Undergraduate Courses [Expand All]
Please consult the online course catalog for complete course information.
Course registration information can be found at https://sis.jhu.edu/classes/
NOTE: The list below shows the courses that have been offered by the Department of Economics over the past five years. The vast majority of these courses will be offered in any upcoming academic year. However, a few of these courses might be dropped from our curriculum due to departures of specific faculty members. On the other hand, with the arrival of new faculty members we will be offering new courses that are not on this list.
- 180.101 Elements of Macroeconomics
An introduction to the economic system and economic analysis, with emphasis on total national income and output, employment, the price level and inflation, money, the government budget, the national debt, and interest rates. The role of public policy. Applications of economic analysis to government and personal decisions. Prerequisite: basic facility with graphs and algebra.
- 180.102 Elements of Microeconomics
An introduction to the economic system and economic analysis with emphasis on demand and supply, relative prices, the allocation of resources, and the distribution of goods and services; theory of consumer behavior, theory of the firm, and competition and monopoly, including the application of microeconomic analysis to contemporary problems.
Prerequisites: basic facility with graphs and algebra.
View course website/syllabus
- 180.104 Seminar in Financial Literacy
The Seminar in Financial Literacy is a two-week seminar designed to introduce Hopkins undergraduates to the financial services industry. The goal is to provide an introduction to a variety of topics in finance, with a practical focus on exposing the students to employment options in the industry. The Seminar will consist of two weeks of lectures, delivered by distinguished Hopkins alumni, followed by a three-day trip to New York City during which we will visit various firms in the industry. By the end of the seminar, students should have developed an understanding of the structure and jargon of the financial services industry. Hence, they should be poised to profit from the firm visits and networking receptions that will take place on the trip to NYC. Application/Registration for Experiential Learning courses/trips must be processed at the Career Center, Garland Hall 3rd Floor.
-REGISTER AT CAREER CENTER NOT ISIS-
- 180.203 Faculty Research in Economics
This course will consist of a series of informal lectures by various professors in the Department of Economics. Each lecture will consist of a description of a professional research project which he/she has undertaken over the course of his/her professional career.
180.101 and 180.102
Instructor: Bruce Hamilton
- 180.217 Game Theory and the Social Sciences
Game theory is one of the few mathematical tools developed for the purpose of understanding social phenomena. This course provides an introduction to game theory with an emphasis on applications. Applications in economics, political science, business, military science, history, biology, theology and recreation will be covered.
No prior knowledge of game theory is presumed and the required mathematical background is minimal (high school algebra is sufficient).
- 180.219 History of Economics: Modes of Thought
This course examines the long arc of the history of economics. We will cover readings from Aristotle, Hume, Smith, Ricardo, and Marx, as well as from the Scholastics, Mercantilists, and Physiocrats. Themes will include economic values, the question of whether and when economics became a science, the market in relation to gender, and the interaction between economic theorizing and other cultural, social, and political currents of an age.
- 180.228 Economic Development
A review of the historical experience in presently developed economies, models of development, planning techniques, and development policies. The course is aimed at identifying major economic questions relevant to less developed economies and to showing how economic analysis can be used to further understanding of the obstacles to development and to formulate appropriate policies.
- 180.238 Rethinking Economics After the Great Recession (3 Credits)
The financial crisis that began in the United States in 2007 threw virtually the entire world into recession. This class will look at the causes of the crisis and at how it unfolded. It will look into the conventional wisdom of economists, circa 2006, and why that wisdom proved to be so wrong. It will examine the financial innovations that contributed to the crisis, at the reasons financial regulators were blindsided, and at the reforms enacted after the crisis.
180.101 and 180.102
Instructor: Floyd Norris
Course Times: Thursday 1:30 to 3:50
- 180.241 International Trade
Theory of comparative advantage and the international division of labor: the determinants and pattern of trade, factor price equalization, factor mobility, gains from trade and distribution of income, and theory and practice or tariffs and other trade restrictions.
- 180.242 International Monetary Economics
This course presents International Monetary Economics theory and applies it towards gaining an understanding of recent events and current policy issues. The theory presented in this course covers a broad range of topics including exchange rate determination, monetary and fiscal policy in an open economy (that is, and economy that trades goods and assets with the rest of the world), balance of payments crises, the choice of exchange rate systems, and international debt. The insights provided by these theoretical frameworks will enable us to discuss topics such as the current global financial crisis, global financial imbalances, the Chinese exchange rate regime, and proposed changes in the international financial architecture.
