Economics

Course Descriptions

1201 Principles of Economics: Micro
3 credit hours

The objective of this course is to introduce students to the basic principles of microeconomics.  In particular, the course focuses on the study of the economic behaviour of individual households and firms.  It also focuses on the determination of the market prices of individual goods and services under different market structures.


1202 Principles of Economics: Macro
3 credit hours

The objective of this course is to introduce students to the basic principles of macroeconomics, i.e., the study of the economy as a whole and to show the relevance of these principles for an understanding of current macroeconomic issues.  Topics include: measuring macroeconomic indicators (GDP, unemployment rate, price level), determinants of aggregate economic activity, money and banking, causes of economic fluctuations, stabilization policies (fiscal and monetary), international transactions and growth.


3300 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201 and MGSC 1206

Theory of consumer behaviour and demand, theory of production and cost, behaviour of the firm, theory of price and output under different market structures, and the theory of factor markets.


3301 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1202 and MGSC 1206.

Measurement of macroeconomic variables; models of aggregate income and price determination; unemployment and inflation; macroeconomic policy debates.


3302 Mathematical Economics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201 and 1202; and MGSC 1206 or equivalent.

An introduction of the role of mathematics in economic analysis. Mathematical topics include linear algebra, partial differentiation, implicit function theorems and comparative statics analysis, unconstrained and constrained optimization theory.


3303 Intermediate Economic Statistics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: MGSC 2207 or equivalent.

A further study of the basic concepts of statistics and its application to the solution of business and economic problems: review of probability, random variables and their distribution, sampling and sampling distributions, normal and associated distribution, statistical inference, simple and multiple regression and related topics.


3307 Money and Banking
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201 and 1202.

Money and the payments system, development of banking in Canada, financial instruments, theory of banks’ intermediation, chartered banks structure, operation and competition, governments and Canadian financial markets.


3310 Development Economics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201 and 1202.

Alternative theories of growth and development, including economic and non-economic determinants of growth in developing countries, the role of government in development policies and lessons from experience in growth and change.


3315 Comparative Economic Systems
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201 and 1202

An examination of how different economic systems choose to solve the basic economic problems of resource allocation and distribution of income and wealth. Theoretical models of (idealized) economic systems as developed by the Classical economists (e.g., Smith, Ricardo, Mill), Marx, Schumpeter, Lange, Keynes, etc., will be studied. The structure and performance of past and existing systems will be analyzed, with emphasis on diverse institutional arrangements.


3316 Industrial Organization
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201 and 1202.

The course begins by laying out the arguments for competitive market processes and then proceeds to investigate the determinants of real-world industrial market structures, the behaviour of firms, and efficiency in resource allocation.


3319 Public Finance
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201 and 1202.

Students will be exposed to the economics of government budgets from both a theoretical and applied viewpoint, with special emphasis on taxation. Topics could include: government expenditures, public goods, fiscal federalism, tax incidencetheory, income taxation, sales and excise taxes, property taxes, public debt, and fiscal tools for stabilization policy.


3322 Canadian Economic Issues
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201 and 1202.

This course deals with economic issues relevant to business and public policy. Topics may include regulation of industry and competition policy, the labour market and collective bargaining, environmental policy, public debt, fiscal federalism, stabilization policy, economic growth, and other issues of current interest.


3324 The Atlantic Economy
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201 and 1202.

Analysis of the structure, development and performance of the economy of the Atlantic region. Topics covered include: economic history of the region, current structure of the regional economy and state of economic development, sub-regional differences in economic structure and performance, external trade linkages, demographic and labour market characteristics, the role of government in the development process.


3325 Atlantic Economy Seminar
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201 and 1202.

This course will examine in detail a small number of current economic issues in the Atlantic region. General topic areas, from which specific issues may be chosen, include: the impact on the region of policies and programs of the federal government including monetary, fiscal, manpower, and development policies; the role of provincial and municipal planning and development agencies; the role of key sectors of the economy in future development, including energy, natural resources, steel, and transportation.


