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Electives by Field

There are a variety of subfields of economics that apply the principles of economics to increase our understanding of the world around us.   Below are descriptions from the American Economic Association of some of the fields in which we offer courses.  Or you can view elective courses by topics or interests.




Agricultural, Natural Resource and Environmental Economics
Economists study farming, fishery, and forests with a focus on prices, markets, and changing technologies. Natural resource economists study markets for energy (oil, coal, and electricity) and mineral resources. Economists have played an important role in the evolution of policies to promote clean air, water, and land.

ECON 32084 - Economics of the Environment
Economic Development
Economists who are interested in the development of economies often focus on third world countries. Why have some countries developed while others have not? How might the industrialized countries improve the prospects for development around the world? Who gains and who loses with industrialization?

ECON 42076 - Economic Development
Econometrics Econometricians develop methods to measure economic phenomena. They apply the scientific method by formulating hypotheses, gathering evidence, and judging whether the evidence is consistent with the hypotheses.

ECON 42040 - Introduction to Econometrics
Health, Education, and Welfare
Some economists focus on the markets and government policies that directly shape access to health care.  Others focus on schools and educational policies. Still others consider the economic circumstances of the poor and evaluate alternative government programs to improve the well-being of the poor.

ECON 32083 - The Economics of Poverty
ECON 32086 - Economics of Education
ECON 42086 - Economics of Health Care
ECON 42072 - Economics of Labor Markets

Industrial Organization
IO is the study of individual markets, the nature of competition, and the role of prices. Some economists study issues in anti-trust policy. Others study the role of advertising, pricing policies, and how costs vary with the scale of operations. Some IO economists investigate particular industries such as appliances, software, and electricity. In the last decade a number of economists have studied economic issues in sports, recreation, and tourism.

ECON 42068 - Industrial Organization
International Economics
International economists study trade among nations and the flow of finance across international borders. Globalization and the deficit in the U.S. balance of payments with other countries are current concerns. ECON 32030 - International Money, Credit and Banking
ECON 32075 - Introduction to International Trade
ECON 42075 - International Economic Relations

Labor Economics
Labor economists study employers’ decisions to hire workers and employees’ decisions to work.  They study how wages are set, the nature of incentives workers face, and the role of minimum wage laws, unions, pensions plans, and training programs. They are also interested in the formation of families, determinants of birth rates, migration, population change, and aging.

ECON 42072 - Economics of Labor Markets
Public Economics
Public finance economists consider the role of government in the economy.  Some focus on evaluating government programs and others focus on the design of tax systems.  Public finance economists are also interested in how the political process makes decisions. Issues of national security and defense appear here as well the study of state and local governments.

ECON 42085 - Public Finance
Urban Economics
Economists analyze the location decisions of households and firms and the associated issues in housing, transportation, and local government.

ECON 42080 - Regional Economics
ECON 42081 - Urban Economics