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203 Principles of Microeconomics (4, FaSp)

Behavior of firms and consumers, functions of the price system, competition and monopoly, labor markets, poverty, government regulation, international trade, and the environment.

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205 Principles of Macroeconomics (4, FaSp)

Unemployment, inflation and output determination and links. Effects of government taxation and spending on growth, investment, saving, consumption, and trade. 

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303 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (4, FaSp)

Decision-making by business firms, consumer preferences and behavior, uncertainty, competition, monopoly, labor and resource markets, efficient resource allocation, externalities, and government policy. Prerequisite: ECON 203; MATH 118x or MATH 125; corequisite: ECON 205.

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305 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory (4, FaSp)

The determinants of aggregate income, employment, and inflation; economic fluctuations; fiscal and monetary policy; financial markets; the national debt. Prerequisite: ECON 203 and ECON 205; MATH 118x or MATH 125.

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317 Introduction to Statistics for Economists (4, FaSp)

Introduction to statistical methods appropriate for analyzing economic data: probability theory, random variables and probability distributions, sampling, estimation, statistical inference. Prerequisite: MATH 118x or MATH 125.

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318 Introduction to Econometrics (4, FaSp)

Application of statistical methods to economic data: estimating economic relationships using regression analysis, testing hypotheses involving economic behavior, forecasting economic variables. Prerequisite: ECON 317. View the course syllabus.

330 The Political Economy of Institutions (4)

Social functions served by the rules, laws, regulations, and customs that constrain human activity. Processes whereby such institutions adapt, or fail to adapt, to changing circumstances. Prerequisite: ECON 203.

332 Contracts, Organizations and Institutions (4)

Contract law and economic organization, determinants of firm boundaries, transaction cost economics, agency theory, incomplete contracting, business strategy, bureaucracy, institutional environment, politics and property rights. Prerequisite: ECON 203.

336 The Political Economy of Values (4)

Psychological foundations of human values and preferences. The role of values in organizational success, social order, and economic development. The political economy of shaping, reshaping, protecting, and destroying values. Prerequisite: ECON 203.

340 Economics of Less Developed Counties (4, Sp)

Causes of economic underdevelopment: historical, institutional, structural, ideological, technological, cultural. Patterns and theories of development. Role of government, international trade, and education in economic growth. Prerequisite: ECON 203 or 205. View the course syllabus.

342 Economic Development of the Middle East (4, Fa)

Historical and comparative analysis of economies of Middle Eastern countries: institutions, resources, trade, finance, income distribution, population, migration. Prerequisite: ECON 203 or ECON 205.

343 Economic Development of East Asia (4, Sm)

Contemporary economic problems of East Asian countries: management, labor, technology, trade, investment. Determinants of their high growth rates in the late 20th century. Prerequisite: ECON 203 or ECON 205.

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344 The Economic Development of Sub-Saharan Africa (4,FaSpSm)

Contemporary economic problems of sub-Saharan African economies: policies and endowments. Focus on issues of poverty, agriculture, health, macroeconomy and political economy.  Prerequisite: ECON 203 or ECON 205.

346 Economics of Transition and Development: China (4)

A focus on the Chinese economy, its reform and transition to a market economy, its relation with East Asian countries and integration into the world economy. 
Prerequisite: ECON 203 or ECON 205.

348 Current Problems of the American Economy (4, FaSp)

A comprehensive investigation of problems stemming from changing composition of the work force, urban decline, new technologies, inequalities, ethnic relations, government deficits. Prospects for continued growth. Prerequisite: ECON 203 or ECON 205.

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350 The World Economy (4)

International cooperation and conflict in the world economy. Global economic problems of growth and development, trade and finance, migration, economic stability, and the environment. Prerequisite: ECON 203 or ECON 205.

357 Money, Credit, and Banking (4, FaSp)

The money, bond, stock, and other financial markets; portfolio choice; determinants of asset prices and interest rates; inflation; interactions between financial markets and government policies. Prerequisite: ECON 203 and ECON 205. View the course syllabus.

360 Public Finance (4, Fa)

Role of the government; income and corporate taxation; direct versus indirect taxation; optimal tax structure; public goods; public sector pricing; public debt and macroeconomic stability. Prerequisite: ECON 203 and ECON 205. View the course syllabus.

361 Understanding Financial Crises (4, Sp)

Key facts and basic mechanisms concerning financial crises and related topics (bank runs, sovereign default decision, currency collapse). Prerequisite: ECON 203 and ECON 205.View the course syllabus.

366 Urban Economics (4, Sp)

Urban trends and problems, including changing urban form and function, urban public finance, housing, renewal, poverty, race, transportation, and the environment. Prerequisite: ECON 203 and ECON 205. View the course syllabus.

369 Economics of European Integration (4, Sp)

The challenges of policy coordination among independent political entities, starting from the aftermath of German unification (and the ramifications it had in a fixed exchange rate system) to the recent national debt crisis that followed the great recession. Prerequisite: ECON 203g and ECON205g

395 Economic Policy Issues (4, Sp)

Selected policy dilemmas, including welfare reform, urban renewal, government budget deficits, regulation and deregulation, environmental problems, immigration, and global development. Lectures by leading authorities and weekly discussion sessions. Prerequisite: ECON 203 and ECON 205. View the course syllabus.

