Course Descriptions

This list is intended to be an overview of our class offerings, so that you can get an idea of what to expect when enrolling in Economics at PLU.  For a complete list of course offerings and concentrations see the course catalog at PLU Course Catalog.  Our two-year course cycles (useful for planning purposes) can be found by clicking here.

ECON 101: Principles of Microeconomics - SO

Introduces the study of economic decision making by firms and individuals. Economic tools and concepts such as markets, supply and demand, and efficiency applied to contemporary issues. Students cannot take both ECON 101 and 111 for credit. (4)

ECON 102: Principles of Macroeconomics - SO

Introduces the economy as a whole and major issues such as inflation, unemployment, economic growth, and international trade. Prerequisite: ECON 101 or 111 (4)

ECON 111: Principles of Microeconomics: Global and Environmental - SO

Analysis of public policy and private behavior; appropriate pricing, resource valuation, taxes and subsidies, trade policies, sustainable development, and income growth and distribution. Students cannot take both ECON 101 and 111 for credit. (4)

ECON 190: FYEP190: Inquiry Seminar

A four-credit seminar to introduce students to the methods and topics of study within a particular academic discipline or field. Students practice the academic skills that are at the center of the General Education Program. (4)

ECON 215: Investigating Environmental and Economic Change in Europe - SO

An introduction to the environmental economic problems and policy prospects of modern Europe. Focus on economic incentives and policies to solve problems of air and water pollution, sustainable forestry, global warming, and wildlife management in Austria, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Italy. Prerequisite: ECON 101 or 111, or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 235: European Economic Integration

An introduction to integration theory and its application to the problems and policy prospects for deepening European integration. Economic analysis of the development of economic institutions in the European Union. Topics include: German unification, enlargement, the European monetary system, Scandinavian participation, and relevance of the European integration model for the developing world. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or 111 or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 287: Special Topics in Economics

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

ECON 288: Special Topics in Economics

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

ECON 289: Special Topics in Economics

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

ECON 291: Directed Study

To provide individual undergraduate students with introductory study not available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as DS: followed by the specific title designated by the student. (1 to 4)

ECON 301: Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis

Theory of consumer behavior; product and factor prices under conditions of monopoly, competition, and intermediate markets; welfare economics. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or 111, or consent of instructor; and MATH 128 or 151. (4)

ECON 302: Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis

National income determination including policy implications within the institutional framework of the U.S. economy. Prerequisites: ECON 102; MATH 128 or 151. (4)

ECON 311: Dynamic Modeling Natural Resources

An introduction to dynamic modeling and optimization, with consideration of both market and socially optimal outcomes. Examples used include fisheries, forestry, mining, renewable energy and sustainability. Extensive use of spreadsheets to build and solve dynamic resource allocation problems. Prerequisite: ECON 101 or 111 and MATH 128 or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 313: Environmental Economics

Examines the theory of externalities, pollution regulation, open-access conditions as a basis for environmental degradation, methods of non-market valuation of environmental amenities, and valuation of a statistical life. Attention will be given to both domestic and global examples. Prerequisities: ECON 101 or 111, or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 321: Labor Economics - SO

Analysis of labor markets and labor market issues; wage determination; investment in human capital, unionism and collective bargaining; law and public policy; discrimination; labor mobility; earnings inequality, unemployment, and wages and inflation. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or 111, or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 322: Money and Banking - SO

The nature and role of money; monetary theory; tools and implementation of monetary policy; regulation of intermediaries; banking activity in financial markets; international consequences of and constraints on monetary policy. Prerequisite: ECON 102 or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 323: Health Economics - SO

Analysis of health care markets including hospitals, providers, and insurer/managed care organizations; demand for care; economics of insurance; role of government and regulation; access to care; non-price competition; impact of new technology; analysis of reform. Prerequisities: ECON 101 or 111 or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 325: Industrial Organization and Public Policy

An analysis of the structure, conduct, and performance of American industry and public policies that foster and alter industrial structure and behavior. Prerequisities: ECON 101, 111, or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 327: Public Finance - SO

Public taxation and expenditure at all governmental levels; the incidence of taxes, the public debt and the provision of public goods such as national defense, education, pure air, and water. Prerequisites: ECON 101, 111 or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 331: International Trade and Commercial Policy

Theories of trade based on labor productivity, factor endowments, and scale economies. Welfare analysis of commercial policy instruments. Political economy of interest groups and trade policy. Critical analysis of multilateral efforts to promote trade. Theoretical and empirical linkages among trade policy, renewable resource depletion, and environmental degradation. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or 111, or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 333: Economic Development: Comparative Third World Strategies - C

Analysis of the theoretical framework for development with applications to alternative economic development strategies used in the newly emerging developing countries. Emphasis on comparison between countries, assessments of the relative importance of cultural values, historical experience, and governmental policies in the development process. Prerequisites: ECON 101, 111 or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 337: International Macroeconomics

An introduction to international macroeconomic theory and policy, including the balance of payments accounts, foreign exchange markets, theory of exchange rates, policies under fixed and flexible exchange rates, economic integration, global financial crises, policy coordination. Prerequisite: ECON 102 or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 341: Strategic Behavior - SO

An introduction to game theory and analysis of interactive decision processes. Interactive game playing, cases, and examples drawn primarily from economics, but also includes sports, political science, business, and biology. Prisoner's Dilemma, sequential games, Nash equilibrium, mixed and pure strategies, collective action and bidding strategies, bargaining. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or 111 or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 344: Econometrics

Introduction to the methods and tools of econometrics as the basis for applied research in economics. Specification, estimation, and testing in the classical linear regression model. Prerequisite: ECON 101 or 111; ECON 102; STAT 231 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Cross-listed with STAT 344. (4)

ECON 345: Mathematical Topics in Economics - SO

An introduction to basic applications of mathematical tools used in economic analysis. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or 111, ECON 102 or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 386: Evolution of Economic Thought

Economic thought from ancient to modern times; emphasis on the period from Adam Smith to J.M. Keynes; the classical economists, the socialists, the marginalists, the neoclassical economists, and the Keynesians. Prerequisite: ECON 101 or 111, or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 387: Special Topics in Economics

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

ECON 388: Special Topics in Economics

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

ECON 389: Special Topics in Economics

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

ECON 487: Special Topics in Economics

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

ECON 488: Special Topics in Economics

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

ECON 489: Special Topics in Economics

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

ECON 491: Independent Study

To provide individual undergraduate students with advanced study not available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as IS: followed by the specific title designated by the student. Prerequisites: ECON 301 or 302 and consent of the department. (1 to 4)

ECON 495: Internship

A research and writing project in connection with a student's approved off-campus activity. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or 111; ECON 301 or 302, sophomore standing, and consent of the department. (1 to 4)

ECON 499: Capstone: Senior Seminar - SR

Seminar in economic problems and policies with emphasis on encouraging the student to integrate problem-solving methodology with tools of economic analysis. Topic(s) selected by class participants and instructor. Prerequisite: ECON 101, 102, 301 or 302, senior standing; satisfactory completion of two 300-level economics courses in addition to ECON 301 and 302, all with grade of a C- or above, and declared economics major; or consent of instructor. (4)