- 180.252 Economics of Discrimination
This course examines labor market outcomes by race and gender in the United States. There are several objectives: to apply economic theory to the labor market; to examine empirical evidence on earnings and employment outcomes, and to evaluate supply-side explanations for these outcomes; to consider the validity of several alternative economic theories of discrimination; and to assess the impact of public policies to combat discrimination. This course will also reinforce skills relevant to all fields of applied economics, including critical evaluation of the theoretical and empirical literature, and the reasoned application of statistical techniques.
- 180.261 Monetary Analysis
This course analyzes the financial and monetary system of the U.S. economy and the design and implementation of U.S. monetary policy. Among other topics, we will examine the role of banks in the economy, the term structure of interest rates, the stock market, the supply of money, the role of the Federal Reserve in the economy, the objectives of monetary policy in the United States and current monetary policy practice, and household finance.
180.101 and 180.102
View course website/syllabus
- 180.263 Corporate Finance
An introduction to the financial management of a corporation. How should a firm decide whether to invest in a new project? How much debt and equity should a firm use to finance its activities? How should a firm pay its investors? How do taxes affect a firm’s investment and financing decisions? What determines the value of a firm? The emphasis throughout the course is on the economic principles that underlie answers to these questions.
180.101 and 180.102
- 180.266 Financial Markets and Institutions
Understanding design and functioning of financial markets and institutions, connecting theoretical foundations and real-world applications and cases. Basic principles of asymmetric information problems, management of risk. Money, bond, and equity markets; investment banking, security brokers, and venture capital firms; structure, competition, and regulation of commercial banks. Importance of electronic technology on financial systems.
- 180.267 Topics in International Trade and Development
Global considerations are increasingly shaping economic outcomes for countries, companies, cities and citizens around the world. This course will explore various topics at the nexus of international trade and economic development using models of international trade, empirical research, and case studies. Topics include: macroeconomic growth accounting, changing patterns and order in world trade, trade and inequality, the political economy of trade policy, multinational corporations, trade and growth, trade and industrial policy, trade versus aid, trade and the environment, trade linkages and financial crises.
- 180.268 Seminar in Financial Regulation
This course examines regulation of the financial system in the United States and its effects on the economy. It considers proposals for reform and the ongoing implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. A major part of the course will be student research projects and class discussion of the projects. Note: This course is open to Economics majors seniors first, then juniors or permission of instructor.
- 180.289 Health Economics
Application of economic concepts and analysis to the health services system. Review of empirical studies of demand for health services, behavior of providers, and relationship of health services to population health levels. Discussion of current policy issues relating to financing and resource allocation.
- 180.301 Microeconomic Theory
An introduction to the modern theory of allocation of resources, starting with the theories of the individual consumer and producer, and proceeding to analysis of systems of interacting individuals, first in the theory of exchange, then to systems which include production as well.
180.101(can be taken concurrently with 180.101)-102 and Differential Calculus 110.106, or permission of instructor
- 180.302 Macroeconomic Theory
The course provides a treatment of macroeconomic theory including a static analysis of the determination of output, employment, the price level, the rate of interest, and a dynamic analysis of growth, inflation, and business cycles. In addition, the use and effectiveness of monetary and fiscal policy to bring about full employment, price stability, and steady economic growth will be discussed. Please see the course Blackboard site for further information.
180.101-102 (can be taken concurrently with 180.102) and Differential Calculus 110.106, or permission of instructor.
View course website/syllabus
- 180.303 Topics in International Macro and Finance
The course will first review the main causes of the crisis in financial regulation, monetary policy, as well as global financial imbalances. The prospects for economic recovery and the current challenges to fiscal and monetary policies will then be discussed. The third part of the course will focus on the long-run implications of the crisis for economic policy. The course will rely on mathematical modeling of key microeconomic and macroeconomic aspects of the crisis, in particular in the areas of banking and monetary policy.
180.301 and 302
- 180.308 Financial Regulations in US
This course begins with the time of the great Framers and adopts a historical approach to U.S. financial regulations. By examining all major crises and the respective policy responses, the course will provide a narrative on the evolution of the regulatory landscape in America. Students will also be exposed to influential academic papers that address the essentiality (and even the redundancies and failures) of key aspects of financial regulations, including deposit insurance, bank capital and liquidity requirements, and supervisory rules. Dean’s Teaching Fellowship course. Recommended courses: AS.180.261, AS.180.266, AS.180.302
Prerequisites: AS.180.101 AND AS.180.102
- 180.309 Economics of Uncertainty and Information
In this course we’ll discuss the theory of decision making in the face of risk, the theory of risk aversion and its applications to financial and insurance markets. Building on the theory of individual decision making under risk, we will study the economic implications of asymmetric information, the type of market failures produced by adverse selection and moral hazard problems, and the models that were advanced to analyze these problems, including incentive contracts, screening and signaling equilibria.
