2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog

Economics and Decision Sciences

Chairperson: Dr. Tej K. Kaul
Office: Stipes Hall 430
Telephone: (309) 298-1153 Fax: (309) 298-1020
Website: wiu.edu/econ

Faculty: Dehkordi-Vakil, Duley, Fosu, Harriger, Jones, Kaul, Man, Melkumian, Polley, Rock, Sadler, Sanders, Valeva, Walia, Westerhold.

Economics holds a unique position in the academic curriculum. It is a quantitative social science offering a unique insight into the solution of many social problems. At the same time, economics is essential to an understanding of the business world and has many practical applications in management and financial decision-making. Students find economics a versatile discipline that uses social science methodologies to solve interesting social and business problems.

Two undergraduate majors in economics are available. The Bachelor of Arts in Economics is a general economics degree offered in the College of Arts and Sciences. This degree is not reviewed for accreditation by AACSB International. Students majoring in the Bachelor of Arts in Economics can minor in decision sciences, finance, political science, or other suitable areas. The Bachelor of Business in Economics, available in the College of Business and Technology and reviewed and accredited by AACSB International, is a comprehensive program to prepare students for the business world. A minor is optional. Consult the directed electives in economics for options to a minor. Students have access to the same economics classes in both programs.

Economics is a flexible degree with many career options available to majors. The department has identified five primary areas of study and designed emphases (a set of complementary courses intended to focus a student’s preparatory coursework) for these different career paths in economics. Each emphasis includes courses both in economics and from other disciplines that will enhance preparation for a particular career objective. Emphases are offered in Monetary Economics, Public Policy, Quantitative Economics, International Economics, and Business Economics; students are required to choose two emphases. The requirements for each emphasis are listed in detail under each degree program. A General Economics option is also available under each degree program.

The department also offers courses and minors in Decision Sciences and Economics.

GradTrac is available. See more information about GradTrac.

Honors Curriculum—Academically qualified students in this department are welcome to complete an honors curriculum in University Honors, Upper Division Honors, or Lower Division Honors. All Honors students must complete the one-hour honors colloquium (G H 299). Lower Division Honors includes General Honors coursework. Upper Division Honors includes honors work in the major. University Honors combines Upper and Lower Division Honors. For more information about honors curricula see the Centennial Honors College page of the catalog or visit the Centennial Honors College website at www.wiu.edu/Honors.

Integrated Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree Program—An integrated baccalaureate and master’s degree program is available in Economics. An integrated degree program provides the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates to earn both degrees in five years. Please refer to the Graduate Studies catalog for details about the integrated program.

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Arts—Economics

All students seeking the Bachelor of Arts in Economics must complete I, II, III, IV, and V below, and the foreign language/global issues requirement for the major#. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 120 s.h.

  1. University General Education and College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Requirements: 60 s.h.
    (To include MATH 137 and STAT 171)
  2. Core Courses: 15 s.h.
    ECON 197, 231*, 232*, 330 or 332, 331, 497; CS 302 or DS 490
  3. Directed Electives: 18 s.h.
    It is recommended that students take DS 303 or ECON 487
    Choose #1 or #2:
    1. General Economics
      Select 18 s.h. of 300 or 400 level Economics courses (Students may take up to 6 s.h. of coursework in related areas and substitute them for departmental electives with approval of the department chairperson.)
    2. Emphases of Study
      Students must choose two emphases from a, b, c, d, and e with 9 s.h. in each chosen emphasis; a minimum of 12 total hours must be in ECON/DS.
      1. Monetary Economics: ECON 325, 328, 425, 471; ECON 487 or DS 303; DS 490; AGEC 447, 457, 458; FIN 341, 371, 441, 471
      2. Public Policy: ECON 310, 315, 328, 350, 390, 430, 432, 440, 445, 460, 465; ECON 487 or DS 303; DS 490; POLS 300, 302, 393
      3. Quantitative Economics: ECON 445, 481; ECON 487 or DS 303; DS 423, 435, 490; MATH 311, 333, 341; STAT 276
      4. International Economics: ECON 420, 425, 470, 471; ECON 487 or DS 303; DS 490; BL 484; INAG 310; MGT 485; MKTG 317; POLS 331; SCM 411
      5. Business Economics: ECON 315, 325, 332, 440, 445, 460; ECON 487 or DS 303; DS 435, 490; AGEC 447, 457, 458
  4. Other Requirements
    1. BCOM 320†: 3 s.h.
    2. Any Minor: 16 s.h.
    3. Open Electives: 14 s.h.

