Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Department of Economics

Timothy Vogelsang, Chairperson


Economics is the study of how various entities make choices with scarce resources.  Microeconomics focuses on the choices made by individuals and firms, and macroeconomics looks at the behavior of the economy as a whole.  The study of economics is one of the most practical and adaptable disciplines. Those who focus on it gain a broad skill-set that can be utilized in complex and changing environments, and that can contribute to the understanding and improvement of lives at the individual, group, organizational, and societal level.
 
The Department of Economics offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees.  Both programs offer courses that teach fundamental communication and analytical skills necessary to succeed in a wide variety of academic and professional careers.

The mission of the Department of Economics at Michigan State University consists of three interrelated components: providing the highest quality instruction to our undergraduate and graduate students, conducting cutting-edge research in economics, and providing leadership and service to our professional communities.


 

Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Economics offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, as well as a minor. Jointly with the Department of Political Science, it also offers a Linked Bachelor of Arts or Science/Master of Public Policy degree program.

The economics degree programs provide students with substantive knowledge of the domestic and international economy and include the study of institutions, concepts, policy, and tools of analysis. Our students prepare for careers in business such as banking, financial markets, insurance, management, and consulting; positions in national, state, and local governments; teaching; and graduate study in economics and related fields including business administration, finance, public policy, and law.

The department stresses flexibility in each undergraduate program and requires a strong core of economic theory, supplemented by mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Students in each of these degree programs choose area electives within the department as well as in the College of Social Science, the College of Arts and Letters, and the university. All students are encouraged to develop programs of study that are tailored to their individual interests and goals.

The Linked Bachelor of Arts or Science/Master of Public Policy program allows qualified students interested in professional careers in policy analysis, program management or policy advocacy the opportunity to complete both their bachelor's and master's degrees in a total of five years.

Beyond the introductory courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics, the department offers courses in a number of areas of emphasis. These areas of emphasis are listed below, along with their respective course offerings.

Microeconomics
    EC 251H Microeconomics and Public Policy
    EC 301 Intermediate Microeconomics
    EC 401 Advanced Microeconomics
Macroeconomics and Monetary Theory
    EC 252H Macroeconomics and Public Policy
    EC 302 Intermediate Macroeconomics
    EC 330 Money, Banking, and Financial Markets
    EC 402 Advanced Macroeconomics
Economic Systems
    EC 306 Comparative Economic Systems
    EC 406 Economic Analysis of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States
Development
    EC 310 Economics of Developing Countries
    EC 410 Issues in the Economics of Developing Countries
    EC 412 Economic Analysis of Latin America
    EC 413 Economic Analysis of Asia
    EC 414 Economic Analysis of Sub-Saharan Africa
Econometrics
    EC 420 Introduction to Econometric Methods
    EC 421 Advanced Econometric Methods
Public Economics
    EC 335 Taxes, Government Spending and Public Policy
    EC 435 Public Expenditures
    EC 436 Public Revenues
International Economics
    EC 340 Survey of International Economics
    EC 440 International Trade
    EC 441 International Finance
Industrial Organization
    EC 360 Private Enterprise and Public Policy
    EC 460 American Industry: Structure and Behavior
Labor Economics
    EC 380 Labor Relations and Labor Market Policy
    EC 480 Analysis of Labor Markets
Law And Economics
    EC 425 Law and Economics
Health and Welfare
    EC 495 Economics of Poverty and Income Distribution
    EC 498 Economics of Health Care
Urban Economics
    EC 438 Urban Economics
Capstone Course
    EC 499 Senior Seminar for Economics Majors (W)


 


Economics - Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics emphasizes the use of quantitative techniques in the analysis of economic theories.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics

  1. The graduation requirements of the University as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics.

    The University's Mathematics requirement for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics is met by completing Mathematics 124, 132, or 152H.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Economics major is met by completing one of the following courses: Economics 406, 410, 412, 413, 414, 425, 435, 436, 438, 440, 441, 450, 460, 480, 485, 495, 498, or 499. Those courses are referenced in item 3. c. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Social Science for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
  3. The following requirements for the major (33 credits):
    Students may elect to complete more economics courses than those needed to complete the requirements for the major, with the understanding that the grades earned in such courses will be included in the computation of the grade-point average for courses in the major to meet College of Social Science graduation requirements. In order to be eligible to enroll in Economics 499, as referenced in item 3. below, students must have a grade-point average of 2.0 in all attempted Economics courses.
    a.  All of the following courses in the Department of Economics (15 credits):
    EC 201 Introduction to Microeconomics 3
    EC 202 Introduction to Macroeconomics 3
    EC 301 Intermediate Microeconomics 3
    EC 302 Intermediate Macroeconomics 3
    EC 420 Introduction to Econometric Methods 3
    A minimum grade of 2.0 must be achieved in both Economics 201 and 202. A maximum of one course repeat (3 credits) may be used to satisfy the 2.0 grade requirement.
     