- 180.310 Economics of Antitrust
This course explores the economic rationale for, and consequences of, antitrust laws. In addition to economic analysis, we will study landmark antitrust cases.
- 180.317 Economics of Fixed Income Instruments
Students study economic principles and state-of-the-art mathematical models used to value fixed securities and their derivatives. The course emphasizes advanced practical applications as well as theory. Students will develop their own computer code for price fixed-income instruments and evaluate their risks.
- 180.328 Economics of Auctions
A successfully designed auction depends on the idiosyncrasies of the market being studied. Students will learn the core auction formats and some classic theoretical results that provide a benchmark for even the most recent auctions research. Additionally, students will learn simple empirical strategies that allow these models (and the behavior they predict) to be married with real world data. Students will develop the tools needed for analyzing and conducting auctions research.
- 180.334 Econometrics
Introduction to the methods of estimation in economic research. The first part of the course develops the primary method employed in economic research, the method of least squares. This is followed by an investigation of the performance of the method in a variety of important situations. The development of a way to handle many of the situations in which ordinary least squares is not useful, the method of instrumental variables, concludes the course.
- 180.335 Topics in Econometrics
- 180.336 Macroeconomic Strategies
Will sketch out a strategy for anticipating economic turning points. Business cycle basics, monetary policy/financial market/real economy interactions will be reviewed. Long-term growth issues will be explored.
180.101-102, 180.302 or permission of instructor
View course website/syllabus
- 180.345 Rationality: Meaning & Measurement
Economists generally work with a number of classic models of how people behave in different contexts. These models (such as utility maximization and expected utility maximization) are widely used because they are tractable and elegant, but are they also accurate models of human behavior? In this course, we will examine the axiomatic foundations of these models, explore their implications for choice behavior, and discuss the empirical and experimental strategies economists have developed to test these models.
- 180.351 Labor Economics
In this course students extend their knowledge of economic theory as it applies to the labor market, examine earnings and employment outcomes, and assess the efficiency and equity impacts of several governmental programs. In lectures and readings a continuing focus will be on the methodologies and statistical techniques labor economists employ. In the second part of the course students will have an opportunity to use both economic theory and empirical evidence to analyze in depth topics such as discrimination, inequality, and the impact of immigration and globalization on the labor market.
- 180.354 Econometrics of Unobservables
Empirical data may not contain all the variables suggested by economic theories. This course introduces methodologies to identify and estimate economic models containing unobservables.
Recommended Course Background: AS.180.301 and AS.180.334.
- 180.355 Economics of Poverty and Inequality
This course focuses on the economics of poverty and inequality. It covers the measurement of poverty and inequality, facts and trends over time, the causes of poverty and inequality with a focus on those related to earnings and the labor market, and public policy toward poverty and inequality, covering both taxation and government expenditure and programs. By the nature of the material, the course is fairly statistical and quantitative. Students should have an intermediate understanding of microeconomic concepts. Basic knowledge of regression analysis is also helpful.
Microeconomic theory (180.301).
- 180.356 Big Data
This course introduces state-of-the-art econometric methods to analyze big data. Topics include statistical learning, linear regression, classification, resampling methods, linear model selection and regularization, nonlinear model selection and regularization, tree-based methods, and support vector machines.
- 180.363 Dynamic Optimization and Risky Behavior
We apply the tools of economic analysis to understand behaviors that are enjoyable today, but may have negative consequences in the future.
AS.180.301 AND AS.180.302 AND AS.180.334 or permission of the instructor
- 180.367 Investments
Investment securities and their markets, especially the stock market. The relations between expected return and risk. The determination of security prices. Financial portfolio selection. The assessment of the performance of managed portfolios.
Prerequisites: 180.301 and Statistics 111-112 or permission required
- 180.368 Managerial Economics and Business Strategy
Seminar on quantitative concepts, decision-making, and strategy in business organizations. Overall context is ‘value’ – how it is measured and maximized long term. Microeconomic theory of the firm, competitive analysis, corporate finance.
- 180.371 Industrial Organization
Investigation of firm behavior in markets characterized by imperfect competition. Imperfect competition lies in between monopoly and perfect competition and characterizes most major industries in modern capitalist economies. Central issues to be covered in the course include what determines the intensity of competition? What determines the extent of entry and exit? How is it that some firms consistently dominate their industries?
180.301 or permission of instructor
- 180.372 Finance and Macroeconomy
This class is conducted as a round table discussion on current topics at the intersection of finance, monetary policy, and macroeconomics. Students will be expected to read assigned material, participate in the discussion, and take a final exam.
AS.180.101 AND (AS.180.263 OR AS.180.367) or by instructor permission.
- 180.385 Evolution and Economics
This course provides an introduction to evolutionary theory and its applications to modern economics. We start by introducing formal models of the driving forces of evolution: mutation, selection, and survival of the fittest. Next we investigate how these forces have shaped human preferences and behaviors that are typically taken as given in economic models. Finally, we discuss the evolution of social systems like the economy we live in.
- 180.389 The Social Policy Implications of Behavioral Economics
Economists increasingly incorporate insights from psychology into models of rational decision-making. Known as “behavioral economics”, this line of research considers how, for example, emotions, rules-of-thumb, biased beliefs and time inconsistent preferences influence how we make choices. Behavioral economics has begun to play a role in policy discussions on topics as diverse as: obesity, media coverage, subprime mortgages and voting patterns. Behavioral models are certainly novel, but do they help us to design superior social policies? With the goal of preparing students to address this question, this course (1) provides a thorough overview of the main contributions of behavioral economics, highlighting departures from more traditional economic models and (2) emphasizes how behavioral economic models might (or might not) improve how we think about social policy.
- 180.390 Health Economics and Developing Countries
Benefits of good health and its costs. Health demand and supply in poor countries. Welfare economics of Public Health.
- 180.391 Economics of China
- 180.393 Economics of Africa
Discussion of the economic experience of post-colonial Africa emphasizing topics rather than a historical narrative: agriculture, manufacturing, trade, population, education, health, public finances among others. Students are responsible for a research paper, topic choice and paper development in close consultation with the instructor, students to give a class presentation on paper findings. Course qualifies as writing intensive for the writing requirement.
Prerequisites: 180.228 or permission of the instructor.
- 180.502 Independent Study in Economics
Independent work on selected topics may be arranged by agreement between a student, a faculty member, and the department.
- 180.521 Senior Thesis
Students enrolled in this fall-semester course will do preliminary work on the Senior Honors Thesis. The tasks are to find an area of research, begin working with a thesis advisor, and develop a thesis topic and research plan for the thesis itself. By the end of fall semester the student and advisor should be able to make a firm determination as to the feasibility of the proposed thesis. NOTE: It is in the nature of research that some topics ultimately prove to be infeasible. With that in mind, it is possible to enroll in, and receive credit for, Research in Economics without subsequently enrolling in 180.522 Senior Honors Thesis.
Senior Standing, 180.334 (may be waived by the thesis advisor, depending upon the topic). (Note: This course cannot be counted as one of the 5 elective courses required for the Major in Economics)
- 180.522 Senior Honors Thesis
This course is a continuation of 180.521 Research in Economics. Under the supervision of the thesis advisor, students will complete the Senior Honors Thesis. CAUTION: Many research ideas that appear to be promising do not work out. It is possible to start a Senior Honors Thesis which in the end proves to be infeasible. BE SURE that you have enough credits to graduate without 180.522. Also be sure to have a serious progress discussion with your thesis advisor before the spring-semester drop deadline.
Senior Thesis Guidelines (PDF)
Senior Standing, 180.521, 180.334(may be waived by the thesis advisor, depending upon the topic). (Note: This course cannot be counted as one of the 5 elective courses required for the Major in Economics)
- 180.570 Independent Study
Independent work on selected topics may be arranged by agreement between a student, a faculty member, and the department. This is an intensive independent study course during intersession.
- 180.571 Internship
- 570.428 Problems in Applied Economics
This course brings the principles of economic theory to bear upon particular problems in the fields of economics, finance and public policy. Micro, macro and international problems, from both the private and public sectors, are addressed. A heavy emphasis is placed on research and writing. Students learn how to properly conduct substantive economic research, utilizing statistical techniques and lessons from economic history. Findings are presented in the form of either memoranda or working papers. Exceptional work may be suitable for publication through the Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise.
- 570.470 Applied Economics & Finance
This course focuses on company valuations, using the proprietary Hanke-Guttridge Discounted Free Cash Flow Model. Students use the model and data from financial statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to calculate the value of publicly-traded companies. Using Monte Carlo simulations, students also generate forecast scenarios, project likely share-price ranges and assess potential gains/losses. Stress is placed on using these simulations to diagnose the subjective market expectations contained in current objective market prices, and the robustness of these expectations. During the weekly seminar, students’ company valuations are reviewed and critiqued.
Prerequisites: 660.203 – Financial Accounting
- 570.487 Financial Market Research
This course investigates the workings of financial, foreign exchange, and commodity futures markets. Research is focused on price behavior, speculation, and hedging in these markets. Extensive research and writing is required. Exceptional work may be suitable for publication through the Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise.