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 PLU Course Catalog.  Our two-year course cycles (useful for planning purposes) can be found here.

ECON 101 : Principles of Microeconomics - SO

Introduces the study of economic decision making by firms and individuals and analyzes the effect of public policies on these. Economic tools and concepts such as markets, supply and demand, efficiency, and externalities will be applied to contemporary issues such as pollution, international trade, and health care. (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. (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 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 101 or 111; ECON 102; MATH 128 or 151. (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. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or 111, 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. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or 111, or consent of instructor. (4)

ECON 325 : Industrial Organization, Management Strategy, and Market Structure

An overview of the structure of business firms and the strategies they use in the marketplace. Special attention is paid to pricing decisions, advertising and product differentiation, and how these choices are affected by the firm’s size and structure as well as market structure and conditions. Antitrust issues are also addressed, with applications drawn from various industries. Prerequisites: ECON 101 or 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 - C

Analysis of the theoretical framework for development with applications to alternative economic development strategies used in 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 or 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. (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 other than ECON 301 or 302, all with grade of a C- or above, and declared economics major; or consent of instructor. (4)