#The foreign language/global issues graduation requirement may be fulfilled by successfully completing one of the following: 1) an intermediate foreign language requirement; 2) a General Education global issues course; 3) any major’s discipline-specific global issues course; or 4) an approved study abroad program.

*6 s.h. may count toward the University General Education requirement.

†BCOM 320 fulfills the Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) graduation requirement.

Bachelor of Business—Economics

All students seeking the Bachelor of Business in Economics must complete I, II, III, IV, and V below, and the foreign language/global issues requirement for the major#. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 120 s.h.

Pre-Economics students who have earned 60 hours, but are ineligible to declare a business major will be limited to a maximum of 29 hours of business courses (see Limit on Business Credits page 84) and may be removed from business courses.

  1. University General Education Curriculum: 43 s.h.
  2. Business Core Courses†: 33 s.h.
  3. Department Core Courses: 9 s.h.
    ECON 197, 330 or 332, 331, 497; CS 302 or DS 490
  4. Directed Electives
    Choose #1 or #2:
    1. General Economics
      Select 18 s.h. of 300 or 400 level Economics courses (Students may take up to 6 s.h. of coursework in related areas and substitute them for departmental electives with approval of the department chairperson.)
    2. Emphases of Study
      Students must choose two emphases from a, b, c, d, and e with 9 s.h. in each chosen emphasis; a minimum of 12 total hours must be in ECON/DS.
      1. Monetary Economics: ECON 325, 328, 425, 471; ECON 487 or DS 303; DS 490; AGEC 447, 457, 458; FIN 341, 371, 441, 471
      2. Public Policy: ECON 310, 315, 328, 350, 390, 430, 432, 440, 445, 460, 465; ECON 487 or DS 303; DS 490; POLS 300, 302, 393
      3. Quantitative Economics: ECON 445, 481; ECON 487 or DS 303; DS 423, 435, 490; MATH 311, 333, 341; STAT 276
      4. International Economics: ECON 420, 425, 470, 471; ECON 487 or DS 303; DS 490; BL 484; INAG 310; MGT 485; MKTG 317; POLS 331; SCM 411
      5. Business Economics: ECON 315, 325, 332, 440, 445, 460; ECON 487 or DS 303; DS 435, 490; AGEC 447, 457, 458
  5. Open Electives: 17 s.h.
  6. Other: 15 s.h.*
    Natural Sciences/Mathematics: MATH 137 and STAT 171
    Social Sciences: ECON 231 and 232; PSY 100 or SOC 100

#The foreign language/global issues graduation requirement may be fulfilled by successfully completing one of the following: 1) an intermediate foreign language requirement; 2) a General Education global issues course; 3) any major’s discipline-specific global issues course; or 4) an approved study abroad program.

†BCOM 320 (Business Core) fulfills the Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) graduation requirement.

*15 s.h. may count toward the University General Education requirement.

Minors

Minor in Decision Sciences: 18 s.h.
  1. DS 303 or ECON 487; DS 423, 435, and 490 (3 s.h.): 12 s.h.
  2. Select remaining hours from ECON 332, 425; FIN 331; MGT 425; MKTG 329; OM 352; SOC 232, 332; PSY 223, 323; or other courses approved by department: 6 s.h.
Minor in Economics: 18 s.h.
  1. ECON 231, 232: 6 s.h.
  2. Economics Electives: 9 s.h. of upper division coursework is required: 12 s.h.

Course Descriptions

DECISION SCIENCES (DS)

203 Introduction to Statistics for Decision Making. (3) A survey of statistical methods useful for business. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, probability distribution, statistical inference, analysis of variance, regression, and contingency tables. Not open to students who have completed or are currently enrolled in STAT 171. Prerequisite: WIU placement in STAT 171, or MATH 100, or equivalent (C grade or better). IAI: BUS 901.

303 Applied Business Forecasting and Regression Analysis. (3) A survey of the basic methods and techniques that are available for business forecasting including moving average and exponential smoothing techniques; classical decomposition; simple, multiple, and time series regression techniques; and statistics for quality control and capability. Prerequisite: STAT 171.

423 (formerly DS 304) Managerial Decision Making and Problem Solving. (3) Introduction to management science techniques. The emphasis will be on applications of linear programming models, network analysis, inventory models, project scheduling, and decision theory. Prerequisite: STAT 171 or equivalent.

435 (formerly DS 305) Applied Data Mining for Business Decision-Making. (3) This course provides an introduction to data mining methods for business applications. Students will learn the basics of data selection, preparation, statistical modeling, and analysis aimed at the identification of knowledge fulfilling organizational objectives. Prerequisite: STAT 171 or consent of instructor.