401 Mathematical Methods in Economics (4, Fa)

Introduction to quantitative methods for analyzing economic equilibria; comparative statics and dynamics. Utility theory, consumer behavior, and profit maximization. Model formulation in micro and macroeconomics. Prerequisite: ECON 303. View the course syllabus.

404 Games and Economics (4, Fa)

Analysis of strategic economic interactions. Topics include bargaining, insurance, patents, voting, environmental depletion, strategic trade, learning, reputation, strikes, corporate takeovers, and the provision of public goods. Prerequisite: ECON 303.

405 Neuroeconomics (4, Sp)

Introduction to the methodology used in experimental neuroeconomics and discussion of neural correlates of decision-making. Prerequisite: ECON 303. View the course syllabus.

415 Behavioral Economics (4, Fa)

Examination of the traditional and behavioral theories of decision-making and the state of the art in the field. Prerequisite: ECON 303.

419 Advanced Econometrics (FaSp)

Analysis of binary dependent variable models, panel data analysis, program evaluations, IV analysis, basics of time series and forecasting. Prerequisites: ECON 303, 305, 317, 318;   MATH 125, or 126, or 225, or 226. View the course syllabus.

420 Experimental Economics (4, Fa)

Examination of economic theories and patterns of behavior useful in building new theories. Prerequisite: ECON 303; recommended preparation: ECON 317.

432 Economics of Happiness (Fa)

What is happiness? How does it vary by socioeconomic status and over the life cycle? This course will develop insight into the nature and determinants of subjective well-being. Prerequisite ECON 303Recommended preparation: ECON 305. View the course syllabus.

433 Empirical Economics Research (4, FaSp)

Analysis of economic variables; investigation of empirical economics to estimate or test for relationships using various forms of data. Prerequisite: ECON 303, ECON 305, ECON 317 and ECON 414. View the course syllabus.

434 Economic Analysis of Law (4)

Common law and property; rationing of justice, resource allocation between prevention and enforcement; division of decision making between public and private sectors. Prerequisite: ECON 303.

450 International Trade (4, FaSpSm)

Determinants and economic consequences of international trade patterns; effects of trade restrictions and trading blocs; trade negotiations and arrangements. Prerequisite: ECON 303.

View the course syllabus.

451 The Politics of International Trade (4)

(Enroll in IR 430.)

452 International Finance (4, Sp)

Consequences of trade deficits; theories of capital and currency markets, exchange rate regimes, and international monetary coordination. Prerequisite: ECON 305. View the course syllabus.

457 Financial Markets (4, FaSp)

General equilibrium analysis of economies with financial markets; decision making under uncertainty; methods of risk reduction; portfolio theory and valuation of securities; efficiency of security markets. Prerequisite: ECON 303. View the course syllabus.

471 Economics of Labor Markets and Human Capital (4, FaSp)

A human capital interpretation of labor demand and supply; wage determination, differentials, and discrimination; job turnover and occupational mobility; unions and collective bargaining. Prerequisite: ECON 303. View the course syllabus.

472 Economics of Medical Care (4, FaSp)

Health as an investment in human capital; analysis of the demand for and supply of health services and manpower; health insurance; cost-effectiveness analysis; market structures and the pricing of medical services. Prerequisite: ECON 303.

View the course syllabus.

474 Economics Consulting and Applied Managerial Economics (4, FaSp)

Economic consulting and managerial economic methods applied in real world problems. Economic methods to analyze issues of intellectual property, environmental damage, trademark infringement, brand value, and consumer demand. Prerequisite: ECON 303. View the course syllabus

480 Economics of Industrial Organization (4, Sp)

Pricing and resource allocation in imperfectly competitive markets; monopoly regulation, collusion, cartels, mergers and antitrust; patents and development incentives; industry case studies. Prerequisite: ECON 303.

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484 Economic Consulting and Applied Econometrics (4, FaSp)

Introduces economic consulting and applied econometric methods applied to real world problems. Teaches economic methods to analyze issues of intellectual property, environmental damage, trademark infringement, brand value, and consumer demand. Prerequisite: ECON 303. View the course syllabus

487 Resource and Environmental Economics (4, Fa)

Management and extraction of renewable and non-renewable natural resources; environmental externalities and regulation of air, water and land pollution; market incentives versus direct requlation. Prerequisite: ECON 303. View the course syllabus.

490x Directed Research (2-8, max 8, FaSpSm)

Supervised individual research. Not available for graduate credit. Requires departmental approval. View course application.


Exemplar Research Paper #1

Exemplar Research Paper #2

495 Honors Thesis (4, FaSp)

Individual research supervised by a faculty advisor. Successful completion required for departmental honors degree. View Course Application

Exemplar Thesis Paper

499 Special Topics (2-4, max 8, FaSpSm)

Selected topics in economic theory, history, or policy.


  • University of Southern California | Department of Economics | Department Chair: Romain Ranciere
  • Phone: (213) 740 - 8335