    Economics 251H may be substituted for Economics 201 and 301. Students who elect this substitution, and who do not take Economics 252H, may satisfy the requirement referenced in item 3.  by completing at least 2 to 3 credits in Economics courses at the 300-400 level, in addition to the 9 credits referenced in item 3. 
    Economics 252H may be substituted for Economics 202 and 302. Students who elect this substitution, and who do not take Economics 251H, may satisfy the requirement referenced in item 3. by completing at least 3 credits in Economics courses at the 300-400 level, in addition to the 9 credits referenced in item 3. 
    Economics 251H and 252H may be substituted for the following group of courses: Economics 201, 202, 301, and 302. Students who elect this substitution may satisfy the requirement referenced in item 3. by completing at least 5 to 6 credits in two Economics courses at the 300-400 level, in addition to the 9 credits referenced in item 3. 
    Students who elect to use Economics 251H as a substitute for Economics 201 and/or Economics 252H as a substitute for Economics 202 must achieve a minimum grade of 2.0 in the course substitute. A maximum of one course repeat (3 credits) may be used to satisfy the 2.0 grade requirement.
     
    b. One of the following courses in the international area (3 credits):
    EC 306 Comparative Economic Systems 3
    EC 310 Economics of Developing Countries 3
    EC 340 Survey of International Economics 3
    EC 406 Economic Analysis of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (W) 3
    EC 410 Issues in the Economics of Developing Countries (W) 3
    EC 412 Economic Analysis of Latin America (W) 3
    EC 413 Economic Analysis of Asia (W) 3
    EC 414 Economic Analysis of Sub-Saharan Africa (W) 3
    EC 440 International Trade (W) 3
    EC 441 International Finance (W) 3
    The course used to fulfill this requirement may not be used to fulfill requirement c. below.
    c. One of the following courses (3 credits):
    EC 406 Economic Analysis of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (W) 3
    EC 410 Issues in the Economics of Developing Countries (W) 3
    EC 412 Economic Analysis of Latin America (W) 3
    EC 413 Economic Analysis of Asia (W) 3
    EC 414 Economic Analysis of Sub-Saharan Africa (W) 3
    EC 425 Law and Economics (W) 3
    EC 435 Public Expenditures (W) 3
    EC 436 Public Revenues (W) 3
    EC 438 Urban Economics (W) 3
    EC 440 International Trade (W) 3
    EC 441 International Finance (W) 3
    EC 450 Economics of Environmental Policy (W) 3
    EC 460 American Industry: Structure and Behavior (W) 3
    EC 480 Analysis of Labor Markets (W) 3
    EC 485 Economics of Education (W) 3
    EC 495 Economics of Poverty and Income Distribution (W) 3
    EC 498 Economics of Health Care (W) 3
    EC 499 Senior Seminar for Economics Majors (W) 3
    The course used to fulfill this requirement may not be used to fulfill requirement b. above.
    d. Nine additional credits in economics courses, of which at least 6 credits must be at the 400-level.
    e. One of the following courses (3 credits):
    STT 315 Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Business 3
    STT 421 Statistics I 3
    STT 430 Introduction to Probability and Statistics 3
    STT 441 Probability and Statistics I: Probability 3
    f. One of the following courses (3 credits):
    CSE 101 Computing Concepts and Competencies 3
    CSE 131 Technical Computing and Problem Solving 3
    In addition to the requirements for the major, students may elect to complete a  cognate in business. The requirements for the cognate are met by completing four of the following courses (12 credits):
    ACC 230 Survey of Accounting Concepts 3
    FI 320 Introduction to Finance 3
    GBL 323 Introduction to Business Law 3
    MGT 325 Management Skills and Processes 3
    MKT 327 Introduction to Marketing 3
    Students may substitute Accounting 201 and 202 for Accounting 230.


