Please consult the online course catalog for complete course information.
Course registration information can be found on SIS.
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
- 180.214 Economic Experience of BRIC Countries
In 2001, Jim O’Neill, the Chief Economist at Goldman Sachs, coined the acronym BRIC to identify the four large emerging economies, Brazil, Russia, India and China. These economies have since had an amazing run, and have emerged as the biggest and fastest growing emerging markets. In this course, we look at the economic experiences of the BRIC countries for the past 50 years. We discuss the reasons that have contributed to their exceptional growth rates, with particular emphasis on their transformation into market economies. We also analyze the challenges that these countries continue to face in their development process.
AS.180.101 and AS.180.102
- 180.217 Game Theory in Social Sciences
Game Theory is the study of multiple person decision problems that are characterized by the social situations in which the well-being of a decision maker depends not only on his own actions but also on those of others. Such problems arise frequently in economics, political science, business, military science, history, biology, etc. In this course, I will introduce the basic tools of game theoretic analysis with an emphasis on applications. In particular, you will first learn how to model different social situations as games and related equilibrium concepts. Then, you will see various examples from different fields. And, we will play several games in the class. Game theory has emerged as a branch of mathematical economics and is still quite mathematical. In this course, I will emphasize the conceptual analysis and applications and keep the level of mathematical technicalities at the minimum. High school algebra and one term of calculus will be sufficient. In a nutshell, we will use mostly the verbal and graphical tools. Students that took AS.180.117 are not eligible to take AS.180.217.
No prior knowledge of game theory is presumed and the required mathematical background is minimal (high school algebra is sufficient).
- 180.228 Economic Development
A comprehensive survey of economic behavior by households, farms and firms in poor countries and the role of and for governments. Discussions include measurement of income levels, economy-wide equilibrium, sources of growth, agriculture and industry, international trade and investment, savings, population, fertility, education, health, income distribution and public finances. Applies economic theory rigorously to interpret and evaluate the economic experience of poor countries. Diagnostic test on Elements of Economics is required in the second week. Grading based on 3 exams and one paper.
- 180.238 Rethinking Economics After the Great Recession
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.
AS.180.101 and AS.180.102
- 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.
Instructor: Somasree Dasgupta
- 180.244 Market Design
We will study how the rules of a market impact behavior, and in turn whether this behavior leads to (un)desirable outcomes. We will cover how the lessons learned from both successful and failing markets have been used by economists to design new markets. It will help us address questions such as: (i) Can economics help with the shortage of donated kidneys? (ii) How should a ride share service assign cars to clients? (iii) Can changing the way school seats are assigned change the welfare of students in a city? The material is intended to be as accessible as possible, keeping the mathematical technicalities to a minimum (i.e. one-term of calculus would be sufficient).
Instructor: Marcelo Fernandez
- 180.248 Financial Writing and Analysis
There is an immense chasm between economic and financial commentary in academic discussions and that provided by private sector analysts and the press. Some of the difference is merely semantic, but much of the difference has real substance. Academic and nonacademic commentators tend to simply write off the other as being clueless in some way. Sorting out which bits of each style of analysis are most valuable and synthesizing them into a coherent commentary is a rare and valuable skill. This is a hands-on course with a goal of building skills reading and writing commentary in financial economics. The course begins critically studying commentary regarding prominent topics in the news over the recent months and then moves to writing “explainer” pieces for publication on the Center for Financial Economics blog. Students will work in teams both analyzing commentary, and writing and critiquing the work of fellow students.
- 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.
- 180.280 The History and Future of the Hedge Fund Industry
The precursors to modern hedge funds began more than 50 years ago, but in the 1990s the hedge fund, or alternative investments, industry began a period of rapid growth and evolution. With growth came controversy. Some argue that hedge funds, by allowing immense amounts of capital to be rapidly and freely deployed, play a vital role in pushing prices toward the efficient markets ideal. Others claim that hedge funds may accentuate speculative price dynamics, threatening the stability of the financial sector. While many hedge funds claim to offer outstanding returns to investors, data suggest that many clients end up paying high fees for unspectacular results. This course examines these and other controversies, while tracing the history of the alternative investments industry over the last 25 years.
180.101 AND 180.102 AND (180.266 OR 180.263 OR 180.367)
- 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.
AS.180.102 and (AS.110.106, OR AS.110.107 OR AS.110.108 OR AS.110.109 OR AS.110.113 OR equivalent) OR permission of instructor. AS.180.101 can be taken concurrently.
- 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 (110.106 OR 110.113), or permission of instructor.