3327 Asia Pacific Economies
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201 and 1202.

The goal of the course is to create and enhance a capacity for understanding contemporary economic development in Asia Pacific. The course examines economic, historical, and institutional conditions and factors that influence economic growth in selected countries in this region. Policy lessons related to exchange rates, trade, and development will be drawn. The course will also look at some recent developments and address current debates on growth, distribution, environment, and globalization. 


3340 Human Resource Economics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201 and 1202.

This course examines a variety of topics in the study of labour markets and human resource use. Topics in any year may include: the changing composition of the labour force and structure of employment; unemployment and manpower policy; history, structure and impact of the labour movement; inequalities in the labour market; income distribution and problems of poverty; technological change; macro-economic policy and the labour market.


3341   Labour Economics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite:  ECON 1201 and 1202.

This course focuses on the framework for analyzing labour market issues.  Employment and wage determination under different labour market structures are analyzed.  Emphasis is on the economics analysis of work incentives, wage differentials including the importance of human capital, unionization, internal labour markets, discrimination and segmented labour markets.


3349 Women and the Economy [WMST 3349]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201 and 1202.

This course will examine various aspects of women’s participation in the economies of developed countries (primarily Canada) as well as developing countries. Topics in any year may include analysis of the relationship between the paid and unpaid work of women, changes in labour force participation, trends and determinants of the male/female wage gap, models of household economic decision-making, the impact of technological change, and the international gender division of labour. Particular attention will be paid to policy issues relevant to the economic status of women. The course will also examine gender bias in the theory, methodology and practice of economics and will evaluate various theoretical approaches to the study of women.


3362 Natural Resource Economics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201 and 1202.

This course examines the principles governing the use of natural resources, and analyzes the economics of natural resource industries such as fisheries, forestry and mining. Emphasis is placed on the economic importance of time, since resource conservation requires a balance between current and future use. Methods to achieve optimal social benefits through the economic regulation of resource exploitation will be addressed.


3363 Environmental Economics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201.

This course focuses on the application of economic principles to such environmental issues as air and water pollution, preservation of wildlife and wilderness areas, and the balance between economic activity and environmental health. The environmental impacts of fisheries, forestry, and mining are also discussed. Methods for environmental management are considered, particularly addressing the potential role of economic institutions and economic instruments. Some discussion of current Canadian policy issues is also undertaken.


3364 Cost-Benefit Analysis
3 credit hours
Prerequisite:  ECON 1201 and 1202.

This course deals with the methodology and problems underlying the evaluation of projects from the social welfare perspective.  Topics will include various elements relevant to the measurement of social benefits and opportunity costs:  market distortions, the role of time, distributional issues, uncertainty and risk.  Applications discussed will be drawn from a number of areas, such as urban economics, health economics, the environment, forestry and fisheries.


3365 International Economic Issues
Prerequisite: ECON 1201 and 1202.

An examination of current issues and trends in international economics, covering international trade and international macroeconomics and finance subject areas.  Different interpretations of recent events will be presented and critically appraised.  Students will be expected to locate and analyze economic, financial and trade data.


3366 Health Economics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite:  ECON 1201 and 1202.

This course aims at developing an understanding of the economic issues underlying the provision of health care.  Students will learn how to apply the tools of economic analysis to a study of the roles of, and interactions between, health-care providers, insurers (private and public), and health care demanders, as well as questions relating to alternative modes of health care financing, with emphasis on Canadian issues.


3826 – 3849 Special Topics in Economics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: permission of instructor


3876 – 3899 Directed Study in Economics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: permission of instructor


4400 Advanced Microeconomic Theory
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: MGSC 1206 or equivalent, and ECON 3300.

Advanced treatment of the theories of consumer behaviour and the firm with special emphasis on duality theory; general equilibrium theory; welfare economics. Other topics may include choice under uncertainty and game theory.