Economics - Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics emphasizes the use of advanced math and science in the analysis of economic theories. The program offers students more emphasis on mathematics, statistics, and computer science, as preparation for those who wish to pursue graduate training in economics.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics

  1. The graduation requirements of the University as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.

    The University's Mathematics requirement for the Bachelor of Science degree in Economics is met by completing Mathematics 132, or 152H.

    The University’s Tier II writing requirement for the Economics major is met by completing one of the following courses: Economics 406, 410, 412, 413, 414, 425, 435, 436, 438, 440, 441, 450, 460, 480, 485, 495, 498, or 499. Those courses are referenced in item 3. c. below.
     
  2. The requirements of the College of Social Science for the Bachelor of Science degree.

    Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics are required to complete a minimum of 15 credits from the following courses for the College of Social Science NATURAL SCIENCE REQUIREMENT, including Mathematics 133 or 153H and one of the designated statistics courses.
    CSE 231 Introduction to Programming I 4
    MTH 133 Calculus II 4
    MTH 153H Honors Calculus II 4
    MTH 234 Multivariable Calculus 4
    MTH 235 Differential Equations 3
    MTH 254H Honors Multivariable Calculus 4
    MTH 299 Transitions 4
    MTH 309 Linear Algebra I 3
    MTH 310 Abstract Algebra I and Number Theory 3
    MTH 314 Matrix Algebra with Applications 3
    MTH 320 Analysis I 3
    MTH 340 Ordinary Differential Equations I 3
    STT 441 Probability and Statistics I: Probability 3
    STT 442 Probability and Statistics II: Statistics 3
    STT 461 Computations in Probability and Statistics 3
    Mathematics 133 or 153H and Mathematics 234 or 254H and Mathematics 235 may be applied toward the College of Social Science NATURAL SCIENCE REQUIREMENT. Upon prior approval by the department, other courses may be substituted in fulfillment of the College of Social Science NATURAL SCIENCE REQUIREMENT.
  3. The following requirements for the major (30 credits):
    Students may elect to complete more economics courses than those needed to complete the requirements for the major, with the understanding that the grades earned in such courses will be included in the computation of the grade-point average for courses in the major to meet College of Social Science graduation requirements. In order to be eligible to enroll in Economics 499, as referenced in item 3. c. below, students must have a grade-point average of 2.0 in all attempted Economics courses.
    a. All of the following courses in the Department of Economics (15 credits):
    EC 201 Introduction to Microeconomics 3
    EC 202 Introduction to Macroeconomics 3
    EC 301 Intermediate Microeconomics 3
    EC 302 Intermediate Macroeconomics 3
    EC 420 Introduction to Econometric Methods 3
    A minimum grade of 2.0 must be achieved in both Economics 201 and 202. A maximum of one course repeat (3 credits) may be used to satisfy the 2.0 grade requirement.
     
    Economics 251H may be substituted for Economics 201 and 301. Students who elect this substitution, and who do not take Economics 252H, may satisfy the requirement referenced in item 3. f. by completing at least 2 to 3 credits in Economics courses at the 300-400 level, in addition to the 9 credits referenced in item 3. f.
     
    Economics 252H may be substituted for Economics 202 and 302. Students who elect this substitution, and who do not take Economics 251H, may satisfy the requirement referenced in item 3. f. by completing at least 3 credits in Economics courses at the 300-400 level, in addition to the credits referenced in item 3. f.
     
    Economics 251H and 252H may be substituted for the following group of courses: Economics 201, 202, 301, and 302. Students who elect this substitution may satisfy the requirement referenced in item 3. f. by completing at least 5 to 6 credits in two Economics courses at the 300-400 level, in addition to the credits referenced in item 3. f.
     