View course website/syllabus
- 180.303 Topics in International Macro and Finance
The course will review selected topics in international macroeconomics and finance. The topics for the Fall of 2015 include: financial globalization; international portfolio diversification; the problems posed by “sudden stops” in capital flows to emerging markets; global imbalances and global demand rebalancing; how different exchange rate regimes have fared in the global financial crisis; sovereign default in the light of the Argentine experience; and the ongoing Russian currency and financial crisis. The course involves mathematical modeling as well as data analysis.
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.
- 180.314 Mathematical Economics
This course traces the extent to which modern economic theory, particularly as it pertains to pure competition in market and non-market games under the rationality postulate.
- 180.315 Housing Problems and Policy
This course uses economic theory and econometric research approaches as a lens on housing issues and policy. Housing is at the center of the effects of segregation and the Great Recession, and bears a significant connection to the labor market as well. This course briefly explores microeconomic theory specifically relevant to the housing market, then uses readings from academic social science literatures to dive deeper into these issues and others. Finally, students will examine public housing policies, using the literature and proposing statistical techniques to assess their effectiveness. The course will improve the understanding and use of basic econometric techniques with respect to policy questions as well as the ability to critically read academic literature.
Instructor: Andrew Gray
- 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. Students must be familiar with both statistics and differential equations.
- 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.
- 180.336 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
- 180.338 Political Economic Development
Good governance is associated with desirable outcomes across countries and societies: higher life satisfaction, greater income per capita, lower child mortality, longer life expectancy, less disease, etc. But these statistical associations in the data are not sufficient to establish either that good governance truly causes such societal outcomes, or what types of policies produce them. This course asks: What are the determinants of good governance? Is good governance “good” beyond its intrinsic desirability? If so, how? We use a data-driven approach, focusing on quantitative empirical methods and their applications to policy. The goal is to develop skills to be savvy consumers, as well as producers, of policy-relevant evidence related to issues of governance, in rich and poor countries alike. Topics will include: democracy, corruption, conflict, culture, mass media, quotas, and foreign aid.
Instructor: Filipe Campante
- 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.
- 180.352 Public Economics
This course explores issues related to expenditure and tax policies of governments, as well as views regarding the purpose of government and criteria for evaluating government actions. The course also includes a discussion of how group or collective choices are made within society, how environmental policies affect the level of pollution, and the importance of public debt.
AS.180.301 OR AS.180.180.401
- 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).
- 180.361 Rich Countries, Poor Countries
Why are some countries rich while some other countries poor? Why does a country’s income per person generally grow over time? We try to analyze these questions using the theoretical and empirical growth literature. We will study seminal growth models, and also try to explain cross-country income differences in terms of factors like geography, institutions and global integration. Knowledge of regression analysis (including instrumental variables estimation) is required.
AS.180.302 AND (AS.180.334 OR AS.180.434)
- 180.363 Sex, Drugs and Dynamic Optimization: The Economics of 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
- 180.365 Topics in Macroeconomics
This course builds on AS.180.302 (Macroeconomic Theory) to consider the leading macroeconomic controversies of today (such as the appropriate monetary and fiscal policies of the Federal Reserve and U.S. Government). The classes will include frequent student presentations.
- 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.
AS.180.301 AND (EN.553.111 OR AS.180.367 OR AS.180.263) or permission of the instructor.
- 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.
- 180.401 Advanced Microeconomic Theory
This course covers roughly the same material as Microeconomic Theory 180.301 but in a more formal and mathematically rigorous way. You can use either 180.301 or 180.401 to satisfy the requirement for the economics major. 180.301 and 180.401 are offered during the same time slot, so the logistics of switching from 180.301 to 180.401 should be seamless, should you decide to make the switch. This course is suitable for those students who prefer a more formal treatment of economic theory and who are planning to take some of the more technically demanding electives in economics at a later stage. NOTE: you may not take both 180.301 and 180.401.
You may not take both 180.401 and 180.301.; 180.102 and any two semesters of calculus (or 110.113 or equivalent)
- 180.434 Advanced Econometrics
This is a faster-paced and more intensive version of Econometrics 180.334. You can use either 180.334 or 180.434 to satisfy the requirement for the economics major. This course is suitable for those students who prefer a more technical treatment of econometric methodologies. Both 180.334 and 180.434 will be offered during the same time slot, so the logistics of switching from 180.334 to 180.434 should be seamless, should you decide to make the switch. NOTE: you may not take both 180.334 and 180.434.
Students may not take both AS.180.334 and AS.180.434.; AS.180.301, one semester of linear algebra, one semester of calculus, AS.280.345 or EN.553.211 or EN.553.111 or EN.553.310 or EN.553.311 or EN.553.420 or EN.560.435.
- 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 Research in Economics
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.