460 Independent Study in Decision Sciences. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Independent research on topics in decision sciences mutually selected by student and instructor. Prerequisites: DS 303 and senior standing, with written permission of department chairperson.

490 (formerly DS 390) Statistical Software for Data Management and Decision Making. (3, repeatable to 6 for different titles) This course provides students with the basic concepts of statistical computing. Students will gain experience with statistical software packages, such as SAS or SPSS, and their applications. Methods of data preparation and validation, analysis, and reporting will be covered. Prerequisites: STAT 171 or equivalent, or PSY 223, or SOC 232, or POLS 284, or permission of department chairperson.

ECONOMICS (ECON)

100 Introduction to Economics. (3) (General Education/Social Sciences) Introduction to economics with emphasis on application to contemporary social issues. Core concepts include price theories, money and banking, national income accounts, economic fluctuations and growth, and international economics, with special applications in criminal activity, health care, and environmental quality. Not open to students who have already completed ECON 231/232 or their equivalents. IAI: S3 900.

170 The Global Economic Environment. (3) An introduction to exchange rates, balance of payments, trade barriers, trade agreements and economic unions, relevant international institutions, ethical considerations in international dealings, and related topics. Impacts on U.S. consumers and firms will be emphasized.

197 Skill Development. (0) All undergraduate majors must begin their skill development program and portfolio during their first semester as a major. Prerequisite: first semester B.A. or B.B. Economics major. Graded S/U only.

231 Principles of Macroeconomics I. (3) (General Education/Social Sciences) An introduction to aggregate economics—monetary and banking institutions, national income theory, business cycles, government finance and taxation, and international trade. IAI: S3 901.

232 Principles of Microeconomics II. (3) (General Education/Social Sciences) A continuation of ECON 231, stressing industrial and labor organization, supply and demand, profit maximization under varying conditions of competition, and factor pricing. IAI: S3 902.

310 Economics and Law. (3) An introduction into the economic analysis of the basic areas of law including property, contracts, torts, criminal law, and civil law. The purpose of the course is to examine legal rules using economic concepts and methods. Prerequisite: one of the following courses—ECON 100, 231, 232; or permission of instructor.

315 Economics of Sport. (3) The application of economic tools and concepts to the business of sport. Emphasis on economic incentives as they apply to professional sports teams and leagues as well as public policy issues impacting professionals and college athletics. Prerequisites: ECON 100 or 231 or 232.

325 Money, Banking and Credit. (3) An introduction to the monetary aspects of society, with stress on the role of commercial banks and the Federal Reserve System in our economy. Prerequisite: ECON 231.

328 American Economic History. (3) A study of the development of various economic institutions in the United States with special emphasis on the changing structure and performance of the economy from the colonial period to the present.

330 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory. (3) Theory of producer and consumer choice; theory of prices and output determination under varying degrees of competition; theory of factor pricing and income distribution. Prerequisite: ECON 232.

331 Intermediate Macroeconomics. (3) An analysis of the determinants of inflation rates, unemployment, interest rates, and international trade. Theories of cycles of recession and recovery and policies to achieve the society’s goals are examined with particular emphasis on stabilizing the economy. Prerequisite: ECON 231.

332 Managerial Economics. (3) Economic theory and analysis designed for business administration students. Economics majors interested in careers in business are encouraged to take this course. Prerequisites: ECON 231 and 232.

350 Economics of Poverty and Discrimination. (3) (General Education/Multicultural Studies) Application of economic tools and concepts to the nature and causes of poverty with an emphasis on discrimination. Analyzes both economic characteristics of the poor and the public policies intended to alleviate poverty and discrimination. Prerequisite: ECON 100 or 231 or 232.

360 Economics and Urban Problems. (3) The development and application of economic analysis to problems of the urban economy. Areas of emphasis include land-use patterns, municipal finance, transportation, crises in public services, impact of industrialization on the local economy, and housing market problems. Prerequisites: Econ 231 and 232.

390 Introduction to Health Economics. (3) Application of basic economics to the health care industry. Issues surrounding the economic relationships among providers, insurers, and consumers of health care are examined in terms of market structure, economic motives, financial costs, and social costs and benefits. Prerequisite: Econ 100 or 231 or 232.

408 Economics for Decision-Makers. (3) This course develops the macro- and microeconomic concepts most useful to decision-makers. Topics covered include measures of aggregate economic activity, unemployment, inflation, business cycles, monetary policy, fiscal policy, international trade, market demand and supply, and alternate market structures. (Not open to students who have taken ECON 231 or 232. Cannot be used to meet the requirements for the B.A. or B.B. in Economics, a minor in Economics, or to meet the requirements in any B.B. degree. (This course is designed for the Pre-MBA minor.) Prerequisites: junior standing and STAT 171 with a C or better.

420 Economic Development. (3) A study of less developed countries; problems such as population growth, urbanization, agricultural transformation, unemployment, education and training, and capital formation are addressed. Solutions to these problems are examined and evaluated based on feasibility and practicality. A multi-disciplinary approach is used. Prerequisite: ECON 232.

425 Money Markets, Capital Markets, and Monetary Theory. (3) An institutional and theoretical study of money and capital markets in conjunction with monetary policy. Prerequisite: ECON 231.

430 (cross-listed with AGEC 430) Environmental Economics. (3) This interdisciplinary course examines economic issues involving the interactions between humans and the environment. The course addresses conflicts in land, air, and water use and the role of assigned property rights and public policies in resolving environmental problems. Not open to students with credit in AGEC 430. Prerequisite: ECON 232 or AGRI 220.

432 Public Finance. (3) Studies the role of government in promoting a system of effective markets. Includes analyses of the causes and implications of market inefficiencies, the economic rationale for government intervention in markets, and the criteria used for public investment decisions. Prerequisite: ECON 330 or 331.

433 Honors Readings in Economics. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Prerequisite: consent of the instructor. Graded S/U only.

440 Labor Theory. (3) Understanding labor market dynamics using theory and empirical methods. Topics of focus include labor supply and demand, labor force composition and trends, human capital, wage differentials, migration, minimum wage, trade unions, and occupational licensure. Prerequisite: ECON 232 or consent of the instructor.

445 Game Theory and Economic Behavior. (3) Analysis and solution of non-cooperative games toward a deeper understanding of economic behavior. Applications include auction design, bargaining, firm market entry games, information economics, and prisoner’s dilemma type games in general. Prerequisites: ECON 232 and MATH 137, or permission of instructor.

460 Urban and Regional Economic Analysis. (3) A study of the economics literature on urban and regional economic development theories and techniques. Particular attention is paid to economic policies to stimulate employment and foster income growth. Various measurement techniques for monitoring economic development are examined. Prerequisite: ECON 232.

465 Economics of Energy. (3) A study of primary and secondary sources of energy as they affect the levels of production and consumption in the economy. A general survey of the economic and regulatory problems of coal, petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear industries (including those of utilities) and a brief discussion of the problems and prospects of alternative sources of energy in the context of national energy policies and individual decision-making. Prerequisite: ECON 231 or 232, or consent of the instructor.

470 International Trade. (3) (Global Issues) A study of the theoretical and institutional aspects of international trade; effect of trade and factor movements on economic welfare; problems of international disequilibrium; and the search for economic stability and growth through international cooperation. Prerequisite: ECON 232.

471 International Monetary Economics. (3) A study of exchange rate determination; monetary and fiscal policy in an open economy; balance of payments crises; the choice of exchange rate systems; international debt and global financial imbalances. Prerequisites: ECON 231 and MATH 137, or permission of instructor.

481 Mathematical Economics. (3) Introduction to the mathematics most frequently used by economists: basic set theory, linear algebra, differentiation, comparative statics, optimization, constrained optimization, and linear programming.

487 (formerly ECON 387) Econometrics. (3) Extensions of the single equation regression model, estimation, and testing; multicollinearity, heteroskedasticity, and errors in variables; maximum likelihood estimation and binary response models; simultaneous equation models and estimation. Interpretation and application of econometric models and methods is emphasized. Prerequisite: MATH 137, DS 203 or STAT 171, or equivalent.

494 Internship. (1–12, repeatable to 12) Supervised employment experience with an approved employer/ sponsor. Only 3 hours per semester can be included in the major. For internships that are two semesters or more in length, and with approval of the department chair, a maximum of 6 hours may be included in the major. Prerequisites: ECON 231, 232, one intermediate theory course, and permission of the department chairperson. Graded S/U only.

495 Current Economic Issues. (3) Prerequisite: ECON 231, 232, 330, 331; senior economics major status.

497 Senior Knowledge Assessment. (0) All majors are required to submit a completed skill development portfolio and complete the knowledge assessment examination prior to graduation. Prerequisites: senior standing; B.A. or B.B. Economics major. Graded S/U only.

499 Individual Research in Economics. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Prerequisites: junior status and permission of the instructor. Graded S/U only.