    Students who elect to use Economics 251H as a substitute for Economics 201 and/or Economics 252H as a substitute for Economics 202 must achieve a minimum grade of 2.0 in the course substitute. A maximum of one course repeat (3 credits) may be used to satisfy the 2.0 grade requirement. 
     
    b. One of the following courses in the international area (3 credits):
    EC 306 Comparative Economic Systems 3
    EC 310 Economics of Developing Countries 3
    EC 340 Survey of International Economics 3
    EC 406 Economic Analysis of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (W) 3
    EC 410 Issues in the Economics of Developing Countries (W) 3
    EC 412 Economic Analysis of Latin America (W) 3
    EC 413 Economic Analysis of Asia (W) 3
    EC 414 Economic Analysis of Sub-Saharan Africa (W) 3
    EC 440 International Trade (W) 3
    EC 441 International Finance (W) 3
    c. One of the following courses (3 credits):
    EC 406 Economic Analysis of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (W) 3
    EC 410 Issues in the Economics of Developing Countries (W) 3
    EC 412 Economic Analysis of Latin America (W) 3
    EC 413 Economic Analysis of Asia (W) 3
    EC 414 Economic Analysis of Sub-Saharan Africa (W) 3
    EC 425 Law and Economics (W) 3
    EC 435 Public Expenditures (W) 3
    EC 436 Public Revenues (W) 3
    EC 438 Urban Economics (W) 3
    EC 440 International Trade (W) 3
    EC 441 International Finance (W) 3
    EC 450 Economics of Environmental Policy (W) 3
    EC 460 American Industry: Structure and Behavior (W) 3
    EC 480 Analysis of Labor Markets (W) 3
    EC 485 Economics of Education (W) 3
    EC 495 Economics of Poverty and Income Distribution (W) 3
    EC 498 Economics of Health Care (W) 3
    EC 499 Senior Seminar for Economics Majors (W) 3
    Courses used to fulfill requirement 3. b. above may not be used to fulfill this requirement.
    d. One of the following courses (3 credits):
    EC 401 Advanced Microeconomics 3
    EC 402 Advanced Macroeconomics 3
    e. One of the following courses (3 credits):
    EC 421 Advanced Econometric Methods 3
    EC 499 Senior Seminar for Economics Majors (W) 3
    EC 499 may not be used to fulfill this requirement if used to fulfill requirement 3. c. above.
    f. Three to six additional elective credits in economics courses to total at least 30 credits in Economics courses in the major. No more than 3 credits may be at the 300-level or below.
    In addition to the requirements for the major, students may elect to complete a  cognate in business. The requirements for the cognate are met by completing four of the following courses (12 credits):
    ACC 230 Survey of Accounting Concepts 3
    FI 320 Introduction to Finance 3
    GBL 323 Introduction to Business Law 3
    MGT 325 Management Skills and Processes 3
    MKT 327 Introduction to Marketing 3
    Students may substitute Accounting 201 and 202 for Accounting 230.


Minor in Economics

The Minor in Economics, which is administered by the Department of Economics, provides a basic foundation for the breadth of study within the field of economics and a grounding in general economic theory.

The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University other than the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics.  With the approval of the department and college that administers the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Students who plan to complete the requirements for the minor should consult an undergraduate advisor in the Department of Economics.

Requirements for the Minor in Economics

Complete 18 credits of economics course work with a minimum grade-point average of 2.0 in courses used in fulfillment of the requirements for the minor.

               
1. All of the following courses (9 credits):  
  EC 201 Introduction to Microeconomcis 3
  EC 202 Introduction to Macroeconomics 3
  EC 301 Intermediate Microeconomics 3
  Economics 251H may be substituted for Economics 201 and 301.  Students who elect this substitution may satisfy the requirement referenced in item 3. by completing at least 8 additional credits in Economics course work at the 300-400 level.  
  Economics 252H may be substituted for Economics 202.
 
 
  Economics 251H and 252H may be substituted for the following group of courses: Economics 201, 202, 301, and 302. Economics 302 is not required for the minor. Students who elect this substitution may satisfy the requirement referenced in item 3. by completing at least 8 additional credits in Economics course work at the 300-400 level.  
2. Complete 3 additional credits in Economics at the 400-level.  
3. Complete 6 additional credits in Economics at the 300-400 level.  

 


Teacher Certification Options

The economics disciplinary minor is available for teacher certification for students who are pursing a major with a teacher certification option in comparative cultures and politics, international relations, political theory and constitutional democracy, social relations and policy, interdisciplinary studies in social science, interdisciplinary studies in social science: social science education, or history. Students who elect the economics disciplinary minor must contact the Department of Economics.

For additional information, refer to the statement on TEACHER CERTIFICATION in the Department of Teacher Education section of this catalog.



