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Economics

Economics is the study of how individuals, businesses, and governments allocate resources to satisfy their objectives. The study of economics helps students understand markets, firms, financial organizations, and public debate about economic policy, including taxation, government expenditure, trade, globalization, health, and welfare. The concentration in Economics prepares students for graduate study in fields such as business and law, for graduate study leading to teaching and research in economics, and can be a stepping-stone to employment in business, finance, non-profit, and government organizations. Students may choose the standard concentration, the business track, or the public policy track, all of which have a corresponding professional track. If you are interested in declaring a concentration in Economics, please refer to this page for more information regarding the process.

Students are required to begin with ECON 0110, an introductory course that stresses current economic issues, and the concepts and principles of economic analysis. Intermediate level courses in microeconomics (ECON 1110 or  ECON 1130), macroeconomics (ECON 1210), and econometrics (ECON 1620 followed by ECON 1629 or ECON 1630 ) round out the list of foundation courses for the concentration. Economics concentrators must also fulfill a math requirement (ECON 0170).

The economics department sponsors a number of concentration options. The most popular is the standard economics concentration, described below. The standard concentration has an optional Business Economics track, as well as a Public Policy track, both described below. Three additional concentration options are administered jointly with other departments and are described separately under their respective titles. They are the concentrations in applied mathematics–economics, mathematical-economics , and computer science–economics. The first two are especially recommended for students interested in graduate study in economics.

Standard Economics Concentration

ECON 0110Principles of Economics 11
ECON 0170Essential Mathematics for Economics1
or MATH 0100 Single Variable Calculus, Part II
or a higher-level math course. 2
ECON 1110Intermediate Microeconomics1
or ECON 1130 Intermediate Microeconomics (Mathematical)
ECON 1210Intermediate Macroeconomics1
ECON 1620Introduction to Econometrics1
or MATH 1620 Mathematical Statistics
or APMA 1650 Statistical Inference I
or APMA 1655 Honors Statistical Inference I
ECON 1629Applied Research Methods for Economists1
or ECON 1630 Mathematical Econometrics I
At least five additional 1000-level Economics courses. 35
Total Credits11

Business Economics Track

ECON 0110Principles of Economics 1 1
ECON 0170Essential Mathematics for Economics1
or MATH 0100 Single Variable Calculus, Part II
or a higher level math course
ECON 0710Financial Accounting1
ECON 1110Intermediate Microeconomics1
or ECON 1130 Intermediate Microeconomics (Mathematical)
ECON 1210Intermediate Macroeconomics1
ECON 1420Industrial Organization 21
ECON 1620Introduction to Econometrics1
or APMA 1650 Statistical Inference I
or APMA 1655 Honors Statistical Inference I
or MATH 1620 Mathematical Statistics
ECON 1629Applied Research Methods for Economists1
or ECON 1630 Mathematical Econometrics I
ECON 1710Investments I1
ECON 1720Corporate Finance1
Two Business Economics electives from the following list: 2
Introduction to Game Theory
Labor Economics
The Economics of Mass Media
Economic Organizations and Economic Systems
Antitrust and Competition
Bargaining Theory and Applications
Theory of Market Design
International Trade
International Finance
Big Data
Venture Capital, Private Equity, and Entrepreneurship
Mathematical Finance
Investments II
Financial Institutions
Advanced Topics in Corporate Finance
Theory of Behavioral Economics
Behavioral Finance
Game Theory and Applications to Economics
Total Credits12

