general distribution requirement in social science with the exception of  ECON 113 ECON 116 , ECON 210 , ECON 256 ECON 353 , ECON 358  and internships, independents, and preceptorships. Topics courses will be considered for general distribution on a course-by-course basis, and approved at the discretion of the department chair.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and U.S identities and differences will be posted on the Registrar’s web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements  section of this catalog.

Honors Program

The economics department participates in the Honors Program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations for the economics department are available from either the department office or the Director of Academic Programs.

Topics Courses

ECON 194 , ECON 294 , ECON 394 , ECON 494  

Topics courses offered in recent years have included: Introduction to the American Economy, Economics of Education, Health Economics, Quantitative Macroeconomic Analysis, and Deals. Information on topics courses to be offered may be obtained from the department office, and will be posted as part of the class schedule prior to registration.

Course Numbering

The logic behind the departmental numbering of courses is as follows: courses in the 100s have no prerequisite; courses in the 200s have ECON 119  as the sole prerequisite; courses in the 300s and 400s have prerequisites other than ECON 119  (and sometimes ECON 119  as well). The 300 level courses that are required for both a minor and major in economics are ECON 361  (Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis), Economics ECON 371  (Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis) and ECON 381  (Introduction to Econometrics). Some or all of these courses are required for the 400 level courses. Some of the intermediate level electives (e.g., ECON 342 , Economics of Poverty in the US) require ECON 119  and a 200-level course, but not all do. The category of 600s is reserved for independent projects, internships and preceptorships.

The distinction between Group E (economics) and Group B (business) elective courses is made on methodological grounds. Group E courses are more theoretical, mathematical and abstract. Theorizing about human behavior in Group E courses, either formally or informally, generally starts with the assumption that people are rational (either fully or quasi) and that they attempt to maximize some objective function (utility, profit, etc.) subject to constraints. If the course is more empirical in nature, hypothesis testing takes center stage. Group B courses generally fall under the category of business courses and while these courses are very important for our undergraduate economic majors, they are not central to the liberal arts economics core.

Policy on Grades

In order to be accepted into any economics course, a student must have received a grade of C- or higher in all courses that are prerequisites for the course in question.

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of independent projects, internships, preceptorships and Honors independent projects. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum  section of the catalog.

Programs