4401 Advanced Macroeconomic Theory
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: MGSC 1206 or equivalent, and ECON 3301.

Microeconomic foundations of macroeconomics; inflation; interest rates; exchange rates; labour markets and unemployment; investment and real business cycles; economic growth.


4403 Econometrics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 3303.

Theory and applications of econometric models and their estimation. Topics will include generalized least squares, dynamic econometric models, the analysis of time series models, and models with qualitative variables.


4404 Special Topics in Microeconomics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 4400.

Selected topics in microeconomics chosen for rigorous, in-depth study from the following areas: input markets; general equilibrium; welfare economics; inter-temporal choice; information theory. Topics may vary depending on the interests of the students and the instructor.


4405 Special Topics in Macroeconomics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 4401.

Selected topics in macroeconomics chosen for rigorous, in-depth study from the following areas: consumption and investment; basic infinite horizon models; the overlapping generations model; business cycle theories; nominal rigidities and economic fluctuations. Topics may vary depending on the interests of the students and the instructor.


4407 Monetary Economics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 3300 and 3301.

The first part of the course consists of an introduction to microeconomic monetary theory including models of money demand, models of asset demand, portfolio allocation and the firm’s financial problem.  The second part of the course deals with macroeconomic monetary problems such as inflation, dynamic inconsistency, monetary policy objectives and conduct of monetary policy.


4410 Issues in Economic Development
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 3300 and 3310.

Specific problems in economic development; emphasis on government policies, foreign aid, foreign trade and their impact on underdeveloped countries.


4413 International Macroeconomics and Finance
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201, and 3301.

An introduction to the past and current issues and debates in theoretical and empirical international macroeconomics, with coverage of the foreign exchange market and associated derivative markets. Topics include the balance of payments, exchange rate determination and exchange rate and stabilization policy.


4414 International Trade
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 3300.

An introduction to the theory of international trade: comparative advantage, modern refinements, gains from trade, empirical relevance of trade models, tariffs and protection, economic integration, trade and growth.


4475 Business Consultancy
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 3300 and permission of Chairperson.

This course allows students to gain business experience by working for clients of the Saint Mary’s University Business Development Centre.  Student groups receive a project proposal outlining the requirements, information needs and services they will provide the client during the semester.  Projects generally take the form of a business plan, market study, or other business-related function and often involve financial projections.  Each project provides students an opportunity to use skills learned in business courses and to understand the interrelationship between marketing, accounting, finance, and management in a practical business setting.  Under supervision, students prepare a professional report and the final presentation that communicate the project’s results for the client.

Work groups often include students from different business disciplines and are assigned based upon the needs of the project.  Groups schedule their preferred meeting times but are required to meet a minimum of three hours each week.  For more information see http://www.smu.ca/smubdc.


4490 Seminar in Economics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 3300, and 3301

This course deals with selected topics in economics. It is offered when in sufficient demand, and specific topics covered may vary depending on the interests of students and instructors.

Classes and independent study. 1 semester.


4498 Research Seminar in Economics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite:  ECON 3300, and ECON 3301.

The study of the nature of methodology of research from the standpoint of economics.  This course is designed to assist students in developing skills necessary to design, conduct, report and evaluate economic research projects. Students will develop a research project and produce a research report.

 Seminar 2 hrs. a week.


4499 Honours Project in Economics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite/co-requisite:  admission to the honours program (thesis option) and completion of ECON 4498, or permission of the Chairperson.

This course requires the completion of a major economic research project or thesis under the direction of one or more faculty members.


4826 – 4849 Special Topics in Economics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: permission of instructor.


4876 – 4899 Directed Study in Economics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ECON 1201, 1202 and permission of instructor.

Intended to supplement or provide an alternative to the regular economics courses in order to meet the special needs and interests of students, the course provides an opportunity to study a particular subject in detail and requires from the student some measure of independence and initiative.