Public Policy Track

ECON 0110Principles of Economics 11
ECON 0170Essential Mathematics for Economics 21
or MATH 0100 Single Variable Calculus, Part II
ECON 1110Intermediate Microeconomics1
or ECON 1130 Intermediate Microeconomics (Mathematical)
ECON 1210Intermediate Macroeconomics1
ECON 1620Introduction to Econometrics 31
ECON 1629Applied Research Methods for Economists1
or ECON 1630 Mathematical Econometrics I
Five Public Policy Electives from the list below:5
Using Big Data to Solve Economic and Social Problems
Race, Crime, and Punishment in America
Advanced Macroeconomics: Monetary, Fiscal, and Stabilization Policies
Unemployment: Models and Policies
Labor Economics
Economics of Global Warming
Environmental Economics and Policy
Environmental Issues in Development Economics
Health Economics
Race and Inequality in the United States
Intergenerational Poverty in America
Inequality of Income, Wealth, and Health in the United States
Urban Economics
Industrial Organization
The Economics of Social Policy
The Economic Analysis of Political Behavior
Public Economics
Current Global Macroeconomic Challenges
Culture, History and Comparative Development
Health, Hunger and the Household in Developing Countries
International Trade
International Finance
Economic Growth
The Economics of Latin Americans
Education, the Economy and School Reform
Interdisciplinary requirement. Two courses outside of the economics department that relate to better understanding the implementation and/or evaluation of public policies (may be below or above 1000-level).Several departments offer such courses, and availability varies from year to year. Some pre-approved options are2
Health Inequality in Historical Perspective
Making Decisions
Social Psychology
Introduction to Public Policy
Health Care in the United States
Public Health Policy
Fundamentals of Epidemiology
Introduction to the American Political Process
Ethics and Public Policy
Gender and Public Policy
Remaking the City
The City: An Introduction to Urban Studies
Students may also request advisor permission for other courses
A capstone project. This can be satisfied in different ways: (a) the capstone is automatically fulfilled if one of the public policy electives completed is designated as a capstone course (see the list of capstone courses on the economics department website); or (b) a capstone project is otherwise arranged and completed for a public policy elective; or (c) an honors thesis is completed, under the guidelines of honors in the economics concentration. In cases (a) and (b), a capstone form must be submitted to the department. 4
Total Credits13

All concentrators in economics programs are encouraged to consult their concentration advisors regularly. Economics concentrators who wish to study abroad should consult first with the department transfer credit advisor.

Honors

To graduate with honors, students must satisfy the following requirements by the end of Junior year:

  • Complete at least 70% of the courses required for the concentration.
  • Have earned a grade of “A” or “S with distinction” in at least 70% of grades earned in the economics concentration, or 50% in the joint concentrations in APMA-Econ, CS-Econ, and Math-Econ (excluding courses transferred to Brown without a grade, and those taken Spring 2020).
  • Economics Concentrators must find a faculty thesis advisor in the economics department.
  • Joint Concentrators must find a primary faculty thesis advisor in either economics or the partner department. CS-Econ concentrators must have a secondary reader in the other department by the fall of senior year. APMA-Econ and Math-Econ do not require a secondary reader, unless the primary advisor deems it necessary. Joint concentrators need to satisfy the honors requirements of the economics department if their thesis advisor is in the economics department; while they need to satisfy the honors requirements of the partner department if their thesis advisor is in the partner department.

During Senior year, thesis writers must: 

  • Enroll in ECON 1960 with their thesis advisor in the fall and spring semesters.
  • Submit a thesis proposal to their thesis advisor and the Undergraduate Program Coordinator by mid-September.
  • Submit their work in progress to their thesis advisor and the Undergraduate Program Coordinator by mid-December.
  • Depending on the nature of the thesis work, the thesis adviser may require the student to successfully complete one or more courses from among the data methods, mathematical economics and/or financial economics course groups in the fall of senior year, if they have not already done so.
  • Complete an honors thesis by the deadline agreed upon with their advisor and obtain the final approval of their advisor by mid-April.
  • Thesis writers are encouraged, but not required, to participate in the departmental Honors Thesis Presentation session held in May, with a brief presentation of their work and findings.
  • *Please refer to the Economics Department Honors Thesis page for specific deadlines.
Professional Track 1 

In addition to fulfilling the other concentration requirements, students on the Professional Track must complete 2-6 months of full-time professional work related to their concentration, with a given internship or job lasting at least one month.  International students must declare the professional track of their concentration in order for U.S. based internships to qualify for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Such work is normally done at a company, but may also be at a university under the supervision of a faculty member. Professional experiences completed over winter break cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.  On completion of each professional experience, the student must write and upload to ASK a reflective essay about the experience, to be approved by their concentration advisor. 

On completion of each professional experience, the student must write and upload to ASK a reflective essay about the experience, to be approved by the student's concentration advisor: