Course Descriptions Economics B.S.

ECON 100 Economic Way of Thinking (5)

Introduction to economic analysis.  Topics covered include microeconomic theory and application and macroeconomic theory and policy.  Also, an in-depth study of into selected topics and current events.  GE D2

ECON 105 Personal Economics (5)

This course covers personal economic and financial planning problems that individuals and families encounter during the course of their lives. Topics include saving and investment decisions, insurance needs, income taxation, job opportunity analysis, current economic conditions, portfolio and credit management, and retirement planning. This activity-oriented course will incorporate simulations of the Stock Market.  GE D2

ECON 201 Essentials of Microeconomics (5)

Value and distribution theory, including the theory of household behavior, the theory of the firm, and the pricing of factors of production.  Emphasis on tools of economic thinking and the historical development of these tools.  GE D2 

ECON 202 Essentials of Macroeconomics (5)

Theories of income, employment, and price level.  Introduction to balance of payments accounts and adjustments and exchange rate determination. Monetary and fiscal stabilization policies.  Emphasis on tools of economic thinking and the historical development of these tools.  GE D2 

ECON 210 Analyzing Economic Data (2)

This course familiarizes students with the major information and data sources used to monitor economic trends at the international, national, regional, industry, and occupational levels. Students will locate and download data from important sources and utilize spreadsheets to organize and analyze the data, charts trends, and concisely summarize findings.

ECON 220 Quantitative Tools for Economists (5)

This course introduces and applies quantitative tools within economic contexts. Functional representations of economic properties (e.g., linearity, rates of growth and decay, continuous compounding and annualized growth rates, saturation thresholds, elasticity, marginal relationships, returns to scale) and economic interpretations of functional parameters. Geometric series (e.g., financial formulas, spending and money supply multipliers). Matrix methods (e.g., modeling simultaneous systems of endogenous variables, structural and reduced form coefficients, input-output methods, demographic forecasting). Differential calculus (e.g., profit maximization and cost minimization, constrained optimization and shadow prices, inventory and money demand models, curve fitting and least squares estimation). Prerequisite: MATH 85 or satisfaction of ELM requirement.

ECON 277 Contemporary Economic Issues (5)

An overview of the essentials of business economics. Topics include the economic way of thinking, market mechanism, money and banking, stabilization policy, market structure, economic role of government, human resource and operations management, human capital investment, international trade, marketing and business development, and social responsibility of business enterprises.

ECON 289 Experiential Prior Learning (variable units)

Evaluation and assessment of learning, which has occurred as a result of prior off-campus experience relevant to the curriculum of the department. Requires complementary academic study and/or documentation.  Available by petition only, on a credit, no-credit basis.  Not open to postgraduate students.  Interested students should contact the department office.

ECON 301 Microeconomic Theory and Applications (5)

Theory construction and application in the areas of consumer choice and demand, production and cost, competitive markets, general equilibrium, and welfare economics.  “C-” or better required for the major. Prerequisite: ECON 201.

ECON 302 Macroeconomic Theory and Policy (5)

Short run fluctuations and long run fundamentals for macroeconomic variables such as GDP and its components, the unemployment rate, the price level and inflation rate, interest rates and the yield curve, exchange rates and the trade balance, the government debt-to-GDP ratio, potential output, and real growth.  Case studies, data collection and analysis, and monitoring of economic indicators and Federal Open Market Committee policies are integrated.  “C-” or better required for the major. Prerequisite: ECON 202.

ECON 310 Economics of Health and Health Care (5)

Demand and supply of health care services and methods of financing health care expenditures. Topics include health care production, asymmetric information, demographic trends, medical insurance industry, government insurance programs, medical risk and liability, health care reform, and comparative health care systems. Prerequisite: Areas A, B4, and D, one economics course or permission of instructor.  GE T3

ECON 311 The Pacific Rim Economies (5)

Economic developments in China, Japan, and the newly industrialized economies of East Asia. Trade in the Pacific Rim. Places economic development in its cultural/geographic context and critically examines economic institutions and policies. Prerequisite: Areas A, B4, and D. Recommended: one economics course or permission of instructor.  GE T3

ECON 320 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (5)

An introduction to the basic principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with applications to a variety of problems using established data sources. The course includes fundamental principles of cartographic design and communication. Students are expected to become proficient users of GIS Software package. Lab sessions cover step-by-step GIS practice in the real world, including working with private or public domain data, importing data into GIS, creating a GIS database, performing spatial analysis with tools, building GIS models, and presenting results. Prerequisite: ECON 210 or MIS 200A or equivalent. Cross listed with MIS 320

ECON 341 Globalization and Development (5)

This course uses a case study approach to the study of globalization and growth.  It uses an applied empirical approach to learning about macroeconomic management, economic development, international trade, and the cross border flows of goods and services and capital.  Economic activities such as trade, investments in equities and debt, tourism, development of intellectual property, and financial transactions, have become internationalized.  This is the current context in which businesses must operate.  Students learn how to conduct an assessment of international environments and political-economic strategies deployed in major world regions.  They perform a “country analysis”, which allows them to draw conclusions about market growth, labor costs, inflation and exchange rate stability, direct investment opportunities, etc.  Prerequisite:  ECON 202 (or equivalent) or permission of instructor.

ECON 343 Economics of Immigration Policy (5) 

The economic effects if various immigration policies, their impact on labor markets, as well as their relationship to national security are explored. The focus is on understanding and analyzing immigration policy, as well as their consequences on society and the economy.  This course will also consider immigration policy development. Prerequisite: ECON 201 or 202 (or equivalent) or permission of instructor.

ECON 370 Environmental Economics (5)

Topics to include: static and dynamic efficiency and market failure; economic analysis of air, water, solid waste, and toxic policies; energy and the environment; benefit-cost policy analysis and case studies; tort and insurance issues; incentive-based regulations; monitoring and enforcement issues; risk assessment, management, and communication; global issues and agreements.  Prerequisite: Areas A, B4, and D; one economics course or permission of instructorGE T3

ECON 371  Economics of Agriculture and Natural Resources (5)

Economic policy analysis of agriculture and natural resources with emphasis on California agriculture. Topics include the structure and organization of U.S.’s agriculture and food system, specifically the operation, financing, linkages, and functions of its components; the economic aspects of a wide range of environmental issues including air and water pollution, optimal forest and fisheries management; recycling; cost-benefit policy analysis case studies; and international issues. Cross listed with AGBS 371. Prerequisite: ECON 201.

ECON 372 Agricultural Trade Policy (5)

An introduction to practical considerations of agricultural trade and trade policy analysis.  Emphasis is placed on concepts of agricultural trade, analysis of trade policies of major trading partners and the export/import marketing of agricultural products.  Also the interdependencies between the world’s food, populations and equitability/poverty problems and possible solutions are explored.  Cross listed with AGBS 372. Prerequisite:  ECON 201.

ECON 373 Agricultural Finance (5)

The objective of this course is to provide students with the tools necessary to evaluate and manage risk in the agricultural industry. This course provides an introduction to the economic theory, organization, and operating principles of agricultural commodity futures markets in the U.S.  Emphasis is placed on speculating, hedging, and investing in agricultural commodity futures contracts from the standpoint of the agribusiness entrepreneur. Capital theory is also visited.  Cross listed with AGBS 373. Prerequisites:  ECON 201, MATH 140; ECON 220 or equivalent; or permission of instructor.

ECON 377 Current Economic Issues (1-5)

Study of a current economic and social issue such as education, health care, taxation, social security, poverty and income distribution, public debt, international trade, or national security.  May be repeated for different course content.  Prerequisite: ECON 201 or 202 or permission of instructor.

ECON 380 Gender and Diversity in Workplace (5)

Development of topics in labor economics from the perspectives of gender studies and diversity.  Considerations of both national trends and international comparisons.  Topics include household production and time allocation, labor force participation, human capital accumulation, regional mobility, and occupational choices, wage differentials, discrimination, and poverty.  Prerequisite: any introductory course in social and behavioral sciences or permission of instructor.  GRE

ECON 381 Race, Gender and Prosperity in America (5)

Investigation of reasons for economic success and failures of minority members within our economy.  This course will start with the main economic tools necessary for policy analysis, move on to economic status, causes and cures, and finish with discrimination.  Social policies will be examined including but not restricted to equal employment opportunity and equality of income for Women, Hispanics, and African Americans.  Prerequisite:  any introductory course in social and behavioral sciences or permission of instructor.  GRE

ECON 388 Economics Book Club for Juniors (1)

This course nurtures lifelong learning by introducing students to the blogs and recent best sellers authored by leading economists for the general public. One book will be chosen to be read, analyzed and discussed. The course is taught in hybrid mode with a “book club” discussion toward the end of the course preceded during the quarter by several online assignments. Economics majors should enroll during their junior year. Offered on a credit, no-credit basis only.

ECON 395 Economic Geography (5)

This course involves an examination of the spatial organization of economic activities.  Topics include population dynamics and migration, natural resources and location, transportation and communication networks, agriculture and rural land use, urban land use, city location and urban hierarchies, industrial location, world economic regions, and international trade and investment patterns.  Course also includes an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  Cross-listed with GEOG 395 under “Interdisciplinary Courses.”).

ECON 404 Law and Economics (5)

Law and economics involves a historical survey of the application of economic principles to the law and the contemporary use of economic principles to analyze the structure and effects of property, contract and tort law. Students engage in legal research using Lexis/Nexis in order to analyze the economic content of specific cases. The implications of the economic analysis of law for important policy issues are explained. Prerequisite:  ECON 201 or permission of instructor.

ECON 410 International Economic Development (5)

Analysis of major economic impediments to Third World development.  Topics include: the structural changes accompanying development, theories of development, impediments to development, role of the international sector, and government policy.  Prerequisite: Areas A, B4, and D; one economics course, or permission of instructor.  GE T3

ECON 420 Econometrics (5)

A study of the essentials of econometric theory with computer-based applications.  This course will enable students to construct empirical models, collect data, apply appropriate estimation techniques, and interpret the estimation results for decision making.  “C-” or better required for the major. Prerequisite:  MATH 140.

ECON 430 Money and Banking (5)

A study of the banking system, the demand and supply of money, monetary policy, the quantity theory of money, the interest rate, the theory of portfolio choice, and international finance.  Prerequisite: ECON 202

ECON 440 International Economics (5)

Theory and policy analysis pertaining to world payments systems, open economy macro-economics, international trade, multinational enterprises and direct foreign investment, and the international migration of labor. Prerequisite: one economics course or permission of instructor.

ECON 441 Financial Economics (5)

This course develops the main arguments in financial theory from an explicitly economic perspective. Financial economics involves the examination of the roles of time, uncertainty and information in economic transactions. This course analyzes financial institutions from a perspective of information theory.  We consider the theories of decision-making under uncertainty and asymmetric information.  Prerequisite:  ECON 201 (or equivalent) or permission of instructor.

ECON 451 Managerial Economics (5)

Application of empirical methods to managerial decisions.  Topics include estimation of demand, sales forecasts, business conditions analysis, estimation of production and cost functions, pricing and advertising, and capital budgeting.  Case studies and software applications.  Prerequisite: ECON 201, ECON 220 or equivalent; MATH 140; or permission of instructor.

ECON 453 Engineering Economics (5)

An overview of the economic methods used to evaluate projects and real assets.  Topics include financial math; investment criteria (present worth, annual equivalent worth, rate of return analysis); evaluating mutually exclusive alternatives; relative price movements and inflation; risk and uncertainty; cost minimization techniques such as equipment replacement analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis; after-tax analysis; project financing and capital constraints; and benefit-cost and cost-effectiveness methods. Prerequisite: Area B4 (MATH).

ECON 460 Financial Institutions Management (5)

An introduction to the operation, structure, and regulatory environment of the U.S. financial system.  Special attention given to the theories of interest rate determination, financial risk management, and asset/liability management in depository and non-depository institutions.  The course also investigates e-Business and changes in commercial banking, non-bank financial institutions and financial markets.  Computer models and cases are used to show real-world applications.  Cross-listed in Economics and Finance.  Prerequisite:  FIN 300 or ECON 302.

ECON 465 Industrial Organization (5)

Theoretical and empirical aspects of oligopoly theory.  Price and non-price competition.  The structure, conduct, and performance of selected American industries.  Considerations of both antitrust policy and managerial perspectives.  Prerequisite:  ECON 201 or permission of instructor.

ECON 470 Economics of the Public Sector (5)

Economic theories relating to market efficiency and failure, public expenditure, taxation, and political and bureaucratic behavior.  Examination of programs and policies in areas such as health care, technology, social insurance, welfare and income redistribution, child care and education, and transportation.  Examination of the tax system, fiscal federalism, and state and local government revenue and expenditure patterns.  Online information resources are used to locate and assess policy analyses and analyze expenditures and revenues for all levels of government.  Cross-listed in Economics and Public Policy & Administration.  Prerequisite:  ECON 201 or 202.

ECON 475. Energy Economics and Policy (5 units)

Role of energy in economic development; economic analysis of energy industries (fossil fuels, renewables, electricity and nuclear energy, and refineries and transportation). The geography and geopolitics of energy markets; policies relating to taxation and rate regulation, environmental quality and global warming, research and development, conservation, and national security. Prerequisite: ECON 201 or permission of instructor.

ECON 477 Selected Topics in Economics (1-5)

An in-depth study of an area of economics not included in current course offerings.  May be repeated for different course content.  Prerequisites as announced.

ECON 480 Human Resource Economics (5)

A study of labor force participation, labor demand, education and training, wage differentials, regional and occupational mobility, labor unions, and discrimination, poverty, and income distribution.  Prerequisite:  ECON 201 or permission of instructor.

ECON 488 Economics Book Club for Seniors (1)

This course nurtures lifelong learning by introducing students to the blogs and recent best sellers authored by leading economists for the general public. One book will be chosen to be read, analyzed and discussed. The course is taught in hybrid mode with a “book club” discussion toward the end of the course preceded during the quarter by several online assignments. Economics majors should enroll during their senior year. Offered on a credit, no-credit basis only. 

ECON 490 Senior Project (4)

Student proposes and conducts an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member and presents the findings. Equivalent to ECON 490A and ECON 490B. “C-” or better required for the major. Prerequisite: ECON 301, 302, 420 and senior standing.

ECON 490A Senior Project I (1)

Student proposes an independent research project, completes a literature search, and prepares a bibliography. Prerequisite: ECON 301. Co-requisite or Prerequisite: ECON 302 and 420 and senior standing. 

ECON 490B Senior Project II (3)

Student carries out an approved research project and presents the findings. “C-” or better required for the major. Prerequisite: ECON 301, 302, 420, and 490A and senior standing.

ECON 493. Regional Economics Workshop I (2 units)

A study of Kern County as an economic region, introducing regional economic concepts and methods of regional analysis. Regional economic databases will be updated and analyzed for economic trends (e.g., demographics, gross metro product, personal income, basic industries, labor markets, taxable sales, tax revenues and government expenditures). Both ECON 493 and 494 must be completed to receive credit for an elective in the major. Prerequisite: ECON 202.

ECON 494. Regional Economics Workshop II (3 units)

A continuation of ECON 493. Application of economic base, input-output, and linear regression models to analyzing Kern County’s economy. Both ECON 493 and 494 must be completed to receive credit for an elective in the major. Prerequisites: Econ 202 and 493.

ECON 495 Urban and Regional Economics (5)

A study of economic theories of urban and regional development.  Topics selected from:  economic base and industry composition analysis; location of economic activity; principles of urban economic development, housing, transportation, poverty and unemployment and municipal finance; Census and other socioeconomic data; analysis of economic forces which influence spatial patterns and the relationship between spatial patterns, public services, land use planning and land use control processes.  Prerequisite: ECON 201 or 395 or permission of instructor.

ECON 496 Internship in Economics (1-5)

Internships may be arranged by the department with various agencies, business, or industries.  The assignments and coordination of work projects with conferences and readings, as well as course credits, evaluation, and grading, and the responsibility of the faculty liaison (or course instructor) working with the field supervisor.  Offered on a credit, no-credit basis only.  Department will determine credits and application of credit.

ECON 497 Cooperative Education (1-5)

The Cooperative Education program offers a sponsored learning experience in a work setting, integrated with a field analysis seminar. The field experience is contracted by the Cooperative Education office on an individual basis, subject to approval by the department. The field experience, including the seminar and reading assignments, is supervised by the cooperative education coordinator and the faculty liaison (or course instructor), working with the field supervisor. Students are expected to enroll in the course for at least two quarters. The determination of course credits, evaluation and grading are the responsibility of the departmental faculty. Offered on a credit, no-credit basis only.  Department will determine application of credit.

ECON 499 Individual Study (1-5) Consent of department for the offering of independent studies.