Linked Bachelor's-Master's Degree in Public Policy

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics
Master of Public Policy Degree in Public Policy

The department welcomes applications from  Michigan State University Economics undergraduate students during the fall semester of their junior year in order to begin the program during the fall semester of their senior year.  Admission to the program requires a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.50 and an approved program of study for the Master of Public Policy degree in Public Policy at the time of admission. Admission to the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s Program allows the application of up to 9 credits toward the master’s program for qualifying 400-level and above course work taken at the undergraduate level at Michigan State University or an external accredited institution. The number of approved credits, not to exceed 9, are applied toward the credit requirement of the master’s degree. Credits applied to the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s Program are not eligible to be applied to any other graduate degree program.

 


Graduate Study

The Department of Economics offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Economics and a Master of Public Policy degree jointly with the Department of Political Science. Students who are admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy program may obtain a Master of Arts degree in Economics.

The doctoral degree prepares students for professional careers in research, teaching, government, and business. Doctoral students must qualify in general economic theory, methods, and two fields of specialization.  The fields of specialization include:
 

Advanced Economic Theory
Advanced Macroeconomics
Econometrics
Development
Environmental and Resource Economics
Industrial Organization
International Economics
Labor Economics
Macroeconomics
Public Economics

Substitution of a field in another discipline is possible. The master degree is offered to students who are admitted to the doctoral program that satisfy the master degree requirements.

The Master of Public Policy program provides students with the requisite skills to address complex societal problems, reconcile conflicting political and ethical values in policymaking, make informed decisions about program activities, and provide effective leadership in policy development and implementation.

Students who are enrolled in Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in the Department of Economics may elect specializations in environmental and resource economics. For additional information, refer to the statement on Interdepartmental Graduate Specializations in Environmental and Resource Economics in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources section of this catalog. 

Economics - Master of Arts

The Master of Arts degree is available to students enrolled in the Ph.D. degree program in Economics or, with departmental approval, as a second degree for students enrolled in other graduate degree programs. Only the Plan B (without thesis) option is available. Course requirements include the first-year core sequence in the Ph.D. program in Economics, which prepares students for continuing in the Ph.D. program or for professional careers that call for high-level training in economic theory and quantitative analysis methods.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University, of the College of Social Science, and the Department of Economics, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Before admission to graduate work, a student should have acquired a minimum of 25 credits in the social sciences, mathematics, statistics, agricultural economics, accounting, or business administration, or in some combination of these fields. Students with limited economics in their undergraduate programs will have to correct such deficiencies by completing collateral courses, not to count toward the degree, which serve as prerequisites for the graduate economics courses.

Applicants to the graduate programs are required to submit scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test; in addition, applicants should arrange to have three letters of recommendation and transcripts of all prior collegiate course work supplied to the department.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Economics

  1. Complete all of the following courses (22 credits):
     EC    811A    Mathematical Applications in Economics  (2)
     EC    811B    The Structure of Economic Analysis  (2)
     EC    812A    Microeconomics I  (3)
     EC    812B    Microeconomics II  (3)
     EC    813A    Macroeconomics I  (3)
     EC    813B    Macroeconomics II  (3)
     EC    820A    Econometrics IA  (3)
     EC    820B    Econometrics IB  (3)
  2. Complete three additional Economics courses at the 800-900 level totaling at least 8 credits.
  3. Obtain a master's level pass on the written comprehensive examination in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, and econometrics.

Academic Standards

To remain in the program and receive the M. A. degree in economics, a student must:

  1. Maintain at least a 3.00 grade–point average.
  2. Earn a grade of 3.0 or higher in required 800–900 level economics courses.
  3. The accumulation of grades below 3.0 (including N grades in the P-N grading system) in more than two courses of 3 or more credits each removes the student from the degree program; this policy does not apply to courses below the 400-level unless the courses are required for the student’s program.



Economics - Doctor of Philosophy

Students may be admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Economics only for a fall semester.
In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Economics

  1. Complete the core courses in economic theory, mathematical methods in economics, and econometrics.
  2. Pass a comprehensive examination in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, and econometrics.
  3. Complete other course requirements as specified in the document The Doctoral Program in Economics, available from the Department of Economics.
  4. Demonstrate competence in two fields of specialization and advanced methods.
  5. Present a research paper at the Department of Economics spring conference.
  6. Present a dissertation proposal to the student’s guidance committee.
  7. Write an acceptable dissertation and defend it successfully in a public oral examination.

Academic Standards

Refer to the Doctor of Philosophy degree statement in the College of Social Science section.